Serial killing has been around since the beginning of time, but not in the same form that it is in today. While in ancient times, many killed for power, revenge, or to satisfy a blood lust, today, most serial killers use their murders as a means to achieve sexual satisfaction or to gain control over another person. Vlad the Impaler, who is known today as the real Dracula, used to kill people by the thousands for fun. He was ruthless, and killed many of his own subjects. Elizabeth Bathory used to kill young virgins and then bathe in their blood because she believed that their blood kept her young ang beautiful. However, the first serial killer of the modern era is said to be Jack the Ripper.
Jack the Ripper began killing in 1888. The first victim, a prostitute named Anne Nicholls, was found with a slashed throat, slashed stomach, and her vagina was stabbed. It was the beginning of the first modern serial killer, the first sex-related murder. Jack the Ripper ended up killing 5 prostitutes, mutilating the last one to a horrifying extreme.
Jack the Ripper was never captured. His last victim was found mutilated, disembowled, with parts of her body cut off and missing. There have been many theories about Jack the Ripper, but the crime was never been solved.
Ed Gein - First Major Serial Killer of the 20th Century
Ed Gein has inspired more horror movies, books, and stories in the 20th century than any other serial killer. He was the inspiration behind Psycho, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and The Silence of the Lambs. The House of 1,000 Corpses also is heavily influenced by Gein. Gein grew up on a farm with a dominant, religious mother who was against premarital sex.
Gein's mother and father died, and Gein gained the house. Gein was obsessed with becoming female, and wanted to have a sex change operation. He tried to remove his penis on his own. Gein used to go to local cemetaries, removing entire corpses or sometimes just pieces of corpses. Gein used items from these corpses to decorate his house. He had skulls for bones, mobiles made of noses and labias, belts made of nipples, and skin used for lamp shades and chair upholstery.
Gein used the best pieces of skin to make a mask and a skin suit with breasts which he wore at home.Then in 1954, Gein killed his first victim, Mary Hogan, 51. In 1957, he killed Bernice Worden, 58. Ed Gein had bought something in the store where Worden worked and had disappeared from, and the receipt was in the store. Police used the receipt to go to Gein's home and ask him questions.
When the police arrived, they first looked in a shed, where they found Worden's body hanging from a rafter upside down, gutted, with her genitals removed. Her heard was found in a pan on the stove in the kitchen inside the house. Some of her organs were found in a box. Police counted the human skins and skills that adorned the household. They found the many ornaments made out of bones and skin, as well as Gein's "woman suit." They also found a box of vaginas, one belonging to Gein's mother.
Gein was found to be insane by a judge and was kept at a mental institution for many years until he was seen fit to be put on trial. He was found not guilty by reason of insanity. Gein has been linked to two other murders, but evidence was insufficient to convict him of that.
The Gein case brought serial killing into the limelight in the modern era. The case was the biggest serial killer case in modern history, mostly because of the unusual events surrounding Gein and his capture. People were now afraid and locked their doors. The modern serial sex-killer was brought into the new era, and modern technology made the news wide-spread.