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Crime News

Who Is Chucky, The Bizarre Serial Killer Behind The Deaths Of Dozens Of People?

Most people find Chucky sweet, charming, and completely harmless when they first encounter him. They're wrong.

By Becca van Sambeck

Despite the common misconception that serial killers look "creepy" or "off," they're often able to easily blend into a crowd. You'd never know that a depraved soul was just there, existing among everyone. Want proof? Just consider Charles Lee Ray, a seriously brutal, evil murderer who has an uncanny ability to hide in plain sight.

Charles Lee Ray, typically referred to by his nickname Chucky, is able to do it because he doesn't look like any other person out there. In fact, he's not even a person at all. He's a doll. 

(Well, to be technical about it, he's a human soul trapped inside a doll thanks to magic. You get it, happens to the best of us.)

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And yeah, sure, a doll seems like the least-threatening thing, even if it is possessed by the ultimate evil. After all, they don't even come up to an adult human's knees. But that's underestimating just how vicious, creative, and determined Chucky is.

The legacy of Chucky, which was first brought to the public attention in the horror movie "Child's Play," is explored more in a new series airing on SYFY and USA: "Chucky," premiering Tuesday, October 12 at 10/9c. Here's what to know before catching the new show.

Who Is Chucky?

Charles "Chucky" Lee Ray, also known as the Lakeshore Strangler, is a vicious serial killer, one without any regard for human life. It seemed like his days of murder were over when he was cornered in a Chicago toy store in 1988 by a police officer. His accomplice, Eddie Caputo, had fled and left him behind. Chucky was shot down and was dying. And the story might have ended right then and there.

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But what makes Chucky such a terrifying presence is his ability to think fast. He was able to use his last breaths to perform the Damballa Chant, a spell that would transfer his soul into a new vessel. (Why anyone would teach someone as evil as Chucky a spell for immortality, we don't know.) Of course, it didn't necessarily work out perfectly for Chucky. He may have still been "alive," but in exchange his soul he was now encased in the season's hottest toy: A Good Guy doll, a toy based off a popular in-world animated show that's meant to be a companion to children. If you've seen how bizarrely creepy these dolls are, you'd 1.) wonder how on earth anyone would feel comfortable letting a kid have one and 2.) know that it is a serious downgrade for anyone to be stuck looking like that.

You might assume being put into a doll would also seriously handicap a killer. Dolls aren't exactly known for their strength, flexibility, size, or opposable thumbs. But not Chucky. Chucky has, time and time again, managed to overcome the many shortcomings of a tiny doll body to commit brutal, elaborate, and creative murders. 

Who Are Chucky's Victims?

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Like any proper villain, Chucky has a nemesis: a young boy named Andy Barclay. Andy's mother gave Chucky to him as a gift. Chucky wanted to get out of his doll body (understandably) and due to the very complicated (and very arbitrary) rules of magic, could only do so by possessing Andy.

Andy has been able to evade Chucky, but Chucky has left a shocking trail of bodies in his wake. He caused a fiery explosion to murder his former accomplice, Eddie Caputo, in revenge. He shoved Andy's babysitter out of a window. He killed Andy's new foster parents, his military school friends, and more. Chucky even murdered his own magic instructor, because, well, Chucky doesn't always think ahead and realize a spell instructor might come in handy down the road. All told, Chucky has been behind the deaths of dozens and dozens of people — whether it was in pursuit of a new human body or just killing for the thrill of it.

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One quality that separates Chucky from other serial killers (other than the whole being a doll thing) is that he doesn't have a specific modus operandi. Most murderers will stick to one method to commit their deadly deeds: shooting, or stabbing, or poisoning, or so on. Not Chucky. Chucky delights in turning anything into a murder weapon.

Over the years, he's suffocated someone with a plastic bag, beaten a woman to death with a yardstick, slashed a man's throat with a barber's razor, strangled a person to death with a yo-yo string, caused someone to trip and fall down stairs to their death, created a trap that shot someone full of nails, and lured a person into a truck compactor.

And that's just scratching the surface of Chucky's myriad killings. 

Who Is Chucky's Partner?

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Proving the bar for men is truly very low, even Chucky, a notoriously vile murderer, has managed to find a companion. Tiffany Valentine grew up with Chucky in Hackensack, New Jersey, and it's believed she acted as both his girlfriend and his accomplice, aiding in his murder spree.

In fact, in a show of astonishing commitment, she even sewed Chucky's toy body back together and performed a magic ritual to bring him back to life after he was vanquished yet again by a child. (Everybody around Chucky seems to have a basic, working knowledge of magic.) But during an argument, Chucky trapped her in the body of a doll, too. Together, as dolls, they have committed more murders via traps, decapitations, car explosions, and more.

Unlike Chucky, Tiffany has managed to get back into human form. And rumor has it, she's still dead set on helping her murderous doll companion.

Where Is Chucky Now?

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As you might expect with a person trapped inside a popular, mass-produced doll, it's difficult to determine where exactly Chucky is at any given time. 

However, as seen in the new series "Chucky," premiering Tuesday, October 12 at 10/9c on both SYFY and USA, Chucky — and Tiffany — seem to be back in their hometown of Hackensack after a yard sale ... and they still have murder on their minds. Chucky has now been gifted to a young boy named Jake Wheeler, and this town is surely in for chaos and death. Tune in to "Chucky" see what's in store.