What goes on in a serial killers mind? There has been much research over the years about how they react to the world around them, what motivates them to kill and how they feel about their victims. But interviewing a serial killer tells us much more than a thousand research graduates ever could.
Quite often what we actually know about killers is based on how we see their crimes and personalities portrayed in the media. Most of which is sensationalized to keep the public interest at a maximum. There is no denying these killers are the most twisted and depraved characters of society – but who are they really?
If we only focus on the image we see in the press then we won’t learn more about these individuals and what makes them feel the compulsion to kill. These following notorious, cold-blooded killers all committed the most horrific crimes and interviewers are determined to find out exactly why.
11. Ted Bundy
Ted Bundy was a serial killer, kidnapper, rapist, and necrophile at large during the 1970s. He confessed to killing thirty victims between 1974 and 1978, although the real victim count is believed to be much higher. Biographer Ann Rule described him as “a sadistic sociopath who took pleasure from another human’s pain and the control he had over his victims, to the point of death, and even after.”
Bundy took a lot of caution when it came to covering up his crimes even customizing his Volkswagen Beetle (pictured below) so his victims could be hidden from view. He very nearly got away with the brutal slayings – that was until he passed the police during a routine traffic check. They signaled for Bundy to pull over and all they needed to do was check his license. At this point, he was not a suspect and could have easily driven away to continue his day. However, Bundy panicked and drove on – a police chase ensued. After officers searched his car, they found enough incriminating items to make an arrest.
Bundy was placed in jail as he awaited trial. Then with the help of a close friend, Carole Ann Boone, a woman he would later marry, he escaped from jail. After making his way to Florida, he brutally murdered four college students within the space of 15 minutes. His name was placed on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted list, but he was finally captured when police picked up near the Alabama state line for driving a stolen car.
On January 24th, 1989, he died in the electric chair at Raiford Prison in Starke, Florida. Attorney Polly Nelson, who was a member of his defense team, said he was “the very definition of heartless evil.”
In a chilling interview with author and psychologist Dr. James Dobson, just hours before his execution, Bundy shows no remorse for his crimes to the victims’ families. The video publisher explains, “Note how hard it is for him to empathize as he searches for the words to express remorse. The question was in regards to remorse felt for the victims. Instead, it was a longwinded 3-minute self-serving answer. Using words as “vulnerability” and “predisposition” to describe himself.”
10. Andrei Chikatilo
Soviet serial killer Andrei Chikatilo, sexually assaulted, murdered and mutilated at least 56 women and children between 1978 and 1990 in the Russian SFSR, the Ukrainian SSR, and the Uzbek SSR. He was sentenced to death and executed in February 1994. Chikatilo was known in the media as the Rostov Ripper and the Butcher of Rostov. During later interviews, he also confessed to eating parts of the bodies.
In 1963, he married Feodosia Odnacheva after being introduced through his younger sister. According to Chikatilo, although he found Feodosia attractive, the marriage was forced upon them and their sex life was nonexistent. Chikatilo was unable to maintain an erection for his wife and it would have been even more of a shock for her to find out he was responsible for the sexual assaults of many young victims. When he was sentenced to murder she fled from her hometown.
A senior psychiatrist, Dr. Andrei Tkachenko, found that although he was suffering from a borderline personality disorder with sadistic features, Chikatilo was legally sane and competent to stand trial. Judge Leonid Akubzhanov made the following speech in court: “Taking into consideration the horrible misdeeds of which he his guilty, this court has no alternative but to impose the only sentence that he deserves. I, therefore, sentence him to death.” He was then taken to a soundproofed room and shot once behind the right ear.
The following interview (with English subtitles) takes place mere hours before his execution and as he talks about his brutal childhood it gives the listener a look into the makings of a serial killer. His life and brutal killings inspired the Tom Rob Smith novel Child 44 which has since been made into a movie starring Tom Hardy and Gary Oldman.