THE TOP TEN Killers & Murderers in World History
Nobody can say for sure what causes a person to kill. It could be a hereditary mental instability, ideals learned at a young age, or just situational experiences. Some of the most deadly killers in history were mob enforcers and some military men, but most were psychopathic serial or spree murderers. The most heinous crime an individual can commit is taking the life of another. Most murders are based around revenge, money, and deception, but a serial killer is a different type of beast. There are countless horrible killing sprees in modern history, which made it difficult to select only ten cases. Here is a list of the events surrounding ten of the most deadly killers in world history. Note that I tried to select some less commonly known cases and you won't find infamous killers like Ted Bundy and Jack the Ripper on this list. Check out my website with other Top 10 lists at
Nobody can say for sure what causes a person to kill. It could be a hereditary mental instability, ideals learned at a young age, or just situational experi...  more


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Richard Kuklinski - Kuklinski was born in the projects of Jersey City, New Jersey. He had a hard upbringing and faced metal and physical abuse from his parents. When he was very young his older brother was killed by his father. Richard used to torture animals as a child and committed his first murder when he was 14-years-old. He ambushed a local bully and beat him to death. By his mid-20’s Kuklinski earned the reputation of being a dangerous street hustler, who would fight or kill those who offended him. During this time he became associated with the Gambino crime family through local friend Roy DeMeo. The relationship started when DeMeo ordered Gambino to kill an innocent man at random, which Kuklinski did. He became the #1 contract killer for the biggest crime family in the world. Richard Kuklinski killed numerous people, either by gun, strangulation, knife, or poisoning. He favored the use of cyanide as it killed quickly and was hard to detect in toxicology tests. Kuklinski claims to have murdered over 200 men in his lifetime. He was arrested in 1986 and put on trial for murder under evidence recovered from undercover agents. He died in a secure wing at St. Francis Medical Center in Trenton, New Jersey. The death has been ruled suspicious as Richard was set to testify against former Gambino crime family underboss Sammy Gravano, claiming he ordered him to murder New York Police Department Detective Peter Calabro.



Friedrich Leibacher - Leibacher was born in Zug, Switzerland in 1944. He was frequently unemployed in business, had several failed marriages, and was convicted of fraud, public obscenity, and obscene acts with children. He spent some time in prison and later was diagnosed with a personality disorder and alcoholism. He had mental illness and began to believe that he was a target in a government conspiracy. On September 27, 2001, which is only sixteen days after the terrorist attacks on The World Trade Centers, Leibacher entered the Zug Parliament disguised as a police officer and armed with a pistol, a pump-action shotgun, and a rifle. He made his way into the Parliament chamber and began firing randomly into the room. Many politicians and journalists were seriously injured. He fired around 100 shots killing 14 members of the Zug canton Parliament and injuring 18 others. During the attack Leibacher detonated a bomb and then committed suicide. It was shocking and the assault was the first of its kind in Switzerland. It was truly one of the Canton of Zug’s unhappiest days and security measures have been changed and upgraded since the massacre.



Harold Shipman - Shipman was a British general practitioner who graduated from Leeds School of Medicine in 1970. He is one of the most prolific known serial killers in world history and there is evidence to support a total of 218 murders. In March of 1998 co-workers expressed concerns about the high death rate of Shipman’s patients. An investigation found that he was murdering his patients by administering an overdose of the drug diamorphine. He was also signing patients’ death certificates and then forging medical records indicating that the patients had been in poor health before they died. This man killed a lot of people and became the only person in British history to be found guilty of murdering his patients. It was discovered that over 80% of his victims were elderly woman. Shipman was sentenced to life in prison and ended up hanging himself in 2004.



Gerard John Schaefer - Schaefer was raised in Atlanta, Georgia and eventually moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. As a child he was a peeping tom, had many weird sexual obsessions, would cross dress, and often kill animals. He was a smart man and had an IQ in the range of 130. In the 1960’s, Schaefer became a police officer in the state of Florida and went on a killing spree murdering over thirty young woman and girls. In July of 1972 Schaefer picked up two teenage girls in his police cruiser, they were hitchhiking. He kidnapped them, took them to some remote woods, and tied them up to two trees. He threatened to kill the girls or sell them into prostitution. However, he received a call on his police radio and left the scene vowing to return. The girls escaped and went to the local police station where they identified the killer cop. He was charged with false imprisonment and assault and served one year in jail. Sometime later two girl’s bodies were found tied to a tree and Schaefer was instantly a suspect. After a search of his home, enough evidence was found to convict him of the murders. In 1973, he was found guilty of murder and sentences to two life sentences. Twenty-two years later he was stabbed to death in his cell.



Jimmy Moody - Jimmy Moody was a British gangster and one of the most feared men of the last 100 years. He was the #1 hitman in the world of organized crime for a long time. He is noted for numerous run-ins with famous gangsters, including Jack Spot, Billy Hill, "Mad" Frankie Fraser, the Krays, the Richardsons and the Provisional IRA. Moody was the enforcer for the Richardsons and did deadly freelance work for the Krays. In the 1970’s Moody and some other organized criminals formed The Chainsaw Gang, which went on to become one of the most successful and ruthless armed group of bandits of the era. After two prison stints Moody decided to become a member of the IRA. His deadly skills were soon being showcased and he became a secret deadly assassin for the Provos'. He was so feared by Northern Ireland that the Thatcher government put a three-man hit squad on his tail. There is no saying how many people he murdered, but his enemy list was extensive on both sides of the water. Jimmy Moody was killed in March 1997 at the Royal Hotel in Hackney, East London by an unknown assailant. He remains one of the most legendary assassins in English history.



Simo Häyhä - Simo Häyhä was a Finnish soldier and sniper during the Winter War of 1939, when the Soviet Union invaded and attacked Finland. Using only a standard iron-sighted, bolt action rifle he worked as a sniper and recorded more kills then any soldier in any other major war. He was credited with 505 confirmed deaths. With temperatures extremely cold and snowy Häyhä would dress in all white, set a perch, and wait for the enemy to come. He had many important skills that helped him become so deadly. Häyhä preferred to use iron sights rather than telescopic sights, as they present a smaller target and aid in concealment. He would also compact the snow in front of him, so that it would not be disturbed when he fired a shot. He would occasionally keep snow in his mouth, so that he would not disturb his position when breathing. The Soviet government tried desperately to get rid of him and ordered counter snipers and artillery strikes in the area. In 1940, he was shot in the jaw and severely injured during combat, but made it through the war and was quickly promoted to second lieutenant. Häyhä ended up living until age 97. It should be noted that Simo Häyhä is different from many of the entries on this list as he was in a war and his nation was under attack. His defense and reckoning was necessary, unlike many murderers on this list.



Seung-Hui Cho - Seung-Hui Cho was born in Seoul, South Korea and immigrated to the United States when he was 8-years-old. As a child Cho was thought to have mental illness and was extremely quiet, sinful, and would never physically embrace anyone. In high school, Cho was placed in special education classes under the classification of “emotional disturbance.” Around 7:15 a.m. on April 16, 2007 Seung-Hui Cho murdered two students in West Ambler Johnston Hall, a high-rise co-educational dormitory on the campus of Virginia Tech University. Two and a half hours later Cho crossed the campus and found Norris Hall. He put chains on the doors, locked them, and then entered various classrooms and began shooting and murdering the students and teachers. He killed 30 people and wounded 25 others in Norris Hall. The massacre is the deadliest peacetime shooting incident by a single gunman in United States history. It directly led to the passage of the first major federal gun control measure in more than 13 years. Seung-Hui Cho was an extremely mentally disturbed and cowardly individual who decided to take the lives of 32 innocent souls. After the tragedy, the national media and many state governments insisted on increasing security measures in many educational facilities all over the country.



Thomas Watt Hamilton - Hamilton was born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1952. He was adopted at an early age, but seemed to be a quiet, but normal child. However something was terribly wrong with this man and on March 13, 1996 he entered the Dunblane Primary School and killed sixteen students and one teacher. He also injured fifteen people. He used two 9 mm Browning HP pistols and two Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum revolvers. He had an altering combination of full metal jacket and hollow point ammunition. Upon gaining entry to the school Hamilton immediately made his way to the gym and opened fire on a class of five and six-year-olds. The majority of the victims in this horrible crime were these young children. Hamilton made his way onto the playground where he fired some more random shots and eventually committed suicide. It has become known as the Dunblane massacre and Hamilton’s exact motives are still not clear. This attack remains the single deadliest targeted mass murder of children in the long history of the United Kingdom.



9. William Calley - Calley was born in Miami, Florida and had a normal childhood. After completing large amounts of training he was named Second Lieutenant of Infantry for the United States military in 1967. He was not highly regarded as a platoon leader and was disliked by many soldiers. On March 16, 1968 the My Lai Massacre occurred in South Vietnam. U.S. Army forces conducted a mass murder of over 500 unarmed citizens. The majority of which were woman, children, and elderly people. Many of the victims were sexually abused, beaten, tortured, and some of the bodies were found mutilated. William Calley was charged with ordering 26 men to kill everyone in the village. He was also involved in carrying out the murder and faced serious war crime charges. In 1971, Calley was convicted of premeditated murder of Vietnamese citizens and sentenced to life in prison. Although, he was pardoned by President Nixon on two separate occasions and was only incarcerated for three years. Many feel Calley was being used as a scapegoat for the event, but it clearly was one of the most horrible massacres in modern history.



John Allen Muhammad - Muhammad was born in New Orleans, Louisiana and enlisted in the National Guard at a young age. He then became part of the U.S. Army and was explicitly trained as a mechanic, truck driver, and specialist metalworker. He was also a qualified expert with the M16, which is the Army's standard infantry rifle. He was ranked in the highest three levels of marksmanship. Muhammad was discharged from the military in 1994 and turned to a life of crime, often engaging in credit card and immigration document fraud activities. For a three week period in October of 2002 Muhammad terrorized people in the Washington D.C. area with his Bushmaster XM-15 semiautomatic .223 caliber rifle, equipped with a red-dot sight. The weapon had ranges of between 50 and over 100 yards. Using a small hole strategically placed in the trunk of his car Muhammad and his accomplice Lee Boyd Malvo shot and killed eleven people and critically injured three others. It was a terrorizing time for people living in this area of the United States, as men, woman, and children were being murdered at random. After three weeks, investigators closed in on the two suspects and arrested them at a rest stop with the murder weapon in the trunk.


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