Sorry to disappoint, guys, but Texas senator Ted Cruz isn't actually the man behind Zodiac killings, despite what the internet might be pushing (and hoping for). However, that doesn't mean other serial killers didn't get involved in politics on some level, too. While no U.S. politicians have been accused of serial murder — yet — these infamous killers flaunted their party values and worked hard to get their chosen officials elected. So while you prepare to check the box of the candidate of your choice this November, make sure you really research who you're voting for....
In the spirit of the season, let’s look at some serial killers who had a passion for politics.
Let’s start with Ted “Ladykiller” Bundy. He was an active murderer for four years, the same length of time as a presidential term. Coincidence? (Probably.) From 1974 to ’78, he killed more than 30 people, many of them college girls.
Bundy was also a Republican. He attended the University of Washington, and according to Peter Vronsky, an author of several books on serial killers, Bundy could have even had a career as a politician. “Bundy wanted to be conventionally successful and he rejected liberal values,” Vronsky said. “He had very upper middle class ambitions.”
After he graduated from the college, Bundy joined the campaign of then-Washington governor Daniel J. Evans and was subsequently hired as an assistant to the chairman of the state’s Republican party. He even went on trips with the organization.
Had he not decided to pursue a life of murderous dismemberment, Vronsky said, he may have even made a great candidate for governor.
John Wayne Gacy
Gacy, who was an active serial killer from 1972 to 1978, killed at least 33 people. Most of his victims were male teenagers. He would lure them to his home, where he would sexually assault many of them before murdering them. Their dead bodies were stuffed into a crawl space underneath his house. In addition to being an infamous murderer, he was also a staunch Democrat.
Gacy became a Democratic precinct captain in the Chicago suburbs in the 1970s, and in this capacity he met the wife of Jimmy Carter, Rosalynn. There’s a famous photo of Gacy with Carter, which she signed, “To John Gacy. Best Wishes. Rosalynn Carter.”
Chicago, Vronsky said, was a big part of the Democratic party machine at that time, and Gacy was heavily involved, even acting as a marshall in a Polish parade.
Kraft was known as the “scorecard killer,” because after he was arrested authorities found a strange list in his car that they believed contained cryptic references to list of all his victims. His crimes were committed between 1971 to 1983, mostly in southern California. He was convicted of 16 murders, according to the Los Angeles Times, but there could be more victims.
Kraft was a diehard Republican during his youth, according to The Long Beach Post. In the early ‘60s, he attended what was then called Claremont Men’s College and was an active supporter of presidential candidate Barry Goldwater.
He flipped, however, in 1967, when he became a registered Democrat and worked on the Robert Kennedy election.
Though she may not be as much of a household name, Puente was a ruthless murderer active from 1982 to 1988. She was nicknamed the “Death House Landlady” by the Los Angeles Times. She ran her boarding house in Sacramento, drugging and killing several boarders. Her victims were elderly, mentally disabled, or alcoholics. Seven bodies were found on her property, although she she was only convicted for murdering three, the New York Times reports.
She buried the bodies, Vronsky said, in her rose garden. She was also a big contributor to the Democratic party and then-California governor Jerry Brown.
“She used to sit at these 100 plate dinners and she even danced with Brown at one of these party fundraising events,” he noted.
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