It’s estimated there’s more than 2,000 active serial killers in the United States today, but times were different in the 70s. Sure, it was the decade of peace and love. But countless serial killers also roamed the streets – hunting their prey. These are 4 Terrifying Killers from the 1970s.
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4 Terrifying Killers from the 1970s
4. Gennady Mikhasevich
Russian, Gennady Mikhasevich, isn’t your typical serial killer because for much of his life, he was relatively normal. Gennady was born in Vitebsk, Polotsk, close to Byelorussia SSR in 1947. On May 14, 1971, Gennady came back from military service to find out his girlfriend had left him, and worse, married somebody else. After the breakup, he contemplated suicide, even taking a piece of noose with him. While on the road to his parents’ house, Gennady came across a young woman. To vent his anger, he killed the young girl by strangling her. Afterwards, he killed another girl by October and two other women in 1972.
In 1973, Gennady graduated from technical school and started work. Three years later, he married and had two children. Meanwhile, the murders went on. Gennady found a job in a machine repair service and his outward appearance was that of a family man and serious worker.
3. Dean Corll
Known as The Candy Man or the Pied Piper, Corll earned his nickname since he would often give children free candy. His family ran a candy store in Houston, Texas but when the business closed, Corll trained to become an electrician. Soon, he ended up making friends with young male teens instead of guys his age. One of the first he befriended was then 12-year old, David Owen Brooks. Brooks became a constant companion to Corll seeing him as a father figure. By 1969, a sexual relationship developed between the two at the urging of Corll. He would give Brooks gifts and money in exchange. By 1970, Dean Corll killed his first known victim.
Eighteen-year-old, Jeffrey Konen, vanished while hitchhiking home. It’s believed Corll offered him a ride and he accepted. Brooks later caught Corll assaulting two teenage boys but Corll offered to give him a car in exchange for his silence – he accepted. He was then offered $200 for every boy he could lure into Corll’s apartment.
2. William Bonin
In a span of a year, from August 1979 to June 1980, William Bonin haunted the freeways of Los Angeles and Orange County, California. Worse, while Bonin was vicious on his own, he also had three other accomplices who actively participated in his killings.
Born Willian George Bonin on January 8, 1947, the twice paroled sex offender grew up in a dysfunctional family. Both his parents were alcoholics who left him and his two brothers in the care of their grandfather – a convicted child molester. By 1961, the family moved to California. It was in this new home in Angell Street, Downey that Bonin would molest his younger brother as well as various neighborhood kids – luring them with alcohol. After finishing high school, he got engaged and joined the Air Force.
1. Paul John Knowles
Given up to foster homes and reformatories at a young age by his father, Paul John Knowles grew up in a dysfunctional environment. By the time he was 19 in early 1974, he was incarcerated for petty crime and it was here he began correspondence with a San Francisco divorcee named, Angela Covic. During a prison visit, Knowles proposed to Angela and she agreed. She then hired him a legal counsel and became instrumental in getting Knowles out of prison. Afterwards, Knowles flew to California to live with her. However, a psychic told Angela “a dangerous man” was going to enter her life so she ended the relationship with him and cancelled the wedding. According to Knowles, that same night she broke off their
There are plenty of reasons why the 70s seemed to be a decade for serial killers. There was no organized system tracking these killings just yet, police were disorganized and often didn’t communicate with each other. Even more, killers could easily hide themselves. While no doubt, there are still horrible serial killers today, the decline has been significant. This doesn’t mean they’re not out there though. Maybe it’s just a matter of time before we uncover another vicious killer that’s one for the books.