How These Notorious Serial Killers Really Got Caught

Parents might tell their kids monsters don’t
exist, but serial killers sure do. And while no one’s managed to catch the Boogie
Man in the middle of boogying, plenty of serial killers have been caught through the years. Here’s how several notorious murderers were
finally stopped. Richard Ramirez had a lot of creepy names,
but the name that really stuck was “The Night Stalker.” From 1984 to 1985, the Night Stalker broke
into homes across Los Angeles and murdered everyone in the house. He terrified an entire city, and his reign
of terror came to a halt thanks to an unlikely hero: 13-year-old James Romero. It was a hot, dark, August evening when the
boy saw the Night Stalker in his backyard. Realizing he’d been spotted, Ramirez drove
off in an orange Toyota, which the boy described to police. A few days later, police found the abandoned
car and lifted a fingerprint. Ramirez’s file was already in the system thanks
to an earlier theft, and his photo was plastered all over the state. Ramirez didn’t immediately realize his identity
had been discovered, and when he finally saw his face on the front of a newspaper he tried
stealing a car to get out of town. He was in East LA, though, and the people
of East L.A. don’t take kindly to carjackers. Angry neighbors chased Ramirez down the street
and beat him up. Ramirez died in 2013 from lymphoma after sitting
on death row for almost two decades. Most famous serial killers end up behind bars,
but there are a few who have escaped. For a while, it looked like the Golden State
Killer had done exactly that. California was gripped by terror in the 1970s
and ’80s, fueled by the unpredictable violence of a serial killer haunting the state. This notorious serial killer would ultimately
be linked to 13 murders and at least 50 sexual assaults across California, but continued
to evade capture. One reason was because, at that time, DNA
evidence was still decades in the future. Flash forward to the 21st century, when California
authorities decided to run some of the killer’s DNA against profiles on a genealogy website
called GEDmatch. And that’s when they found a partial match,
which meant they’d stumbled across someone related to the Golden State Killer. From there, it was only a matter of time before
the police ended up on the doorstep of Joseph James DeAngelo, a 72-year-old ex-cop whose
DNA was an exact match for the man who’d terrorized California for so long. Jeffrey Dahmer is one of the country’s most
notorious serial killers, who was ultimately connected to 17 murders. He was able to avoid capture for a long time,
until, that is, he picked up Tracy Edwards. Once Dahmer had Edwards back at his apartment
under the guise of posing for photos, the killer slapped handcuffs on his victim and
pulled out a knife. Then, he started watching The Exorcist III,
of all things. While Dahmer was distracted watching the movie,
Edwards bashed him over the head and escaped. He quickly found some cops, showed them the
cuffs, and asked for help. Together, the two officers and Edwards went
back to Dahmer’s apartment, and that’s where they caught a glimpse of some grisly photos. The officers grabbed Dahmer, cuffed him, and
searched the rest of the apartment. They found much, much more than just photos,
including severed heads, barrels of decomposing remains, evidence of cannibalism, and traces
of 11 victims. In a bizarre footnote, Edwards’s role in bringing
Dahmer to justice put him in the national spotlight, and he was recognized as a wanted
sex offender in Mississippi. In 2011, he was charged for another crime:
throwing a man off a bridge and killing him. From 1976 to 1977, New Yorkers lived in a
state of panic fueled by the serial killer stalking the street. He mocked the police while calling himself
the “Son of Sam,” and as law enforcement tried and failed to catch the killer, the terror
continued. It all ended one night in 1977, when Cacilia
Davis took her dog for a walk. Davis was strolling through Brooklyn when
a strange looking man stormed by. He was walking awkwardly, as if hiding something
in his sleeve. Minutes later, gunshots rang out. Shooting victim Stacy Moskowitz died hours
later, but Robert Violante survived the shooting. They would be the Son of Sam’s final victims,
because when Davis learned about the murder, she remembered the oddball barreling down
the street and went to authorities. Davis also recalled seeing an officer in the
area ticketing an illegally parked sedan. After looking into the ticket, the cops discovered
the vehicle belonged to one David Berkowitz, who lived over 20 miles away from the murder
scene. Thanks to Davis’ tip, the authorities focused
their investigation on Berkowitz, and he eventually confessed to the crimes. Between 1974 and 1991, the self-named serial
killer known as BTK, which stood for “bind, torture, kill,” took credit for killing 10
people. He disappeared for a while but in 2004 he
started up communications again, sending documents to local news stations and letting everyone
know BTK was alive and well. BTK wanted to send all his letters to the
police on floppy discs, but was unsure if the tech was traceable. He literally asked the police if it was possible,
telling them to be honest. Obviously, the cops had no intention of telling
the truth, and when the killer mailed his floppy disc, it was the evidence they needed. After opening a document, authorities examined
the file, and saw it had been saved by a “Dennis” and recently used at a nearby church. So when they learned that a Dennis Rader was
a respected member of this particular church’s congregation, they ran a DNA test. It came back positive, and BTK’s reign of
terror was finally at an end, all because he couldn’t help but taunt the police years
after he’d gotten away.


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