Below is a list of serial killers who were homosexuals. This list is intended for reference purposes only and does not imply a causal relationship between homosexuality and serial killing.
Although incidents of serial killing are widely reported in the media because of the heinous and unusual nature of these crimes, there are actually very few serial killers relative to the general population. Research into this phenomenon is ongoing, and a small industry has sprung up around the practice of "profiling" serial killers in order to assist in their apprehension. But, law enforcement officials agree that each serial killer is unique. Society does not currently have sufficient knowledge to predict serial killing before it occurs and thus prevent it from happening.
Serial killers and their victims include people from all races, cultures, nationalities, economic background, educational levels, genders, and sexual orientations. Because serial killers are so rare, it is impossible to use any demographic indicator as a predictor. There are no "rules" and all apparent trends have been broken. But some general observations can be made.
Serial killers are nearly always men (93%). Furthermore, of the relatively few female serial killers, one third of them worked in partnership with males.
In the United States, serial killers are predominantly white. This makes sense statistically, because about 80% of the population is white. According to some sources, whites are over-represented and African-Americans are under-represented among serial killers, but this depends on how one defines a "serial killer." The more celebrated, headline-grabbing serial killers are generally white, but if one counts all perpetrators of multiple homicides, including drug- and gang-related killings, then African-Americans account for between 20% to 30% of all multiple perpetrators, according to statistics compiled by the FBI. African-Americans comprise about 13% of the total U.S. population. Asians, who comprise probably under-represented among American serial-killers. Asian serial-killers are extremely rare in the United States, but Asians comprise only about 4% of the U.S. population so, statistically speaking, one would expect few Asian serial killers. There have been some high-profile Filipino serial killing and murder cases. Filipinos comprise a relatively newer and less affluent immigrant population relative to other major Asian groups in the United States.
Although the proportion of serial killers who are known to have had homosexual experience is high (over 43%), the total number of serial killers is too small to make statistically relevant statements about whether homosexuals are over- or under-represented among serial killers. [Click here for source, related studies and statistics.]
Also, it should be noted that many of the homosexual serial killers on this list were not active members of the Gay & Lesbian cultural community.
Many of the most famous serial killers (e.g., Jeffrey Dahmer, Andrew Cunanan, John Wayne Gacy, etc.) were homosexuals, but they became widely known due to the nature of their crimes or the identities of their victims, not because they in any way represent serial killers generally.
Given that less than 2% of adults are homosexuals (plus 1 to 2% who are bisexual), there would not need to be very many homosexuals among the total number of serial killers for them to be over-represented. But with such small overall numbers, and with no universally agreed upon definition of a homosexual, it would be impossible to determine the relative frequency of homosexuals among serial killers. Unlike gender and race (clearly ascertainable), there are no physical or genetic tests for sexual orientation. It can only be determined by behavior and self-identification.
Some serial killers engaged in sex with both males and females, which would prompt some people to classify them as bisexuals. Their actual identity would then be argued about by various biologists, gay writers, and others, who would classify their status as a variant of homosexuality, a distinct classification, or repressed homosexuals. Such hair-splitting is well beyond the scope of this paper. Suffice it say, all of the individuals listed here as "homosexual serial killers" can be classified as homosexual as the term is generally used.
Homosexual serial killers have most frequently chosen young boys or gay men as their victims, although some have victimized females as well. Most of the killers have raped their victims either before or after killing them, although in some cases they have killed after consensual homosexual sex. There have been heterosexual serial killers who have targeted gay victims (e.g., Colin Ireland), but this is very rare.
But more importantly, none of the serial killers listed here represent typical homosexuals, who, like the general population, are almost never involved in violent crime. The exact nature of each individual's feelings, attitudes, and behavior with regards to sex is unique, in the general population as well as among serial killers. Legally, all or nearly all of the homosexual serial killers on this list would be considered sexual deviants because of the extreme and violent nature of their acts -- not simply because of their homosexual orientation. It must be emphasized that violent sexual deviancy is exhibited by heterosexual serial killers as well.
No ethnic, religious or cultural group promotes this sort of violence. But in a free society, no culture is entirely free from violence, despite their best efforts. Kristi Degn eloquently wrote a letter to the editor in response to a writer who felt it was okay to single one culture out as perpetrators of violence:
In his letter "Man Is God Here" (Forum, Aug. 25, 2000), Dennis Kostecki wrote, "In my dating days here, I dated six women. All were from this culture. All were abused by their former husbands. Every one! It seems to me this culture promotes the degradation and abuse of their women for reasons only they know and understand."
Pinpointing the blame for abuse on any one "culture" is irresponsible and weak. Abuse is no respecter of culture or demographics. It is no respecter of gender, marital or relationship status.
Our statewide domestic violence hot-line number is 1-800-897-LINK. Perhaps Mr. Kostecki would be interested in knowing that calls received at this number are not from one "culture" only. Further, Mr. Kostecki's statement is narrow-minded in relation to a problem which is a national concern.
Gay/Homosexual Serial Killers
Name # of People
Killed Year Killer's Home Location of Murders Notes Birth death
Jeffrey Dahmer 17 1978, 1988-91 Milwaukee Milwaukee and Chicago homosexual cannibal. He was killed by another inmate while in prison. 21 May 1960 28 November 1994
Andrew Cunanan 5 1997 San Diego, Calif. Minnesota; Chicago, IL; South Beach, FL killed fashion designer Gianni Versace 31 August 1969 23 July 1997
Gilles de Rais 300+ 1430s France France associate of Joan of Arc
Luis Alfredo Garavito 140+ Colombia Colombia Gay serial killer who murdered over 140 boys in Columbia. 25 January 1957
Randy Steven Kraft 65 (est.) 1971 to 1983 Oregon, Michigan, etc. "Score Card Killer"
Michael Swango 35 - 60 1983-97 Ohio, Illinois, New York, South Dakota, Virginia "Doctor of Death" -- killed hospital patients
Andrei Chikatilo 52 until 1992 Russia Russia
Fritz Haarmann 40 (est.) until 1924 Germany Germany "Butcher Of Hanover"
John Wayne Gacy 33 until 1978 Chicago Chicago bisexual; 27 of his victims (young boys he seduced) were found buried in crawlspace under his house. Executed in Joliet, IL. 17 March 1942 10 May 1994
Patrick Wayne Kearney 28+ 1968 to 1977 Redondo Beach, Calif. gay cruising areas of Hollywood
David D. Hill 28? 1968 to 1977 Redondo Beach, Calif. Hollywood Patrick Kearney's lover; confessed to being co-killer with Kearney, but police weren't sure about the extent of his involvement
Hans Grans 27+ until 1924 Germany Germany accommplice and love of Haarmann, the "Butcher Of Hanover"
Wayne Williams 27 1979-81 Atlanta Atlanta Gay serial killer who preyed mostly on young black male hustlers. 27 May 1958
Dean Corll 27 1960s to 1973 Ft. Wayne, Indiana; later Houston, TX Houston, Texas
Elmer Wayne Henley 27 1960s to 1973 Ft. Wayne, Indiana; later Houston, TX Houston, Texas Bisexual. Victims were young boys who he kidnapped and tortured. 9 May 1956
David Owen Brooks 27 1960s to 1973 Ft. Wayne, Indiana; later Houston, TX Houston, Texas
Donald Harvey 25 - 40 (est.) 1970-71 London, Kentucky Kentucky
Juan Corona 25 1971 From Mexico; moved to Yuba City, CA in 1950s Yuba City, Calif. Born in Mexico. All of his victims were men that he first raped, and then killed with a machete over the span of six weeks. Presently resides in Corcoran State Prison. Juan Corona's brother is Natividad, the gay, owner of the Guadalajara cafe in Marysville, CA. 1934
Adolfo de Jesus Constanzo 21 (est.) until 1989 Matamoros, Mexico Matamoros, Mexico "Matamoros Cult Killer"
Larry Eyler 19 1980s Chicago Illinois and Indiana
Huang Yong 17+ 2001-2003 Henan Province, China Henan Province, China Gay. Executed. Murdered boys that he flirted with and picked up at internet cafes. Saved their belts as souvenirs. His 18th victim escaped, leading to his arrest. 1974 26 December 2003
Dennis Nilsen 16 1978-83 U.K. U.K.
Marcelo Costa de Andrade 14 until 1991 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
William Bonin 12+ 1979-80 Orange County, Calif. Orange County, Calif.
Henry Lee Lucas 12+ 1970s and 80s Most in Texas, Southeastern U.S. 23 August 1936 12 March 2001
Ottis Toole 12+ 1970s and 80s West Coast, Florida, etc. accomplice of Henry Lee Lucas
Vaughn Greenwood 11+ 1974-75 Los Angeles Los Angeles
Richard Speck 8+ 1966 Chicago Chicago married, bisexual
Cayetano Hernandez 8 1963 Yerba Buena, Mexico Mexico
Eleazor Solis 8 1963 Monterey, Mexico Mexico
David Bullock 6+ 1981-82 New York City New York
Vernon Butts 6+ 1979-80 Calif. Orange County, Calif. accomplice of William Bonin
Paul Bateson 6 ? (est.) 1977-78 New York City New York City
Marc Dutroux 6 1995-1996 Belgium Belgium Bisexual. He is unusual among gay serial killers, in that his victims were all girls, who he kidnapped and tortured before killing. One of most notorious serial killers in Belgium's history. 6 November 1956
Michael Terry 6 1980-86 Atlanta Georgia, Ohio, South Carolina
Orville Lynn Majors 6 Indiana Vermillion County Hospital, Indiana
Charles Cohen 5+ Delaware Delaware, San Francisco, New York, Miami, and New Orleans
Arthur Gary Bishop 5 1984 Utah Utah Utah serial killer of young boys. Years before his murder spree, in 1978, he had been excommunicated from the LDS Church. Bishop was an active homosexual and was no longer a member of the LDS Church when he became a serial killer. Executed in Utah State Prison. He said of his crimes, "With great sadness and remorse, I realize that I allowed myself to be misled by Satan. Pornography was not the only negative influence in my life, but its effect on me was devastating. I am a homosexual pedophile convicted of murder, and pornography was a determining factor in my downfall." 1951 10 June 1988
Michael Lupo 4+ 1986 from Italy London
Peter Moore 4 1995 north Wales north Wales
Westley Allan Dodd 3+ Washingon Washington, Oregon
David P. Brown
(a.k.a. Nathaniel Bar-Jonah) 3+ 2000 Massachusetts Montana David Paul Brown. Victims were all young boys. 15 February 1957
Charles Manson 3+ 1968-72 Los Angeles Los Angeles Bisexual. One of nation's most famous serial killers. Murdered actress Sharon Tate, the wife of film director Roman Polanski. Deeply interested in the occult. 12 November 1934
David Edward Maust 5+ 1981; 2003 Germany; Galveston, TX (1981); Hammond, IL (2003) Gay. Killed teenage boys, usually by stabbing 5 April 1954
Bruce Davis 2+ 1968-72 Los Angeles Los Angeles Charles Manson accomplice
Erik Menendez 2 20 August 1989 Beverly Hills, CA Beverly Hills, CA with his straight brother Lyle, Erik killed his parents (Jose Menendez and Kitty Menendez). Their trial was a major national news story. 27 November 1971
Although homosexual murderers of single victims are too numerous to list here, a number of particularly famous ones include: Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb (the wealthy and academically bright gay Chicago couple who murdered a boy in 1924 just for fun; their story became one of the nation's most famous murder cases, and was the basis for many movies, including Hitchcock's film "Rope"); Armin Meiwes (the sexually deviant German cannibal known as "Der Metzgermeister" - The Master Butcher, who met a victim over the Internet who he ate and killed); John E. du Pont (the gay member of the wealthy du Pont famil who shot Olympic wrestler David Schultz to death); Gary Hirte (Waupaca, WI high school senior who admitted to killing 37-year-old substitute teacher Glenn Kopitske); Karla Homolka (Canadian lesbian who murdered her own sister). Other notable gay violent criminals include Kenneth Parnell (paid $500 to "purchase" a young black boy named Steven Stayner, who he then raped and kidnapped); John Wojtowicz (whose bank robbery inspired the movie Dog Day Afternoon).
Serial Killers who were Lesbians
Name # of People
Killed Year Killer's Home Location of Murders Notes
Magdalena Solis 8 1963 Monterey, Mexico Mexico
Aileen Wuornos 7+ 1989-90 south of Daytona, Florida Florida killed male "johns"
Tyria Moore 7+ 1989-90 south of Daytona, Florida Florida killed male "johns"
Catherine Wood 6 Grand Rapids, MI Grand Rapids, MI nurse who killed patients
Gwen Graham 6 Grand Rapids, MI Grand Rapids, MI nurse who killed patients