To make this list, killers had to be active between 2000 and 2019. Very few of the serial killers on this list garnered nothing more than front page news of their hometown. Don’t feel bad if you don’t recognize any of the names. Serial killers have to be really weird (think BTK or Dahmer) or incredibly prolific (Gary Ridgway aka The Green River Killer) to get noticed more than a few hundred miles from their hunting grounds.
- Darren Vann was a serial killer that went nearly undetected. He was arrested in 2014 for the murder of a prostitute in Gary, Indiana. After his arrest, he confessed to murdering 6 other women in Gary, Indiana. After his confession, the police added a few more names to the list of suspected victims. However, in 2010, a reporter in Indiana ran an algorithm analysis of unsolved murders in Indiana and went to the police with the victim names his system spit out. Police brushed him off, even after a coroner in Gary, Indiana took his suspicions to police that there was a serial killer in Gary. Eventually, the coroner and reporter began working together and founded a non-profit called the Murder Accountability Project. The six names Vann confessed to killing were names on the list compiled by the algorithm used by the reporter. He is now suspected in 20 murders just in Indiana. However, he also spent time in Texas and Illinois.
- Salvatore Perron began killing shopkeepers that appeared to be Middle Eastern in Brooklyn, New York with a sawed off shotgun. He was captured in November 2012, after killing 3 different shopkeepers all of them in 2012. In 2016, he finally went to trial and was sentenced. Throughout the trial, Perron who was 67 in 2012 proclaimed he was setup to take the fall by an Iranian businessman Michael Bila. Three victims is the bare minimum for classification of a serial killer, however, Perron makes the list because each of the three killings had extenuating circumstances, that makes the murders even harsher than just killing people. Perron was a salesman of clothing and knew all three shopkeepers personally. He knew their entire families and several of the children of the victims’ said they were shocked because Perron had practically seen them grow up in the store.
- Michael Madison killed three women between September 2012 and July 2013 in Ohio via manual strangulation. Madison was a registered sex offender after being sentenced for attempted rape in 2002. One of Madison’s victims was raped, although evidence suggests it happened post mortem. Madison was caught after several complaints to the city of a foul odor coming from a building that was leased by Madison. Inside police found a decomposing body wrapped in plastic. After searching the building, a second body (also wrapped in plastic) was found in the backyard. The third body was found in a vacant lot about 200 yards from the building Madison was leasing (some sources say it was a single car garage and others say it was a commercial garage where Madison worked on cars).
- Dale Ritchie began stalking the streets of Anchorage, Alaska in 2016. On July 3, 2016 Ritchie killed two victims in a park in Anchorage. He would claim two more in parks or on bike paths around Anchorage in July and August 2016. In November 2016, police went to talk to Ritchie and Ritchie engaged them in a gun battle. Ritchie was killed, but a Colt Python was found in his possession that turned out to be the murder weapon. There has been no release in why police went to talk to Ritchie that day, however, aside from the murders, Ritchie shot a police officer, but didn’t kill him.
- Elias Abuelazam appears to be a spree killer. Abuelazam AKA the Flint Slasher took victims of opportunity and death may not have been the ultimate goal. Between May and August 2010 Abuelazam is suspected of stabbing 17 different men, 5 of whom died. Abuelazam is a big man, 6’5″ tall and his preferred victims were small men (short as well as scrawny). Abuelazam would drive around late at night and find men walking alone. Nearly all of his victims have been African American making him one of those serial killers that crosses ethnicity boundaries (some suspect the stabbings were racially motivated). He was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole and is serving time in Michigan. However, he has been linked to at least 1 homicide in Leesburg, Virginia, and 3 hammer attacks also in Leesburg, Virginia in 2009. Also around this time, Abuelazam who was born in Israel, returned home for a visit and stabbed a friend in the face with a screwdriver after they had a disagreement. The friend refused to press charges and the case was dropped by the Israeli government and police.
- Bruce Mendenhall was arrested in 2007 for the murder of a woman at a truckstop in Tennessee. Mendenhall is a long haul trucker. After searching Mendenhall’s truck in connection to the murder he was arrested for, police found blood evidence from five other women who were missing or whose bodies have been found murdered. However, he is being investigated by several states in connection with missing persons and homicide investigations there. While in prison awaiting trial, Mendenhall’s wife died of natural causes and he received life insurance money. In a moment of brilliance, Mendenhall approached 2 other inmates in prison, offering them $15,000 to kill three of his associates, one of whom a woman, was supposed to be staged to make it look like the killer was still free.
I said in an earlier post that the FBI has claimed the number of serial killers of minority race had risen in the last few decades. Which makes it of interest to note that Vann and Madison were both African American males. Perron was Hispanic. And Abuelezam was Middle Eastern.