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Death Row is the name given to the groups of U.S. cell blocks that become home to prisoners facing execution.
The inmates who reside in these blocks would send chills up the spine of Freddy Krueger and are among the most disturbed and dangerous people in the world - many of them are prolific serial killers.
A lot prisoners fitting this bill are still alive on death row today. Their stories are not for the fainthearted and will give even the bravest of the brave the chills.
Name: Charles Ng
Crimes: Multiple counts of kidnapping, rape, torture and murder
Time on death row: 17 years
Charles Ng is a former US Marine who, with his accomplice Leonard Lake (now dead), kidnapped, raped and murdered between 11 and 25 people at a remote woodland cabin.
After being dishonorably discharged from the Marines for desertion and the theft of weapons and explosives, Ng reunited with old friend, Lake, who was renting a cabin in the woods in California.
"Serial killing 'teams' are rather rare, and usually involve a male and female offender," Dr. Adam Lynes, a serial murder specialist told TheLADbible. "Regardless of the gender of each member of a serial killing 'team', there tends to be a more dominant personality." In this case, it was Ng.
Ng and Lake built a dungeon by his cabin and over the next year the pair used it to embark on a spree of rape, torture and murder that would make even the most hardened criminals sick to their stomachs. Police attended the cabin after reports of a theft. Following a search of the premises they noticed a foot poking out of the earth and proceeded to dig up 18kg of burnt human bones.
Name: Lisa M Montgomery
Time on death row: 10 years
Credit: KMBC 9 News Kansas City
Lisa M Montgomery is different to others because she has only committed one murder. However, the depravity of this particular crime puts her right alongside the most sickening killers out there.
On an internet chatroom, posing as a pregnant woman, Montgomery befriended mother-to-be, Bobbie Jo Stinnett. Under the pretext of wanting to buy a dog, Montgomery arranged to meet with Stinnett at the latter's home, where she proceeded to strangle her unsuspecting victim. She cut her open and stealing her unborn child while she was still alive. Stinnett died later on. This is sickening.
Anyone concerned about Montgomery's mental state should know that she had planned her crime well in advance, had raised four children of her own and was deemed by doctors to be sane.
Name: Randy Steven Kraft
Crimes: Multiple counts of rape, torture, mutilation and murder
Time on death row: 27 years
Between 1972 and 1983 Randy Steven Kraft committed the rape, torture and murder of at least 16 young men between the ages of 13 and 35 in California. He is also believed to have committed a further 51 rapes and murders, although he has never publicly admitted to them.
"The method, would suggest that Kraft was a 'lust killer'," Dr. Lynes told us. "This is probably the largest section of serial killers in which sexual gratification is their main motivation."
Randy's method was to lure young men, often of military background, to his van. He would then ply them with drink and drugs before raping, torturing (often by burning and removing genitals) and murdering them. He would dump the bodies on beside freeways (motorways), earning him the additional moniker of the 'Freeway Killer'. To make things even worse, he has shown no remorse for his crimes.
Name: Bobby Joe Long
Crimes: At least 10 murders and at least 50 rapes
Time on death row: 31 years
After moving to Tampa Bay in 1984, Bobby Joe Long single-handedly pushed the area's homicide average for that year through the roof. His targets were almost exclusively sex workers.
"[This] is a common characteristic of serial killers," says Dr. Lynes. "Sex workers, similar to other victim groups such as the elderly and the very young, are marginalised members of society...As such, they are often ignored and neglected - leading to their victimisation at the hands of someone like Long."
Over an eight-month period Long averaged a killing every other week. The bodies of his victims were often found bent into strange positions and tied up with ropes and bindings.
Long was eventually linked to the killings when he let one lucky woman escape. She then provided the information which led to his arrest.
Name: Rodney Alcala
Crimes: Up to 130 possible rapes and murders
Time on death row: 6 years
Rodney Alcala is often described as the most prolific serial killer in the United States. It's estimated that his victims may number into the hundreds.
Dr. Lynes told TheLADbible: "He [Alcala] toyed with his victims, strangling them until they lost consciousness. He then waited until they revived and would sometimes repeat this process several times before finally killing them."
He continued: "This falls under the 'power & control' typology of serial killers, and can be witnessed in other high-profile cases such as Dennis Radar (the BTK killer) and the never-caught Zodiac Killer."
Alcala is known as the 'Game Show Killer' due to his bizarre appearance on ABC dating show The Dating Game in 1978, which he actually won. Something which makes the clip above extremely creepy.
Alcala is still alive, in spite of having received three separate death sentences.
As horrific as these criminals may be, is the death sentence really the best solution? Criminologist Professor David Wall has his reservations,
"Does the act of execution actually bring closure to victims' family and friends," he said. "Or does it simply fulfil the criminal's own particular death wish?... If it is the latter, then I don't think we should be doing the criminals a favour."
As of 1st July 2016 there were 2,905 inmates on death row, spread across 31 states and estimated to be waiting an average of 15 years between sentencing and execution.
Words: Paddy Maddison
Featured Image Credit: Police mugshots
Topics: Death Row
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