There is no excuse for the gruesome and brutal murders these following twisted serial killers carried out. Yet they attempted to explain their actions by pinning the blame on their upbringing. Specifically, how their own mother’s treated them throughout childhood.

Here we look into the minds of serial killers who – as a way of rationalizing their crimes – blamed their mothers.


8. Todd Kohlhepp Blamed Everyone For His Crimes But Himself

Todd Kohlhepp was a successful realtor and businessman with an unmanageable temper. This fatally led to the murders of seven people in South Carolina between 2003 and 2016. Police tracked down missing victim Kala Brown using her last known cell phone signal; they found her alive and chained to the wall inside a metal storage container on Kohlhepp’s property.

Kohlhepp blamed everyone but himself for his crimes. First, he claimed the victims tried to rob him of money; then claimed Brown wished to be kept as a slave, and he even blamed his own mother for his crimes.

In an interview with ’48 hours’, his mother appeared to dismiss the severity of his crimes. She explained, “They embarrassed him and you know anybody, I don’t care who you are, whether he had a temper or whether he didn’t have a temper, nobody wants to be embarrassed.”

Adding, “It’s not like he went out daily and killed somebody. There was a lot of time between the first ones and the others. I know that doesn’t mean much to the families and I’m sorry but he wasn’t a serial killer.”


7. Ed Kemper’s Mother Accused Him Of Damaging Her Romantic Life

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Age 16-years-old, Ed Kemper was committed to Atascadero State Hospital for fatally shooting his grandparents. The first of his murders took place at their isolated ranch in the mountains of North Fork, California. Kemper managed to manipulate the psychiatric tests in his favor and was deemed mentally stable enough for release. However, he was sent home to live with his domineering mother and their personality clash proved deadly.

Between May 1972 and February 1973, Kemper embarked on a killing spree that took the lives of six young females; his own mother; and his mother’s friend.

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Kemper revealed his mother who would accuse him of damaging her romantic life and berate him as a failure. He said every time they had an argument, he left the house and hunted down a new victim. Kemper even buried the severed head of a 15-year-old girl in his mother’s garden. He joked, “(Mother) always wanted people to look up to her.”

On the night of her murder, Kemper ripped out his own mother’s voice box and disposed of this down the garbage disposal. When it jammed in the sink; he saw this as another taunt from beyond the grave.


6. Gary ‘Green River Killer’ Ridgway Fantasized About Killing His Own Mother

During the 1980s and 1990s, Gary Ridgway’s killing spree claimed the lives of 48 victims. This earned him the nickname ‘Green River Killer’ in the media. Despite his low IQ, Ridgway had an intuitive understanding of forensics and managed to avoid capture for two decades.

At the time of his arrest, Ridgway was living with his third wife who had no idea she was sleeping next to one of the most prolific serial killers of all time. Ridgway targeted female sex workers as he knew they would not be reported missing right away. He later bragged, “Choking is what I did and I was pretty good at it.”

Ridgway eventually revealed the source of all his anger was his own mother. Throughout childhood, she humiliated him over his bed-wetting problem and forced him to wash his genitals in front of his siblings as punishment. He admitted, “I thought about stabbing her in the chest or in the heart.”

Instead of killing his mother, he took his violent frustrations out on other victims instead.


5. Richard Kuklinski Said His Mother Was “Cancer”

Mafia hitman-for-hire Richard Kuklinski claimed he killed 150-200 people during his time as a contract killer. Standing 6’5″ and weighing 270 pounds, he was nicknamed ‘The Iceman’ and ”The One-Man Army’. Meanwhile, he lived in a quiet neighborhood; his wife and children were apparently oblivious to his twisted double-life.

Born in 1935, Kuklinski grew up in New Jersey. He referred to his mother as “cancer” because behind closed doors, she was sadistic and physically abusive. He later said her parenting produced “two killers” – himself and his brother who killed a 12-year-old girl and threw her lifeless body from the top of a five-story building.

Kuklinski grew up in a world with no warmth or support – he was also completely desensitized to violence. He explained in an interview with psychiatrist Park Dietz, “Since there is no love in my life, I had nothing to replace it, so I replaced it with hate. Constant hate keeps my left foot going in front of my right foot.”


4. Peter Moore Lived With His Overly-Protective Mother Until Her Death

Scottish serial killer Peter ‘Man In Black’ Moore was a respected cinema owner by day and a psychopathic sexual predator by night. He murdered four men in 1995; indulging in the vicious attacks whilst dressed in dark leather clothes. Moore later confessed to attacking more than 17 other victims during his 20-year-long reign of terror.

Investigative journalist Donal MacIntyre revealed in Murderers and Their Mothers’, “(Moore’s) mother worshipped him all her life and when she died he went on a killing spree taking the lives of four men.” She described him as her “miracle son” and they both lived together up until her death. In a case that feels eerily similar to that of Ed Gein; as soon as his overly-protective mother died – the killing spree began.

During his trial, Moore told the jury the crimes were committed by an imaginary gay lover he called “Jason” – after the killer Jason Voorhies in the Friday the 13th films. The judge dismissed this fantasy killer and told Moore, “You were responsible for four sadistic murders in the space of three months. None of the victims had done you the slightest bit of harm. At no stage have you shown the slightest remorse or regret for the killings.”

He was sentenced to life in prison.


3. Fred West Claimed His Childhood Was Incestuous

Serial killer duo Fred and Rose West raped and murdered at least 12 young women and girls, many at their homes in Gloucester, West England. The murders took place between 1967 and 1987, they murdered at least nine victims as a couple and Rose also murdered Fred’s stepdaughter (his first wife’s biological daughter) ,while he was serving a prison sentence for theft.

Fred claimed he grew up on a small, remote farm with no heating and little to eat as his parent’s were unable to source enough food for their five children. West said since early childhood, he had always strived to be his mother’s favourite and longed to be a “mother’s boy.” He also claimed his mother introduced him to sex when he was just 12-years-old and that incest was commonplace within the family. He even claimed he impregnated one of his sisters.

However, according to Fred’s younger brother Doug, no sexual abuse took place in the childhood home and this abuse was all fiction. The claims still remain unconfirmed.

In 1995, Fred hanged himself at Winson Green Prison, Birmingham. Rose was found guilty of all 10 murders and sentenced to life imprisonment.


2. Henry Lee Lucas Said His Mother Beat Him So Badly He Was In Hospital


Henry Lee Lucas was convicted of murdering 11 people; however, he claims to be responsible for killing more than 3,000 victims. He picked off his victims at random in the early 1980s whilst drifting across several states with his partner in crime, Otis Toole.

According to the serial killer, his abusive and twisted mother Viola Davis never allowed her son to express emotion – even banning him from crying at his own father’s funeral. She worked as a prostitute and often forced Lucas and his siblings to watch as she sold her body to strangers in front of them. He also recalled his mother smashing a piece of wood over his head when he was just 7-years-old.

He also recalled how his mother would beat him so badly he would end up in the hospital and she often forced him to dress in girl’s clothing. By the year 1960, he couldn’t take it anymore and murdered his mother. He was sent to Ionia State Hospital but made parole ten years later.

Following his release, he turned to drinking excessively and began his brutal killing spree. He confessed, “I was drinking before every one of my killings. I was never sober. Soon his crimes caught up with him and he stayed behind bars until his death in 2001 aged 64.


1. Charles Manson Was Named “No Name Manson” On His Birth Certificate

Cult leader Charles Manson orchestrated the brutal slayings of nine victims at four locations in July and August 1969. One of his victims was Sharon Tate who was eight months pregnant – her unborn child also did not survive.

Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Manson didn’t have the best start in life as his 16-year-old mother was an alcoholic who wrote on his birth certificate: ‘No Name Maddox.” She even tried to trade with a waitress – her baby boy in exchange for a pitcher of beer.

When he was 9-years-old, Manson set his school on fire and was sent to a reform school as his mother refused to allow him to return home. He said of this turning point in his life, “The only thing my mother ever taught me was that everything she said was a lie. And I learned never to believe anyone about anything.”

This early rejection was just the start of Manson’s long criminal history that claimed the lives of many innocent victims. Sentenced to life in prison, he died behind bars at the age of 83-years-old in 2017.