The Ones That Got Away
One of the most terrifying thoughts is imagining how many serial killers are out there still on the loose—especially when you find out that they've been recently active.
You might be surprised to learn that criminalists and FBI profilers believe there are around 2,000 active serial killers in the U.S. alone. Have you ever heard of the West Mesa "Bone Collector," New Mexico's still-unidentified serial killer? What about the serial stabber, the "River City Ripper," who is actively killing in Little Rock, Arkansas?
This list details a few serial murderers who are either active, unidentified, or unapprehended.
The West Mesa "Bone Collector"
This is the name used to describe an unidentified serial killer who is said to be responsible for taking the lives of 11 different women whose remains were found buried in the desert of West Mesa in 2009. It is thought that this could be one person or it could potentially be linked to some sort of a group.
There have been tips along the way and authorities have worked hard to try and get to the bottom of these crimes, but the killer remains at a large. They've investigated a few different suspects throughout the years, but there hasn't been enough concrete evidence to charge anyone with the crimes yet.
Although the remains were found in 2009, authorities say satellite images suggest the last of the remains were placed there in 2005.
The River City Ripper
This serial killer is wanted in connection to four different incidents that occurred in Little Rock, Arkansas, three of which were fatal. These horrific crimes took place between August 2020 and April 2021.
Despite one of the victims surviving the attack and being able to provide a description of the assailant, there's still very little to go on, in terms of being able to identify this horrible human.
The FBI was contacted shortly after the survivor was able to give a testimony to authorities and their behavioral analysis team created a profile of this unidentified killer.
These crimes are terrible any way you spin them. However, one of the most terrifying parts is that they were all just random acts of violence that occurred completely unprovoked. The case has gained quite a bit of attention, but still, the monster remains at large.
Glen Stewart Godwin, the Escaped Bomber
This guy isn't technically a serial killer, but he's a sadistic bomber who's been on the run for over 30 years. In 1980, Glen was working in California and didn't have much of a criminal record. For some reason, he and his roommate decided to make a plan to rob someone who had once been a friend of theirs.
Of course, things went awry and it turned into a botched robbery; Glen ends up taking the life of the person they were robbing. This isn't necessarily important to what I'm writing about, but it's so unhinged I can't leave it out. In an attempt to destroy evidence, Glen tried to blow up the crime scene.
The explosive went off but investigators were still able to figure out who committed the crime. Both Glenn and his roommate were both tried and convicted for the crimes in 1983.
This of course is not where the story ends. In 1987, Glen tried to escape prison and failed. This landed him at a maximum security facility, Folsom State Prison. Once at this new prison he attempted another escape and this time was successful. He fled to Mexico where he tried unsuccessfully to be a part of the illegal drug trade. He was arrested again and sentenced in Mexico.
This is when authorities began the process of getting him extradited. During this process, Glen decided that it would be a brilliant idea to take the life of an inmate who was a member of the Mexican drug cartel, which slowed the process of extradition. This gave him time to plan another escape, which he did in 1991. Since then he's been on the run, and no one knows where he is.
The Long Island Serial Killer
On May 1, 2010, 24-year-old Shannan Gilbert, a sex worker, made a panicked 911 call, saying "They're trying to kill me." She was visiting a client on Jones Beach in Long Island, New York that night and was never seen alive again. Her disappearance led to a police search, resulting in the discovery of the bodies of four missing women along a quarter-mile stretch of Oak Beach.
They were identified as Amber Lynn Costello, Melissa Barthelemy, Maureen Brainard-Barnes, and Megan Waterman, all sex workers who had gone missing. Over time, the investigation grew and at least 10 victims are now tied to the "Long Island Serial Killer" or LISK. Criminal profiler John Kelly believes that the evidence from the crime scene points to a highly organized killer, possibly a former police officer, and that the killer is still active.