The most common definition of a “serial killer” is someone who kills at least three people over a period of time, though over the years the definition has changed to be at least two killings. While the average serial killer’s IQ is 94.7, which falls in the “average” range, there are some who do possess higher intelligence. Here are the top ten most intelligent serial killers.
Top 10 Most Intelligent Serial Killers
10. John Christie
Over in Yorkshire, England was born John Reginald Halliday Christie, on April 8, 1898. He murdered eight women (possibly more including his wife) by strangulation or by forcing them to breathe in toxic fumes. He kept the bodies in his apartment in Notting Hill, including placing one under the floorboards.
Christie was considered a good student with an IQ of 128, which is “above average”. He received a scholarship to the Halifax secondary school and enlisted with the British Army, receiving an honorable discharge in 1919. During World War II, he served as a constable in the War Reserve Police for four years.
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9. Edmund Kemper
On December 18, 1948 in Burbank, California, Edmund Emil Kemper III was born. He was institutionalized at the age of 15 when he gunned down his grandparents, but he was released when he turned 21. He earned the nickname “The Co-Ed Killer” by killing and dismembering six college girls. On April 1973, he murdered his mother while she slept and strangled his mother’s best friend.
Despite his mental illness, Kemper was near-genius with an IQ of 136. He used his intelligence to get himself released from the psychiatric hospital as a juvenile by gaining access to assessment devices. Kemper memorized the responses for each tool and convinced the doctors he was safe to be released when he turned 21.
8. Ted Bundy
Born on November 24, 1949 in Burlington, Vermont, Theodore Robert Bundy was a charming and handsome man on the outside, but a vicious killer on the inside. Though the exact number of victims may be higher, 36 women died by his hands, with some being as young as twelve, across six states.
Bundy’s IQ was tested at 136, which falls in the “gifted” range. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of Washington. He put his intelligence to use by tricking his victims in order to lure them in close, including faking injuries and impersonating a police officer. He also was able to escape twice from police custody.
7. Kristen Gilbert
Attractive and well-liked, Kristen Heather Stewart was born in Fall River, Massachusetts on November 13, 1967. When she took a job at Leeds Veterans Affairs Medical Center, a large numbers of deaths occurred during her shifts. It was revealed she was responsible for four deaths (possibly up to forty more) by inducing a heart attack by using epinephrine.
Her exact IQ is not known, but it’s high. In high school, she earned very good grades and excelled in honor classes, even graduating a year and a half earlier with high honors. Enrolling at Bridgewater State College with a major in pre-med, she eventually transfered to Greenfield Community College with a diploma in nursing.
6. George Russell, Jr.
Also known as “The East Side Killer”, George Waterfield Russell, Jr. was born on April of 1958. Though he was charming, as a teenager he showed symptoms of sociopathic behavior and violent tendencies. He developed a hatred of women, brutally killing three of them and posing their bodies in morbid displays.
Though he dropped out of school and earned a GED, his IQ was high and was considered a gifted child. His grades were poor despite having the ability to excel, but that might have been hindered due to him finding school boring. He had an interest in law enforcement and did work with the local police department.
5. Andrew Cunanan
Once listed on the FBI Most Wanted List, Andrew Phillip Cunanan was born August 31, 1969 in National City, California. He was a flashy, clean-cut gay gigolo who visited gay bars to seek out wealthy men in San Francisco. His murderous rampage began in April of 1997 and when it was over, he had shot five men dead, including fashion designer Gianni Versace.
By all accounts, Cunanan had “genius” level intelligence with an IQ of 147. He was remembered in school for being bright and some believed he had a photographic memory. He enrolled at the University of California, San Diego and majored in American history. Fluent in seven languages, he also had extensive knowledge of food, art, and fashion. Read Also; 10 of the Most Horrific Murders Committed by Children.
4. Carroll Cole
Caroll Edward Cole was born in Sioux City, Iowa on May 9th, 1938 to an abusive, adulteress mother. Due to his hatred of his mother, Cole strangled 13 women (and may have killed up to 35) whom he felt acted or reminded him of his mother.
When he was 14, Cole received an IQ tested and scored a 152, which is “genius” level. However, his average grade was a “D+” and only finished the tenth grade, but this may be due to mental illness, physical & mental abuse, and drug use. Regardless, he was manipulative and played the system to get what he wanted.
3. Charlene Williams
Charlene Adelle Williams was born in Stockton, California on October 10, 1956. While it was her husband who did the actual killings, she kidnaped, raped and assisted in the murders of nine women and one man, with some being as young as thirteen.
She was an incredibly intelligent woman with an IQ of 160, “extraordinary genius” level. She possessed a photographic memory and was a violin prodigy, even being accepted to San Francisco’s Conservatory of Music. Read also; History’s 10 Most Evil Women.
2. Rodney Alcala
Also know as the “Dating Game Killer,” Rodney James Alcala was born on August 23, 1943 in San Antonio, Texas. From 1977 to 1979, he murdered eight women (possibly up to 100). He earned his nickname because he appeared on The Dating Game show in 1978 and actually won a date.
He was an “extraordinary genius” with an IQ of 160. He was top of his class in school, had many friends, enjoyed piano, and was part of the yearbook planning team. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from UCLA and was accepted to New York University’s School of Fine Arts.
1. Ted Kaczynski
Theodore John Kaczynsk was born on May 22, 1942 in Chicago, but history will remember him as “The Unabomber”. Not all serial killers murdered their victims face to face, as Kaczynski mailed out bombs to his victims. His targets were mainly professors, and over the period of twenty years, his bombs injured twenty-three and killed three.
Even at a young age, Kaczynsk was a genius, scoring 167 on an IQ test in the fifth grade. Skipping the sixth grade and his junior year, he was in the chess, biology, German, and mathematics clubs. When he was sixteen years old, he was accepted into Harvard on a scholarship. After graduating from there, he earned his Ph.D in mathematics from the University of Michigan and afterwards became a professor at the University of California Berkeley. See also; 10 Notorious Doctors in History.
List composed by; Charles Reis