Top 10 Day Jobs of Serial Killers

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Serial killers are just like everybody else when they’re not murdering innocent people. They have to work for a living. Even a bloodthirsty maniac needs to put food on the table and pay the rent or the mortgage. Such paraphernalia as guns, ropes, chains, knives, ammunition, and shovels also costs money.
So how do serial killers pay the bills anyway? Well, most of them work for a living, just like the rest of us.

10. Nurse

Killer Nurse: Orville Lynn Majors leaving a courthouse

Some angels of mercy are actually angels of death. Like the medical profession, the nursing profession has attracted a score of serial killers. Among other things, it provides easy access to victims that can’t fight back and some tools of murder, such as poison. It also gives you a means of administering a lethal injection without restraining the victims. Arnfinn Nesset, a registered nurse, was convicted of giving 22 people lethal injections at the care home he managed in Norway. Like the killer doctors, Nesset stole from his patients and forged their names on legal documents in order to embezzle their money. Unbelievably, Nesset was released from prison after serving a 12-year term and now is now living somewhere under an assumed name. Hopefully, he hasn’t taken up nursing again. Another killer nurse, Stephan Letter, murdered at least 29 elderly people while working at a nursing home in Bavaria. In 2003, Charles Edward Cullen told police that he had killed at least 40 people while working at 10 different hospitals in New Jersey. Some experts estimate that Cullen may have actually been responsible for as many 400 murders, making him the greatest serial killer in American history. Orville Linn Majors, a practical nurse from Clinton, Ind., is suspected of murdering as many 130 of his patients between 1993-1995. He was only convicted of six of the murders. There are also female killer nurses. Marianne Nolle, a German nurse from Cologne, was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1993 for seven murders. She is believed to have killed as many as 16 patients and tried to kill 18 more. So it isn’t hysteria if you get nervous the next time a friendly nurse wants to give you an injection; there might be something deadly in the needle.

9. Professional Criminal

Contrary to popular belief, many serial killers make their living by committing other less ghastly crimes. Many serial killers have long criminal records, and many of them spent time in prison for other lesser crimes before gaining notoriety as butchers. Charles Albright, the Eyeball Killer, who murdered three women in Dallas, Texas in the early 1990s, was no stranger to police. He had been committing thefts since he was a teenager. After he was expelled from college for stealing from the school, Albright came back and stole the proper paperwork to forge a fake degree. Egypt’s most notorious serial killer, Ramadan Abel Rehim Mansour (or al-Tourbini), who raped and murdered at least 32 children and threw many of them from moving trains, was a well-known street gang leader. John George Haigh, the London Acid Bath Murderer (or Acid Bath Killer) of the 1940s, even figured how to combine everyday crime with serial murder. After disposing of his victims, Haigh stole money from their bank accounts, as well as their property, and even forged his name on the pension cheques of an elderly couple he had killed. Before he started dissolving victims in acid, Haigh was an ordinary embezzler and car thief.

8. Webmaster

Hiroshi Maeue. Japan’s suicide website murderer

The most innovative serial killer of all time was probably Hiroshi Maeue, who operated a so-called online suicide club in Japan 2005. He operated a website which preyed on the suicidal. He promised his victims that he would help them commit suicide, but strangled them instead. It’s easy to commit serial murder when the victims come to you and want to die. Interestingly enough, Maeue later did commit suicide by not contesting the death penalty.

7. Red Hot Lover

Gigolo–turned-lonely hearts killer Raymond Fernandez

Why bothering working for a living when there are lots of lonely women to rob and kill? Wining and dining the ladies, stealing their money, and killing them is a good way for a psychopath to make a living. Some wolves even become full-fledged serial killers, and one of the most famous was Henri Desire Landru, who murdered at least 10 women between 1915-1919 in Paris and burned their bodies in his kitchen stove. He also killed the teenage son of one of his victims who had become suspicious. He contacted the ladies by placing “lonely hearts” ads in the newspapers. Like a number of other serial killers, Landru also embezzled and stole money from his victims. Strangely enough, Landru’s story has been made into several movies, one of which even starred Charlie Chaplin. At least one American serial killer found love and a partner-in-crime through the want ads. Raymond Fernandez and Martha Beck, the notorious Lonely Hearts Killers, murdered at least 20 women from 1947-1949. Like Landru, they placed lonely hearts advertisements in newspapers to lure lonely women to their deaths, then steal their money and possessions. Fernandez apparently started the slaughter, but Beck joined in after meeting him through one of the ads. The duo’s most loathsome crime was the drowning of a young girl whose mother they had also killed. So it is a good idea to think twice about looking for love on those romance websites. Modern-day serial killers are probably trolling them for victims right now.

6. Farmer

Those horror movies about psychotic killers living on remote homesteads might be closer to real life than you think. A farm is a pretty good place to commit a murder; it is remote and rural, and there are plenty of digging tools around. More importantly, nobody is going to question why you’re digging up the backyard. Even elderly farm couples are to be suspected. Ray and Faye Della Copeland, an elderly couple, lured at least five men to their farm in rural Missouri and murdered them. They promised the men work and killed them to avoid paying them. They were the oldest couple ever sentenced to death row in the United States; both died of old age before they could be executed. So be leery on remote country roads after dark.

5. Cult Leader

Adolfo de Jesus Constanzo. A cult leader, drug dealer, and serial killer. A true triple threat

This might be the best possible day job for a serial killer because it provides a tax-free income and a group of unpaid henchmen to do the dirty work. Mexican-American maniac Adolfo Constanzo, or the Godfather of Matamoros, started out as a petty criminal and drug dealer, but graduated to cult leader and serial killer. He and several followers terrorized the Mexican city of Matamoros in the late 1980s by murdering and dismembering at least 12 people. History’s most prolific serial killer was probably Thug Behram, a leader of the thuggee cult in India that financed its activities by strangling and robbing travellers. British East India Company officials that investigated Behram’s activities believe that he may have strangled as many as 931 people.

4. Police Investigator

Serhiy Tkach in court

This might be the ideal day job for a serial killer that doesn’t want to bother with the trouble of setting up a cult because it provides the perfect means of covering up the crime. Serhiy Tkach, a police investigator in the Ukraine, claims to have killed 100 people. To make matters worse, at least 10 innocent people were imprisoned for Tkach’s crimes and one of the accused hanged himself. Tkach used his police training to cover up his activities.

3. Witch

The Vampiress of Barcelona. She was actually a witch doctor.

This seems like a natural job for a serial killer, but there has only been one example of a modern witch killing children. Enriqueta Marti (a.k.a. the “Vampiress of Barcelona”) was a Spanish woman who covered up her night job as a procurator of children for paedophiles by killing the victims and using their bodies in her “magic.” She actually made “medicine” from their bones, hair, blood, and skin and sold it to unsuspecting customers. If that wasn’t enough, she also ran a brothel that offered the services of children as young as three years old. Ms. Marti lured her victims to servitude and death by offering them candy. So it seems that fairy tales were right about witches.

2. Crime Reporter

Vlado Tanevski, courtesy the Guardian

This might be the dumbest job possible for a serial killer. In 2008, police in Macedonia caught journalist and serial killer Vlado Tanevski by reading his articles in a local newspaper. The articles contained details of three murders that only the killer or the homicide detectives could have known. That’s right, Tanevski apparently put details of the crimes that were not released to the public in his articles. Among other things, he named the murder weapon. Obviously, publicising details of the crimes is not the way to have a long criminal career. Tanevski killed himself shortly after an arrest, possibly because of embarrassment.

1. Doctor

Harold Shipman: Britain’s Dr. Death

More than a few physicians have moonlighted as serial killers over the years. One reason why serial killers may be attracted to the medical profession is that it brings them into contact with a lot of potential victims. It also provides a lot of tools for murder. Maxim Petrov, or “Doctor Death”, a Russian serial killer who operated in St. Petersburg, visited patients at their homes, gave them a fatal injection, and stole their possessions. If that wasn’t bad enough, Petrov even took rings off the fingers of his victims. Petrov had nothing on John Bodkin Adams, a British doctor who had 160 patients die in suspicious circumstances in the 1940s and 50s. Like Petrov, Adams also stole from his patients after he murdered them. Incredibly, Dr. Adams was never convicted and allowed to return to the practice of medicine. The only British doctor ever found guilty of being a serial killer was another “Doctor Death”, Harold Shipman, who was convicted of murdering 15 of his patients. Like Petrov and Adams, Shipman stole from those he murdered. He actually forged wills so he could inherit money from his victims. Some historians think Shipman may have killed as many as 165 people. The medical profession might be the perfect job for a serial killer, so it might pay to take a close look at your family physician, especially if he becomes interested in your will.