Whilst most people tend to lump sociopaths and serial killers in the same sentence, there are some famous sociopaths who cannot be exactly classed as serial killers in the accepted sense of the word: Adolf Hitler being one famous example. However, some famous sociopaths are classic serial killers and one of the most famous of all has to be Ted Bundy.
Whilst the serial killer sociopaths tend to capture the public imagination, sociopaths are everywhere in our society. They are the people who live next door to us, work in our office, and in some cases are even married to us. But their mask of normality is purely superficial and beneath the charming veneer is a cold hearted individual utterly devoid of human kindness and emotional depth.
Handsome, charming, and with all the requisite characteristics of a sociopath, Ted Bundy was the most unlikely serial killer imaginable. This urbane and cultured man managed to elude the law enforcement agencies for several years as the body count continued to rise. To all intents and purposes, Ted Bundy was a well adjusted member of society, but he used his charm and good looks to great effect by approaching women, luring them to his car, murdering and mutilating them. He even engaged in necrophilia with their corpses.
Gary Ridgeway, The Green River Killer, also managed to elude US police for several years as he continued on his killing spree. Like Ted Bundy, Ridgeway was a fully integrated member of society who hid his dark side extremely well—he was married for fourteen years and was reportedly a wonderful husband who regularly took his wife on romantic holidays. Unfortunately, he managed to kill at least seventy one women, although he was eventually captured with a little help from Ted Bundy who magnanimously agreed to help the police with their criminal profile.
Albert Fish was an infamous serial killer between 1919 and 1930. Fish was a benign looking gentleman whom his wife and children adored; they believed him to be a devoted father and grandfather. But appearances can be deceptive and this evil individual managed to get away with dozens of killings across many different states. He was eventually electrocuted in 1930.
Adolph Hitler had most of the core characteristics of a sociopath. He appeared completely normal and became leader of his country, yet he was manipulative, egocentric, and displayed no empathy for the six million Jews who died as a result of his ethnic cleansing policies.
Joseph Stalin was another famous sociopath from the history books. When his son was taken prisoner by the Nazis, he announced that all captured soldiers were traitors and therefore untrustworthy. He was more than happy to leave his son to die in a Nazi concentration camp, just to make a point.
In most cases, sociopaths walk amongst us like the invisible man and it is only the small minority who give in to their twisted urges and commit barbaric acts of murder for their own amusement. Yet because sociopaths are so skilled at “blending in”, there are probably a great many who will never be caught and made to pay for their evil crimes.