Some of the most notorious murderers of all time kept the truth of their crimes to the grave. Others, for whatever reason, come clean about their killings. We're counting down the most shocking criminal confessions of all time, in anticipation of the premiere of Criminal Confessions, which premieres October 1.
Check out our list, below:
1. Ted Bundy
Notorious serial killer Ted Bundy maintained his innocence up until very late in his life, creating excuses, alibis, and rationalizions up until the very end, even acting as his own belligerent attorney in court in the hopes of getting the charges dismissed. In her groundbreaking book The Stranger Beside Me, Anne Rule details the extreme lengths Bundy went to clear his name. But when he finally did confess to his crimes, he exaggerated them with great braggadocio: "Add one digit to that, and you'll have it," responded Bundy to an FBI agent who guessed the total number of his murders at 36. Only 30 murders were ever verified to truly be his doing.
2. Jeffrey Dahmer
Dahmer's notoriously grotesque sex crimes garnered astonished headlines and morbid fascination, and his explanation for his killings were even more horrific than many could have ever imagined. Dahmer pled guilty (but insane) to his crimes in 1992, but discussions of the killings that followed would give terrible insight into the motivations behind the murder.
"It's a process, it doesn't happen overnight, when you depersonalize another person and view them as just an object. An object for pleasure and not a living breathing human being. It seems to make it easier to do things you shouldn't do," he explained.
3. Aileen Wuornos
Known as one of the only documented female serial killers in history, the confession of Wuornos, who pleaded no contest to the murder of three men in 1992, has been scrutinized by experts, many of whom claim she was not mentally stable enough to stand trial. Her last words before her execution in 2002 indicate a total, haunting breakdown in her mental health.
"I'd just like to say I'm sailing with the Rock and I'll be back like 'Independence Day' with Jesus, June 6, like the movie, big mother ship and all. I'll be back," she said.
4. Todd Kohlhepp
News on serial killer Todd Kohlhepp's seven horific murders continues to break. The murderer who kept Kala Brown chained in shipping container recently mailed a letter to the New York Post, in which he claimed that his victims were criminals: “No one wants to really look at who they were, families, connections,” the 46-year-old killer wrote. He said that he was trying to "save" Brown. Above, he confesses his murders to police.
5. Elizbaeth Wettlaufer
This Canadian nurse murdered eight senior citizens and attempted to kill six more while working in a long-term care home. She confessed to the killings after entering an inpatient drug rehabilitation center. Needless to say, her nursing license was officially revoked.
Tune into Oxygen's Criminal Confessions on October 1st, 7pm/6c.
[Photo: Wikimedia Commons]