Serial Killers Of The 20th Century

PARIS (AFP) - Harold Shipman, the British doctor convicted of murdering 15 of his patients and suspected of killing 297 altogether, could have been the most prolific serial killer in history.
A government report last year concluded Shipman's most likely toll was about 236 but Dame Janet Smith, the chairwoman of the public inquiry which opens on Wednesday, said she would look at the deaths of 466 of his patients over 25 years. Another 152 case may also be examined.
Shipman administered lethal injections of heroin to his elderly patients and then claimed they had died of natural causes.
Other notorious serial killers in the recent past have included:
- Luis Garavito, a Colombian jailed in Bogota in May 2000 for 835 years for murdering 189 people in a five-year killing spree running up to 1996.
- Sisters Delfina and Maria de Jesus Gonzales, the Mexican owners of a brothel, who were sentenced to 40 years in prison in 1964 for killing 80 women and at least 11 men.
- Javed Iqbal, a Pakistani found guilty and sentenced to death in March 2000 for murdering and mutilating 100 children.
- Pedro Lopez Monsalve, an Ecuadoran nicknamed the Monster of the Andes, who was convicted in 1980 for the rape and murder of 57 children. He was suspected of killing up to 300 people in all, although there is no hard evidence linking him to the other murders.
- Anatoly Onopriyenko, 30, who was sentenced to death in 1999 for killing 52 people including 10 children. Forty three of his victims died in a five-month orgy of murder in the Ukraine.
- Andrei Chikatilo, the "Rostov butcher", who was convicted of 52 sexually-motivated killings between 1978 and 1990. He confessed to committing 55 and "possibly more" murders before being executed in February 1994.
- Moses Sithole, a 32-year-old South African, who was sentenced to 2,410 years in prison in December 1997 for 38 murders and 40 rapes.
- John Wayne Gacy, nicknamed the "killer clown", who admitted raping, torturing and strangling 33 young people, of whom 29 were found buried under his house. The worst known serial killer in US history, Gacy was executed in March 1994.
- Doctor Marcel Petiot, who profited from the German occupation of France to kill, chop up and burn his victims in a Paris hotel. He was found guilty of 24 murders and executed in 1946.
- Thierry Paulin, a transvestite who admitted killing 21 old women in Paris between 1984 and 1987. He died of AIDS in prison while awaiting trial.
- Jeffrey Dahmer, nicknamed the "Milwaukee butcher", who killed 17 people between 1978 and 1991. He admitted eating the flesh of three of his victims, boiling the heads of others, and of having "sexual relations" with two severed heads. He was killed by a fellow US prison inmate in November 1994.
- Dennis Nilsen, who killed and dismembered 15 young men in his north London home between 1978 and 1983. He attempted to dispose of the bodies by boiling them down and flushing the remains down the toilet. The murders were discovered when the local drains blocked. Nilsen is currently serving a life sentence.
- Alberto DeSalvo, the "Boston Strangler", who terrorised the eastern seaboard of the United States from 1962 to 1964, murdering 13 women. He admitted the killings and claimed to have raped a thousand women. He was stabbed to death in prison in 1967.
- Peter Sutcliffe, the "Yorkshire Ripper", who killed 13 women between 1975 and 1980, most of them prostitutes and one as young as 16, causing widespread panic in the industrial towns of northern England. He admitted the attempted murder of seven others and is suspected of being behind many other unsolved murders and attacks in Britain. Sutcliffe was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1981 with a recommedation he serve at least 30 years.
- Rosemary West, who was sentenced to life imprisonment in November 1995 for 10 killings, including that of her daughter, in the so-called "House of Horrors" where she lived in Gloucester, England, with her husband Frederick West. She is suspected of carrying out another nine murders with her husband, who committed suicide in prison before he could be tried. He had earlier admitted to 12 other killings.
- Francis Heaulme, a Frenchman who is suspected of murdering up to 20 people between 1984 and 1992 as he travelled across France. He confessed to 10 killings but later recanted.
- Donato Bilancia, who confessed to 17 killings across northern Italy between 1997 and 1998. He was found guilty on 13 counts of murder by a Genoa court in April 2000.
- Peter Kurten, the "Dusseldorf vampire", who was executed in 1931 for nine murders of girls and young women. Sixteen other killings were attributed to him, and he claimed a total of around 50. He derived his nickname from his habit of drinking his victims' blood.
- Henri-Desire Landru, known as "Bluebeard", who attracted his victims via small ads in the matrimonial columns of the French press and disposed of their bodies by cooking them. Ten women are believed to have fallen prey before he was arrested and executed in 1922.
- Charles Quansah, a mechanic from Accra who is suspected of killing 33 women over a four-year period. He confessed to at least eight of the murders.
- Henry Lee Lucas, who was sentenced to death for the 1979 murder of an unidentified hitch-hiker. He confessed in the 1980s to 600 killings in the United States but later retracted the claims. His death sentence was later commuted to life imprisonment and he died in prison.



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