Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Serial Killer Culture


Carol Ann Boone  is among the most infamous of the serial killer groupies.  She moved from Washington State to be close to Ted Bundy, killer of some 30 women across several states.  During one of his sentencing trials in Florida in 1980, she conspired with him to use an old law on the books to become his wife right there in the courtroom.  She also had a child with him, but eventually came to believe he was guilty of the crimes with which he'd been convicted, and she took her child and moved away. 

Richard Ramirez (l) and Doreen Lioy (r)
Richard Ramirez (l) and Doreen Lioy (r)

Another persistent lover was Doreen Lioy, who beat out the fierce competition in 1996 to become the wife of Night Stalker Richard Ramirez.  They were married at the prison and she accepts that their relationship will never be sexually consummated.  Lioy had seen Ramirez's image and fell madly in love with him.  Feeling that he needed a friend, she had written a letter.  When he responded, she became his advocate, insisting that he could not have done the things of which he was accused.  She sat through his trial and stayed loyal. Despite his flirtation with other women, she eventually persuaded him to "settle down" with her.  In 1977, she gave an interview to U.S. News, in which she insisted that Ramirez was funny, charming, and kind.  Despite overwhelming evidence about what he had done, she stated, "I just believe in him completely."

Sondra London
Sondra London

Sondra London has assisted serial kill culture by making it possible for Danny Rolling, Keith Jesperson, Gerard Schaefer, and others to get their ideas and drawings into the public domain.  In 1993, she supposedly got engaged to Rolling, but later sources indicate that they broke up.  Nevertheless, she continues to find outlets for notorious criminals.

Then there was Veronica Compton, featured on Court TV's Mugshots, who got involved with Hillside Strangler Kenneth Bianchi and even participated in a plot to set up his partner, Angelo Buono, for the murders for which he was accused.  Compton targeted a woman for murder, hoping to stage the scene to cast doubt on Bianchi's arrest, but she blew it and ended up convicted of attempted murder.  In prison, after Bianchi discarded her, Compton took up with killer Doug Clark, who also tried to use her in a plot to make himself seem innocent of his crimes.  (He ended up marrying another groupie, as did Bianchi).

Among the reasons given for the behavior of these women (and a handful of males) are that they:

  • want to believe they can change such cruel people
  • seek to nurture the needy boy inside the killer
  • hope to associate themselves with the notoriety
  • like the excitement of the case
  • are excited by violence itself
  • tend to be attracted to abusive people
  • lack a male figure in their lives
  • believe that their only chance to get a man is to be involved with a prisoner
  • realize that these men are the most accessible "celebrities" they can find

In any event, whether they're exploiting or being exploited, they do participate in a rarified arena in which they often become the focus of articles, television documentaries and books about people like themselves.  Thus, they become part of serial killer culture.

While groupies tend to get involved strictly for their emotional needs, others become avid necro-entrepreneurs.


We're Following
Slender Man stabbing, Waukesha, Wisconsin
Gilberto Valle 'Cannibal Cop'