10 Infamous Serial Killers Who Were Never Caught


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In an era where we eat true-crime documentaries and podcasts for breakfast, our fascination with the macabre and mysterious has reached new heights. Yet, as riveting as it is to follow the twisted narratives of serial killers on screen, the unsettling reality is that some of these predators were never caught in real life. The unresolved cases of these elusive killers continue to haunt law enforcement and intrigue the public, serving as chilling reminders that sometimes justice isn’t served.

Here are 10 cases of notorious serial killers throughout history who were never apprehended by police — and some could still be on the loose.

Image Credit: Cheapism / DALL-E 3.

1. Jack the Ripper

  • Location: London 
  • Victims: At least 5
  • Timeframe: 1888

Jack the Ripper terrorized the Whitechapel district of London by brutally murdering and mutilating at least five women, all of whom were prostitutes. Despite numerous suspects and a frenzy of media coverage, his true identity remains unknown. The Ripper’s gruesome methods and taunting letters to Britain’s police have cemented him as one of history’s most infamous and terrifying killers.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

2. The Zodiac Killer

  • Location: Northern California 
  • Victims: 5 confirmed, possibly up to 37
  • Timeframe: Late 1960s to early 1970s

The Zodiac Killer’s cryptic letters and ciphers, which were sent to newspapers, taunted police and the public alike. His known attacks targeted young couples in remote areas, but his penchant for publicity left a far wider trail of terror. Despite numerous theories and extensive investigations, his identity remains a mystery.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

3. The Monster of Florence

  • Location: Florence, Italy
  • Victims: 16
  • Timeframe: 1968-1985

This unidentified killer targeted couples in parked cars and would use a Beretta handgun and a knife to commit his brutal slayings. Despite multiple arrests and various theories — including the involvement of a satanic cult — the true identity of the Monster of Florence has never been confirmed by Italian police. 

Image Credit: Wikipedia Commons.

4. The Chicago Tylenol Poisoner

  • Location: Chicago 
  • Victims: 7
  • Timeframe: 1982

This twisted killer’s method was unconventional and particularly insidious. He would tamper with Tylenol bottles by lacing them with cyanide. The resulting deaths led to nationwide panic and the eventual overhaul of packaging standards.

In 1982, a man named James Lewis, who had long been a suspect in the case, was arrested and sentenced to 12 years in prison. Though Lewis was convicted for extortion related to the Tylenol murders, no direct evidence has linked him to the poisonings themselves. Lewis died in 2023. 

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5. The Servant Girl Annihilator (Also Known as The Austin Ax Murderer)

  • Location: Austin, Texas 
  • Victims: At least 8
  • Timeframe: 1884-1885

This early American serial killer targeted African-American servant girls, often by attacking them in their sleep with an ax. The brutal nature of the crimes and the racial dynamics of the period added layers of complexity to the case, which remains unsolved despite various suspects and theories circulating throughout the years.

Image Credit: MediaFeed / DALL-E 3.

6. The West Mesa Bone Collector

  • Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico 
  • Victims: 11
  • Timeframe: Discovered in 2009 (crimes likely occurred earlier)

In 2009, a mass grave containing the remains of 11 women and an unborn child were discovered on Albuquerque’s West Mesa. Most of the victims were involved in drugs and prostitution. Despite extensive investigations, no clear suspect has been identified, leaving a panicked community reeling and the case’s trail running cold. The moniker “bone collector” evokes the gruesome nature of the crimes by emphasizing the killer’s method of disposing of bodies in a remote desert.

Image Credit: West Mesa, Albuquerque by Clinton Steeds (CC BY).

7. The Babysitter Killer (Also Known as The Oakland County Child Killer)

  • Location: Oakland County, Michigan  
  • Victims: 4 confirmed, possibly more
  • Timeframe: 1976-1977

This sinister killer targeted children, abducting and murdering at least four between the ages of 10 and 12. The meticulous care with which the bodies were washed and dressed before being left in public places added a bone-chilling element to the crimes. Despite extensive efforts by law enforcement, the killer was never caught.

Image Credit: Wikipedia Commons.

8. The Freeway Phantom

  • Location: Washington, D.C.
  • Victims: 6
  • Timeframe: 1971-1972

This sadistic killer targeted young Black girls, abducting and murdering six victims over a year and a half. The bodies were left by the roadside, and the second-to-last victim was found with a disturbing note taunting the police. Despite a hefty reward and extensive investigations by D.C. police, the killer has never been identified​. 

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

9. The Colonial Parkway Killer

  • Location: Virginia
  • Victims: 8
  • Timeframe: 1986-1989

This killer targeted couples and would often attack them in their cars along the Colonial Parkway. The victims showed no signs of robbery or sexual assault, leading to theories about the killer possibly being a police officer or someone posing as one. Despite numerous theories and suspects, the killer’s identity remains unknown. 

In January 2024, Virginia State police linked Alan Wade Wilmer Sr. (a dead fisherman) to three of the crimes via DNA testing. However, the other murders remain unsolved. 

Image Credit: Depositphotos.com.

10. The Highway of Tears Murderer(s)

  • Location: British Columbia, Canada
  • Victims: 18 confirmed, possibly more than 30
  • Timeframe: 1989-2006

Numerous women, mostly Indigenous, have gone missing or been found murdered along this stretch of highway. The cases are believed to involve multiple killers, but the majority remain unsolved. Racism and lack of resources have been cited as factors hindering the investigations​ of these bone-chilling murders. 

This story was produced and syndicated by MediaFeed.

Image Credit: Highway of Tears by Renegade98 (None).

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