10 States With the Most Serial Killers

By PropertyClub Team
May 17th 2024
The chilling phenomenon of serial killers continues to captivate and terrify us. While their motives and methods vary, understanding where these acts occur most frequently can offer valuable insights. This blog delves into the ten states within the US that have witnessed the highest number of serial killings.

hash-mark10 States With the Most Serial Killers

  1. New York
  2. California
  3. Texas
  4. Illinois 
  5. Ohio
  6. Indiana
  7. Louisiana
  8. Pennsylvania
  9. Georgia
  10. Kentucky

hash-mark1. New York

New York, known for its bustling streets and vibrant culture, holds a dark distinction as the state with the most serial killers in the United States. Among them, 18 serial killers, with 12 hailing from New York City alone, have left a chilling mark, claiming a total of 677 victims. 

One notorious figure, David Berkowitz, dubbed the "Son of Sam," haunted the city in the 1970s. Berkowitz, a New York City native and former U.S. Army soldier, struck fear into the hearts of New Yorkers using a .44 Special caliber Bulldog revolver, taking six lives and injuring seven others by July 1977. 

Another grim presence, Joel Rifkin, received a staggering 203-year prison sentence for the murders of nine women between 1989 and 1993, although suspicions linger that he may have been responsible for up to 17 deaths.

hash-mark2. California

California, known for its sunny beaches and vibrant cities, also has a darker side. Ranking second among states with the most serial killers in the US, it has been home to 15 notorious serial killers, with a staggering total of 1,777 victims. 

Among them is the infamous Zodiac Killer, who operated in Northern California in the late 1960s, leaving behind cryptic messages that puzzled investigators for decades. Another notorious figure is the "Night Stalker," Richard Ramirez, who terrorized Los Angeles with at least 13 murders. 

Additionally, the "Golden State Killer," Joseph James DeAngelo, committed a string of crimes including 13 murders, 51 rapes, and 120 burglaries across California in the 1970s and 1980s. Despite its beautiful landscapes, California's history is also marked by these chilling crimes.

If you would like to move to California and safety is your top priority, check out the safest cities in California.

hash-mark3. Texas

Texas, ranking 3rd among states with the most serial killers in the US, has a grim history entwined with heinous crimes. The state witnessed the atrocities of 8 notorious serial killers, resulting in a staggering 984 victims falling prey to their malevolent acts. Notably, Dean Arnold Corll, an American serial killer and sex offender, instilled fear by abducting, raping, torturing, and mercilessly murdering at least 28 teenage boys and young men between 1970 and 1973 in Houston and Pasadena, Texas. Adding to Texas' dark narrative, Genene Jones, known as 

hash-mark4. Illinois

Illinois has a noteworthy history when it comes to serial killers, ranking fourth among the states with the highest number of serial killers in the US. The state has been home to 7 serial killers, leading to a total of 680 victims. 

One infamous figure is John Wayne Gacy, known as “The Killer Clown,” who was convicted in 1980 of 33 murders and various sex crimes spanning from 1972 to 1978, ultimately receiving the death penalty. Another notorious serial killer, Herman Webster Mudgett, also known as H. H. Holmes, built a chilling 

hash-mark5. Ohio

Ohio, ranking fifth among the states with the most serial killers in the US, has a chilling history. Home to 7 serial killers and a total of 505 victims, the state has seen notorious figures such as Anthony Edward Sowell, also known as The Cleveland Strangler or The Imperial Avenue Murderer, convicted in 2011 for the brutal murders of 11 women. Their bodies were tragically discovered at his Cleveland home in 2009. 

Another infamous serial killer in Ohio is Shawn Michael Grate, who received a death sentence for the murders of five young women between 2006 and 2016 across northern Ohio. These dark chapters in Ohio's history serve as stark reminders of the realities within our society.

hash-mark6. Indiana

Indiana, ranking sixth among the states with the most serial killers in the US, has had a haunting history with 6 serial killers and a total of 349 victims. 

Notably, Herbert Richard Baumeister, an American businessman and suspected serial killer, topped the list. His property revealed the skeletal remains of 11 missing young men from the Indiana gay community in June 1996, prompting Baumeister to end his own life before being charged. Another infamous figure is Belle Gunness, also known as Hell's Belle, a Norwegian-American serial killer active in Indiana from 1884 to 1908.

hash-mark7. Louisiana

Louisiana, a state in the southern United States, is known for its vibrant culture, delicious cuisine, and rich history. However, it also holds a grim statistic, ranking 7th among states with the most serial killers in the US. Home to 6 serial killers, Louisiana has seen a total of 344 victims of these heinous crimes. 

Among the infamous figures, Samuel Little stands out, confessing to the murder of 93 people, mostly women, between 1970 and 2005. Another chilling presence is Ronald Joseph Dominique, also known as The Bayou Strangler, who terrorized Louisiana by murdering at least 23 men and boys between 1997 and 2006. Despite these dark shadows, Louisiana remains a place of resilience and strength, with its communities coming together to overcome adversity.

hash-mark8. Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania ranks 8th among states with the most serial killers. It is home to 5 serial killers who have collectively claimed 462 victims. 

One notorious case is that of Gary Michael Heidnik, a murderer and serial rapist who held six women captive in a self-dug pit in his basement floor in Philadelphia. Another well-known serial killer from Pennsylvania is Harvey Miguel Robinson, who committed his crimes at the age of 18 and is currently on death row.

hash-mark9. Georgia

Georgia, the penultimate state on our list of states with the most serial killers in the US, is home to four serial killers and has a total of 409 serial killer victims. Among its infamous residents are Wayne Bertram Williams and Paul John Knowles. 

Williams, a convicted murderer and suspected serial killer, is serving life imprisonment for the 1981 killings of two men in Atlanta, Georgia. Knowles, also known as the "Casanova Killer," went on a murderous spree in 1974, claiming at least 18 lives.

hash-mark10. Kentucky

Kentucky, known for its rolling hills and bourbon distilleries, wraps up our list of states with the most serial killers in the US. It's home to 4 serial killers, including Michael Andrew Abner, who is believed to have killed at least three different people in Somerset, Kentucky. 

Edward Edwards, a Louisville, Kentucky man, was sentenced to death after admitting to killing his 25-year-old foster son in 1996 for $250,000 in life insurance. 

Another infamous serial killer from Kentucky is Robert Carl Foley. He was sentenced to death on September 23, 1993, in Laurel County for the murders of two brothers, Rodney and Lynn Vaughn, during an argument at his residence on August 17, 1991, in Madison County. Overall, Kentucky has a total of 212 serial killer victims.

hash-markSerial Killing Statistics by State



Serial Killers

Serial Killer Victims


New York