Movies and TV shows like Dexter are constantly trying to outdo themselves with over-the-top serial killers (a Hannibal episode featured a killer who turned his victims into musical instruments -- no, really). But real killers are just boring assholes with crippling mental illnesses and no scary gimmicks. Right?
Yeah, no. As we've mentioned a few times before, the real world occasionally gives rise to murderers so terrifyingly crazy that if we saw them in a horror film, we would instantly write them off as utterly ridiculous B-movie cheese. The following people and their bone-chilling exploits are totally real, and at least three-quarters of them are totally still alive.
#6. Katherine Knight Cooked Her Husband and Tried to Feed Him to His Children
AAP/David McNew/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Katherine Knight had a well-documented history of clownfuck lunacy, beginning when she tried to strangle her first husband to death on their wedding night for daring to only have sex with her three times before falling asleep. When he finally left her, Knight took their infant daughter and dropped her on a stretch of nearby train tracks (the baby was rescued by a hobo), then rampaged through town threatening random strangers with an ax.
She later went on another rampage, slashing a woman's face and forcing her to drive to a service station, where Knight took a little boy hostage until the police arrived and beat her into submission with brooms, because law enforcement in Australia is apparently hilarious. None of this is the crazy part of her story. WARNING: READ AT YOUR DISCRETION -- HERE IS WHERE THIS ARTICLE TAKES A DETOUR STRAIGHT INTO HELL.
AAP via Canadian CRC
No worries, mate!
Knight eventually met a father of three named John Price and they moved in together, despite the fact that Price was well aware of her explosive fits of inexplicable slobbering Looney Tunes rage. Price wound up kicking her out and filed a restraining order against her, telling his co-workers that if he ever failed to show up for work, she had probably killed him. He then gallantly allowed Knight back into his house for sex and fell asleep beside her, which suggests that Price perhaps didn't completely understand how restraining orders are supposed to work. Knight underscored this error by stabbing Price 37 times. When Price didn't show up for work the next day, his co-workers called the police, who showed up at Price's house to discover his skinned, headless body lying on the living room floor.
Knight had draped his skin, completely intact in a single piece, over an S hook in a doorway like a vanity curtain in Leatherface's house. Price's head was boiling in a pot on the stove, and pieces of his butt had been pan-fried with vegetables and gravy and plated up on the table in two place settings with name tags indicating that they were meant for Price's adult children (although the kids weren't expected, so she probably should have covered the plates with tinfoil).
Cliff Blank/iStock/Getty Images
BECAUSE THAT'S HOW YOU GET ANTS!
Knight pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole -- her file literally bears the words "NEVER TO BE RELEASED," like a fucking supervillain in a subterranean vault.
#5. Russell Williams Burgled Women's Underwear and Videotaped His Murders
Russell Williams, a decorated colonel in the Canadian armed forces, liked to break into the homes of friends and neighbors with underage daughters and then photograph himself wearing the girls' underwear and masturbating all over their rooms like a laboratory monkey trying to get the most out of his jailbreak spree before all the PCP injections catch up to him and melt his brain.
BILL TREMBLAY / NORTHUMBERLAND NEWS
And this could have all been prevented if the military would just issue Dora the Explorer-print panties.
He even creepily typed a message on one 12-year-old girl's computer, thanking her for the evening of boner-flogging her bedroom had provided for him.
Gerri Weatherbee/Northumberland Today via CBC
You don't get medals by being rude.
All told, Williams committed over 80 underwear burglaries, frequently breaking in while the unaware owners were at home (he once sprinted naked into a woman's house to ransack her unmentionables drawer while she was in the shower), and he kept a meticulously organized library of thousands of photographs like these hidden in the basement of his house:
Sydney Morning Herald
These were found filed under "C" for "Christ, Jesus Tittyfucking."
That was when Williams decided to open up the throttle on his crazy and graduate to full-blown kidnapping and murder. He broke into the houses of two different women, tying them up and forcing them to pose for more photographs for his collection. Then Williams broke into the house of a corporal he recognized from work, beat her into submission with a flashlight, and brutally murdered her, videotaping every horrific moment of his crime and taking enough photographs to fill an album. He also stole huge amounts of her clothing and underwear, because, as we've established, underwear was his maniac catnip.
Finally, Williams kidnapped a woman and took her out to a cottage he owned, where he terrorized her for an entire day before ultimately killing her with the same flashlight, because apparently he believed "flashlight" meant "bludgeon that occasionally helps you see in the dark." He recorded four hours of video of the crime and collected several more photographs and articles of stolen clothing, strengthening his bid for the title of "Scariest Canadian in History" (although he's facing stout competition in this very article).
Julie Oliver/Postmedia News via National Post
No word on a Maglite endorsement deal yet.
Luckily, a witness had spotted Williams' Pathfinder outside of his last victim's house just before she disappeared, and police were able to arrest him after matching his tire and boot prints to those found at the scene of her abduction. He confessed to the murders and was sentenced to life in prison, where he recently tried to kill himself by swallowing a toilet paper roll. The Canadian Forces stripped Williams of his rank and ceremonially burned his uniform and every medal he'd earned over 23 years of service, because fuck that guy.
#4. A Millionaire Pig Farmer Killed People and Fed Them to His Pigs
Robert Pickton, a millionaire pig farmer in British Columbia, murdered anywhere between six and 50 prostitutes from the Vancouver area, cut up their bodies, and fed them to his pigs ... and once again, that statement is actually the least insane part of his story.
AP via The Guardian
Pickton, seen here sporting the standard issue "hatchet face" provided by the serial killer union.
Pickton would cruise around the seediest areas of Vancouver, luring hookers back to his sprawling pig farm (any invitation that includes the phrase "Come back to my pig farm, where I butcher pigs" should be immediately refused) with the promise of money and drugs, where he brutally murdered them and dismembered their bodies for creative disposal.
Pickton didn't just feed the bodies to his pigs, though. He kept the head, hands, and feet of some of his victims bundled up in refrigerators around the farm. He mulched some of his victims in a wood chipper. And investigators are almost 100 percent certain that he lumped human remains together with unusable pig parts (like intestines, blood, and bones) and took them all up to a rendering plant in Vancouver to be processed into things like lipstick, shampoo, and soap, which reveals two horrible truths about the cosmetics industry.
The point is, Pickton didn't believe in simply disposing of bodies -- he liked to spread his evil around like a murderous Johnny Appleseed.
Ian Lindsay/CanWest News Service via National Post
Lacking a proper saucepan, Pickton settled for wearing a colander on his head.
Meanwhile, the Vancouver police department simply didn't give a shit about the disappearing women. They reasoned that all the women were drug addicts and had either wandered off to other cities or died anonymously of overdoses. They literally fired an investigator for having the gall to suggest that a serial killer might be responsible. One of Pickton's victims actually managed to escape the pig farm, bleeding from multiple stab wounds, and prosecutors dismissed the subsequent attempted murder charges against him because the most important descriptor of Robert Pickton at this time was "millionaire."
Pickton was eventually brought to justice when an employee came forward with damning testimony that led to a full-scale investigation, and he received a life sentence. Meanwhile, Canadian officials did their part to calm a community repulsed by both the killings and the notion that they might have consumed pork fattened on human remains by assuring them that pork is "typically well-cooked," thereby eliminating the chance of catching any diseases from the murdered prostitutes and confirming that authority figures in British Columbia are terrible at crisis counseling.
Darryl Dick/The Canadian Press via The Toronto Star
They're not there to point fingers.