Can You Guess the Historical Serial Killer Based on Their Nickname?

The gruesome reputations of some repeat killers have led to unforgettable nicknames.
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We may never know the real name of the world’s most famous serial killer, but his nickname brings an immediate chill down the spine: Jack the Ripper cut a bloody path through London in the late 1800s, with five known victims and perhaps dozens more. His epithet comes from the particularly brutal and grisly manner in which he butchered his prey.

As with the Ripper, it’s typically the news media that grants killers a catchy nickname. See if you can match the serial offender to their morbid moniker.

Our fascination with serial killers may be as strong as ever, but misconceptions abound. We often think of killers as smart and cunning, for example, but IQ tests administered to captured offenders often reveal average or below-average intellect. It’s also a bit of a myth that killers can’t control their impulses: Some go years without committing crimes.

If all of that is of little comfort, you can take solace in the fact that the golden age of serial murder appears to be over. Roughly 770 serial killers were thought to be active in the 1970s and 1980s. Today, hardly any murders are attributed to this type of behavior. Only 30 cases in 2015 were thought to be the work of a serial killer. The decline is likely the result of increased awareness over high-risk behavior for victims (like hitchhiking) and surveillance cameras. Should you find yourself the subject of a podcast investigation, the culprit is likely to be someone you already know.

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