Dr. H.H. Holmes
Known as one of America’s first serial killers, Holmes was a criminal of the highest intelligence. He oversaw the construction of a hotel where he would torture and murder guests, then chop up their bodies so that he could sell them to medical schools. Holmes behavior was very similar to the exploits of Jack the Ripper, whom history has yet to identify.
Bundy rivals Charles Manson both in his intelligence and level of depravity. Handsome, cultivated, educated and headed for a career in politics, Bundy just couldn’t suppress his murderous impulses, and he became one of the worst criminals in history, killing a number of young women, many of whom he lured by pretending he was hurt before attacking them. Bundy was first captured in 1976 and represented himself in court right before he escaped custody. He murdered twice again before he was recaptured, and confessed that he had killed as many as 50 women. Right before his death row execution, Bundy is reported to have said, “Now more than ever, I am convinced of my own innocence.”
Jim Jones billed himself as some kind of prophet, and his followers viewed him as a deity, with more than a thousand of them setting up a compound in Guyana, which Jones called ‘Jonestown.” Jones was no benevolent leader, and survivors of the ordeal recalled a man who was brutal, paranoid and evil. In November 1978, Jones and nearly a thousand of his followers committed mass suicide by drinking cyanide at Jones’ urging. What makes the mass deaths even more appalling is that 300 of the dead were children.