15 Real-Life Killers Who Could Give Jigsaw A Run For His Money (2023)

By Bri Thomas

Next October, the eighth film in the Saw series, Saw: Legacy, will hit theaters, providing horror fans the gore and guts they desire. While fearless fans enjoy watching victims suffer and villains kil

15 Real-Life Killers Who Could Give Jigsaw A Run For His Money (1)

Next October, the eighth film in the Saw series, Saw: Legacy, will hit theaters, providing horror fans the gore and guts they desire. While fearless fans enjoy watching victims suffer and villains kill, there are many past crimes that seem they are straight out of one of these scary movies.

Carved-up bodies, disintegrating bodies and bodies made into home decor...Crazy wives and grandsons and boyfriends...Murderers with vampire- and witch-like tendencies...This list has it all, detailing some of the most gruesome murders ever committed.

The silver lining for the faint-hearted is that if you could not bear to watch Scott Patterson die in Saw, you can at least catch him in the new Gilmore Girls series!


15 People Would Kill for Typhoid Mary’s Food...or Die

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Mary Mallon came to the United States in 1884, chasing the American Dream. She realized she had a talent for cooking, which earned her a decent living...and the name Typhoid Mary. Soon, the families she was cooking for started to develop fevers and diarrhea. One of her fellow workers even died. The New York Board of Health was called in, but Mallon refused to believe she actually had anything to do with these misfortunes. Sure enough, though, she had Salmonella typhi bacilli (typhoid fever), and even though she exhibited no signs of being ill, she was placed in quarantine at an island clinic.

In 1910, she was free to leave, under one condition - that she no longer work in the culinary field, and in 1915 (nearly five years after Mallon’s release), the Sloane Maternity Hospital in Manhattan suffered a typhoid fever outbreak, causing two deaths. Apparently, a new cook, Mrs. Brown, was to blame, and apparently, Mrs. Brown was a pseudonym for Mary Mallon. She was eventually sent back to her island “prison”, where she passed away on November 11, 1938.

14 Jigsaw Man

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Stephen Marshall killed and dismembered his “best friend” (Jeffrey Howe), creating the Jigsaw Man murder case; he scattered Howe’s body parts across two counties and cut him up with such precision that pathologists figured the person responsible must have definitely had experience doing so, experience that ended with the following parts in the following locations:

-A left leg/foot in Cottered, Hertfordshire, on 3/22

-A left forearm in Drovers Lane, Wheathampstead, on 3/29

-A head in Asfordby, Leicestershire (with the flesh, ears, tongue, eyes and neck removed), on 3/31

-A right leg in Hertfordshire, on 4/7

-A torso, right arm and upper left arm in Standon, Hertfordshire, on 4/11,

As of January 2010, Howe’s hands had not been found, making police hope that Marshall will be decent enough to let Howe’s family know this location.

(Video) when you see JIGSAW in real life you need to RUN away FAST! (he will put you in his game)

13 A Ghost-Like Murderer

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In 1946, the Phantom Killer attacked young Texas lovers and shot a couple in their Arkansas farmhouse, killing four and inspiring The Town That Dreaded Sundown...yet no one was ever convicted; the Texas Department of Public Safety once called the serial killings “the number one unsolved murder case in Texas history”.

James Presley, a Texarkana native, wrote The Phantom Killer: Unlocking the Mystery of the Texarkana Serial Murders: A Story of a Town in Terror, which he said was “like assembling a jigsaw puzzle from scattered small pieces, some of them missing.”

The Texarkana Gazette released a special limited edition tabloid called The Phantom Killer at 50: A Retrospective. J.Q. Mahaffey, the paper’s executive editor said that Calvin Sutton, the managing editor, had a flair for the dramatic and asked if they could start referring to the unknown murderer as “The Phantom”. Mahaffey replied, “Why not? If the SOB continues to elude capture, he certainly can be called a phantom!”

The case remains unsolved.

12 Murders That Will Make You “Scream”

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Daniel Harold Rolling, better known as the The Gainesville Ripper, went crazy at the University of Florida in a series of murders that inspired the Scream franchise. In August 1990, Rolling broke into the apartment of 17-year-olds Christina Powell and Sonja Larson. He taped Larson’s mouth shut and held her wrists behind her back before killing her with hits to the head, via a knife. Powell received the same treatment but was also raped, forced face-first onto the carpet and stabbed five times in the back.

Eight more murders happened, including Christa Hoyt’s the next day; Rolling took this one further, though, cutting off her head and sitting her up in bed. He then began posing with some of the bodies and cutting off skin. He was eventually executed in 2006 - but not before he co-authored The Making of a Serial Killer: The True Story of the Gainesville Murders In the Killer’s Own Words with Sondra London, a woman he met in prison and became engaged to.

11 A True Psycho

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A crime spree took place in the 1950s, when Ed Gein killed two women and exhumed corpses (especially ones that reminded him of his mother) for their skin and body parts, which he kept as memorabilia or trophies of sorts. His creepy acts inspired parts Silence of the Lambs, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Psycho.

Gein was found guilty of first-degree murder and diagnosed with schizophrenia, so he spent the remainder of his life in a mental hospital, where he eventually died in 1984. When his house was searched, authorities found…

-A trash can made of skin

-Bowls made from skulls

-A heart in a plastic bag

-Nine vulvae in a shoe box

-A belt made from nipples

-A pair of lips on a window shade string

-A corset made from a female torso, skinned from shoulders to waist

(Video) The Story of The Real Jigsaw Killer | TRUE CRIME & MAKEUP

...and then some. Gein admitted to visiting graveyards, digging up female bodies and taking home those that resembled his mother. He was apparently working on a “woman suit”, so that he could become his mother.

10 A Killer Inspired By What He Saw

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Matthew Tinling stabbed Richard Hamilton multiple times in the head, neck and legs - then attempted to sever the 45-year-old's spinal cord - all for his bank account’s PIN number and £240 to spend on crack cocaine.

A Saw DVD was found in Tinling’s home, a gory movie with a similar move. The Saw movies started in 2004, and the eighth film - Saw: Legacy - is set to release on October 27, 2017. Most of the death traps in the movie are pretty elaborate, and it was never confirmed that Tinling was fully inspired by the film. His torture paralyzed his victim before his death, though, and Hamilton was targeted since he received £197 disability allowance every two weeks, on top of £272 in other benefits. He was discovered the next day, after Tinling had already withdrawn the money. He denied it all, but his DNA was found on a wallet and Hamilton’s bedroom curtains.

9 Dinner, Anyone?

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Katherine Knight tried to strangle her first husband to death on their wedding night, after he only had sex with her three times before falling asleep. He ended up leaving her, so Knight took their baby daughter, left her near train tracks (She was rescued by a hobo.) and went around town, threatening strangers with an ax. Later, she cut a woman’s face and forced her to drive her to a service station, where Knight held a little boy hostage until the police arrived and beat her into submission with brooms.

Despite all of this, John Price, a father of three, decided to move in with Knight...then kicked her out, filed a restraining order and told his co-workers that if he ever didn’t show up for work, she had probably killed him. Price must have been as crazy as Knight, for he allowed her back into the house, for sex, and after he fell asleep, she stabbed him 37 times. The next day, his obedient co-workers called the police, who found Price’s skinned, headless body lying, completely intact in a single piece, over an hook in a doorway. Price's head was boiling in a pot on the stove, and pieces of his butt had been pan-fried with vegetables and gravy and set in plates on the kitchen table. Knight pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison, with a file stating she was “never to be released”.

8 Starting Young

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At the age of 12, Christopher Pittman murdered his grandparents.

At the age of 12, Pittman was also put on Paxil for mild depression. After Pittman said he was going to commit suicide in front of his sister, his father sent him away to live with his grandparents in South Carolina. This transition resulted in his medication no longer being available to Pittman, so his doctor gave him Zoloft, which came with negative side effects. His sister even described him as “manic”. After complaints, his doctor upped his dosage from 100mg daily to 200mg daily, and soon after, Pittman choked a peer on his school bus - which his grandfather gave him swats for...so...that night, Pittman went into his grandparent's bedroom. He killed them both with a shotgun, set the house of fire and left with their car, their guns, his dog and $33.

Pittman claimed Zoloft caused “Command Hallucinations”, a voice that commanded him to commit these murders. Nevertheless, he remains in prison in South Carolina, and his family still visits when finances & time off allow.

(Video) World's Most Evil Killers - Season 5, Episode 14 - Ali Qazimaj - Full Episode

7 A Horrific Murder

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In what is known as “The Most Horrific Murder in England’s History”, Kelly Anne Bates - an outgoing 14 year old, was murdered by her boyfriend, an older and abusive man; he introduced himself as 32-year-old Dave Smith, but in reality, he was 48-year-old James Patterson Smith, who apparently often abused the women he was with, since he would have violent outbursts around his former wife, used his 20-year-old girlfriend Tina Watson as a “punch-bag” and attempted to drown 15-year-old Wendy Mottershead. Bates, too, reportedly drowned in Smith’s bathtub “accidentally”, but the house was covered in blood, due to events that occurred weeks before:

-Smith gouged out Bates’ eyes out and tied her to a radiator by her hair.

-He then didn’t feed her, scalped her in places and burnt her inner thigh with a hot iron.

-Her arms, legs, hands and knee caps had been completely crushed.

-There were 150 stab wounds on her body, including in her mouth and on her empty eye sockets.

-Her face, mouth, nose and genital areas were mutilated.

-Finally, Smith knocked Bates unconscious with a shower head and drowned her.

He denied killing her but did admit to abuse, but he said he gouged out Bates’ eyes because she “dared him” to do so. He was quickly sentenced to life in prison, and the jurors were offered professional counseling services after dealing with the case.

6 The Black Dahlia

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Elizabeth Short was cut in half, severely mutilated and murdered in Los Angeles in 1947. Her killer was never found, making the murder one of the oldest cold case files in L.A. and the city's most famous - that of The Black Dahlia.

Her body was found, nude and posed, in a vacant lot by a park, causing Brian Carr, a detective with the Los Angeles Police Department to say, “I just can't imagine someone doing that to another human being.”

In 2013, news came from author Steve Hodel, along with incriminating evidence against his father, Dr. George Hill Hodel; Steve had thought his father was guilty of Short’s murder for some time and apparently had a recording of his father stating the following: “Supposin' I did kill the Black Dahlia. They couldn't prove it now. They can't talk to my secretary because she's dead.”

5 Not-So Relaxing Bath Time

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After being in and out of jail a few times, John George Haigh dreamt up the perfect way to get away with murder - baths of sulfuric acid, which he tested on mice (They were gone within 30 minutes.).

In 1943, Haigh’s old boss, William McSwan, disappeared. Haigh told people he went into hiding to avoid being drafted into World War II, but the truth is that Haigh lured McSwan into his basement, hit him on the head and disposed of him in a 40-gallon barrel of sulfuric acid.

When McSwan’s parents began to worry, Haigh got rid of them in the same way...then began cashing in the family’s pension checks and selling their belongings for cash. After he gambled all that away, he befriended other affluent individuals and couples - all of which were introduced to his secret and special baths.

The Acid Bath Murderer’s final victim, Olive Durand-Deacon, wanted to meet up and discuss a new invention: artificial fingernails. Instead of talking, though, she was shot and submerged...but Haigh failed to cover his tracks. Eventually, a pathologist even identified three gallstones and a piece of a denture amongst the remaining sludge found in Haigh’s home. He pled insanity, was charged with murder and - in 1949 - was put to death by one of England’s longest serving executioners, Albert Pierrepoint.

(Video) Most Dеаdly Serial Кіllеr In New York’s History - The Тwіstеd World of Joel Rifkin

4 An Act of Revenge

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The Co-ed Killer was arrested in April 1973, at the age of twenty-four, after murdering six female students and his own mother.

Edmund Kemper III was extremely intelligent yet displayed psychopathic behavior, such as torturing and killing animals, and was also physically and emotionally abused by his alcoholic mother, who would often lock him up in a dark basement.

After running away and moving in with his grandparents, Kemper shot his grandmother in the head “just to see what it felt like”, then killed his grandfather, too, causing him to be sent to the Atascadero State Hospital for the criminally insane.

Between May 1972 and February 1973, Kemper wanted to perfect his murdering techniques before murdering his mother, so he picked up hitchhiking female students, took them out into the country, decapitated them and had sex with their corpses. He also collected their dismembered heads to have sex with later.

On Good Friday 1973, Kemper killed his mother with a claw hammer and strangled her best friend. After having sex with his mother’s decapitated head, he called the police to confess.

3 The Start of It All

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One of America’s first serial killers was H.H. Holmes, who turned his Chicago pharmacy into an elaborate maze of death traps during the 1893 Columbian Exposition.

Within his three-story building, he lived in the upper floors but also tortured victims in some of the smaller rooms, complete with gas jets, trapdoors and chutes, so that he could move the bodies to the basement for disposal.

Other rooms were rented out during the world fair...meaning women were seduced and killed, along with many, many others. Through a series of events, Holmes ended up being taken into custody for insurance fraud, where he admitted to killing 27 people, but the number may have been closer to around 200 - making his crimes clearly surpass those of similarly known killers like Ted Bundy.

2 Double, Double, Toil & Trouble

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Dennis Nilsen killed, defiled and dismembered 15 young men between December 1978 and February 1983, practically under the noses of his neighbors. The death of his grandfather shook him up in a way that led to some odd behavior, such as taking photos of David Painter, a young man Nilsen met through his work, while he was sleeping and falling into alcoholism and depression after a supposed homosexual relationship ended with David Gallichan.

Upset after the breakup, Nilsen met a young man in a pub, brought him home, strangled him and drowned him. He then washed the corpse and placed it in his bed, stating that he found the corpse “beautiful”. A little later, he went through a similar act with Kenneth Ockendon, but this time, he took photos of the body and had sex with it.

By 1981, Nilsen had killed 12 men in his apartment and kept nearly all of their bodies (though, when discovered, only four could be identified). When the smell got too bad, Nilsen would remove his clothing and dismember the bodies with a large kitchen knife, sometimes boiling the skulls to remove the flesh and placing organs in plastic bags for disposal. He buried limbs in his garden, flushed body parts down the toilet, stuffed torsos into suitcases and had regular bonfires in his yard, which no one found suspicious for quite some time, but he was eventually caught. The cooking pot he used to boil skulls, feet and hands is now on display at the Black Museum at Scotland Yard.

1 The World’s Most Famous Female Vampire

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(Video) This "Baby Eater" Terrified the FBI.. (*MATURE AUDIENCES ONLY*)

Born into the powerful family that ruled Transylvania, Countess Elizabeth Báthory de Ecsed has been described as the most vicious female serial killer in all recorded history; Guinness World Records dubbed her the most prolific female murderer, perhaps due to the fact that she murdered over 600 victims.

She apparently enjoyed torturing and killing young girls and would make her servants strip and stand in the freezing cold until they died of hypothermia. She also drank and bathed in the blood of virgins, to retain her youth.

She was put under investigation in 1610 - but not put on trial, due to her family’s standing. She was instead locked in Csetje Castle and held in solitary confinement until she died there in 1614, at the age of 54.


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