Television detectives and crime scene investigators need a challenge to keep the audience in suspense. Nothing gets the job done better than a deranged serial killing psycho who seemingly targets random people and has an odd and almost incomprehensible method to their madness.
Gabriel Sylar Gray
Best Line: "This is usually the part where people start screaming."
Gabriel Gray was a watchmaker obsessed with the idea of being special. While working in his father's shop he was approached by Dr Chandra Suresh, who believed that Gray might be "Patient Zero". After some tests, however, he determined that he had been incorrect and left. Angered, Gray tracked down the next person from Suresh's list and, finding that he had a complete understanding of the man's telekinesis, murdered him and copied it for himself. Intensely remorseful about this murder, he nonetheless contacted Suresh again, and the pair worked together for some time, tracking down various other powered individuals. However, Suresh eventually realized that Gray was murdering everybody that they located. Confronted by Suresh, Gray murders him as well, and sets off on a nationwide murder spree, tracking other powered individuals and acquiring their powers.
Series: The Mentalist
Best Line: "Tyger, Tyger burning bright in the forests of the night. What immortal hand or eye could frame that fearful symmetry?"
Red John is a fictional serial killer on the TV show The Mentalist, who is believed to have begun killing in 1998, and has, with his operatives and acolytes, killed more than 30 people in California, Nevada, and Mexico, so far. Five years prior to the action of the first episode, he murdered the wife and the daughter of the protagonist Patrick Jane, making Jane his dedicated nemesis. As part of his criminal signature, Red John draws a smiley face on the wall with the blood of the victim—always clockwise (except when it was portrayed in skywriting in "Red John's Footsteps"), using the three fingers of his rubber-gloved right hand. Patrick Jane, the show's protagonist, says in the pilot episode, "Red John thinks of himself as a showman; an artist. He has a strong sense of theater ... the first thing that anyone sees is the face on the wall. You see the face first and you know. You know what's happened and you feel dread. Then, and only then do you see the body of the victim. Always in that order."
Best Line: "I'm a neat monster."
Dexter Morgan is a serial killer who hunts other serial killers. He follows the strict code of Harry so only the guilty know his thirst for blood. He tends to feel he has no emotions and must consistently emulate people around him in an effort to come off more "human". He works for Miami PD as a Blood splatter analyst. Dexter uses his skills to hunt down those who escape the law and brings them to justice. Often, he will put pictures of their crimes next to the criminals and go through what they have done before cutting them up. The one thing that makes the Dexter character so compelling is his need to satisfy his dark passenger and perform justice at the same time.
Arthur Mitchell “Trinity Killer”
Best Line: "Shhh, shhh. it's already over. It's already over.."
Arthur Mitchell is an unassuming suburbanite and family man — who for 30 years has been living a double life as a serial killer. Frank Lundy dubs him the "Trinity Killer" because of a recurring pattern of three killings. First, Mitchell would kill a young woman in a bathtub by slicing her femoral artery with a straight razor while putting her in a choke hold, and holding up a small mirror so that he can see her face as she dies. His second victim is a married mother of two, whom he kidnaps and forces to jump to her death from an abandoned building. His third victim is a father of two, whom he bludgeons to death with a hammer. At each site he places a small sample of his sister's ashes, and arranges the victim's arm to point at the ash. He has repeated this cycle in different cities all over the United States. It is later discovered that, before these three, the Trinity Killer also kidnaps a young boy whom he dresses in cowboy pajamas and convinces to play with a train set in a parody of his childhood. Following this, he will bury the boy alive in cement at a Four Walls' building site. These killings were not connected to the pattern until shortly before Mitchell's death, because the boys were reported as missing rather than dead. At first, Dexter Morgan is fascinated by Mitchell's efficient killing methods and apparent ability to balance his familial responsibilities with his secret life as a serial killer.
Professor Joseph "Joe" Carroll
Series: The Following
Best Line: "Don't blame yourself for my actions, these victims are mine!!!."
Joe Carroll is a brilliantly psychotic serial killer who was captured by Ryan Hardy after killing fourteen female students at the university where he taught literature. Carroll is a devious mastermind and manages to escape from prison. On top of that, he has also somehow creates a ‘network’ of followers who are helping him carry out his twisted master plan. He is obsessed with the work of Edgar Allan Poe, and loves to link references to Poe’s work into his own devious plans. Carroll thrives off having Hardy involved in his life again, as he plays out his dream of creating a novel with Hardy as his protagonist.
Dr. Hannibal Lecter
Best Line: "Killing must feel good to God, too... He does it all the time, and are we not created in His image?."
Hannibal ‘The Cannibal’ Lector. Already brought to life by three different actors and five different directors on the big screen to varying degrees of success this is the world’s most sophisticated lunatic’s first time on television. Picking up the title character is Mads Mikkelsen, returning the role to his European roots. Best known to mainstream audiences as the guy who cried blood in Casino Royale he perfectly encapsulates the charm, refinement and psychosis of Lector. Joining Mikkelsen at the top of the credits is Hugh Dancy as the empathetic Will Graham (previously played in film by William Peterson and Edward Norton), whose uncanny understanding of serial killers gives him the insight needed to catch them. They work together to solve murders while Hannibal psychoanalyses Graham.
Series: Bates Motel
Best Line: “We came here to start over, I am starting over”!
After the death of his father Norman Bates and his mother Norma move to the small town of White Pine Bay in Oregon to run a small roadside motel. There they quickly become embroiled in the small town mysteries – murder, kidnapping, drug running and other unsavoury business. What complicates matters is whether or not some of it exists only in Norman’s head, the untimely arrival of his troublesome step-brother and just how far the bond between Norman and Norma can be stretched. In addition there are two new love interests to divide Norman’s time – a typical blonde teenager who shows her human side when tragedy befalls her early in the series and a chronically ill girl who shares his fascination with the morbid. Although there are a number of characters around the town who fill out various roles in the mystery the stars are undoubtably Freddie Highmore (yes, the kids from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) and Vera Farmiga who play Norman and Norma perfectly.
Dr. Hannibal Lecter
Series: The silence of the lambs
Best Line: “A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.”!
When people talk about serial killers in movies, Hannibal Lecter is bound to be one of the first mentioned. Almost 25 years since his first appearance in Manhunter (yes it really has been that long), Lecter still sends shivers down the spines of even the toughest of movie goers. Although Lecter was first seen in Manhunter (portrayed by Brian Cox), most people associate the character with The Silence of the Lambs (a film which houses a certain other entrant on this list). Anthony Hopkins won an Oscar for his unforgettable portrayal of a former psychiatrist and psychopathic cannibal, who taunts Jodie Foster’s Clarice Starling from behind bars. What makes Lecter so effective as a character is just how calm and calculating he is. He’s undoubtedly out of his mind, but not in an outward or obvious way as some other serial killers mentioned here (Leatherface, etc). He speaks in a soft (albeit creepy) tone of voice and rarely overreacts to the situation at hand. His delivery of advice to Clarice on how to catch a serial killer on the loose is as fascinatingly ironic as it is spine-tingling.However, despite spending a lot of his time in a cage during The Silence of the Lambs, Lecter shows that he’s as capable physically as he is at psychologically manipulating people. For instance, he disguises himself as an injured police officer by cutting off and wearing the officer’s face in order to escape captivity. A sick yet determined man, indeed. As was revealed in the origin story Hannibal Rising, Lecter was traumatized as a child when he witnessed the murder and consumption of his younger sister. However, that still doesn’t explain the extreme lengths of Lecter’s insanity – something is clearly inherently wrong with him on a base level. Lecter remains one of the greatest fictional characters of the last few decades and is the epitome of the psychopathic serial killer.
Series: The Sopranos
Best Line: “All due respect, you got no f—in’ idea what it’s like to be Number One. Every decision you make affects every facet of every other f—in’ thing. It’s too much to deal with almost. And in the end you’re completely alone with it all.”
Even though The Sopranos had an amazing cast filled with excellent actors, one man made the show truly great: James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano. He’s just about the most flawed protagonist you can imagine, yet he still manages to come across as relatable and likeable. We watch him play the role of mob boss, father, husband, son, and patient, among others, so Tony Soprano eventually feels like a close friend that you deeply understand. Perhaps the most memorable aspect of Tony Soprano’s story is the cliffhanger at the very end of the series. Was he about to be whacked or did he somehow manage to escape that foreboding scene? Regardless of what you believe, the fact that the audience will never know is something that doesn’t leave your head. Only man who could make white vests and dressing gowns cool. You can't really argue with that level of influence. With more sharp suits, retro polo shirts, leather jackets and gold watches than you can shake a capocollo panini at, he was one cool dude.
Rest in peace, James Gandolfini.
Best Line: “Beauty is a curse on the world,” sometimes adding, “It keeps us from seeing who the real monsters are.”
The Carver is introduced in the episode "Naomi Gaines" as a masked serial rapist who disfigures, rapes, and/or kills his victims, though he has killed only one victim: Rhea Reynolds, a woman who faked being attacked by the Carver so she could get free plastic surgery. He becomes upset after Sean McNamara performs corrective plastic surgery on one of his victims. He attacks McNamara in his bathroom and cuts one side of his face. He then threatens to kill McNamara if he "fixes" any more of the Carver's "masterpieces." McNamara continues to do so, and in the second season cliffhanger, the Carver exacts revenge by attacking and raping Christian. Before raping his victims, and/or carving their cheeks down to the lip to resemble a smile, similar to the glasgow smile, the Carver tells his victims, "Beauty is a curse on the world," sometimes adding, "It keeps us from seeing who the real monsters are."
Series: American Psycho
Best Line: "You're a fucking ugly bitch. I want to stab you to death, and then play around with your blood.."
When he is first introduced in Ellis' novel, young investment banker Patrick Bateman's "mask of sanity" is about to slip, according to his own admission. Bateman works as a specialist in mergers and acquisitions at the fictional Wall Street investment firm of Pierce & Pierce (also Sherman McCoy's firm in The Bonfire of the Vanities) and lives at 55 West 81st Street, Upper West Side in the American Gardens Building (where he is a neighbor of actor Tom Cruise). In his "secret life", however, Bateman is a serial killer who murders a variety of people, from colleagues, to the homeless, to prostitutes. His crimes, including rape, torture, murder, necrophilia and cannibalism, are described in graphic detail in the novel.
Bateman comes from a wealthy family. His parents have a house on Long Island, and he mentions a summer house in Newport. His parents divorced sometime earlier, while his mother became sick and now resides at a sanatorium. His father, who first appeared in Ellis' preceding novel The Rules of Attraction, grew up on an estate in Connecticut, and now owns an apartment in the Carlyle Hotel in Manhattan, although he was apparently dying in the previous novel and, unlike his ex-wife, is mentioned only in past tense during the novel. His younger brother Sean attends Camden College (and is a protagonist of The Rules of Attraction). Bateman attended Phillips Exeter Academy for prep school. He graduated from Harvard University in 1984, and Harvard Business School two years later and moved to New York City.
Best Line: "Most people are so ungrateful to be alive, but not you, not any more..."
Jonathan "John" Kramer was an ordinary toy factory worker which his wife broke up with him due the cause of his fright of commitment, after this he was diagnosed with cancer and tried to commit suicide twice and survived it, then he understood that he wanted to test the missing part of the human puzzle, the survival instict. He began slowly to make deadly looking ironic devices to test the victims love of life, his first test subject failed there test, but one survived, Amanda Young. His devices where evolving from simple but deadly looking devices to more complicated devices with gears, clocks and would force the victims of them to operate a key out of the eye of them. Then the traps as them are reffered to changed radically, from being ironic and thinked for the vitms that where in almost the same position as the trap itself evovled to be more powerfull and not thinked about what sort of life the vitctim had lived before the abduction.
Freddy Krueger's physical appearance has remained largely consistent throughout the film series, although minor changes were made in subsequent films. He wears a striped red-and-green sweater (solid red sleeves in the original film), a dark brown fedora, his bladed glove (see below), loose black trousers (brown in the original film), and worn working boots, in keeping with his blue collar background. His skin is scarred and burned as a result of being burned alive by the parents of Springwood, and he has no hair at all on his head as it presumably all burned off. In the original film, only Freddy's face was burned, while the scars have spread to the rest of his body from the second film onwards. His blood is occasionally a dark, oily color, or greenish in hue when he is in the Dreamworld. In the original film, Freddy remains in the shadows and under lower light much longer than he does in the later pictures. In the second film, there are some scenes where Freddy is shown without his glove, and instead with the blades protruding from the tips of his fingers. As the films began to emphasize the comedic, wise-cracking aspect of the character, he began to don various costumes and take on other forms, such as dressing as a waiter or wearing a Superman inspired version of his sweater with a cape (The Dream Child), appearing as a video game sprite (Freddy's Dead), a giant snake-like creature (Dream Warriors), and aHookah smoking caterpillar (Freddy vs. Jason).
In New Nightmare, Freddy's appearance is updated considerably, giving him a green fedora that matched his sweater stripes, skin-tight leather pants, knee-high black boots, a turtleneck version of his trademark sweater, a dark blue trench coat, and a fifth claw on his glove, which also has a far more organic appearance (see below). Freddy also has fewer burns on his face, though these are more severe, with his muscle tissue exposed in numerous places. Compared to his other incarnations, this Freddy's injuries are more like those of an actual burn victim. For the 2010 remake, Freddy is returned to his iconic attire, but the burns on his face are intensified with further bleaching of the skin and exposed facial tissue on the left cheek, reminiscent of actual third degree burns.
Series: Child’s Play
Best Line: "Hi, I'm Chucky. Wanna play?"
Serial killer Charles Lee Ray - known by his alias, the Lakeshore Strangler - is brutally shot outside a Chicago toy store by detective Mike Norris, but his voodoo mentor Dr. Death taught him how to transfer his soul into an object or person by calling on the power of Damballa. Ray, hurriedly searching for SOMETHING to transfer his soul into, stumbled upon a Good Guy doll in the store and transfered himself into it, thus becoming Chucky, your "friend to the end!" In doll form, Chucky first informs six year old Andy Barclay of who he really was and manipulates him into helping him seek out those responsible for his death: his cowardly getaway driver Eddie Caputo and Det. Norris, who he fails to get when Norris investigates Chucky's first murder, Andy's babysitter Maggie. As the bodies start to pile up, Karen, Andy's mother, and Det. Norris fight to find Chucky and keep him from transferring his soul into the body of the first person he told his secret to: Andy. After burning and dismembering him, Chucky is finally defeated when Norris shoots him in the heart, killing him. For now...
Series: Friday the 13th
Best Line: "…"
Jason Voorhees, the son of Pamela Voorhees, was born deformed. He lived with his mother at Camp Crystal Lake (his mother was the camp cook), in the city of Crystal Lake. Jason was bullied incessantly until, in 1957, he tried to prove to the bullies that he could swim and drowned in Crystal Lake.
One year later two of the Camp Crystal Lake counselors were murdered and the camp was shut down. Future attempts to reopen the camp were plagued with problems, including poisoned water and unexplained fires.
In 1980 eight new counselors planned to reopen the camp, but ultimately all but one of the new counselors were murdered. The killer is ultimately revealed to be Pamela Voorhees. Pamela is then beheaded by the only survivor, Alice.
The very next year Alice is murdered by an unseen killer in her home. Five years after Alice's murder a group of counselors return to Camp Crystal Lake for training, and all but 2 are murdered (though one of the survivors cannot be found). The killer turns out to be Jason Voorhees. Full grown and seemingly indestructible, Jason kills to avenge his mother's death and to carry on her quest to keep the camp closed.
In each new incarnation Jason returns to be an unstoppable killer, only to be "killed" then later resurrected.
Best Line: "..."
Michael Audrey Myers was born on October 19, 1957. He had an older sister named Judith and a younger sister. The family resided in a two-story house at 45 Lampkin Lane in the suburban town of Haddonfield, Illinois. On October 31, 1963, a six-year old Michael dressed as a clown for Halloween and watched his sister & her boyfriend kissing before going upstairs to have sex. Taking a knife out of the kitchen drawer and waiting for Judith's boyfriend to leave, Michael then snuck up the stairs and repeatedly stabbed his sister to death. After watching her die, he left the house only to be discovered by his astonished parents, who had just returned home. Michael was sent to Smith's Grove Warren County Sanitarium for his crime, where he would remain until his twenty-first birthday until he could be tried as an adult. At Smith's Grove, Michael received psychiatric treatment from Doctor Sam Loomis. Upon spending time with the boy, Loomis concluded that it was a hopeless case that Michael Myers had no humanity left. He pleaded his case that Myers be moved to a more secure facility, but his superiors refused to listen and ordered that he remain in the "adequate" Smith's Grove. In 1965, Michael's parents were killed in a car accident, and his little sister was adopted by the Strode family, who renamed her Laurie. The Strodes brought Laurie to visit Michael at Smith's Grove on at least one occasion when she was still a little girl.
"Michael Myers is the most dangerous patient I have ever observed. [...] He's covering up. This catatonia is a conscious act. There is an instinctive force within him. He's waiting."