Nearly 40% Of People Say This Was The Most Messed Up Serial Killer In History

It's not just that serial murderers kill, it's that they do it in extraordinarily violent and sadistic ways, devastating those whose loved ones fall victim. Serial killers also terrorize the public, most of whom can't conceive of why or how a person could carry out such depravity. 

The Atlantic reported in 2019 that the estimated number of active or unidentified serial killers is somewhere between 2,100 and 4,000. There are many who have been caught, though, and some of them have become household names for the savagery of their crimes, the sheer number of their victims, or the seemingly normal lives they led while they were discreetly hunting humans.

While all serial killers do horrid things, Grunge wanted to find out which ones our readers thought were the worst of the worst. We asked "Who is the most messed up serial killer in history?" and though there are several well-known serial killers to choose from, we limited the choices to Jack the Ripper, John Wayne Gacy, Richard Ramirez, Jeffery Dahmer, and Ted Bundy

Only 10% of people thought Richard Ramirez was the worst serial killer

John Wayne Gacy killed 33 men and boys from 1972 to 1978 and buried most of them under his house, per the Chicago Tribune. According to Biography, Ted Bundy confessed to killing 36 women and girls in the 1970s. He beat, raped, killed, and mutilated them, then had sex with their corpses. Richard Ramirez killed 13 people in their homes from 1984 to 1985, sometimes raping them. There were more who survived his brutal attacks, per MSN. Jeffery Dahmer is known to have drugged and killed 17 men and male teens from 1988 to 1992, then cannibalized their body parts, according to Arcgis.

The FBI credits England's "Jack the Ripper" for being the O.G. serial killer, the one who jump-started the public's fascination with those who are driven by the insatiable need to kill. Five furious murders were attributed to that killer in just nine weeks in 1888, according to a website called Jack the Ripper 1888. The killer, who was never caught, murdered and disemboweled prostitutes.  

There is a lot of messed up stuff going on in all of those stories, yet, 597 people were able to choose which one they thought was the worst in Grunge's poll. The one they weren't too worried about, though, was the pentagram sporting so-called "Night Stalker" Richard Ramirez. Less than 10% of responders thought his rapes and propensity to shoot, stab, bludgeon, and slash victims old and young was the worst of the serial killers listed. 

The most messed up serial killer ate parts of his victims

Not far behind Ramirez was Jack the Ripper, with just over 11% of the votes for most messed up serial killer in history. He only had five victims — and it was so long ago... 

Ted Bundy comes in as the third-worst serial killer of Grunge's options at 19%. Maybe people missed the part how after he killed young women, he would go back to where he left their bodies and do sex acts with their rotting corpses until the bodies were falling apart, according to Psychology Today. Because that's super gross.

John Wayne Gacy beat out Bundy by two percentage points as the serial killer our poll takers thought was the worst. He got almost 22% of the vote. Could be because, as the Sioux City Journal reported, he sometimes dressed as a clown for kids parties, fundraising events, and parades, meanwhile he was luring young men to his house, so he could torture, rape and kill them, then had the gall to bury them right under his own house. 

Yet, the one who nearly 40% of people said was the most messed up serial killer was Jeffery Dahmer. He got almost twice the percentage of votes as Bundy and Gacy. Probably because people draw the line at cannibalism. Most of us can't even. It's bad enough Dahmer killed 17 men, but as Arcgis reported, police found four human heads, a torso, two hearts, and male genitalia in Dahmer's refrigerator. That seals the deal for our voters.