The Art of Serial Killing

For this week’s blog, I’d like to present another disturbing/fascinating facet of the serial killer world (depending on how you look at it). Many of you might not know but a lot of serial killers dabbled in the art world. Often times serial killers are asked to draw or create art in one of their interviews as it can give profilers and investigators a better feel for their mind; after all, art comes from our imaginations.

I cannot say the images I have attached will be cheery but I personally found some of the art to be actually pretty ‘good’ (I am by no means an art critic). However, looking at it in a way that I know who made it and what they did, it becomes less ‘good art’ and more a disturbing look into the mind of a monster.

John Wayne Gacy

This particular piece was done by John Wayne Gacy AKA the “Killer Clown”. He created this while in custody as a herald back to his clown days when he entertained at children’s birthday parties. He was known to the kids as “Pogo the Clown”. Convicted of killing 33 boys and young men.

Arthur Shawcross

This piece, done by Arthur Shawcross, is one that if closely analyzed, would make one think. It provides a look into how multi-dimensional and complex the human mind can be. When I first saw it, I did not believe it was done by Shawcross, and I hate to admit it actually took my breath away because I know that I could never create something like this myself. For those who are not aware of Shawcross, AKA “The Genessee River Killer”, he killed two children in 1972 (for which he served 15 years) and later murdered 11 women by strangulation and asphyxiation. He is also known for mangling and/or defaming the corpses. He dies in prison.

Charles Ng

Charles Ng, convicted of jointly torturing and killing 25 people at Leonard Lake’s CA ranch. Known for abducting, raping, and killing their victims (actual number unknown but seven men, three women, two baby boys and 45 pounds of bone fragments would be recovered from the cabin site).The two were foiled when Lake tried to shoplift a vise, when caught he told the police who his partner was and then committed suicide by taking cyanide pills and Ng was caught. He was sentenced to death and served in San Quentin Prison. The picture on the right is a good depiction of the man who committed the atrocities above. The picture on the left, however, seems to be a look into another, maybe ‘quieter’ side of his mind. Of course we do not know for sure but that is all the analyzation I can make at this time.

Alfred Gaynor

Alfred Gaynor, a crack addict and murderer of an admitted 9 women, is a more recent killer that was in the news around the year 2010. Operating in Springfield, Mass. Gaynor’s preferred method of killing was strangulation and he was sentenced in April of 2000. He was in the news in 2010 when he admitted to an additional killing (at that time bringing the total to 8) and when he was attacked in the courtroom by a victim’s son. This drawing is one of the more disturbing images dubbed “murder beach”. Until I saw this drawing I was unsure whether the crack motivated him to kill or if it was just a side-effect but this drawing solidifies my opinion that even without crack, this man has the capacity to kill. Drugs or no, sometimes the mind speaks for itself as it does in this drawing.

As we come to a close this week, I implore you to investigate further into the killers above and/or into more artwork of serial killers. In some cases, it is very helpful in answering the question “What the heck were they thinking?” Now, before I go, I offer one last killer’s works. These are truly amazing pieces and again, before I knew the artist, I would definitely consider displaying them on a wall or over a mantle.

Who could possibly be the artist? What twisted mind could produce such beauties and commit the atrocities we still study and talk about today? If you zoom in on any of these pictures and take a look in the lower right hand corner, you will see, in plain handwriting, A. Hitler.

Until next time,

Happy Hunting.