Why Are So Many Serial Killers Born In November? Bundy, Manson & More
Welcome to November, the month when, according to some studies, serial killers and mass murderers are most likely to be born.
Is it just a coincidence, or is there something sinister in the stars in the four weeks between Halloween and the December holiday season?
According to the website UberFacts:
“Seventeen serial killers were born in November, compared with an average of nine for other months, out of a total of more than 100 in the study. Those born in November are most likely to believe they get a raw deal. A 2005 study found that they grow up to be the most pessimistic.”
Let’s take a look at some of November babies who grew up to be notorious slayers.
DERRICK BIRD, “THE CUMBRIA KILLER” — November 23, 1939
British taxi driver Derrick Bird, 52, executed 12 people on June 2, 2010, during a daylong spree known as “the Cumbria Massacre.” Bird started by murdering his twin brother, a family associate, and another cabbie he knew. He then moved on to firing his gun at random before finally turning the weapon on himself and committing suicide. [Murderpedia]
TED BUNDY, “THE DELIBERATE STRANGER” — November 24, 1946
Horribly prolific rapist and murderer Ted Bundy stands as one of the most infamous serial killers of all time. Charming, intelligent, and handsome, Bundy blazed a trail of torture and death all over the United States between 1974 and ’78. After years of proclaiming his innocence, Bundy finally admitted to more than 30 murders and indicated he’d reveal more if his 1989 date with the Florida electric chair could be delayed. It wasn’t. The actual total of Bundy’s victims is unknown, and may well number in the hundreds.
To learn more about Ted Bundy, watch the “Angel of Decay” season of Investigation Discovery’s Serial Thriller.
KRISTEN GILBERT, “THE ANGEL OF DEATH” — November 13, 1967
A classic “Angel of Death” serial killer, Nurse Kristen Gilbert eliminated at least four patients in her care and was convicted of attempting to murder two others. She operated between 1989 and ’96 in the Veterans Affair Medical Center of Northampton, Massachusetts, inducing cardiac arrests in her victims by flooding their systems with the heart stimulant epinephrine. Other staff members expressed concern about the deaths, leading to Gilbert having a breakdown and calling in a bomb threat to the hospital. That led to her eventual conviction for the murders. [ABC News]
BELLE GUNNESS, “THE BLACK WIDOW” — November 11, 1859
Norwegian immigrant Belle Sorenson is one of American history’s most remarkable “Black Widow” serial murders not just because of her staggering tally of victims — the best guess is 40 — but because she stood over six feet tall, weighed 280 pounds, and was so physically powerful that some suspected she might be a man. Throughout the first eight years of the 20th century, Gunness used poison, fire, and a variety of means to exterminate both her husbands, all of her children, numerous friends and nosy-bodies, and dozens of gentlemen callers.
To learn more about Belle Gunness, watch the “Crazy Love” episode of Investigation Discovery’s True Nightmares on ID GO now!
CHARLES MANSON — November 12, 1934
Although Charles Manson was never convicted of actually killing anyone by his own hand, he instantly became America’s still-reigning Boogeyman Supreme following the Tate-LaBianca massacres committed by his followers in August 1969. As head of the homicidal hippie cult the Manson Family, Charlie got convicted of conspiracy to commit murder, and he was suspected in other slayings.
To learn more about Charles Manson, watch Investigation Discovery’s Manson: The Prison Tapes.
DENNIS NILSEN, “THE BRITISH JEFFREY DAHMER” — November 23, 1945
London-based serial slayer and necrophiliac Dennis Nilsen took at least 12 lives during his 1978–’83 run. Called the “Muswell Hill Murderer,” Nilsen lured male victims up to his apartment, where he either strangled or drowned them. Afterward, Nilsen practiced a ritual in which he gently bathed the bodies and dressed them up in new clothes. He kept the corpses around for some time before chopping them up and burning the big pieces in a bonfire, while flushing smaller parts down the toilet. For this, he’s also referred to as “the British Jeffrey Dahmer.”
DAVID PARKER RAY, “THE TOY BOX KILLER” — November 6, 1939
New Mexico madman David Parker Ray came to be known as the “Toy Box Killer” due to his soundproofed truck trailer that he converted into a torture chamber and referred to as his “toy box.” Once in his truck, Ray subjected his female victims to unspeakable agonies using BDSM equipment, sex toys, whips, crops, surgical blades, and various saws. It’s believed he operated for many years, often impersonating an undercover cop, and that he had accomplices, including women he dated. Ray also successfully destroyed evidence of his crimes, resulting in his being convicted for only three murders while he remains the prime suspect in as many as 60. He got 224 years in jail.
To learn more about this case, watch the “The Toy Box Killer: David Parker Ray” episode of Investigation Discovery’s House of Horrors: Kidnapped.
CHARLES STARKWEATHER, “THE TEENAGE THRILL KILLER” — November 24, 1938
Nineteen-year-old spree killer Charles Starkweather achieved ongoing infamy between December 1957 and January 1958. After massacring the family of his 14-year-old girlfriend Caril Ann Fugate, Starkweather took her on the road with him and proceeded to rub out 11 victims in total. He died in Nebraska’s electric chair on June 25, 1959. Starkweather’s crimes scandalized Eisenhower America and have since inspired movies such as Badlands (1973) and Natural Born Killers, and Bruce Springsteen’s 1982 anthem, “Nebraska.”
To learn more about this case, watch the “Teenage Wasteland” episode of Investigation Discovery’s A Crime To Remember.
MOSES SITHOLE, “THE SOUTH AFRICA STRANGLER” — November 17, 1964
In just a single year between 1994 and ’95, Moses Sithole terrorized South African with dozens of rapes and killings known as the “ABC Murders.” They commenced in Atteridgeville, continued in Boksburg and finished in a suburb named Cleveland. Witnesses directed authorities to Sithole in August 1995, and he was convicted of committing 38 murders and 40 rapes. The total numbers are likely higher.
CARL EUGENE WATTS, “THE SUNDAY MORNING SLASHER” — November 7, 1953
As the “Sunday Morning Slasher,” Carl Eugene Watts was convicted for 22 murders and is suspected to have committed more than 100. He kidnapped, brutalized, and murdered women while going completely undetected between 1974 and 1982. He got busted breaking into a home to attack two more women, and eventually died of prostate cancer in 2007. [ThoughtCo]
ROSEMARY WEST — November 29, 1953
British housewife Rosemary West and her husband Fred West tortured and murdered at least nine young women between 1973 and 1987. She also killed her eight-year-old stepdaughter Charmaine in 1971. Fred committed suicide in 1995 while awaiting trial. Rosemary continues to be locked in prison, where she will remain until she dies. She is only the second woman in England’s history, after notorious “Moors Murderer” Myra Hindley, to be given a “whole life” sentence.