There are some serial killers so terrible that they have made history. Movies, books, and countless hours of speculation have gone towards building and examining the mythology of Jack the Ripper - but he's not the only depraved serial killer to blacken the pages of history.
Here are 5 historic serial killers who committed terrible acts, forgotten in the years before Jack the Ripper was even born...
1. Rios y Lisperguer
Active: 1630 - 1660
Victims: 40 servants of her Aristocratic estate. As she had flaming hair, she was nicknamed 'La Quintrala' after the red quintral flower.
Fate: Died in her home awaiting trial. Locals say she still haunts the house.
2. Christman Genipperteinga
Active: 1568 - 1581
Victims: 964 - although some historians doubt the legitimacy of his life story, claiming he was no more than an amalgamation of other killers during his proposed life span.
3. Peter Niers
Location: Neumarkt, Modern Germany
Victims: 544 - Niers confessed to torturing, murdering and cannibalizing hundreds of victims, including using newborn babies in Black Magic rituals.
Fate: Executed over the course of three days. Hot oil blistered his skin, then he was rolled on a wheel until his body cracked. Some say he was still alive when he was 'quartered' - cut into four pieces.
4. Niklaus Stuller
Active: mid 1500s
Location: Bavaria, modern Germany
Victims: 4 - Stuller shot a member of the king's cavalry and disemboweled three pregnant women.
Fate: Executed - tied to the back of a sled and dragged through the city, ripping his skin off. He was then mutilated with hot pincers before being broken on the wheel (pictured above).
5. Bjorn Petursson
Active: 16th Century
Victims: 18 - Petersson, also known as Axlar-Björn, robbed and murdered people before hiding their bodies in a lake bordering his lands.
Fate: Beheaded publicly