In the spirit of Halloween, a time when children gather irreversible mental damage and adults get drunk in full costume without being labeled dangerously unstable, we’ve put together a pictorial shortlist of California’s most infamous serial killers to date.
These human abominations will hopefully not increase your preexisting anxiety, but will remind your dark side that California has fostered some unprecedented freaks. Our collection is packed with links to documentaries on Youtube, which are guaranteed to keep you captured for hours.
1. “The Night Stalker” Richard Ramirez – 1985-86
Richard Ramirez is the essence of evil. He terrorized the streets of Los Angeles in the mid-1980’s and his recognizable police sketch is the stuff nightmares are made of. He died on death row at San Quentin State Prison in 2013.
Accompanying Documentary: The Night Stalker
Accompanying Documentary 2: Serial Killers 16/25 – Richard Ramirez, The Night Stalker
A conversation with Richard Ramirez – Interview
2. Charles Manson & Family: The Tate-LaBianca murders – 1968-1969
Charles Manson and family plotted their heinous murders right in the heart of the San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles, at the infamous Spahn Movie Ranch (among other places), and this disturbing bunch changed how the summer of 1969 will be viewed forever.
Accompanying Documentary: Charles Manson: Diane Sawyer Documentary
3.The Toolbox Killers, Lawrence Bittaker and Roy Norris – 1979
Bittaker and Norris are responsible for the torture and murder of 5 teenage girls. It takes a special breed of psycho to commit these atrocities in a pair, yet there are more couples who kill than you’d think.
Accompanying Documentary:The Toolbox Killers
Lawrence Bittaker: confession
4. The Hillside Strangler/s, Kenneth Bianchi and Angelo Buono – 1977-1978
The most prolific of their time, these two pimps turned murderers had the LAPD scrambling for almost a year while they tossed bodies all over Los Angeles. Their rampageous run finally came to an end in 1978.
Accompanying Documentary: The Hillside Stranglers
Accompanying Documentary2: Serial Killers Kenneth Bianchi & Angelo Buono, The Hillside Stranglers
Psychopaths Speak: Kenneth Bianchi speaks
5. The Scorecard Killer, Randy Steven Kraft – 1972-1983
Randy Kraft left crabbed clues about his killing spree in a morbid “scorecard” for his own twisted pleasure. He has been linked to over 60 murders, mostly in California, and had southern Californians terrified for over a decade.
Accompanying Documentary: 20 Most Dangerous Serial Killers – The Scorecard Killer
Dishonorable mention: Chowchilla kidnapping – 1976
A kidnapping and attempted murder of a school bus full of children in Chowchilla, California sets the disgust level particularly high on the abhorrent acts scale. By some surprising miracle everyone who was buried alive in this quarry escaped, and the perpetrators were captured.
1993 Made-for-TV movie based on the event: Vanished without a trace
Short news clip: 40 years later: victims recall being buried alive
CNN: Where are they now: Buried Alive: California mass kidnapping victims