Imagine marrying your perfect partner; they are a loving husband, a doting father, and successful in their career. Then one day, everything comes crashing down as you are informed that your “perfect husband” is, in fact, a serial killer.

It’s baffling to believe this is possible as we ask ourselves: “Surely, they must have known?” Yet research has found that many serial killers are able to compartmentalize the murders in their minds. This capability in psychopaths is key in order for them to carry out the most gruesome crimes and also lead “normal” lives.

Once they have compartmentalized these murders, they do not appear suspicious to those around them. Their wives are then genuinely shocked that who they are sleeping next to at night is, in fact, a cold-blooded killer.

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12. Dennis ‘BTK’ Rader Hid “Motherlode of Evidence” Under The Floorboards

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For more than 30 years, Dennis Rader haunted the community in Wichita, Kansas. He tortured and murdered 10 people, including two children. During his horrific killing spree, he sent letters to the media with details of his sinister crimes. He even signed the letters ‘BTK’ that stands for his murderous method of “Bind, Torture, Kill.”

During their 34-year-long marriage, Dietz had no clue her husband was the most feared man in Wichita. A former Boy Scout leader, Rader took a ‘break’ from serial killing when he became a father before resuming his killing spree a decade later.

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Following interviews conducted by law enforcement, Rader admitted to engaging in autoerotic activities as a substitute for his killings. His wife was an accidental witness to this fetish and she was left so mortified that Rader vowed to put his perversions behind him.

Rader later admitted to investigators that the “Motherlode of evidence” was hidden under the floorboards in the hallway of the family home. Investigators recovered polaroid’s of Rader dressed in the victim’s clothing whilst wearing a chilling female mask.

On February 25th, 2005, police arrested Rader and broke the news to his wife, Paula Dietz, and his daughter, Kerri Rawson. Immediately, Rawson called her mother and she said, “You could just hear her (my mother) break … just utter grief and loss.”

Dietz was then granted an emergency divorce in July 2005 and moved away from Kansas.

11. Herb Baumeister’s Wife Thought The Skulls In The Backyard Were “Medical Skeletons”

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In 1991, Herb and Julie Baumeister purchased Fox Hollow Farm in Westfield, Indiana. It was the perfect home to raise their two children, surrounded by 18 acres of land and not too far from the city. Together, they ran a successful chain of thrift stores and made huge donations each year to children’s charities.

Then the dream home quickly became a nightmare. Julie had discovered the skull of one victim when their 13-year-old son was digging in the family garden. When she questioned her husband, he told her the bones had once belonged to his late father and were part of a medical school skeleton. A story that she bought and put to the back of her mind.

Whenever Julie took the children away for summer, her husband of 25 years said he would stay at home and “look after the stores”. In reality, Herb was cruising gay bars in downtown Indianapolis looking to pick up his next victim. The men ranged in age from 20 to 46, all were white and had similar physical features.

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In 1996, following a tip off, police discovered the remains of 11 victims buried at the grounds of the property. Although the real victim count is believed to be as many as 100 men.

According to People magazine, the police had to explain to Julie what homosexual homicide actually meant. Later, she told investigators that throughout their entire marriage, they only had sex six times but she never suspected his homosexuality.

Once he heard there was a warrant out for his arrest, Herb fled to Canada where he committed suicide. On July 3rd, 1996, a group of hikers discovered his body in Pinery Provincial Park in Ontario. He had suffered a single bullet wound to his forehead. His family soon moved from Fox Hollow Farm.

10. Russell Williams’ Wife Was Later Sued For $7 Million

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Between 2007 – 2010, Russell Williams broke into at least 82 homes to steal underwear belonging to women and young girls in Ontario, Canada. . Once back home, he would take photos of himself posing in the underwear. His crimes later escalated to sexually assaulting victims in their home and eventually he murdered two women by asphyxiation.

Williams was a gifted pilot, a former Colonel in the Canadian Forces who had even passed security clearance so that he was able to pilot the Queen of England and the Prime Minister of Canada during his 23-year career. Yet he was secretly a monster in military clothing.

He was eventually caught when tire tracks found at the crime scene led investigators to his home. There they found he lived a quiet life with his wife, Mary Elizabeth Harriman, in a cottage in a quiet neighborhood. Following his full confession – which took some time to get from him – he was sentenced to two life sentences.

via: Reddit

Williams had a lot of evidence on his home computer; his photo collection including crime scene photos was hidden in a series of complex sub-folders. Williams also told his wife when he was out walking late at night it was to ease the pain of his sore back.

Then in 2014, four years after his arrest, his wife was sued by one of the sexual assault victims who claimed she knew her husband was a sexual deviant. That she could – as his wife – have done something to prevent these crimes. Her lawyers completely opposed this and stated there was “no evidence whatsoever of the scandalous allegations now being made.”

The $7-million lawsuit was settled in private and the details of the settlement were not made public.

9. Robert Hansen’s Wife Ignored All The Warning Signs

via: Reddit

From a young age, serial killer Robert 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. Much like the hunting trophies in his house, he also took items of jewelry from the victims.

via: Reddit

Hansen’s wife, Darla Hansen, was described as a “deeply religious” woman who stuck by her husband throughout his previous convictions. During their marriage, Hansen was caught stealing a chainsaw from a hardware store and found out he had filed a fraudulent insurance claim to get the money to open his bakery. Despite these warning signs, Darla had no idea how much worse his crimes would become.

After his arrest for the murders, Darla divorced him and moved with their two children to Arkansas.

Further Reading: 10 Creepiest Serial Killer Trophies That Will Chill You To The Bone

8. Joseph DeAngelo Kept Twisted Serial Killer Trophies At His Home

via: Reddit

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.”

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.

via: Reddit

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”. He was sentenced to life behind bars without the possibility of parole.

His estranged wife Sharon Huddle issued the following statement: “My thoughts and prayers are for the victims and their families. The press has relentlessly pursued interviews of me. I will not be giving any interviews for the foreseeable future. I ask the press to please respect my privacy and that of my children.” In 1991, she officially split from DeAngelo but their divorce was never finalized.

Further Reading: CCTV Footage Of Joseph DeAngelo Being Active In His Jail Cell Exposes Him As ‘Sociopath’

7. Peter “The Yorkshire Ripper” Sutcliffe Told His Wife Over The Phone

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Between 1975 to 1980, Peter “The Yorkshire Ripper” Sutcliffe murdered 13 female victims and seriously injured 9 others in and around the areas of Yorkshire, United Kingdom.

During his teenage years, he found employment in a mortuary. Harold Schechter, the author of ‘The Serial Killer Files’, writes Sutcliffe “enjoyed toying with the corpses-arranging them in grotesque poses and using them as ventriloquist dummies.”

In August 1974, Sutcliffe married Sonia Szurma, the daughter of Czech immigrants and the only woman he’d ever dated. Following several miscarriages, Sutcliffe and his wife are told they would never have children. Soon after this news, the murders began.

express.co.uk

Peter Sutcliffe typically targeted prostitutes. He would sneak up behind a victim and render her unconscious by beating her around the head with a ball-peen hammer. He would then bludgeon the victim to death or stab them with a knife and later in his attacks, a screwdriver. Some victims were also strangled to death with a rope. Many victims were slashed and mutilated with a knife on their genitalia and stomach.

Sutcliffe was finally arrested on January 2nd, 1981. Two days later, he confessed to being “The Yorkshire Ripper” and he asked to make a phone call to his wife.

The call recording:

Sonia: “What on earth is going on, Peter?”
Sutcliffe: “It’s me, I’m the Yorkshire Ripper. I killed all those women.”
Sonia: “What on earth did you do that for Peter?”

On November 13th, 2020, Sutcliffe died at the age of 74. His first victim’s son, who was just five when his mother was killed, told BBC News Sutcliffe’s death would bring “some kind of closure.”

Further Reading: The Yorkshire Ripper: Peter Sutcliffe’s Timeline of Terror

6. Dr. H. H. Holmes Was Hiding A Dark Secret From His Many Wives

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Dr. Henry Howard Holmes (now better known as Dr. H. H. Holmes) was one of the first known serial killers in America. In 1893, opened a hotel in Chicago which he had built specifically with murder on his mind. His evil crimes caught up with him eventually and he confessed to 27 murders, of which only nine were confirmed, but his actual body count could be up to 200.

Alongside being a sinister serial killer he was also a bigamist. He married his first wife, Clara A. Lovering, in 1878; his second wife, Myrta Z. Belknap, in 1887, and his third wife, Georgiana Yoke, in 1894.

Yet, overlapping marriages were not the worst of his deeds as his fourth mistress, Julia Smythe, soon found out. Smythe had told Holmes that she had fallen pregnant and demanded marriage. Holmes suggested performing an abortion and she agreed for this to take place on Christmas Eve. Holmes administered Smythe a chloroform overdose which killed her. When questioned on her disappearance Holmes just said she was away attending a family wedding.

In his confession, Holmes wrote: “I was born with the devil in me. I could not help the fact that I was a murderer, no more than the poet can help the inspiration to sing—I was born with the “Evil One” standing as my sponsor beside the bed where I was ushered into the world, and he has been with me since.”

On May 7th, 1896, Holmes was hanged at Moyamensing Prison. Both the wives he was married to at the time, Myrta Belknap and Georgiana Yoke, witnessed the death – most likely thankful they had a very lucky escape.

5. Mikhail “The Werewolf” Popkov’s Wife Said She “Felt Safe With Him”

siberiantimes.com

Mikhail “The Werewolf” Popkov is one of the most violent and terrifying serial killers in Russian history. The former police officer turned serial killer would use axes, knives, and screwdrivers to murder 22 women in his home town of Angarsk, Russia.

The body of one of his victims was found decapitated and with the heart carved out of her chest. He also posed the bodies in disturbing positions for law enforcement to find. Many of the crimes took place when Popkov was still a police officer himself.

In 2012, he was arrested and confessed his reign of terror was in order to “cleanse” the streets of prostitutes; although many of his victims were not sex workers. Popkov was sentenced to life imprisonment.

irishmirror.ie

Despite all the damning evidence, his wife, Elena Popkov, refused to believe her husband was a serial killer. Elena told The Siberian Times, “We have been married for 28 years. If I suspected something wrong, of course, I would divorce him. If he were to be released right now, I would not say a word and we would continue to live together.”

She continued, “I love him, I support him. He did not cause me any harm for all these years. I felt safe with him.”

Although they never divorced, Elena and her daughter moved from Angarsk as they found it too difficult to live there after her husband’s sinister crimes were made public.

4. John Wayne Gacy Buried Victims In The Crawl Space Of His House

John Wayne Gacy and family (via: Pinterest)

Serial killer John Wayne Gacy was a twisted predator who brutally tortured, raped, and strangled young men and boys from 1972 until his arrest in 1978. He became known as the ‘Killer Clown’ due to his alter-ego, Pogo the Clown.He was convicted of 33 sex-related murders and given the death penalty.

Like many psychopaths, Gacy was capable of the most heinous crimes, yet he managed to evade capture for so long as he hid behind a mask of normalcy. In July 1972, he married Carole Hoff, a divorcee with two young daughters.

huffpost.com

Three years later, he revealed to his wife that he was bixsexual and then informed her on Mothery’s Day that year after they had together this would be “the last time.” Hoff watched her husband bring teenage boys back to their home at 8213 West Summerdale Avenue, Norwood Park, Chicago. She also discovered gay pornography and finally she asked him for a divorce.

The couple continued to live at the house until February 1976 when the divorce was finalized and Carole moved out. She was completely unaware that buried in the crawl space of her home were victims: 16-year-old Timothy Jack McCoy, 18-year-old John Butkovich and a third victim who was never identified. Whenever Carole had complained of the smell, Gacy told her this was rodents that had died underneath the house.

Further Reading: 5 Disturbing John Wayne Gacy Quotes That Prove His Psychopathy

3. Andrei Chikatilo Never Revealed His True Sadistic Self To His Wife

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Soviet serial killer Andrei Chikatilo murdered and mutilated at least 56 women and children between 1978 and 1990 in the Russian SFSR, the Ukrainian SSR and the Uzbek SSR.

Chikatilo was known in the media as the “Rostov Ripper” and the “Butcher of Rostov” after he confessed in later interviews to eating parts of the bodies.

In 1963, he married Feodosia Odnacheva after they were introduced through his younger sister. According to Chikatilo, although he found Feodosia very attractive, the marriage was forced upon them by their families and their sex life was non-existent. Chikatilo was unable to maintain an erection for his wife and they conceived two children together through other means of insemination.

However, Chikatilo’s sadistic side meant he was capable of raping his victims and torture them before their deaths.

bizarrepedia.com

During Chikatilo’s trial, the public was so outraged that he had to stand behind a metal cage so he would not be killed. Judge Leonid Akubzhanov told the court: “Taking into consideration the horrible misdeeds of which he is guilty, this court has no alternative but to impose the only sentence that he deserves. I, therefore, sentence him to death.”

In February 1994, he was sentenced executed by a single gunshot behind the ear.

2. Gary Ridgway’s Wife Said He Made Her “Smile Everyday”

news.com.au

Between 1982 to 1998, many women in the Seattle area were targeted by a serial killer known in the media as the ‘Green River Killer’. Gary Leon Ridgway was eventually arrested and he confessed to more murders than any other serial killer in U.S. history.

In 1985, he had met Judith Mawson at a bar in Seattle. Judtih recalls how she was swept off her feet by Ridgway and thought he was “polite and handsome”. The pair were soon married and they stayed together for 16 years up until his arrest.

Judtih told People magazine, “He made me smile everyday. I had the perfect husband, perfect life. I absolutely adored him.” She was completely unaware that Ridgway was still killing victims during their marriage; even when he removed a bloodstained carpet from the house.

Gary Ridgway Green River
via: IMDB

In 2001, new DNA technology advances helped authorities to link a saliva sample to Ridgway. Judith recalled, “I was crying, no it cant be him. Then I found out that he’d had the carpets removed because he’d killed women on them and there were bloodstains. He’d had sex with some of them on the bed and killed them.:

She added, “I look back and think, ‘Was my life real with him or did he just use me?'”.

Further Reading: 5 Most Twisted Facts About Serial Killer Gary ‘Green River Killer’ Ridgway

1. Jerome Brudos’ Wife Didn’t Know She Had Married “The Shoe Fetish Slayer”

plzenoviny.cz

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 was married to Darcie Brudos and they had two children. When they were first married, Brudos had asked his new bride to do the housework wearing only a pair of heels and nothing else. Nothing too unusual for young newlyweds but it was a sign of more sinister things to come.

listverse.com

Darcie was forbidden to ever enter her husband’s garage and he set up an intercom system if she needed to interrupt him. In the garage of horrors, Brudos had kept the severed foot of one victim which he placed in one of his favorite heels and stored in a freezer. He also made a paperweight, cast in resin, from the breast of another victims.

Even creepier is when Brudos eventually landed himself in prison for his gruesome crimes, he continued to collect a huge pile of women’s shoe catalogs, which he called his “substitute” for pornography.