2004-05-22 09:07:14 UTC
for reference purposes only and does not imply a causal relationship between
homosexuality and serial killing.
Serial killers and their victims include people from all races, cultures,
nationalities, economic background, educational levels, genders, and sexual
orientations. Because serial killers are so rare, it is impossible to use
any demographic indicator as a predictor.
Gay/Homosexual Serial Killers (Male)
Name # of People
Killed Year Killer's Home Location of Murders Notes
Gilles de Rais 300+ 1430s France France associate of Joan of Arc
Randy Steven Kraft 65 (est.) 1971 to 1983 Oregon, Michigan, etc.
"Score Card Killer"
Michael Swango 35 - 60 1983-97 Ohio, Illinois, New York, South
Dakota, Virginia "Doctor of Death" -- killed hospital patients
Andrei Chikatilo 52 until 1992 Russia Russia
Fritz Haarmann 40 (est.) until 1924 Germany Germany "Butcher Of
John Wayne Gacy 33 until 1978 Chicago Chicago
Patrick Wayne Kearney 28+ 1968 to 1977 Redondo Beach, Calif. gay
cruising areas of Hollywood; "Trash Bag Killer"
David D. Hill 28? 1968 to 1977 Redondo Beach, Calif. Hollywood Patrick
Kearney's lover; confessed to being co-killer with Kearney, but police
weren't sure about the extent of his involvement
Hans Grans 27+ until 1924 Germany Germany accommplice and love of
Haarmann, the "Butcher Of Hanover"
Wayne Williams 27 1979-81 Atlanta Atlanta
Dean Corll 27 1960s to 1973 Ft. Wayne, Indiana; later Houston, TX
Elmer Wayne Henley 27 1960s to 1973 Ft. Wayne, Indiana; later Houston,
TX Houston, Texas
David Owen Brooks 27 1960s to 1973 Ft. Wayne, Indiana; later Houston,
TX Houston, Texas
Donald Harvey 25 - 40 (est.) 1970-71 London, Kentucky Kentucky
Juan Corona 25 1971 From Mexico; moved to Yuba City, CA in 1950s Yuba
Norman Afzal Simons 21 (est.) 1986-1994 Capetown, South Africa South
Africa victims were mixed-race boys; believed to be the "Station Strangler"
Adolfo de Jesus Constanzo 21 (est.) until 1989 Matamoros, Mexico
Matamoros, Mexico "Matamoros Cult Killer"
Carl Panzram 21 1910-1930 Warren, Minnesota USA, West Africa
Larry Eyler 19 1980s Chicago Illinois and Indiana
Jeffrey Dahmer 17 1978, 1988-91 Milwaukee Milwaukee and Chicago
Robert Berdella ? until 1988 Kansas City Kansas
Dennis Nilsen 16 1978-83 U.K. U.K.
Marcelo Costa de Andrade 14 until 1991 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Rio de
William Bonin 12+ 1979-80 Downey, Orange County, Calif. Orange County,
Henry Lee Lucas 12+ 1970s and 80s Most in Texas, Southeastern U.S.
Ottis Toole 12+ 1970s and 80s West Coast, Florida, etc. accomplice of
Henry Lee Lucas
Bruce Lee 12 1980 England England (NOT the famous actor.) Killed
victims by arson.
Johannes Mashiane 12 until 1989 South Africa South Africa "The Beast
Vaughn Greenwood 11+ 1974-75 Los Angeles Los Angeles
Thomas Quick 10+ Sweden Sweden Started killing when he was 14 years
Richard Speck 8+ 1966 Chicago Chicago married, bisexual
Peter Kurten 8+ 1905-1921 Germany Germany "The Vampire of Dusseldorf"
Alton Coleman 8 1984 Midwestern U.S.
Cayetano Hernandez 8 1963 Yerba Buena, Mexico Mexico
Eleazor Solis 8 1963 Monterey, Mexico Mexico
David Bullock 6+ 1981-82 New York City New York
Vernon Butts 6+ 1979-80 Calif. Orange County, Calif. accomplice of
Paul Bateson 6 ? (est.) 1977-78 New York City New York City
Albert Fish ? until 1936 USA child molester and canibal
Michael Terry 6 1980-86 Atlanta Georgia, Ohio, South Carolina
Orville Lynn Majors 6 Indiana Vermillion County Hospital, Indiana
Charles Cohen 5+ Delaware Delaware, San Francisco, New York, Miami,
and New Orleans
Andrew Cunanan 5 1997 San Diego, Calif. Minnesota; Chicago, IL; South
Beach, FL killed fashion designer Gianni Versace
Michael Lupo 4+ 1986 from Italy London
Peter Moore 4 1995 north Wales north Wales
Westley Allan Dodd 3+ Washingon Washington, Oregon
David P. Brown
(a.k.a. Nathaniel Bar-Jonah) 3+ 2000 Massachusetts Montana victims
were young boys
Bruce Davis 2+ 1968-72 Los Angeles Charles Manson accomplice
Serial Killers who were Lesbians
Name # of People
Killed Year Killer's Home Location of Murders Notes
Magdalena Solis 8 1963 Monterey, Mexico Mexico
Aileen Wuornos 7+ 1989-90 south of Daytona, Florida Florida killed
Tyria Moore 7+ 1989-90 south of Daytona, Florida Florida killed male
Catherine Wood 6 Grand Rapids, MI Grand Rapids, MI nurse who killed
Gwen Graham 6 Grand Rapids, MI Grand Rapids, MI nurse who killed
Although incidents of serial killing are widely reported in the media
because of the heinous and unusual nature of these crimes, there are
actually very few serial killers relative to the general population.
Research into this phenomenon is ongoing, and a small industry has sprung up
around the practice of "profiling" serial killers in order to assist in
their apprehension. But, law enforcement officials agree that each serial
killer is unique. Society does not currently have sufficient knowledge to
predict serial killing before it occurs and thus prevent it from happening.
As stated above, serial killers and their victims include people from all
races, cultures, nationalities, economic background, educational levels,
genders, and sexual orientations. Because serial killers are so rare, it is
impossible to use any demographic indicator as a predictor. There are no
"rules" and all apparent trends have been broken. But some general
observations can be made.
Serial killers are nearly always men (93%). Furthermore, of the relatively
few female serial killers, one third of them worked in partnership with
In the United States, serial killers are predominantly white. This makes
sense statistically, because about 80% of the population is white. Whites,
however, are over-represented among serial killers. Although blacks are
over-represented among the persons convicted of murder in general, they are
under-represented among serial killers. Asians are also under-represented;
Asian serial-killers are extremely rare in the United States.
Although the proportion of serial killers who are known to have had
homosexual experience is high (43%), the total number of serial killers is
too small to make statistically relevant statements about whether
homosexuals are over- or under-represented among serial killers.
Also, it should be noted that many of the homosexual serial killers on this
list were not active members of the Gay & Lesbian cultural community. Some
homosexual serial killers were openly gay or lesbian. Some were closeted
Many of the most famous gay serial killers (e.g., Jeffrey Dahmer, Andrew
Cunanan, John Wayne Gacy, etc.) were homosexuals, but they became widely
known due to the nature of their crimes or the identities of their victims,
not because they in any way represent serial killers generally.
Given that the only between 1.5 and 3% of adults are homosexuals, there
would not need to be very many homosexuals among the total number of serial
killers for them to be over-represented. But with such small overall
numbers, and with no universally agreed upon definition of a homosexual, it
would be impossible to determine the relative frequency of homosexuals among
serial killers. Unlike gender and race (clearly ascertainable), there are no
physical or genetic tests for sexual orientation. It can only be determined
by behavior and self-identification.
Some serial killers engaged in sex with both males and females, which would
prompt some people to classify them as bisexuals. Some might classify their
status as a variant of homosexuality, a distinct classification, or
repressed homosexuality. Scientists and the GLBT community remain split over
the legitimacy and prevalence of "bisexuality." Some people believe it is
mostly non-existent, that ostensibly bisexual behavior is actually the
result of societal influence on homosexual individuals. Others believe that
bisexuality is the inherent normal sexual preference for all or nearly all
human beings, and that non-bisexual behavior is caused by societal
influence. Some believe that all or nearly all women are inherently
bisexual, but very few men are. Other people believe that bisexuality is a
distinct sexual identity. There is no physical evidence to support any of
these positions. Such distinctions are well beyond the scope of this list.
Suffice it say, all of the individuals listed here as "homosexual serial
killers" can be classified as homosexual in the generally used technical
sense. That is, they are individuals who initiate sex with somebody of the
same gender. (This is not necessarily the same thing as being Gay or
Lesbian. Nor is it the only possible definition of "homosexual." An
alternative to this behaviorally-based definition is one based on
self-described "orientation" or "preference.")
Homosexual serial killers have most frequently chosen young boys or gay men
as their victims, although some have victimized females as well. Most of the
killers have raped their victims either before or after killing them,
although in some cases they have killed after consensual homosexual sex.
There have been heterosexual serial killers who have targeted gay victims
(e.g., Colin Ireland), but this is very rare.
But more importantly, none of the serial killers listed here represent
typical homosexuals, who, like the general population, are almost never
involved in violent crime. The exact nature of each individual's feelings,
attitudes, and behavior with regards to sex is unique, in the general
population as well as among serial killers. Legally, all or nearly all of
the homosexual serial killers on this list would be considered sexual
deviants because of the extreme and violent nature of their acts -- not
simply because of their homosexual orientation. It must be emphasized that
violent sexual deviancy is exhibited by heterosexual serial killers as well.
a.. Homosexual Serial Murder Investigation, by Vernon J. Geberth, M.S.,
b.. Violence and Homosexuality - by Dr. Paul Cameron
c.. The aetiology of serial murder: towards an integrated model, by Edward
W. Mitchell, B.A. Hons, M.Phil. (University of Cambridge, UK). Includes
section on "Gender identity disorder, homosexuality, and sexual dysfunction"
d.. The process of criminal profiling as it pertains to serial killers, by
Susan Jones, Youngstown State University
e.. Gay and Lesbian Murderers from 1920s to Present - by Lori Weiner
Web page created 19 January 2001. Last modified 21 February 2001.