Was the First American Serial Killer Really From Austin, Texas?
There is something fascinating about serial killers. Why do they feel the need to carry out their killings? Why are they so brutal? How do they determine their victims? Its one of those mysteries of the human brain. There is a long history of stories of serial killers with most eluding capture for many years. Some killers have never been found which just adds both facts and non-facts to their stories. In Texas, 13 serial killers have either come from our state or committed their crimes in our state. Its even believed that America's first serial killer came from Austin, Texas.
Unhealthy Serial Killer Obsession
There has been a recent, and in my opinion unhealthy, obsession with serial killers. I get that these shows or movies want to shine a light on what these killers did but some of the recent ones have almost given a sympathetic look at these people. Personally, I believe that's a disservice to the innocent victims. The two recent examples of this are Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile which cast heartthrob Zach Efron as Ted Bundy and Dahmer - Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story starring Evan Peters. Give me a documentary telling these stories, not a stylized show that may bend the facts to be entertaining.
The Evil of These People
Real life serial killers, plain and simple, are evil. Part of that evil could come from abuses as a child, as is the case with a couple of the below Texas serial killers. Others are just evil to the core and there is nothing that could have been done to cast that evil out.
These killers all had different methods of taking their victim's lives. Some were quick with not much suffering while others were long and torturous. Most of these killers were caught but a couple did go unsolved like in Austin and Texarkana.
Servant Girl Annihilator
In the 1880's, servant girls were being killed in a gruesome manner late at night. This went on for about a year with no clues into who was doing it. Townsfolk of Austin at that time lived in fear. In total, seven women and one man were killed while six women and two men were seriously injured by the so-called Servant Girl Annihilator. No one was ever caught for these murders. Some believe whoever this person was traveled to England and became Jack the Ripper as that killing spree started about three years after these attacks and the killer used similar killing methods.
In 1946, right after World War II, there were four unsolved murders in Texarkana on both the Texas and Arkansas side. These attacks happened between February and May of that year and mostly involved young couples who were stopped along a "lovers lane." A couple that survived an attack described the man as wearing a pillow case over his head with holes cut out for his eyes. The perpetrator was never caught. It is believed that the slasher movie genre began with The Town That Dreaded Sundown in 1976 which used these killings as the basis of the movie's plot.
If you're not creeped out, take a look below at the other serial killers that have either called Texas home or committed their killings in our state: