Unlike thrillers and criminal drama, efforts put in by the law to get to the bottom of even the most terrifying crimes are sometimes fruitless in real life. Sometimes even the worst kinds of criminals get away unpunished for their crimes.
National Geographic has compiled a list of seven of the world’s most infamous serial killers that were never caught:
Charlie Chop-off was a serial killer who was active in Manhattan in 1972-1974. He earned his infamous reputation because of the brutal way he killed his victims. This merciless killer killed boys of African descent. An eight-year-old boy became his first victim; his remains were found on a roof of some building on March 9, 1972. The victim was stabbed 38 times and his genitals were cut off. Over the course of the next year authorities found multiple other boys killed the same way.
In 1974 the police arrested a man named Erno Soto, who admitted committing those murders. It was later concluded, however, that this man was mentally unstable. In addition, one of the boys who managed to escape Charlie Cut-off did not identify the man as his assailant. Manhattan State Hospital also stated that Soto was in the hospital when the murders took place. In the end, Soto was found innocent. It is possible that the real killer remains at large, if he is still alive.
The Honolulu Strangler is the first known serial killer. He killed five women in Hawaii in the ‘80s of the previous century. The first victim was a 27-year-old woman named Vicki Gail Purdy. Her body was found on 30 May, 1985. Police concluded that she was raped, strangled and her hands were tied behind her back. Multiple similar killings took place shortly after the first. Police interrogated one possible suspect in the case, but he was released due to lack of evidence against him.
Stoneman is a serial killer who operated in India. He is believed to have committed thirteen murders in Calcutta and just as many in Bombay. His first victim was found in June 1989. The victim was a homeless person who was killed by a crushing blow to the head with a rock. There were 12 other killings of this kind in Calcutta. Later, in 1985, a dozen homeless people were found dead in Bombay. All of them were killed the same way – a crushing blow to the head with a rock. Police had arrested multiple potential suspects, but the lack of evidence prevented authorities from charging even one of them with murder.
Jack the Ripper
Jack the Ripper is probably the most infamous of serial killers in history. He was active in Whitechapel district of London in 1888. It is believed that he killed and mutilated five prostitutes. Even though law enforcement officers worked hard to find the killer – police even received a letter from him containing a kidney cut from one of the victims at one point – the identity of the killer remains unknown to this day. There are hundreds of theories as to who this merciless killer might have been.
This serial killer is reportedly responsible for the deaths of four children in Oakland County, Michigan. Police believe there may have been more victims. The killings spanned 1976-1977. The first known victim of the Babysitter killer was 12-year-old Mark Stebbins. His body was found on a snowbank several days after his disappearance. He had been strangled and sexually assaulted. The other three confirmed victims were killed the same way. The killer was never found despite police officers’ best efforts.
Jack the Stripper
Jack the Stripper is another unidentified serial killer that terrorized London. Killings attributed to this killer spanned 1964-1965. Like Jack the Ripper, Jack the Stripper killed prostitutes. He is believed to have had killed six to eight prostitutes. Their bodies were dumped in the River Thames. Stripper’s first victim was Hannah Tailford – her body was found in February 1964. The woman had been strangled several of her teeth were missing.
When the second victim was found, one man – Kenneth Archibald – admitted committing two murders. The police declined his testimony because he could not remember known facts about the murders. Investigators went through 7,000 initial suspects – none of them were found guilty.
Zodiac killer is a serial killer who was active in Northern California in 1960s and the beginning of 1970s. In his taunting letters to the police, the killer claimed to have had killed 37 people. The first known victims of Zodiac killer were the couple David Arthur Faraday and Betty Lou Jensen, who were found on 20 December 1968.
The killer had sent taunting letters to the police. In them, the killer listed his demands and cryptograms in which he informed the police of his plans. As the rest of the serial killers on this list, Zodiac killer was never caught.