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No Cereal was Harmed in the Making of This Killer
They live and walk among us. They go to work with you and me. They lurk in the shadows. They find joy in the most horrendous things. They are serial killers, and they are a very real thing. You never know who they could be. They can get away with the most horrifying things, and won’t feel guilty at all. They can be sociopaths and have a lack of empathy. Cold and unfeeling, only finding happiness in their killings. Some kill for sexual pleasure. Some kill to try to get back at this one person from years earlier. And some just don’t know any better. Some of the worst killers have never been caught, and their mystery still haunts us. Finding out, though, could be worst of all. That sweet innocent old man from down the block might be a serial killer and you will always wonder what might have gone wrong in his head. Some serial killers started out as the nicest of people, or still can be, but just have a dark side that they keep hidden quite well. You never know whom to trust with your life.
I will first talk about the characteristics of a serial killer. A perfectly nice person can become a serial killer and wouldn’t even really be their fault. Some killers come from an abusive family, or their father had abandoned them at an early age and left them with a controlling mother. Most serial killers are considered brilliant, with IQ’s that surpass most average people. A few can have trouble keeping a job and have a high rate of attempts at suicide, though some can be completely normal. Though it usually goes back to their childhood. If they are bullied at a young age that can lead to a troubling future, as well as an unhealthy obsession with death, witchcraft or voodooism, and even pornography and other sexual activities. There are several reasons why they kill: for the thrill of it, or for lust, or because they crave power.
One unknown serial killer was feared for a very long time in the New Orleans. The Axeman of the New Orleans was a mysterious figure that would expertly break into a house and brutally murder the occupants with an axe that would be left by the back door when the killer left. The first kill was in 1918 and the victims were a man and his wife by the name of Joseph and Cathrine Maggio. The Maggio's lived with Joseph’s two brothers Jake and Andrew. Jake was the first one to awake and realize there was something wrong. He heard groaning coming from his brother, Joseph’s, room next door. He went to wake Andrew up and the two of them went to investigate Joseph and Cathrine’s room together. They found a horrible sight. Joseph and Cathrine lay on their bed, lying in pools of blood. Joseph was barely alive when Jake and Andrew entered. But he soon died before the ambulance could even get to his house. The police found a bloody axe in the bathroom tub and a chisel on top of a wood panel that had been removed by the tool. Years earlier the same event occurred. People suspected the Mafia had committed the crimes because all the people who had been killer were Italian. Little did they know it was the works of a serial killer.
The next victims were Louis Besumer and his mistress. A bread deliverer had been bringing bread to the grocer, who was a native of Poland, when he noticed that the store wasn’t open. That was unusual since the man would wake up early to wait for his bread. The deliverer went around the house to check on Louis and he found a horrific sight. Besumer had had blood dripping down his face and he barely managed to tell the young man to look in his bedroom. His mistress, Anna Harriett, was lying on the bed in a pool of blood. She had been struck in the head and there were bloody footprints leading from the bed. Besumer had told the man, Zanca, that he wanted him to call his personal physician instead of the police, but Zanca went against his will and called the police anyways. Anna and Besumer were taken to the hospital. A hatchet was found in the metal tub and a panel in the back door had been chiseled off. Before Anna died, she told many stories one story was that Besumer was the murderer. That was when the theory was dropped that it had been the Mafia, because Besumer had not been Italian. When Anna died, Besumer was arrested for murder, but he was soon acquitted because it was soon clear that he was not the Axeman.
The Axeman waited a period of two months before he started to kill again. His next victim was a pregnant woman who survived because her husband got home and got her to the hospital before she could die. She gave birth a week later to a healthy baby girl.
Following this attack, the Axeman mailed a letter to the authorities, mimicking Jack the Ripper’s lead. In the letter he promised at 12:15 AM on a Tuesday he would hunt again. However, he promised that if people were playing jazz music, no one would be hurt. So that night everyone had jazz music playing and no one was killed. Soon the killings stopped and the killer seemed to disappear.
One serial killer caught in the act in 1590 was Countess Elizabeth Bathory, also known as The Bloody Countess. She would recruit women and young girls to her castle under the ruse of giving them a job. But in reality, what she was going to give them was something even worse. She would give them as reason to cry for help. She would torture her prisoners with numerous devices that she had learned about from her husband, Ferenc Nadsady. A group of men were the first male outsiders that adventured into the castle, and they were on the hunt for Elizabeth. When they first entered they heard a moan back in the entrance hall. They followed the moan and came to a girl who was barely alive. The girl had been punctured in places and was suffering from massive blood loss. They knew she would not survive getting to the town to a doctor, so they left her to die. They found two other girls, but they had died long before they had got there. One girl was pale and had been drained of blood, just as the rumors had said. Another body was found chained to a pillar and was in the process of decaying. She looked as if she had been whipped and beaten, which was another way that Elizabeth would torture the girls.
When the supply of servant girls had run out, Elizabeth started to bring in lesser aristocrats. Elizabeth loved her torturous ways, and when she got sick she would make sure that the girls were stilled tortured. She would have them brought to her room and she would bite and slap them. At times she would bite them to death then have her male servants consume their flesh. She was bloodthirsty and would cut the girls is many ways. Most were punctured with needles and scissors, or burned with read hot irons, or had their skin ripped open by sheers and fingers cut off. She particularly enjoyed slitting the girls skin between their fingers. She beat the girls till the turned black and blue, and then continued. One girl was beaten two hundred times before she finally died. A few girls had been shoved into tiny cages full of spikes.
It’s been said that she would bathe in her victims’ blood to stay young forever and though it was never proven true some did believed that she butchered her victims for her beauty treatments. A story stated that one day she had been getting ready and one of her maids saw something wrong with her headdress and she was beaten for noticing it. She was hit in the head so hard that blood came out her nose and splattered all over Elizabeth’s face. When she washed it off, Elizabeth noticed that where the blood had hit her face her skin was fairer and clearer than it had been before the blood had hit her. It wasn’t so much as to stay young forever, but to look young forever. She had been beautiful and her yearn to stay beautiful had been one of the reasons she had reverted to killing and draining her victims of blood. She was sentenced to life in prison, in a small part of her castle, and she died soon afterwards.
Back in the 1800's, when no one knew who was the killer of these prostitutes, they named him Jack the Ripper. His first murder was Mary Ann "Polly" Nichols on August 31st, 1888. He was named "Ripper" because all of his victim’s abdomens were slashed and ripped; some were even missing an organ or two. Annie Chapman's body was found on September 8th, 1888 near the doorway in a backyard on Hanbury Street, Spitalfields. Her throat had been severed by two cuts and her abdomen was completely ripped open. Doctors later realized that her uterus had been removed.
His next victims were found only minutes apart. Elizabeth Stride and Catherine Eddowes were found in two different areas in the city of London. Stride's body was the least mutilated, and some thought that Jack was interrupted while he was killing her. Her throat was slashed but her abdomen had not been touched. Some even doubted that the Ripper had killed her. Eddowes' body was found about an hour after Stride's. Her throat was severed and her abdomen had been ripped open by several deep wounds. Her left kidney and a major part of her uterus had been removed. A few witnesses were able to describe a man that was with the victims before they were killed, but none of them matched. His last murder was his most gruesome. Mary Kelly's body was found in a single room in an inn where she lived on November 9th, 1888. Her throat had been severed all the way down to her spine, and her abdomen had been emptied of all of her organs. Even her heart was missing. Kelly's organs were found all around the room and her heart was the only organ missing from the scene. Her body had been to identify because her face had been hacked at.
Jack the Ripper sent letters to the press, taunting the police. There were three letters, "Dear Boss" "Saucy Jack" and "From Hell". The "From Hell" letter, though, was most likely NOT from Jack, but from a man only "claiming" to be Jack the Ripper. Most of the words had been misspelled and was sent to George Lusk who was head of the "White Chapel Vigilance Committee" while the rest had been sent been sent to the press. The "Dear Boss" letter was the first letter sent to the press. At first the police thought that the letter was a hoax, but when they found Catherine Eddowes' body with one of the ears severed they looked at it again. In the letter it said that "Jack" had saved some blood from his last victim (Annie Chapman) but it had gone bad so he had to use red ink. "Saucy Jack" was on the back of a postcard and was sent 24 hours after the "double event" of Eddowes and Stride. He stated that "number one squealed a bit" so he couldn't finish. It also mentioned that he didn't get the ears that he had promised to send to the police. No one had discovered who Jack the Ripper was, so his identity is still a mystery.
These partners in crime were the first women to be executed in the “Modern State of Egypt.” Raya and Sakina, as well as their husbands, were tried for the murder of multiple girls and women. Most of the women that had gone missing had been reported wearing gold jewelry and carrying around large sums of money. Each of the victims had last been seen with a woman by the name of Sakina. Though Sakina was brought in and questioned several times, but each time she managed to dodge the law and escape. They killed in the town of Alexandria and most of the bodies were found around the Labban neighborhoods. In the December of 1920 a pedestrian was walking along the road when he discovered human remains. The body was “damaged beyond recognition” and had been completely dismembered. The only recognizable thing was the body’s long hair. Around the same time that December and man was digging in his basement to fix a water pipe when he discovered human remains. He reported it, and the police discovered that Raya and Sakina had been renting houses where a few dead bodies had been found. Raya, Sakina, and their husbands were tried for murder, and were sentenced to death.
Tails of the insane can be rather creepy, but they can really spice up history. It helps you remember that life isn’t always peachy, but at times can be dangerous, exciting, and deadly. Some might find this information unimportant, but it might be good to know. Because, you never know what will be hiding in the shadows. If you know about the history of serial killers, you may know how far someone will go to get what they desire.