Elizabeth Bathory was a cruel, widowed noblewoman who earned the title “The Blood Countess” from the rumors she bathed in the blood of her victims. We continue to dive deep into her torture and murder of young servants, as well as investigate the many accomplices who only helped her fulfill her lust for blood.
With Greg Polcyn & Vanessa Richardson
About Serial Killers
Every Monday, Serial Killers takes a psychological and entertaining approach to provide a rare glimpse into the mind, methods and madness of the most notorious serial killers with the hopes of better understanding their psychological profile. With the help of real recordings and voice actors, we delve deep into their lives and stories. Ad-free archives of episodes six months or older are now available through Stitcher Premium.
In the late 16th and early 17th centuries, young peasant girls who went to the Castle Cachtice were being led to death at the hands of the Blood Countess. Although much of her life is shrouded in mystery, it’s no secret that Elizabeth Bathory was a sadist responsible for dozens, perhaps hundreds of murders. Her position as one of the most blood-thirsty, notorious killers of all time has influenced stories for centuries, including the classic Dracula.
After murdering two women, robbing graves, and decorating his home with human body parts, Ed Gein found himself arrested and in the media’s spotlight. We look into his trial, institutionalization, and the public’s fascination with him… a fascination that still lives on today.
We explore the twisted mind of Ed Gein, whose gruesome killings inspired horror movies Pyscho, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and The Silence of the Lambs. Gein was known for years as the local handyman in Plainfield, until it was uncovered in 1957 that he killed two women and robbed the graves of multiple other women.
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After a childhood filled with abuse, poverty, and shame, Jane Toppan (born Honora Kelley), left her foster home and pursued nursing. To many, she seemed like a loving nurse who cared deeply for her patients. But for years, she used her nursing skills to experiment with medicines...and kill the people who trusted her the most.
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We continue to look into the conflicted identity of John Wayne Gacy, who terrorized Chicago in the 1970s. Known as the “Killer Clown,” Gacy tortured and then murdered at least 33 teenage boys. But for many years, he appeared to be an outstanding member of his community...all while hiding his victims’ bodies underneath his house.
John Wayne Gacy, or the “Killer Clown,” was named the worst serial killer in the United States after he murdered 33 teenage boys in the 1970s. Gacy lived a contradicting life as a celebrated community member, who then used his reputation to pursue secret, violent interests. We look into Gacy’s crimes and how the abuse from his father and his own feelings of alienation created a killer.
Ian Brady & Myra Hindley shared a deep, dark passion for murder that led to the death of multiple children in England from 1963 to 1965. Their horrific actions made them two of the most infamous serial killers in modern history. In part two of the Moors Murders, Greg and Vanessa explore the couple’s crimes and their ultimate demise.
When Myra Hindley, an ambitious, yet violent, young woman met Ian Brady, an unemotional man with a twisted mind, their deepening love became a source of tragedy. From 1963 to 1965, the duo acted on their dark desires by murdering children in England. Greg and Vanessa explore the bone-chilling dynamics of serial killer couples like Ian and Myra.
After William Bonin took the life of his first victim, his killings only escalated in frequency and violence. In part 2, Greg and Vanessa dive into Bonin’s need for validation, and how the loneliness resulting from his traumatic childhood likely led him to invite multiple accomplices along on his killing spree. After the rape, torture, and murder of at least 21 men and boys, William Bonin’s accomplices became the key to his capture and conviction.
William Bonin drove California’s freeways, picking up hitchhiking men and boys and driving them to their deaths. As a child, he was abused by almost everyone he met--family, classmates and authority figures -
leading to complete desensitization. Greg and Vanessa discuss Bonin’s hunger for power and addiction to torture, rape, and murder.
Andrei Chikatilo killed with increasing frequency over twelve years. Greg and Vanessa explain how the Soviet system of criminal profiling allowed a monster like Chikatilo to evade the police, even as his killing became more frequent, and more gruesome. They examine how a psychiatrist helped crack the case, Chikatilo’s attempt to plea insanity, and the horror of tracking down a killer who’s victim profile is “anyone they can get their hands on”.
One of the most prolific serial killers ever to live, Andrei Chikatilo murdered 53 people between 1978 and 1990. Greg and Vanessa examine how Chikatilo was molded by the horrors of World War II in Ukraine and then the Soviet Union. Driven by his impotence, he could only be satisfied by killing women and children.
In the case of the Lethal Lovers, Gwen Graham was charged with five murders, and Cathy Wood charged as her accomplice. But was that truly their relationship, or was Cathy blackmailing Gwen to use her as a scapegoat? Greg and Vanessa piece through the lies to discover who was really culpable in the Alpine Manor killings- Gwen Graham, Cathy Wood, or both women?
After meeting at Alpine Manor in Michigan, nurses’ aides Gwen Graham and Cathy Wood began a romantic relationship that eventually earned them the nickname “The Lethal Lovers.” Motivated by dark erotophonophilia, Graham and Wood’s dangerous “pranks” soon escalated to what they dubbed “The Murder Game”.
Bible John left gruesomely specific crime scenes. This week, Greg and Vanessa scrutinize this killer’s disturbing methods for any semblance of meaning. Were the kills sadistic, predatory, or spurred by rage at encountering an “unclean” menstruating woman? And how, despite the fact that the Glasgow police interviewed over 20,000 people, did Bible John evade capture?
Glasgow’s Barrowland Ballroom was meant to be a place for people to dance and enjoy themselves. Instead, Bible John, one of Scotland’s most infamous serial killers, used the dance hall as a hunting ground. Vanessa and Greg investigate the motives of this mysterious murderer who may have used the Bible as justification to target menstruating woman.
Charles Cullen was one of the deadliest serial killers in American history. As a nurse, he went from hospital to hospital, leaving a trail of bodies in his wake. Greg and Vanessa investigate how the New Jersey hospitals that employed the killer nurse ignored evidence of his murders. Yet despite the mounting deaths, the one person capable of bringing Cullen to justice was his only friend.
Nurses are trained to save lives. But this nurse killed. Charles Cullen overdosed his elderly patients on digoxin and insulin, passing off over 40 deaths as natural before authorities finally got involved. Greg and Vanessa examine how Cullen’s depression, feelings of victimhood and drug abuse led him to abuse drugs on others.
A fire rages at black widow Belle Gunness's murder farm, where her many victims lie buried below her hog pen. After deputies find a headless woman's body in the ashes, authorities believe that Belle was murdered by her jealous farmhand. But Greg and Vanessa think that’s exactly what Belle wanted them to believe. Why would a serial killer fake her own death? And what would drive her to do so? Greg and Vanessa investigate.