Notorious Serial Killers Who Were Never Caught

By RodneyHatfieldJr for Into The Mind

Today is going to be a short one. I have Labyrinthitis(according to the Dr) and I swinging from vertigo to nausea. So between feeling queasy and having the sensation like I am in a tumbler dryer, we will do an easy article. The best description of how it feels is a drank about 12 too many the night before.

Serial killers come in all shapes, forms, and genders. But some of the most infamous are the ones that are never caught. How many books has Jack the Ripper had? How about the Zodiac Killer? Well, we are not going to go over those and other famous unsolved cases. We will be looking at some lesser-known but still grisly and insane killers.

Naturally, my lists are never in any particular order in any shape, way, or form. I list as my brain registers them, real simple. So let's look at the killers that got away.

 Saw Killer of Hanover


This one is both monstrous and confusing. The murderer killed a total of, well we aren't actually sure. At least six people that we know of, but we're a little short of information about the victims because we've been unable to identify a single one of them.

The German city of Hanover discovered the first sawed body in 1975. Someone had killed a young woman and had chopped off her legs, arms, and breasts. Then they'd tied all the body parts together in a bundle. You might assume that the murderer dismembered the body to dispose of it, to avoid detection. And yet he chose to drop his crafts project off in the one body of water where it was most likely to be spotted; the local hydroelectric power plant. 

The second body turned up the following year, and this time, the killer didn't wrap all the body parts together. He put the dead woman's leg in the dumpster of a girls' school and dropped other parts in the river. As for the torso, he made sure to leave this where people would definitely find it: He placed it in front of the radio station. Just for effect, they were having a public concert at the time. 

In 1977, the killer chopped up four more people -- two more women, a teenage boy, and a 50-year-old man. Two times, he again chose the hydroelectric plant as his dumpsite, and overall, police were convinced this was what's known as an "exhibitionist killer."  Investigators never managed to identify any of the victims, despite being able to note tattoos, other distinguishing marks, and sometimes fingerprints. Some believe the Saw Man killing victims in various other cities and then for some reason transporting them all to Hanover to be discovered? Police also mused on the theory that he wasn't killing at all, but had dug these bodies all up from graves, but no reports of grave robbing presented themselves, and the victims appeared to be freshly dead in each case.

Police have decided by the way he'd sawn the bodies, the killer didn't appear to have medical experience. But the way he cut at the joints suggested he did have some knowledge on the matter: perhaps he was a butcher.

Bible John the Menstruation Murderer


Another one of those strange ones. This serial killer we're about to discuss was a patron of a Glasgow dance club known as the Barrowland Ballroom. It was also his hunting grounds. The first woman, 25-year-old nurse Patricia Docker, was found strangled in a doorway one morning in February 1968. She was naked, and her missing clothes never turned up. The next two died the following year, two months apart. Both went to Barrowland for the evening, both left the club with what sounds like the same man, and both were later found strangled with their own stockings. 

A man dubbed Bible John, because according to a witness who heard him talk to his final victim, he kept quoting from the Old Testament, condemnation of adultery. Another strange aspect of this case: all three victims were menstruating while they were killed. In each case, police found pads or tampons arranged on top of or under the body. 

One theory says John asked clubbers whether they were on their periods and sought out only those who were. Maybe the murders were religious madness.  Bible John sparked the largest manhunt in Scottish history. Since this was done at a very busy nightspot, there was a cavalcade of descriptions of him. Yet no one has ever been connected to the crimes.

Charlie Chop-Off


I decided on this killer for the sheer painfulness of a good portion of the population when reading this. We're talking about another series of murders that took place over the course of three years, all in Manhattan. The first victim was in March 1972,  Douglas Owens, a Black nine-year-old, who Charlie Chop-Off stabbed 38 times. Charlie Chop-Off also cut the boy's penis. He did not sever the penis completely. I mention this because the next three boys Charlie murdered (two Black, one Puerto Rican), he made it a point to sever each of their penises totally and take the organs with him.

Media attention was muted at first, greatly angering locals. Police finally got around to investigating, but not very enthusiastic, and people got mad again. Information was leaked that cops settled on a person of interest, and the locals got ready a lynch mob to step in if the cops weren't ready to act. However, when cops realized they had the wrong man, they had to smuggle him out wearing a police uniform to keep the crowd from killing him anyway. They never convicted anyone for the murders. But we also know there were vigilante groups also looking for him, so he may have been captured and killed by them too.

The Cleveland Torso Murderer 


The case will probably never be solved because the remains are unidentified to this day. Totaling twenty murders between 1935 and 1938. Those that worked on the Cleveland Torso Murderer case believe that there are other murders he may be responsible for including some from the 1920s and 1950s. This killer tended to target drifters, and as such, none of the victims have ever been identified. There was no preference for gender, and he murdered both men and women. At that time in Cleveland, it was the Depression era, and his victims all appeared to come from the lower classes of society.

Each victim was beheaded, and in some cases, the torso was cut in half, which leads to the moniker ‘The Cleveland Torso Murderer’. The majority of the male victims had their genitals removed, and some victims displayed evidence of some sort of chemical treatment on their bodies. Most were discovered long after their deaths, and the advanced level of decomposition also made it difficult to identify the bodies. To add to the difficulty, many of the heads were never located.

Famous Eliot Ness was the Public Safety Director of Cleveland during the period of the twelve murders. Although he wasn’t heavily involved in the investigation, he did assist with the interrogation of one suspect, Dr. Francis E. Sweeney. Ness also oversaw the burning of the Kingsbury Run area, which is where the killer abducted most of his victims from.

Whoever the Cleveland Torso Murderer was, he seemed to delight in taunting Ness. At one point, he placed the dead remains of two of his victims directly in the line of sight of Ness’s office.

The Long Island Serial Killer 


This killer was known by many names, LISK, the Gilgo Beach Killer or the Craigslist Ripper, but his true identity has never been uncovered. It is believed he was responsible for up to sixteen murders over a twenty-year period, and his victims typically were involved in prostitution. After the murders were committed, the bodies would be tossed aside along the Ocean Parkway near Gilgo Beach, Oak Beach, and Jones Beach State Park.

It’s believed the Long Island Serial Killer could have still been operating as recently as 2016, leaving the authorities scrambling and calling on all possible resources to try and identify and capture the murderer before he kills again.

Marie Joséphine Philippine Davaillaud

This killer is both lucky and strange. Marie was born in Loudun, France. Her parents were considered frugal, and she attended a convent school for her education. Those who went to school with Marie described her as immoral, vicious, a thief, and a girl who ran wild with the boys.

In 1920, Marie married Auguste Antigny, her cousin, and they remained married until his death in 1927. Marie went on to marry Léon Besnard in 1928, rather quickly following the death of her first husband Auguste. 

Not long after Leon’s parents inherited a lot of money, they were invited to come and live with Leon and Marie. Soon after, Leon’s father died of poisoning, supposedly from eating the wrong kind of mushrooms. Just three months later his mother also died, and the cause was given as pneumonia.

The couple ended up subletting some rooms to a couple who were wealthy and without children. The Rivets, Toussaint, and Blanche, were friends of Leon’s. On July 14, 1939, Toussaint died from pneumonia, and in December of 1941, Blanche died due to aortitis. In their will, Marie was listed as their only heir.

Marie was also the named beneficiary of the wills of her cousin’s Pauline Bodineau and Virginie Lalleron. On July 1, 1945, Pauline, who was 88, apparently mistook a bowl of lethal lye for a bowl of dessert and died. A week later, Virginie allegedly did exactly the same thing and died. Six months later, Marie’s mother, Marie-Louise Davaillaud also died, January 16, 1946.

At one point Marie discovered Leon had been having an affair with another woman. Leon claimed to a friend that he thought Marie was poisoning him, saying she had served some soup to him one night but there was already a liquid in the bowl before she poured the soup. Shortly afterward, on October 25, 1947, Leon was dead. The cause given was uremia.

Because of the claims of poisoning Leon had made, the gendarmerie ordered an investigation, and an autopsy was conducted. The forensic surgeon found that Leon’s body contained 19.45mg of arsenic. Marie was promptly arrested and all other suspicious deaths around her were exhumed and re-examined. This led to Marie being charged with 13 counts of murder.

The autopsy reports showed that each victim had been poisoned by arsenic slowly over a period of time. At that time though, it was difficult to prove this as toxicology was a relatively new science, and Beroud, the forensic surgeon, had difficulty explaining his results and defending them when questioned on the stand by the defense lawyers. For this reason, the first two trials resulted in no conviction. She was placed on trial a third time in 1961. However, the defense was once again successful in undermining the relevance of the arsenic evidence, and Marie was acquitted of all of the murders.

In today’s legal system Marie would most likely have been convicted based on the autopsy findings, it wasn’t to be the case in 1961. It may seem that she shouldn’t be considered a serial killer without a conviction, but the evidence suggests otherwise, and therefore she has earned her place. Marie Besnard died in 1980, presumably from natural causes. She remained a free woman until her death.

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