Who is the most depraved serial killer of all time? That’s a tough question to answer. For starters, how do we define “serial killer?” Hitler killed 6 million people, but not DIRECTLY. How about gang members on the Mexican drug cartels, the ones who’ve notched up major body counts? These aren’t the sorts that come to mind for most people when they hear the words “serial killer.” What we really mean by the term, as it was coined by FBI profiler Robert Ressler, is a SEXUAL serial killer. Not that all their crimes necessarily involve sex acts. The true serial killer does what he does not for monetary gain or to gain power, but simply for the ENJOYMENT he gets out of it. He LIKES killing. Who, then, if we define the words by these criteria, is the worst?
It’s still a tough question to answer. There are a lot of really sadistic, bloodthirsty monsters to consider. There’s a scale of evil now, developed by Columbia University professor Michael Stone, a forensic psychologist, and it goes all the way up to 22. There are still a lot of 22s on the books. So is Carl Panzram, profiled in this linked-to article, really the worst? What do you think?