Serial Killers, what are they? Criminals, Psychopaths, and Charming? Believe it or not, most serial killers share traits of charm, kindness, and charisma. Some can use these traits in their favor, seducing victims and the public alike. These combined traits mimic their humanity and empathy for other human beings, making them the most dangerous and sinister predators of all. Here are some of the most charming serial killers that we have seen so far.
Ted Bundy was one of the most prolific serial killers in American History. But what made him so likable? It was his charm, attractiveness, and intelligence. With a degree in Psychology and knowledge of the law, Bundy knew how to mimic human emotions and reactions that made people, especially victims, feel at ease. During his trial, he represented himself in court and won over many of the public. They didn’t seem to think that a charming young man with good looks would ever be capable of raping and murdering young girls and women. This psychopathic murderer was almost able to clear himself from guilt but was ultimately executed by Florida’s electric chair in 1989.
Charles Manson was the cult leader and mastermind of the Sharon Tate La Bianca Murders, which elevated him as a celebrity. As the leader of The Charles Manson Family, he was able to use his charm, charisma, and good looks to create a following. After hearing “Helter Skelter” by The Beatles, Manson believed that the killings would incite a race war bringing upon the apocalypse. Through persuasion and influence, he was able to plan out 9 murders in July and August of 1969. Manson ordered his disciples to commit the murders while he kept his hands clean. His arrest caused a media storm that gained Manson notoriety and a mass following of new loyal disciples. Although he avoided the death penalty, Manson served life in the California State Prison, Corcoran, and died in 2017.
Paul John Knowles aka The Casanova Killer
Paul John Knowles, also known as The Casanova Killer, was a serial murderer who killed at least 20 victims within four months. He was active from July to November of 1974, after which he was captured. Knowles was known as a handsome and charming young man who would often deceive people or lure them in with his generosity. He would rape, strangulate, and shoot his victims ranging from children as young as 11 to the elderly as old as 65. During this short time, Knowles would go on a killing spree from Florida, Ohio, Nevada, Texas, Alabama, Virginia, and Georgia. His luck came to an end when police apprehended him. During a police ride with an FBI officer, Knowles tried to escape by shooting the sheriff driving in front. The FBI driver shot and killed Knowles in December 1974.
Edmund Kemper aka The Co-Ed Killer
Edmund Kemper, aka The Co-Ed killer, was a highly intelligent, charming, and charismatic man who got arrested only after turning himself in. He is 6’9, has an IQ of 145, and was able to talk his way out of situations. Kemper would commit his first murder at the age of 15 after he killed his grandparents. He was sent to the criminally insane unit of Atascadero State Hospital. Kemper used his intelligence and charm to talk his way into getting released early. During the 1970s, he would rape, stab, strangulate, decapitate, and perform necrophilia on young women. Finally, after he had killed, beheaded, and sodomized his mother’s corpse, it all ended. After realizing that none of his murders were being shown in the media, Kemper turned himself in. He is currently serving his life sentence at the California Medical Facility.
Rodney Alcala aka The Dating Game Killer
Rodney Alcala, aka The Dating Game Killer, was a serial murderer who killed at least 50 victims during the 1970s. Alcala was handsome, charming, and had a high IQ of 170. He used his looks and soft mannerisms to lure victims in. His first attempt came in 1968 when he beat and raped an 8-year-old girl in his apartment. Alcala went on to graduate from UCLA with a Fine Arts Degree, took a film class with Roman Polanski, and worked as a typesetter for the Los Angeles Times. He was also a contestant in a ’70s dating show from which he got his nickname. While it is unknown how many women he killed, he would go on to rape and strangulate young girls and women between 1977-1979. Alcala was arrested in July 1979 and is imprisoned at the California State Prison, Corcoran.