Typically, when we think of serial killers, the last thing we would expect is kindness. However, many of the most prolific serial killers were actually caught as they were attempting to help their own victims.
While the definition of a psychopath includes a lack of empathy, which we all know to be true, it seems that even the most psychotic of killers had at least a little bit of a soft spot.
1. Dennis Nilson
Dennis Nilson was one of Britain’s worst serial killers that would pick up homeless young men, or students and then take them home with him. It was then that he would strangle, and drown them until they died. He would then begin his strange ritual which involved him bathing and dressing his victims. According to the police, he would keep them in his home for months to have sex with and for conversation.
However, as he was trying to kill victim Carl Stotter, Stotter woke up disoriented. Nilson had thought Stotter was dead, however, he saw his dog licking Stotter’s face and allowed him to go home. It was because of this very act of kindness that Nilson was later caught.
2. Elmer Wayne Henley
As an accomplice to Dean Corll, Henley would persuade young boys into visiting his apartment. While he would tell them that they would be rewarded with beer or weed, they were instead met with rape and torture.
But, in one incident, Henley brought both Tim Kerley and his friend Rhonda Williams to Corll. Corll became very unhappy and demanded that Henley kill Williams. However, as he began to try to kill her, she begged for her life. It was then that something snapped in his mind and he decided to shoot and kill Dean. Then, he called the police and confessed.
3. Jeffrey Dahmer
Jeffrey Dahmer could very well be considered one of the most well-known serial killers of all time. And while he succeeded at killing 17 times before attempting to kill Tracy Edwards, for whatever reason he changed his cycle. Instead of jumping right to murdering Edwards, he allowed him to hang out for a bit in handcuffs. The two drank beer together and began watching the Exorcist III. This small change gave Edwards the opportunity to run away before the cops then led him back to Dahmer’s home.
4. Richard Ramirez
Known as the Night Stalker, Richard Ramirez brought hell down on Los Angeles in the 1980’s. Typically, his killing ritual involved him breaking into his victim’s homes and then raping them before he would brutally murder them. However, after Ramirez broke into 16-year-old Whitney Benett’s home and prepared to strange her with a telephone wire, sparks shot out. Ramirez, who called himself a Satanist thought the spark was a sign from God, and immediately fled.
5. Charles Cullen
While Cullen may not be as well-known as many others, he most definitely made his mark on the world with a whopping 45 victims. He was known as the ‘Angel of Death,’ because his method of killing involved him overdosing his hospital patients at the hospital he was a nurse at. Upon his arrest, he explained that he had killed his victims out of mercy.
6. Joseph Edward Duncan
Joseph Duncan first murdered three children, and then was caught in 2005 after he broke into a family home and murdered a mother, her boyfriend, and her 13-year-old son. He then kidnapped her younger children Dylan (9) and Shasta (8.) For the next few weeks, he would keep the two children at a camp ground, where he continued to sexually abuse them. He then decided to take them to eat at Denny’s and was caught after someone recognized the children.
7. Bobby Joe Long
Long reportedly raped over 50 women and left ten of them dead. When he decided to kidnap 17-year-old Lisa Noland, he then took her to his apartment and assaulted her for hours. During her hours being held captive, she looked beneath the blinds to observe a portion of his license plate and touched everything she could to ensure her fingerprints were found. Then, as one last plea for life, she apologized to Long for all the women that had ever hurt him. She even offered to stay with him and to be his boyfriend. And while it may sound crazy, her actions worked. He was so touched by her words that he took her home. But, Noland later brought the police back to his home where he was arrested and sentenced to two consecutive life terms.