An organized serial killer will forward plan the attack and very likely have stalked their victim beforehand. Also, an organized serial killer will typically take personal belongings from the victims – these are what we call “trophies”.
There are two reasons for this – the serial killer will keep wallets or photographs belonging to the victim so investigators struggle to determine who the victim is. And another sinister reason is these twisted trophies serve a postcrime purpose – the serial killer can recall the murder vividly in their mind when they look at these items again in the future.
For this type of organized serial killer; complete power over the victim is what they seek. The trophies, therefore, become an extension of the sexual thrill they gain from the murders. Imagine this much like a hunter going out; killing his prey and then mounting the head on the wall to give him a sense of achievement.
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10. Jerome Brudos Became Known As “The Shoe Fetish Slayer”
Serial killer Jerome Brudos was known as “The Shoe Fetish Slayer” after he claimed the lives of four women. He thoroughly enjoyed the thrill of killing and kept many of the victim’s shoes as trophies.
Since the age of five years old, he had a fetish for women’s shoes. Psychologically, what happened to Brudos was as a small child he found a pair of heels in a trash pile and they were nothing like the flat, sensible shoes his mother wore. He was berated harshly for bringing these home so, therefore – these shoes became a forbidden object to him.
In adulthood, he became a husband and a father of two children. Then one night, a 19-year-old woman came to his door as she had an appointment to sell encyclopedias but tragically knocked on the wrong door. Brudos dragged her into the basement and strangled her to death.
After killing her, she was dressed in various different outfits he had collected then later disposed of by sinking the body into a river. Brudos also kept the severed foot of the victim which he placed in one of his favorite heels and stored in a freezer.
Even creepier is behind bars Brudos continued to collect a huge pile of women’s shoe catalogs, which he called his “substitute” for pornography.
9. Ted Bundy Destroyed His Twisted Polaroid Collection
Serial killer Ted Bundy described himself as “the most cold-hearted son of a bitch you’ll ever meet”. Between 1974 and 1978, he brutally murdered 30 women and teenage girls in seven states.
Bundy was also a necrophile who often returned to the locations where he’d buried bodies to violate the corpses further. Another twisted post-crime act of his was to ‘pose’ the bodies in a provocative, sexualized manner and take polaroids. This disturbing collection was later destroyed when Bundy realized the investigators were catching up with him.
Later when asked about taking the photos, the sinister serial killer replied, “When you work hard to do something right, you don’t want to forget it.”
FBI Special Agent Bill Hagmaier revealed in the docu-series ‘Conversations With a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes’, “When (Bundy) said he was clearing his soul at the end, he wanted me to know that he practiced necrophilia. That was something he never talked about even in the third person before that. You know, the truth is terrible.”
On January 24th, 1989, he was executed in the electric chair at Florida State Prison. However, he’ll never be forgotten, especially not by those who’ve met him.
8. Anatoly Onoprienko Gifted Victim’s Jewelry To His Girlfriend
Anatoly Onoprienko was a Ukrainian serial killer known as ‘The Terminator’. He eventually confessed to murdering more than 52 victims during his seven-year killing spree. Following his arrest in 1996, he boasted about being the “world’s best serial killer”.
Onoprienko would select a home that was isolated and then steal items including money, jewelry, stereo equipment, and other valuable items. He would then murder the entire family in the household using a 12-gauge shotgun and battered the children with metal objects. He also would not hesitate to kill any other victims that got in his way.
The cold-blooded killer later stated, “To me killing people is like ripping open a duvet. Men, women, old people, children, they are all the same. I have never felt sorry for those I killed. No love, no hatred, just blind indifference. I don’t see them as individuals, but just as masses.”
Following his arrest, police found more than 120 items belonging to the victims in his apartment. Also, his girlfriend was found wearing a ring that had belonged to one of the victims – she was unaware of the real horror behind this chilling gift.
7. Ivan Milat Hoarded Victim’s Camping Equipment Like Treasure
Australian serial killer Ivan Millat’s crimes were so twisted they inspired the horror film ‘Wolf Creek’ (2005). From 1989 to 1993, Millat killed seven victims young victims in New South Wales – five victims were backpackers from Europe.
The bodies were discovered partially buried in the Belanglo Forest. The real victim count could be much higher as more than 50 victims – all backpackers in their early twenties – have gone missing in the surrounding area of the murders.
When investigators searched his home, they found a treasure trove of camping equipment that had belonged to the victims. The stash included backpacks, sleeping bags, carry cases, and other personal items.
A camping gear expert who aided investigators in taking down Milat said it was difficult pairing these items to the previous owner. Not willing to reveal his identity – known only as ‘John’ – the expert said, “You see kids with their backpacks on and it reminds me of these young people who had come for a good time but it ended tragically for them and their families when their lives were cut short.”
6. John George Haigh Kept A Victim’s Dog
John George Haigh was arrested for his killing-for-profit scheme between 1944 and 1949 that claimed the lives of six victims. He became known as the “acid bath murderer” as he would dissolve the victim’s bodies in drums of sulphuric acid and then poured the remains down the drain.
Haigh had previously served time behind bars for fraud after he set up a fake lawyer’s office. Following his release, he decided to change tactic and this time lure victims to his London basement then forge paperwork so he could inherit their estate.
It is estimated that he made about £8000 ($10,300) from the murders – approximately £280,000 ($363,000) today. Although he sold off many of the victim’s belongings and properties, he did keep the dog of an elderly female victim as a twisted trophy of his crimes.
Haigh tried to cheat death by feigning insanity during his trial. He was sentenced to death and hanged at Wandsworth Prison in 1949.
5. Joseph ‘Golden State Killer’ Still Had Victim’s Jewelry 40 Years Later
In the 1970s and 1980s, the Golden State Killer launched a reign of terror and committed at least 5 rapes, 12 murders, and 120 residential burglaries throughout California. The crimes remained unsolved for more than four decades.
The FBI stated on their website, “The (Golden State Killer) gained entry into the homes of his victims by prying open a window or door while they slept. He would then shine a flashlight into the face of his victims, tie up the female victim, and, if a male victim was present, tied him up as well.”
Adding, “(The killer) then ransacked the residence and raped the female victim. He often took small items from the residences including coins, cash, identification, and jewelry. Some victims reported receiving telephone calls from the suspect after the crimes.”
Then finally on June 29th, 2020, a makeshift courtroom was set up at Sacramento State University to allow for social distancing and 74-year-old Joseph James DeAngelo Jr. uttered one word – “guilty”.
Following his arrest, investigators found ski masks believed to be worn during most of the home invasions that DeAngelo had still kept hold of. Along with a disturbing collection of jewelry, cuff links, and heart-shaped chains were many other trinkets the serial killer had taken with him from the victim’s home.
Teaming this with further evidence of his overwhelming guilt, he was sentenced to life behind bars without the possibility of parole.
4. Stanley Dean Baker Collected The Finger Bones
In June 1970, Stanley Dean Baker along with his partner in crime Harry Alan Stroup were involved in a collision while driving a stolen car in Big Sur, California. They took off on foot but eventually, a California Highway Patrol Officer caught up with them.
Baker then told the officer, “I have a problem. I’m a cannibal.” Before removing several finger bones from his coat pocket and brandishing them in front of the horrified officer.
Baker confessed to two gruesome murders and revealed he kept the finger bones of many victims. He was labeled a “hippie satanist” in the press due to his love of LSD and he had a copy of The Satanic Bible in his possession when he was arrested. He also claimed he was a former member of a “blood-drinking cult”.
Stroup, Baker claimed, was completely innocent and he was let go after just 2 years.
After a mental evaluation, Baker was deemed competent enough to be sentenced to life in prison. However, by 1986, a parole board determined he was rehabilitated enough to be released.
3. Ahmad Suradji Believed Saliva Gave Him Super Powers
Indonesian serial killer Ahmad Suradji was driven to murder 42 young women in his quest for “greatness”. His sinister method of killing was to force the victims to dig their own graves, then they were buried up to their necks and he strangled them. His ritual was to then strip the bodies of his victims and have them face his home.
This cold-blooded ritual began after he claimed that the ghost of his deceased father told him that he needed to obtain “the saliva of 70 dead young women in order to attain invincibility”. He then drained the saliva from his victims who were mostly sex workers he had hired.
Before his execution, Suradji said from behind bars, “My father did not specifically advise me to kill people, so I was thinking it would take ages if I had to wait to get 70 women. I was trying to get to it as fast as possible, I used my own initiative to kill. That was why from 1986 until now, I have killed 42 women.”
2. Robert Hansen Kept A Map Of Every Grave
In Alaska; isolation, harsh weather conditions, and a lack of police officers meant that this state became a serial killer’s playground for Robert Hanson. He suffered from terrible acne as a child which caused him to be bullied badly. His persistent stutter also meant he struggled with girls – he was constantly rejected by them – and from this stemmed a deep lethal hatred toward women.
Hansen became engrossed in hunting animals. Then his sport developed into something even more sinister. He targeted sex workers and used his private plane to kidnap and fly them to remote areas. After days of torture, he would strip the victims naked; then set them loose in the wilderness where he would physically track them down with a hunting rifle before killing them.
The total victim count is at least 17 known victims. He buried the bodies in the woods and kept a hand-drawn map of where each of the graves was located.
He also took pieces of jewelry from them as trophies. Much like the hunting trophies in his house – Hansen also extended his collection to include the belongings of his female victims.
1. Charles Albright Collected The Eyeballs Of His Victims
Serial killer Charles Albright became known by many sinister names including “The Eyeball Killer,” “The Dallas Ripper,” and “The Dallas Slasher”.
Albright was adopted shortly after his birth and his adoptive mother raised him in a very strict household. He was forced to wake at dawn each day to practice piano and made to change clothes several times a day in case he became “unclean”. She also made him wear little girls’ dresses and forced him to play with dolls.
During his teenage years, he became obsessed with shooting animals and taxidermy. He was particularly interested in the removal process of the animals’ eyeballs. His mother never had the money for artificial eyes so she told her son to sew the eyes of his taxidermy creatures shut.
Since 1990, Albright turned his attention to female victims and targeted mostly sex workers. He was convicted of killing one woman and suspected of killing two others. The murders were connected to him as the victim’s eyes had been removed but due to lack of evidence, this could not be proven. He is incarcerated in the John Montford Psychiatric Unit in Lubbock, Texas.