Serial killers capture the attention of the public.
"Serial killer" is recognized by the FBI as a distinct classification of murderer differing from a "mass murderer" or "spree killer" or "contract killer."
Documentaries, books, TV shows and films have all been made about the lives and crimes of these killers—many of their names are part of pop culture.
But what about the people who lived to tell about their encounter with a killer? What were these killers like day to day?
Redditor LiamTheGuyYaKnow asked:
"People who have encountered or saw a serial killer in their lives, how did it feel? What was the interaction like?"
"I encountered Adam Strong."
"He used to work at the gas station right around the corner from my in-laws’ house. I saw him there once."
"I was sitting in the car while my (then boyfriend) husband went inside to pay for gas, and Strong came over and stood right by my window, he was just hanging around the gas pumps. I just felt an overwhelming feeling of fear and disgust, I thought he was the grossest thing I’d ever seen, he didn’t even seem human."
"When the news broke of him, my in-laws were shocked. He’d served my MIL at that gas station a million times."
"That gas station is in the same plaza as a Tim Hortons. My brother-in-law used to hang around that Tim Hortons, and smoke outside, and Strong would often join him, they got to know each other. They weren’t friends, but they took smoke breaks together semi often.
"Also, my husband and I were walking through the park/lakefront in Oshawa all day Sunday, right before they found the body of Rori Hache."
Lonnie David Franklin Jr.
"I lived down the street from the 'Grim Sleeper' when I was a child to my early teens (after his active years).
"Whenever I walked my dogs I used to walk past his house and talk to him whenever he was outside."
"I never received serial killer vibes from the guy who murdered 25+ people, he was really nice and always spoke when he saw me."
"My sister-in-law encountered Ivan Milat, one of the two men that inspired the Wolf Creek horror movie series. She was travelling the east coast of Australia for a few weeks with her brother."
"One night, her and her brother were having jerky and beer by a campfire when Milat sat down at their campfire. When she first saw him, she thought he was park ranger because of his style of dress. She thought he was going to tell them that they built their campfire in a prohibited area, but instead he commented on what a beautiful evening it was and pointed out some of the notable stars in the sky."
"Ivan never properly introduced himself. He just sat down and started chatting. He asked my sister-in-law where she was from, and she told him Darwin."
"He said, 'What's a Darwin girl doing all the way out here?' My sister-in-law explained that she was on a road trip. She seemed to pique his interest when she told him that instead of doing the usual beach vacation, she wanted to do something a little more rugged, like explore caves, do a little rock climbing, and hike trails that were not popular with the tourists."
"My sister-in-law says that Ivan was friendly, and he had a lot of ideas about places she might like to go, including a cave that had a waterfall inside, which was a bit of a hidden gem not well-known to tourists."
"She felt comfortable talking with him, and when he invited her and her brother to join him at his campsite for some rabbit stew and beer, she would have said yes, but her brother instantly turned him down. Ivan's response to the rejection was a slight 'Well, I tried' shrug of the shoulders."
"He went back to his campsite, and her brother quickly packed their things in their rented Land Rover, and they wound up sleeping in the Rover outside a well-lit gas station that night."
"She said what was so scary about that night is that she felt almost immediately comfortable around Ivan, no red flags whatsoever. He reminded her of one of her uncles that worked construction—one of those rugged but worldly kind of guys, while her brother was immediately suspicious of the charming stranger."
"She kind of wonders what would have happened to her if her brother had not been there that night."
"This whole thread makes me wonder how many serial killers I’ve met in my 50 years."
FBI estimates are that between 25 to 50 active serial killers are currently in the United States.
But author, researcher and former detective Michael Arntfield believes the number active is as many as 4000 based on the definition of serial killer as a "person who has killed three or more people in a period of more than a month."
Angel Maturino Resendiz
"My cousin was killed by the Texas railroad killer in the 90s."
"I never knew her and I was really young, but my mom did. She had stayed with them recently when visiting Texas."
"Karen Sirnic was my first cousin once removed. She and her husband were bludgeoned to death in a church, where the husband was a pastor."
Harry Edward Greenwell
"He was in our small town for 20 years, worked for the Railroad. Grew vegetables which he sold at the local farmers market. Frequented the local diner & liquor store."
"Known throughout the community as an odd guy, but no one expected what he had done. His step kids used to throw parties in high school.
"Just months ago DNA linked him to 3 murders, assaults & 2 attempted murders & assaults in the late 80's, & early 90s. Died of cancer ten years ago."
"Just a surreal crazy feeling for everyone to find out he did such horrible things. Was nice to neighbors & everyone in the community."
"Murders took place several states away. They dubbed him the I-65 killer."
Ian Brady and Myra Hindley
"My Auntie was nearly a victim of the 'Moors Murderers'."
"She was walking home from school one day, when a land rover pulled up next to her and rolled its window down. There was a lady driving, she told my Auntie to get in and she'd drive her home from school."
"My Auntie said she didn't get in cars with strangers. The woman said that she was a family friend and my Grandma had sent her to pick her up."
"My Auntie noticed that there was a motorbike parked just up the road and the rider was watching this go on. She had the good sense to run into a nearby shop and didn't come out til they left."
"Sure enough, a year or so later, she saw the woman's face all over the news. It was Myra Hindley. It also came out that while Myra was luring victims into the car, Ian Brady would follow behind on his motorbike.
"My Auntie says she just instinctively felt there was something very 'off' about the situation, and that the woman seemed 'too keen' to get her in the car."
"I grew up about a block and a half from Bob Berdella. He was eventually caught for picking up teenage gay males and torturing and killing them. Prior to that he was, from what I remember, a pretty normal and fairly social person. He was actually part of the neighborhood watch group that my dad was on."
"He ran an 'oddities' shop at the flea market near our house called Bob's Bizarre Bazaar, which I guess is a little weird."
"I still remember the day he was caught. I was over playing at a friend's house whose father was a police sergeant. There was a frantic knocking at the front door and like thirty seconds later my friend's dad asked us to go play at my house for a while."
"One of Bob's would-be victims had escaped by shimmying out of a second-floor window while Bob was at work. The man, basically naked, ran across the street and started pounding on doors and the first people that answered were next door to the house I was playing at."
"They immediately came next door, knowing a cop lived there."
"So Bob lived across from a police sergeant for years, torturing, raping, killing, and burying his victims in dog food bags in his backyard, never being caught."
"This all happened just as school was getting out for the summer and my parents just let us stay home while they worked instead of doing daycare. Most days we'd hang out in the backyard behind Bob's which was slightly elevated above his, watching the cops dig up dead bodies."
"My mom claimed the number of cops in the neighborhood for the next two months was so large that we were probably safer there than at a daycare."
The English term and idea of "serial killer" are generally attributed to FBI Special agent Robert Ressler, who is documented using the term "serial homicide" in 1974.
Credit for making the term official often goes to LAPD detective Pierce Brooks, who created the Violent Criminal Apprehension Program (ViCAP) system in 1985.
While some law enforcement sets the threshold for serial killers at 4 or more murders, some require only 2.
Want to "know" more?
Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
Never miss another big, odd, funny or heartbreaking moment again.
- People Explain Which Serial Killer Disturbs Them The Most ›
- People Explain Which Serial Killer Disturbs Them The Most ... ›
- People Explain Which True Crime Cold Cases Don't Sit Right With ... ›
- People Who Had A Close Call With A Serial Killer Before They Were ... ›
- People Who Were Friends With A Serial Killer Share Their Story ... ›
- ViCAP Links Murders to Prolific Serial Killer — FBI ›
- Most wanted serial killer on the run for 23 years is 'spotted on ... ›
- How America's deadliest serial killer went undetected for more than ... ›
- Did Serial Killer H.H. Holmes Really Build a 'Murder Castle ... ›
- 5 Myths about Serial Killers and Why They Persist [Excerpt ... ›
- 57 People Share Their Horrifying Real-Life Encounters With Famous ... ›
- How notorious serial killer Ted Bundy was able to escape from ... ›
"What makes someone bad in bed?"
WHERE TO BEGIN?!
The list is endless.
Half the time all it takes to be better is a little effort.
RedditorMidoriSpicewanted to hear about the lack of skills some people really need to acquire when it comes to sexy time. They asked:
"What makes someone bad in bed?"
I love sex. But it can be stressful. I've always found connection to be one of the best lessons.
CommunicationsGIF by HULUGiphy
"Assuming they already know what their partner wants/likes and doesn't communicate or take any instructions."
Take it Slow
"No foreplay and not caring if your partner is enjoying it."
"I had an ex who literally never wanted to do any kind of foreplay. He just wanted basically sex of any kind for him. He said oral on women was gross."
"Proposing mid intercourse."
"Honestly? With the partner I have, I'd think it was pretty hot and romantic lmao. I'd check in after the deed to make sure he was serious but our relationship is already very serious so it wouldn't be a big deal."
Talk to Me
"Not talking or making any noises. We don't have to dirty talk the whole time or even at all but you gotta let me know you're enjoying it at least."
"I think there's some balance between having some small talk, silence, and dirty talk while being in bed with someone. Or maybe that's just been my experience. I don't know--I think there's some fun in trying to carry a side conversation while having sex lol."
"Friction isn’t always a good thing."
YuckBored Larry Bird GIF by SB NationGiphy
"To this you can add unclipped fingernails."
"And dirty fingernails. Nah, ma'am. I’m betting this is not worth the infection. Thanks."
‘good at sex’
"I have a feeling most men will say 'lack of enthusiasm' and that most women will say 'being selfish about pleasure.'"
"I’m a woman and my first thought was lack of enthusiasm, but my own lack of enthusiasm. The only bad sex I’ve had is when I don’t genuinely want to be there. I’ve had sex with guys who weren’t ‘good at sex’ but still enjoyed it because I was really into them."
"They are convinced they know more about what works for you than you know yourself. Just cause your ex-lover Pat liked technique X doesn't mean everyone does."
"Have experienced this, it sucks. He wouldn’t listen to what I enjoyed, didn’t want me to say ANYTHING even if it hurt or wasn’t working, and would just say something along the lines of 'every other woman I’ve been with liked it.' I’m thinking, all you’ve had are one-night stands, really, so they probably didn’t say anything."
"I’ve had numerous partners and love sex. Crashed and burned with this one and he really crushed my self-esteem and sexual confidence."
"The biggest thing is always going to be selfishness and the inability/refusal to communicate and listen to your partner. I've seriously had a guy yell 'I KNOW HOW TO DO IT!' when I was trying to tell him how I liked whatever he was doing. He then got even more upset when I said 'did you just f**king yell at me? Alright, off, I'm done.'"
FlavorsAmanda Seales Wow GIF by truTVGiphy
"Lack of variety. Don't get me wrong, I don't mean crazy kinks or positions from the karma sutra, but more when it's really predicable. I has an ex that had this weird routine of positions, it was exactly the same every single f**king time in exactly the same order."
Sex. Let's be better at it.
Do you have similar experiences to share? Let us know in the comments below.
Love is so elusive these days isn't it?
Who knows what anyone is looking for in the relationship department anymore.
It's all too exhausting.
But people we keep trying.
RedditorProblemNice5257wanted to hear why so many people are still on the hunt for that perfect one. They asked:
"Why are you single right now?"
I'm single because I've given up. And I'm good. For now.
PeaceSnoop Dogg Reaction GIFGiphy
"I put absolutely no effort into meeting someone."
"Same! Also it's extremely difficult when you feel so at peace being by yourself. The fact that I have to find someone whose presence outweighs my level of comfort being alone seems impossible."
"Hard to meet people when you are a hermit."
"Yeah, I describe myself as a shut-in, lol. I leave my apartment to work, I leave my apartment to buy food, and occasionally I’ll bring out the trash, otherwise I just watch Hulu, play online chess, surf Reddit."
"Same. I've spent months trying to find an apartment I can afford without a roommate and finally settled on a small studio apartment for $1100 a month because I'd rather living in a tiny space and be left the hell alone than share a much nicer place even with a good friend."
"I have too many unsolved issues, i can't in good conscience bring someone else into them."
"Idk your issues but everyone's got some crap. Not sure how unique yours are but everyone's got some crap. It's good to share some of your struggles with other people. Just don't open with it haha."
"Issues unresolved or not, (in my case) only makes it worse when you feel like you could open up to them, and they just take those to use it against yourself afterwards."
"I hardly go out and expose myself to people. I'm uncomfortable with the notion of myself being in a relationship at this point. Also, I'm very dry in terms of personality."
"I spent a year entirely isolated due to covid and now I can't handle physical contact. It makes me really uncomfortable and a hug is enough to make my body shut down. I'm hopeless."
truthCaptain America Lol GIF by mtvGiphy
"Supply chain issue."
"Best answer here."
That's funny. But it feels oddly true.
Ahhh...Think Winnie The Pooh GIFGiphy
"I'm attracted to many, and unattractive to all."
"Last relationship was so toxic, I've sworn off dating, at least for awhile. I haven't had this much free time in ages. It's nice."
"Edit: Hey, it's really great hearing from so many people with similar experiences. Like many of you, I've been taking it in stride and focusing on bettering myself, both physically and mentally. It's done wonders for my health and I feel a whole lot better. I wish y'all the very best. Stay excellent, my friends."
"I'm 35yr old single father to a 5yr old and I work nights. It's hard to find free time to meet someone, especially in my area. If I do have free time to myself, I like staying home and ordering a pizza while drinking some beers and playing video games. I pretty much faced the fact that I will probably be alone for the rest of my life."
"I was in an 8 year relationship (married for two) to my high school sweetheart. Exactly this same time last year, we got divorced because I found out he was cheating on me with my best friend. The best friend I had known LONGER than him and was friends with since fourth grade."
"She was living with us to try to get back on her feet. Yeah lol. So I lost my best friend and the man I had been with for 8 years within the same night. So I moved to another state, got an apartment by myself, and am now single and divorced all by 26. Not really looking unless the right person comes along."
"It’s pretty happy and peaceful now that they’re both out of my life though honestly. You realize people’s toxicity and flaws the most once you get space away from them."
Bad LoopSeth Meyers Whatever GIF by Late Night with Seth MeyersGiphy
"Because my relationships end before they even begin."
"This is my story right here."
Alright. Now that we've laid out all the excuses, let's get to matching with some people.
There is no bigger mystery than what happens to us after we die.
But even those who don't practice an organized religion tend to believe that there is a Heaven, a happy joyful place where our souls will remain for eternity.
No two people share the same idea of what heaven would be like, but everyone who believes in it probably has an idea of the first thing they'd do after entering the pearly gates.
Redditor WeDidItGuyz was curious to hear what would be top on everyone's list upon entering the afterlife, leading them to ask:
"If heaven exists, what’s the first thing you’d do?"
Overcome with joy
"In all reality?"
"Probably cry for about 30 minutes because the biggest existential fear at the very core my humanity has now been lifted."
"If Heaven exists, like 50% of the awesomeness is just the very fact that it exists."heaven gate GIF by South Park Giphy
A re-match long in the making
"Ask my childhood friend Kevon for a race."
"He used to beat me handily when were younger (9-13) and he’d always brag."
"When I got older and faster I moved away so I was never able to race him again."
"We arranged for a race but he was shot multiple times and bound to a wheelchair until he passed a few years ago."
"I wanna race him both in our prime."- Abethegreat1
Reunite with loved ones
"Find my husband, give him a huge hug and never let go again."
"Live our forever together."
"I f*cking love him and miss him so much."- jessdfrench
"Embrace my sweet wife and tell her how proud I am of the kids."- RifleShower
"Try to find my brother."
"Man, I miss him."
"He died in 2020 at age 34."- grummlinds1
"Give my mum and dad a big hug."- goonerjack007Miss U GIF by GIPHY Studios OriginalsGiphy
Achieve the "firsts" we never got to do
"Find my son and have a beer with him."
"Something we never got to do in real life."- tanukis_parachute
Hone new skills
"Try to play Smoke on the water on my harp."- Ashtar-the-Squid
The joy of doing nothing
"Rest."- BanzaikoowaidCare Free Black Girls GIF by AuroraDrawsGiphy
Live on without pain
"Enjoy my healthy back without pain."- Knackbein_
Who knows what's in store for us after our lives come to an end.
But living with the idea that something wonderful awaits when our time has come is all people need to continue to live their lives to the fullest, and treat others with the respect and kindness they deserve.
"Fun facts" generally refers to a tidbit of information about a specific topic which the general public might not have otherwise known about.
But the first word in that term can be misleading.
Indeed, some "fun facts" reveal information that isn't remotely "fun" in the slightes.
Redditor Alternative_kachocho was curious to hear some "fun facts" which were anything but fun, leading them to ask:
What's a 'fun fact' that isn’t fun at all?"
Ironically, something you likely don't think about...
"Your brain blocks you from feeling your organs moving around inside you."- Aydengeist06
Try watching Finding Nemonow...
"Only one in a thousand sea turtles born actually make it to adulthood."- Sebs_123
Shocking new light on an age old classic
"In the books, Stuart Little was never explicitly called a mouse."
"He's pretty much described as a deformed mouse-esque person born form human parents."- Red_Beard47stuart little mouse GIF by VIASAT3Giphy
Nature running it's course...
"There's a bird that feeds its younger offspring to the eldest."- Teacup_Cult
I have no allergies... yet
"Speaking from personal experience here, but your body can randomly decide to become allergic to damn near everything edible at any time."
"Not very fun."- smallemochick
Those poor, innocent creatures.
"In some regions of Australia, 90 percent of koalas have chlamydia, which poses a threat to the species' extinction unless a vaccine is created or widespread koala culling takes place."- tiffanyjcrusekoalas kiss GIFGiphy
They'd still be here if they weren't so delicious...
"The giant tortoise was so delicious, it caused not only itself to be hunted to extinction, but also the dodo."
"Giant tortoise meat was supposedly better tasting than chicken."
"It's fat tasted better spread on bread than butter."
"Also, it was the perfect food for sailors at the time, as their bladders stored 1 litre of purified water, and they could survive without food in hibernation for almost a whole year in the hull of a ship."
"Not to mention, because they evolved without humans, they were easy to hunt."
"You could tie one to your back, and roll another to the ship and they would just let you."
"It was so delicious, they went unrecorded for a long time because expeditions to bring living samples of wildlife to Europe kept eating them on the way."
"Conversely, the dodo, while as easily captured by sailors, tasted awful."
"It was completely unpalatable."
"HOWEVER, one day, someone discovered if you cooked dodo meat in the more delicious tortoise fat, it tasted just like chicken."
"So now, sailors were hunting a few tortoises at a time for their fat and water, storing them, and then hunting dodos on the daily."
"Overhunting, plus the introduction of rats to the environment (because sailors) which would eat eggs, led go the population to decline at a rate they could not breed to keep up, leading to both animals going extinct."- Kyhan
Don't forget the nose plugs
"Antarctica smells like penguin poop."
"Antarctica is a desert, it is too cold for bacteria to live."
"Nothing there to clean up penguin droppings."
"If you are close enough to see penguins, you will also smell them."- gummby8
Makes those long lines so worth it...
"The TSA missed 96% of contraband during an inspection in 2015."- omegasix321All Falls Down Tsa GIF by Kanye WestGiphy
"The person who had the first facial transplant had her face chewed up by her Labrador dog while asleep due to sleeping pill overdose." - User Deleted
It's hard not to read some of these "fun facts" and wonder if there should be an alternative term for the facts which aren't fun.
Oh yeah, probably not....