Jack the Ripper, the Strangler of Boston, the Vampire of Düsseldorf … terrifying nicknames that perfectly describe very different individuals, but who have at least two similarities: they were all real worst serial killers, and their life has been taken to the movies. If you are eating or have a sensitive heart, do not keep reading. What you are going to see next is a compendium of human evil elevated to its maximum potential. Come on; this is not ‘ Bambi.’ Or maybe yes, given the tragic childhood antecedents of the fawn. The loss of the mother at a young age can be one of the factors to become one of the serial killers that star in the following films.
Message from worst serial killers
The serial killer is not the same as the mass murderer. To be listed as such, the first kill at least three people in a month or more, leaving a cooling period between each crime. Keep killing, because it produces psychological satisfaction. The second also harvests many lives but does so in a very short time. In this article, you will see many movies about criminals in the first group. Continue reading: The 27 best animated films in history
The Butcher of Rostov
The villain of ‘The boy 44’ is based on Andrei Chikatilo, aka the Butcher of Rostov. However, the film is set in the 50s, decades before the real character was released. With sexual impotence, he repeatedly stabbed his victims until they reached orgasm. Then he dismembered them and, sometimes, practiced cannibalism. Of course, without the culinary sophistication of Hannibal Lecter.
No one could believe that the person responsible for these crimes was a father, a husband, and an exemplary communist. But that was just the facade of a man disturbed from his childhood, when he was continually ridiculed for wetting himself in bed, for his helplessness and for looking bad.
It’s not the first time they made a movie about him. In 1995, ‘ Citizen X ‘ was recorded for television, with Stephen Rea, Donald Sutherland and Max von Sydow in his cast of actors.
Jack the Ripper
If there is a serial killer who has played a leading role in the movies, it has been Jack the Ripper, also known as the Whitechapel Killer or Leather Mandil. In his favor, he has the aura of mystery that surrounds him because he was never arrested. Thus, every so often a film is shot to give a hypothesis about the murderer of five prostitutes in one of the most depressed and depressing districts of London in 1888.
One of the best-known versions is ‘Desde el Infierno,’ a free adaptation of the acclaimed graphic novel of the same name written by Alan Moore. In it, Johnny Depp is an inspector from Scotland Yard, an opium fan, who tries to catch the elusive assassin who strangled, beheaded and mutilated all his victims. Three of them also extracted various organs, which showed that he knew anatomy. He must have been a doctor or a butcher.
The police pale before the cruelty of the crimes of Jack the Ripper
Look, I warned him not to look. This rookie is going to throw the porridge in three, two …
Ian Holm, known for playing the affable Bilbo Baggins, and older, in the trilogies of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and ‘The Hobbit,’ exhibited a different record as the disturbing Jack the Ripper in that film. Other Hollywood stars such as Peter O’Toole and Klaus Kinski have also brought to life the legendary killer of prostitutes in the East End.
Interestingly, the cinema has allowed Sherlock Holmes, literary character contemporary of the criminal, has been able to confront it. He never did it in novels, but he did in several films like ‘Study of terror’ or ‘Murder by decree.’ In the latter, Christopher Plummer, the well-known Captain Von Trap of ‘Sonrisas y lágrimas,’ plays the detective and James Mason, of Dr. Watson.
The last confrontation between Sherlock and Jack came with ‘ Holmes & Watson. Madrid days ‘, directed by José Luis Garci. He has a cameo by Alberto Ruiz Gallardón, former mayor of Madrid and former Minister of Justice, playing an ancestor of his, Isaac Albéniz. The politician looks for the occasion a bushy beard, which hides his face, but does not make him unrecognizable. An exotic touch for a strange film.
The Vampire of Düsseldorf
With this name, it seems impossible that Peter Kürten, the next serial killer, existed in real life. But he did. He shared with Count Dracula that he drank the blood of his victims. Also, undoubtedly, a black heart that drove him to drown, with nine years, two friends of his in the Rhine. It was the beginning of the criminal career of a guy, the result of a family where mistreatment and rape were common.
The suspect of being the Vampire of Düsseldorf looks in the mirror
Tell me, mirror, will I be the serial killer? Will I be the Vampire of Düsseldorf?
During five years, between 1925 and 1930, this German had in check the city of Düsseldorf with a series of brutal crimes, in which the victims were girls or women. The nightmare ended in 1931 when he was guillotined accused of at least nine murders. That same year, the director Fritz Lang premiered ‘ M, the vampire of Düsseldorf,’ which deals with the hunting of this killer and is one of his best works.
The Zodiac Killer
Like Jack the Ripper, this serial killer was never caught, which has fueled his legend in the United States, where he carried out his crimes between 1968 and 1969.
The nickname was put to himself after writing letters to several newspapers in San Francisco, the area where he left the trail of corpses. He chose his victims at random and ended his life well with a firearm or with a knife.
The movie ‘ Zodiac,’ by David Fincher, shows the efforts of Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, and Robert Downey Jr to catch the killer. The first interprets the role of the cartoonist of a newspaper; the second gives life to a police inspector and the third a journalist. To decipher the messages of Zodiac, the last two would have liked the help of JARVIS, the operating system of Tony Stark that helps them in several films about ‘ The Avengers ‘ of Marvel.
The villain of ‘Harry the Dirty’ is also inspired by the Zodiac Killer, although in the film starring Clint Eastwood was renamed Scorpio, one of the zodiac signs. Among the notable changes concerning the original story is the outcome of the case. The assassin received a lethal dose of lead from the powerful Magnum 44 of Inspector Callahan, who did not miss any suspects.
Harry the Dirty points his Magnum 44 at Scorpio, a dangerous criminal
Inspector Callahan wants to prescribe six XL-size lead tablets to Scorpio. Albert DeSalvo is the name of the alleged murderer of 13 women in Boston. Although he confessed to the crimes, the police believe that they were the work of more than one person and that DeSalvo was awarded the authorship of all because he was looking for fame. In fact, DNA exculpates him in more than one death. In ‘The Boston Strangler’, Tony Curtis performed brilliantly as DeSalvo, the disturbing normal man with double life. Like also: How is Demi Lovato?
Another celluloid star, Richard Attenborough, played another well-known serial killer: John Reginald Christie. The English actor captured perfectly the manipulative character of his compatriot, who killed seven women and a girl in the number 10 of Rillington Place and hid the corpses around the house. Years later he moved, and the new tenant found the corpses to reform the kitchen. In the end, Christie was hanged.
Not only men can be serial killers. You only have to see Aileen Wuornos, an American prostitute who killed seven men for a year. This woman lived a hell during her childhood at the hands of her pedophile father and her alcoholic grandfather. They both abused her. When one of his clients did the same to him, Wuornos killed him and began his macabre series of murders.
Charlize Theron is scary as the serial killer Aileen Wuornos
I do not know any country called “what.” Do you speak my language in “what”? Say “what” once more. I dare you.
The beautiful South African actress Charlize Theron won an Oscar with ‘Monster’ when playing the role of Wuornos. The make-up work to make her look as good was as commendable as her performance. Christina Ricci made her partner, the person who betrayed the murderer and sent her to death row.
More movies of serial killers
Jeremy Renner, currently a fashion actor, played the Milwaukee Butcher in ‘Dahmer.’ A serial killer who killed homosexuals and then ate parts of his body and kept others like skulls. His biography is scary.
In ‘Karla,’ Misha Collins and Laura Prepon form an ideal couple in the eyes of their neighbors, although in reality Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka were two sadistic murderers. Together they tortured and killed three teenagers, including Karla’s little sister. And they recorded it. Years later, the woman took revenge for the ill-treatment suffered in her marriage by testifying against her husband. Thanks to that, he obtained a reduction of the sentence.
‘ Romasanta ‘ is a Spanish contribution to the cinema about serial killers. He treats very freely the story of Manuel Blanco Romasanta, a street vendor who murdered nine people at least in Galician forests in the 19th century. Then he ate the corpses because he claimed that he became a werewolf and the beast dominated him.
Elsa Pataky in a scene from Romasanta
Henry Désiré Landru was an unscrupulous murderer who in the France of the First World War dedicated himself to marry wealthy widows, whom he later killed to keep his fortune. 11 crimes guillotined the Blue Beard of Gambais, but he was able to kill more than a hundred women. The movie ‘Landrú’ is about this evil character, who lived with all kinds of luxuries thanks to his crimes.
In “The corridor of death,” director Oliver Stone, James Woods gave life to the violent Carl Panzram, rapist and murderer of men and women. A thief from a very young age, he suffered abuses in different correctional facilities, which later influenced his hatred towards the human race in general. He acknowledged killing 21 men, but the figure could be higher.
The Leonardo DiCaprio project that vanished
In his eagerness to get the Oscar for Best Leading Actor, Leonardo DiCaprio through the gauntlet to a project to take to the cinema the macabre work of the bloodthirsty Henry Howard Holmes, although then the film was not shot. Holmes built a hotel for the Universal Exposition of Chicago in 1893 where he was able to perpetrate according to criminologists about two hundred murders.
The hotel of terror had secret passages to access the rooms, systems to pump lethal gas or sleeping pills to the occupants of those rooms and hidden slides to take the bodies to the basement. In the basement of the hotel had a torture chamber and a crematorium, plus buckets with sulfuric acid or lime to eliminate the tests. The gallows was the reward for his laborious work as a serial killer.
Ed Gein, the terror, personified, but not a serial killer
With only two crimes to his credit, Ed Gein cannot properly be considered a serial killer. However, his eerie work has been a source of inspiration for some of the best-known film serial killers: Norman Bates, Buffalo Bill and Leatherface. How is it possible if the three look very different criminals?
The answer lies in what was found in his house: a real horror museum. If I were you, I would not continue reading the atrocities Gein made with the bodies of his two victims and the many corpses he unearthed. I preferred to forget it now that I know. But if you want to continue reading the last paragraph, go ahead.
Gein, whose mental trauma was produced in part by the obsessive influence of his mother. Also had furniture upholstered with human skin and also lampshades with the same raw material, a nipple belt, a shoebox made with vaginas, dishes made with skulls, a necklace of lips, masks of human skin. Vomitive, but I warned you, and the one who warns is not a worst serial killers traitor.