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4 Interesting Facts about Serial Killers for Halloween

If you’re like me, you spend hours binging Netflix’s dark, true crime documentaries featuring notorious crimes and infamous killers. Especially since it is the season for spooks and scares, it is the perfect time to dig up that strange obsession of sick criminals who plagued various communities, cities, and countries with their disturbing habits. If you are feeling self-conscious, do not worry. I also have this unhealthy fascination, but since it is October we get a pass. Thus, here are four riveting, yet curious facts about serial killers to spice up your schema of murderers and murderesses:   

John Wayne Gacy’s fumbled execution 

John Wayne Gacy, aka the “Killer Clown,” was charged with the death penalty after evidence proved that he murdered and sexually assaulted at least 33 boys and young men. However, there was a slight mistake made by the prison technicians that delayed his execution by ten minutes. Even though this may seem like a short and insignificant amount of time, this delay occurred when the second injection of the usual three clogged up and stopped flowing. The delay was fixed after the tube was quickly replaced, resulting in Gacy’s long-awaited death. A 1994 Chicago Tribune article describes Gacy’s almost-botched execution and the chemical mishap more in detail. You can find it here

Jeb Bush signed Aileen Wuornos’s death warrant

Aileen Wuornos was executed by lethal injection for murdering seven men in Florida while working as a sex-worker on the highways. Since she committed the crimes in Florida, the then Governor of Florida and later 2016 presidential candidate, Jeb Bush, issued her execution, according to a 2006 ABCNews article (link here). First, Bush commissioned a stay of execution to conduct tests examining her sanity and whether she understood her legal punishment. Later, after the tests were complete, Bush then lifted the stay of execution and signed her death warrant. Name a better duo. Oh, wait, you definitely can.

Ted Bundy’s mother pretended to be his sister

In the 1940s, single mothers were shamed and shunned from their community. Thus, when Eleanor Louise Cowell gave birth to her son, Ted Bundy, she decided to live with her parents to have some assistance in raising Bundy rather than caring for him alone. However, they also hid the scandal by raising Bundy to think that Cowell is his sister and his biological grandparents are his parents. Although how Bundy found out the truth is unclear, Bundy was crushed when he discovered that his sister is his biological mother. On the other hand, his father is still relatively unknown. If you are interested in more strange facts about Bundy’s childhood, the article on the website, Investigation Discovery, is the perfect place to go (link here).

After being charged with killing 110 girls, Pedro Lopez only served 14 years in prison

Pedro Lopez, also known as the “Monster of the Andes,” confessed to killing at least 300 people across Peru, Ecuador and Columbia, but was only convicted of 110 murders after a flash flood helped uncover his mass grave. Due to Ecuador’s laws, Lopez could only be sentenced a maximum of 16 years in prison, yet he still was released two years early on “good behavior.” Thus, his total prison sentence was 14 years before Ecuador deported him to Columbia. In Columbia, he was declared insane and institutionalized for two years when the Columbian government attempted to convict him for a past, murder-related cold case. After he was released from the psychiatric institution, Lopez vanished into complete air. Where he is and his whereabouts are currently unknown. Good luck sleeping tonight, because I won’t.

From the Killer Clown to the Monster of the Andes, I hope these four niche facts not only fascinated you, but also allowed for the early Halloween vibes to creep into your mind. Now, I am not sure if I can ever look at Jeb Bush without thinking of Aileen Wuornos, the “Damsel of Distress.” At least with this knowledge, a new party trick for your socially-distanced Halloween parties can be naming weird serial killer facts and pray people are not weirded out by this talent.

Emma Blunt

Wisconsin '23

Emma is a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin-Madison studying journalism with a focus in strategic communication, political science, and a certificate in business. She was born and raised in Houston, Texas and would die for the Astros. She hopes to attend law school after graduation.
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