THE 10 SMARTEST SERIAL KILLERS OF ALL TIME

Your next door neighbor may not be exactly who you think they are. You might think serial killers are lower intelligence individuals who are not smart enough to know the difference between right and wrong, but the terrifying reality is quite the opposite. These are the 10 smartest serial killers of all time.

1. Ted Kaczynski
Ted Kaczynski, better known as the Unabomber, was born in Chicago, Illinois, on May 22nd, 1942. As a child, Kaczynski was academically gifted, and in the fifth grade he received an IQ score of 167. His high intelligence got him accepted to Harvard at only 16 years old. During his time there, he took part in brutal psychological testing that was meant to study stress. This experience and his young age are believed to have contributed to him becoming socially isolated. He went on to earn his Ph.D and was a professor at Berkeley, but his belief that humanity was becoming immoral and controlled by technology led him to go off the grid.

For 18 years, he lived in a cabin in the woods of Montana where he built small bombs, sending them to targets across the United States. The bombs, which were impossible to trace back to Kaczynski, killed three people and injured 23 more. It was only because his own brother recognized his handwriting on a published copy of his manifesto that the FBI captured Kaczynski on April 3rd, 1996. He is still in prison serving a life sentence.



2. Carroll Cole
Born on May 9th, 1938, in Iowa, Carroll Cole was considered to be extremely intelligent with an IQ of 152. But his terrible home life and developing mental issues eventually turned him into a coldblooded serial killer. Cole's mother was incredibly abusive. She would make him watch her entertain men and would beat him constantly. Cole committed his first murder as a child when he drowned one of his classmates.

As an adult, he would commit his crimes while in a violent rage, including strangling an 11-year-old girl. He spent time in and out of prison and mental hospitals, but once he was released he started drinking and would kill women that he met that reminded him of his mother. In November of 1980, Cole was finally caught and confessed to 14 murders, but there are possibly even more that he couldn't remember. He was given the death penalty and died by lethal injection on December 6th, 1985.

3. Jack the Ripper
There are tons of theories as to who Jack the Ripper really was. From a local surgeon to possibly Queen Victoria's grandson Prince Albert, nobody knows. But one thing is for sure, he was highly skilled and knowledgeable in human anatomy. The infamous, anonymous serial killer murdered at least five women in the Whitechapel district of London, England, between 1888 and 1881. The murders were often extremely gruesome with the bodies left horrifically mutilated, complete with organs missing.

The state the bodies were found in convinced many that he could have been a surgeon or even a butcher. During the time of the murders, hundreds of letters, supposedly from the killer, were sent to the press. Most of them turned out to be fakes, but a few very likely were sent from the man himself, including one signed Jack the Ripper. One even correctly promised details of the next murder. Jack the Ripper seemed to disappear after his final murder of Mary Kelly, and despite developments in forensic technology, he evaded police and was never identified.

4. H.H. Holmes
Herman Mudgett, also known as Dr. Henry Howard Holmes or H.H. Holmes, was born on May 16th, 1861, in Gilmanton, New Hampshire. Holmes moved to Chicago in 1886 and purchased a lot where he started to build a large hotel dubbed by locals The Castle. During the contruction process, Holmes would frequently hire and then quickly fire entire teams of construction workers after sections of the hotel were completed.

This was all part of his grand plot, because he didn't want any of the workers knowing the full picture of the building plans, which in reality was that the second floor was to become a massive murder complex. This true house of horrors was basically a murder maze, complete with soundproof rooms, doors that led to nowhere, bedrooms linked with gas lines, and torture chambers. The hotel was up and running during the 1893 World's Fair which was ideal since people were less likely to notice a few tourists amongst thousands going missing. He was eventually caught and hanged in 1894, but not before he killed an estimated 200 guests.



5. Andrew Cunanan
Andrew Cunanan was born in National City, California, on August 31st, 1969. He was a gifted young man with an IQ of 147 and was apparently fluent in seven different languages, but he also had a passion for the high class lifestyle and was obsessed with fame. During the 1990s, he would frequent gay clubs in San Francisco and eventually began prostituting himself to wealthy, older men and began using hard drugs. Then, on April 25th, 1997, he began a three-month murder spree that took the lives of five men.

However, he taunted police, taking them on a cross country manhunt. Cunanan was quickly put on the FBI's 10 most wanted list before returning to Miami and reentering the party scene. Then, on the morning of July 15th, 1997, Cunanan shot and killed famous fashion designer Gianni Versace outside his home without any clear motive. And eight days later on July 23rd, the FBI finally tracked him to a houseboat, but he committed suicide, shooting himself before he could be arrested.

6. The Zodiac Killer
During the late 1960s, the Zodiac Killer had the citizens of northern California living in terror. Between December 1968 and October 1969, the Zodiac completely baffled law enforcement with a series of five confirmed murders though it's believed he could've been responsible for many more. Between 1969 and 1974, the Zodiac Killer began to contact the media and investigators.

He sent a series of letters over the years, including four ciphers, but despite attempts from some of the smartest people in the world, only one has ever been solved. The Zodiac claimed if the ciphers were ever solved, he would reveal his identity and would help police find him. The one decoded cipher revealed his motive for the murders was simply fun. It also revealed that the victims would become his slaves in the afterlife. No suspect has ever been named, and no one has ever been charged. The case remains open to this day.

7. Israel Keyes
Israel Keyes, born January 7th, 1978, in Richmond, Utah, was a former soldier in the U.S. Army honorably discharged in 2001. However it was later discovered he was linked to the murders of at least 11 people with more killings possibly committed outside of the United States. He spent years studying famous serial killers, including Ted Bundy, all in an effort to perfect his own murderous methods and avoid detection. Unlike most killers, investigators were unable to profile him because he never murdered close to home or even in the same area twice.

He would fly all over the country and drive for thousands of miles to collect his so-called murder kits that he had hidden years earlier. The kit consisted of things like plastic bags, shovels, and cleaning chemicals. He would choose his victims at random to avoid falling into any predictable patterns and would rob banks to fund his jet-setting murder sprees. When he was caught in Texas on March 13th, 2012, he confessed to some of the killings, but on December 12th of that year, he killed himself while in his prison cell awaiting trial. It would appear justice was never served on this monster.

8. Edmund Kemper
Edmund Kemper was born in Burbank, California, on December 18th, 1948, and was diagnosed as a criminally insane juvenile after he murdered his grandparents at the age of only 15 years old. While serving time in an institution, he received a score of 145 on an IQ test but was also diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and psychosis. He put his intellect to use when he managed to study the psychological evaluation tests at the institution and memorized the correct answers.

This allowed him to fake his sanity and earn an early release into society when he was only 21 years old. However only a couple years later, he began a horrifying killing spree. Kemper, who was six foot two and 250 pounds, got the nickname the Co-Ed Killer after he kidnapped and murdered six young women between May of 1972 and April of 1973. His spree ended on April 20th, 1973, when he murdered his mother and her best friend, after which he phoned the police and calmly confessed. He was sentenced to life in prison on November 3rd, 1973.

9. Rodney Alcala
Born in San Antonia, Texas, on August 23rd, 1943, Alcala is a convicted serial killer who murdered at least eight women and potentially up to 120 more. Early on, Alcala was recognized for his exceptional intelligence with an IQ score of 160. In 1978, during his crime spree, he was a contestant on the show The Dating Game and was chosen as the winner. Luckily his date decided not to go out with him after she met him and thought he was different.

Alcala told his victims he was a photographer and would lure them to remote locations promising to make them famous. When he was caught on July 24th, 1979, police found over 1,000 photos of young women and boys, many of whom have never been identified. Alcala's attorneys managed to overturn guilty verdicts and death sentences twice, but during his third trial in 2010, Alcala defended himself and he was finally found guilty on all charges.

10. Ted Bundy
Born in Burlington, Vermont, on November 24th, 1949, Ted Bundy was a psychopathic serial killer with a high IQ of 136. Bundy spent time studying criminal investigators and psychology in order to perfect his methods, becoming one of the most infamous killers of all time. He was extremely adept at using his good looks and natural charisma to lure in unsuspecting victims. He would often pretend he was injured or an authority figure to gain a woman's trust before he would attack them. Bundy would take care to hide or change distinct features of his appearance, making it difficult for witnesses to recognize him.

He also never left any fingerprints or conclusive physical evidence at crime scenes and never used guns. He murdered a total of 36 women, though possibly many more, until he was finally caught on August 16th, 1975. He even acted as his own attorney and made two escapes while in custody, one from the prison library during a recess in his own trial. But ultimately he was caught and given the electric chair on January 24th, 1989. This finally putting an end to one of the Earth's most notorious killers.

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