5 Terrifying Serial Killers With Accomplices

5 Terrifying Serial Killers With Accomplices

Welcome to True Crime Tuesday where we review, recommend and generally obsess over everything crime-related.

Murder is generally a solitary activity. That’s because many serial killers have their own very specific process they go through when they kill. They’re also highly adverse to getting caught and as the saying goes, two people can keep a secret if one of them is dead. That’s why it’s rare to see two people team up to form a morbid murder partnership. When it does happen, the dynamic usually involves one partner taking a more dominant role and the other following along, but there are always exceptions. Some people just hate doing anything alone. Here are 5 cases of serial killing duos who worked together to commit horrible crimes.

Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka
Canada’s own Ken and Barbie, Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka were married when she was only 21. Before they got married, they murdered Karla’s younger sister Tammy, and then went on to kill teenagers Leslie Mahaffy and Kristen French. Bernardo started out as a serial rapist throughout the 80s known then as the Scarborough Rapist. After meeting Homolka, he graduated to torture and murder with the help of his wife. Together they would lure girls, abduct them, drug them, and sexually assault them before killing them.

Once caught, Homolka turned on her husband and positioned herself as another one of his victims. She agreed to testify against him at trial in exchange for an extremely lenient sentence. Some people believe Homolka was indeed brainwashed by Bernardo, but there is evidence and expert opinion to suggest that she was just as bad as he was and maybe even a psychopath as well. Bernardo himself claims he never intended to commit murder and it was Homolka who killed both Mahaffy and French.

The Hillside Stranglers
Although authorities knew that the killer dubbed the “Hillside Strangler” by the press was actually two people, they didn’t release that information. Between October 1977 and February 1978, police found the bodies of a number of female victims on the sides of the Hollywood Hills. It wasn’t until January 1979 that Kenneth Bianchi was arrested for two murders in Washington and connected to the Hillside Strangler case that it came out that two people were involved. Bianchi’s cousin Angelo Buono was also arrested and Bianchi agreed to testify against him.

Together Bianchi and Buono had tried to make money by starting a prostitution ring and escalated to killing at least 10 women before Bianchi moved to Washington. They lured women by dressing up as LAPD officers and flashing fake badges. Both Bianchi and Buono were convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.

Fred and Rosemary West
British couple Fred and Rosemary West tortured and murdered several young women while they were married, with Fred having committed a least a couple rapes and assaults before they even met. Their relationship started when Rose was only 15 and Fred was 27. Although Rose’s family attempted to stop the relationship, it didn’t work and the two got married in 1972. Just before they wed, Rose murdered Fred’s step daughter. Throughout their marriage, Rose worked as a prostitute and enjoyed engaging in various extreme BDSM activities with her clients. Fred encouraged this and sometimes participated.

Rose was reportedly the more violent of the pair and she consistently assaulted their eight children and even attacked her husband on occasion. Their behaviour continuously escalated until they eventually murdered at least twelve young women together. It was through investigations of child abuse that the bodies of Fred and Rosemary West’s victims were finally discovered. Fred committed suicide while in custody and Rose was sentenced to life in prison, which is where she still is today.

Leonard Lake and Charles Ng
Leonard Lake and Charles Ng were unusual in that their victims were both men and women and ranged in age. Both former marines, the two men met in 1981 through a war gamer magazine advertisement and Ng came to stay with Lake in his cabin in rural California. At this time, it’s believed that Lake had already murdered at least two people including his own brother. He had a structure he’d built next to his cabin that he referred to as a “dungeon” and it was there that Ng and Lake began indulging in rape, torture and murder together.

Lake was arrested in June 1985 when police noticed he was using a driver’s license that belonged to a man who had been reported missing. While in custody, he swallowed cyanide pills he had sewn into his clothes and died four days later. Ng was later captured in Canada and convicted of 12 counts of first-degree murder thanks to video tapes of the tortures of two women, Lake’s journals, and physical evidence found in the dungeon, even though he tried to claim he was just an observer to Lake’s crimes.

Douglas Clark and Carol Bundy
Known as “The Sunset Strip Killers”, Douglas Clark and Carol Bundy met in a bar and quickly realized that they had similarly dark sexual fantasies. Together, they started with luring young girls to their home to assault them, but eventually Clark started confiding in Bundy that what he really wanted was to commit murder. He killed at least five women on his own, bringing the decapitated head of one victim home to store in the refrigerator. When Bundy found it, instead of calling the police, she put makeup on it.

Bundy had a crush on a country singer named Jack Murray who frequented her local bar and after she alluded to the things she and Clark were up to, Murray implied he was going to contact the police. Bundy murdered Murray herself to make sure that wouldn’t happen and confessed to police a couple days later. She told police about Clark’s crimes and he was also arrested. At trial, Clark turned on Bundy and tried to blame every murder on her, but he was found guilty and sentenced to death anyway. Bundy made a plea bargain in return for testifying against Clark and received 52 years in prison. She died of heart failure in 2003.

Courtney Hardwick

Courtney Hardwick

Courtney Hardwick is a freelance writer based in Toronto. Her work has appeared on AmongMen.com, 29secrets.com, therichest.com, and ELLECanada.com.  When she isn’t writing about relationships, and the best TV shows and books you should really already know about, she is working on her novel. She hopes to have it published by 2025. You can follow her on Twitter @Courtooo.

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