Joel Rifkin was born in 1959 and grew up a bullied loner in New York State’s Long Island.
Although he had a high IQ of 128, his severe dyslexia saw him fail academically, and he lacked the co-ordination to be sporty.
It was years before Joel discovered something he was good at – murder.
Joel had long sought the company of prostitutes as a way of easing his loneliness, but since seeing the Hitchcock movie, Frenzy, the impulse to strangle one had become overwhelming.
In 1989, while his family were away, Joel took a prostitute back to the house. He strangled her and dismembered her body, before disposing of the pieces.
Joel contained his murderous urges for a year until his family again left him alone in the house.
After strangling yet another prostitute, Joel was hooked on the sense of power it gave him.
With each kill he would keep personal possessions belonging to his victim, sometimes a driver’s licence, a piece of clothing or jewellery, even library cards.
‘It would help keep the sequence and remember who was who and remember the events,’ Joel would later explain from prison.
Joel’s 17th, and last victim, was Tiffany Bresciani, 22.
Early one morning in June 1991, State Trooper Sean Ruane noticed Joel driving a truck with no number plates.
After a 30-minute pursuit, Joel crashed into a traffic light pole and Officer Ruane discovered Tiffany’s decaying body in the back of the truck.
Joel confessed to all 17 murders and was sentenced to 203 years in prison, with the judge stating, ‘In case there is such a thing as reincarnation I want to be sure that you spend your second life in prison also.’
Joel claims to not know why he became a cold-blooded killer.
‘You all think I am nothing but a monster,’ he said at his trial. ‘And you are right.’
From a young age, Jerome Brudos had an obsession with women’s high-heeled shoes. As a five-year-old he secretly kept a pair under his bed.
As a teen he began stealing women’s underwear off clotheslines, and in 1956 aged 17, he was committed to a psychiatric hospital after he assaulted two teenage girls.
Jerome eventually became an electrician and married his girlfriend Ralphene when he was 22.
On the surface, Jerome seemed like a happily married man raising two kids in Portland, Oregon.
But in secret, his fetish for women’s shoes was driving him to increasingly violent behaviour.
Jerome would stalk women and mug them for their shoes. Before long, Jerome’s obsession turned deadly.
Between 1968 and 1969, Jerome abducted and murdered four women.
He dressed them in high heels and lingerie, photographed and sexually abused them, before dumping them in a river.
He even kept the foot of his first victim - Linda Slawson, 19, a college girl selling encyclopedias - and kept it to model his favourite stilettos.
Finally, in May 1969, Jerome was positively identified by a girl he’d attempted to abduct.
Jerome admitted to three of the four murders and was sentenced to life in prison.
But even being behind bars didn’t put an end to his fetish.
Jerome collected shoe catalogues, even writing to companies requesting samples.
Jerome died in prison in 2006.
‘He was one of the true monsters of the world,’ Detective James Stovall said.
They’re three of the most famous horror films of all time - Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Silence of the Lambs and Psycho.
And they were inspired by one man – Edward Gein.
Born in 1906, Ed was raised on an isolated farm in Plainfield, Wisconsin.
His mother Augusta, a religious zealot, taught him that relationships with women were sinful and dangerous.
Everyone in Plainfield knew Ed as a bit of an oddball.
‘It was something about his eyes that bothered me,’ Lena Trickey, a Plainfield local said.
‘I didn’t feel like he was a person I would trust.’
In November 1957, hardware store owner, Bernice Worden, 58, disappeared.
The last receipt she’d written was made out to Ed Gein.
Sheriff Arthur Schley drove out to Ed’s farm to ask if he’d seen Bernice.
Finding the main house locked up, Sheriff Schley went around the back and was horrified to find Bernice’s body in the woodshed. She’d been shot and decapitated.
Police were further sickened when, on searching the house, they discovered that Ed had tanned human skins and covered chairs and lamps with it.
They also found the face of local tavern owner, Mary Hogan, 54, who’d been missing for three years, a box of noses and soup bowls made out of human skulls.
Ed was arrested and admitted to killing Bernice and Mary, as well as digging up newly buried bodies from local cemeteries during the night and wearing their skins as suits.
Found not guilty by reason of insanity, Ed was committed to a hospital for the criminally insane where he died in 1984, aged 78.
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