Proof in Pics: A short history of California’s most notorious serial killers

Charles Manson

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


The composite sketch of the alleged attacker and his first moment of incarcerated fame aka, mugshot

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.

The arraignment of The Night Stalker, who was a self-proclaimed satanist


The nighstalker


Ramirez taunted the court room with chilling antics to pass the time


Groupies are not just for band members. Here’s one of Ramirez’s fans turned wife while Ramirez sat on Death Row


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

The infamous “family” at Spahn Movie Ranch, Los Angeles, CA


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.


Susan Atkins (left) and Patricia Krenwinkel (right) arrive in court



Manson then and now


The Spahn Movie Ranch



Accompanying Documentary: Charles Manson: Diane Sawyer Documentary

Accompanying Documentary 2: Charles Manson: A History Channel Documentary
Charles Manson Interview: with Penny Daniels (Complete)



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.


Bittaker with fellow inmate and serial killer, William Bonin, aka The Freeway Killer




Finally in custody


Accompanying Documentary:The Toolbox Killers

Lawrence Bittaker: confession


4. The Hillside Strangler/s, Kenneth Bianchi and Angelo Buono – 1977-1978

Buono (left) and Bianchi

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.

Bianchi mugshot

Just one of the many films inspired by these killing cousins




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.

A sinister court smile

Kraft was pulled over in May 1983 after driving erratically, the officers found a dead Marine in his car



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.

Survivors comforting each other after being rescued


Hero bus driver Ed Ray (center) who saved the children, and himself


Families await the arrival of their children


The convicted: James Schoenfeld (left), Fred Woods (center) and Richard Schoenfeld



Survivors Jodi Heffington-Medrano (left) and Lynda Carrejo Labendeira reunite decades after their horrific experience


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

1 reply

  1. That was a god read. I like how you say ‘Dishonourable’ mention as opposed to ‘Honorable’. Quite rightly so.
    I was just wondering, was there ever a movie made of the vile Bittaker & Norris case? As in a TV movie or the like?

    I’m very interested in true crime. I always wish the best Justice possible for the survivors & victims. These people are demons, pure evil. Unbelievable what they do.

    Kind regards,

    Ruple Thaker UK Kent & London
    (Rupal Thaker-Facebook Kent)

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