The scariest part about serial killers is how they often drift undetected through the world, lying low until their crimes have been discovered. At any moment, we might be in contact with someone committing the most heinous deeds imaginable.
Here are four serial killers who notoriously kept their murders a secret while maintaining an entirely different life during the day.
1. John Wayne Gacy
Gacy was ultimately found to have raped and killed over 30 boys and men, but fooled locals by working as a friendly and beloved neighborhood clown. In jail, he would go on to paint portraits of clowns that sell for thousands of dollars to this day.
2. Ted Bundy
Ted Bundy was considered a charming upstart in the Republican party and even worked at a crisis suicide hotline while covertly going on a murdering spree. How he tricked friends into believing he was a do-gooder is detailed in the stunning book, "The Stranger Beside Me" written by the recently-deceased author Ann Rule.
3. Ed Gein
The killer who inspired "Psycho" and "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" inherited a farm owned by his family, where he continued to work as his crime spree continued. He rented out rooms in the house and kept them pristine, while the rest of the building fell into squalor as he amassed both Nazi memorabilia and keepsakes from his victims.
4. Mikhail 'The Werewolf' Popkov
Russia's most notorious killer, who confessed to the muders of over 80 women, worked as a police man and a security guard before he was caught.
His wife, also a police officer, provided several alibis for him during his trial. He even used his police car and uniform to help gain the trust of women before luring them to their deaths.