When we think about serial killers we think about the depraved and horrific acts they performed on people. But, even more than that, we like to think they have been caught and are no longer able to hurt members of the public.
But what if there are serial killers still on the loose? Another Ted Bundy or Jeffrey Dahmer that are on a killing spree and haven't been caught?
These killers get to keep on finding and tracking down their next victim, free to satisfy their blood lust, without the police having a clue.
Here are five bone chilling cases of brutal serial murders that have been carried out, but those responsible have never been caught. And they could kill again.
5. The Jennings Murders. 8 Victims
In a small town called Jennings Louisiana the bodies of 8 young women were found between the years 2005-2009, leaving the small town wondering, who in their community could be evil enough to commit murder.
Found discarded by roadsides and half immersed in canals, the bodies had been thrown away as if they meant nothing.
The act of a serial killer? Possibly, but factually serial killers tend to pick victims that have no connection to them. All of these 8 women knew each other personally, some were even cousins, and all were involved with drugs and prostitution.
Police corruption has been linked to the unsolved crimes, many saying it might have been a police officer that committed the murders.
Eerily enough a few of the girls had the feeling they were going to be killed, and had spoken out to family members.
In her final days, one of the eight named Necole Guillory told her mother not to prepare her a birthday cake because she wouldn’t be alive to eat it. She had also placed her four children with family members and warned her mother that she wouldn’t tell her any information on who was making her so paranoid because she wanted to keep her safe.
Fifth victim Laconia “Muggy” Brown told her sister she was helping a cop to solve a murder, and he had offered her money for information. She also ended up dead not long after.
So could it be a serial killer, murdering accessible young women for fun? Or could it be the young girls knew too much about a corrupt police state, and their killer was actually someone in a position of trust that was meant to protect them?
4. The Long Island Killer. 10 or more victims
To understand the case of the Long Island killer, you have to look at his last known possible victim, Shannon Gilbert. An escort, she had gone to visit a client in the area in December 2010. Her driver who accompanied her to her jobs drove her to the clients address in the early hours of the morning.
While in this clients house something happened to terrify her, she even made a frantic call to 911, and ran out of the house, running to a neighbor and banging on the door at around 5am. This neighbor also called police and said Shannon was hidden under a boat he owned, and that she seemed terrified. He also told police he saw a man driving a black SUV and that the man driving the car, was probably who Shannon was trying to escape from.
And then, she vanished. Her family begged police to search for her, and when they began to search the area, no-one was prepared for the horrors they would find in the sands on Gilgo beach.
The bodies of four missing escorts, all of which had advertised themselves on Craigslist, were found in December 2010. The media dubbed the serial killer 'The Craigslist Ripper'.
Six more bodies were found in March and April 2011, police say these victims actually predated the previous four found, and they were most likely to have been killed by the same person, now named 'The Long beach Killer'.
Only one victim was formally identified out of the six as Jessica Taylor, who had been severely mutilated and dismembered.
Shannon's remains were found in 2011, but police say her death was not linked to the other victims, but that the search for her lead them to discover the other bodies.
Who is the mystery killer? There are ten victims that police have linked together as his victims, but since the gruesome discoveries there have been at least another six murders that police believe could be linked to the Long Island Killer.
So it looks like he remains active, at large, and still has murder on his mind.
3. West Mesa Murders. 12 victims
A woman was out walking her dog in 2009 when she saw something she thought looked suspicious sticking out of the ground in West Mesa, Albuquerque, New Mexico. She rang police who discovered it was a human bone.
After further investigation, the area contained the remains of 11 women and 1 fetus. All had been murdered and buried in shallow graves. All the women had gone missing between 2002-2005, but were not discovered until four years later.
The makeshift graveyard meant the serial killer was given the name 'The Bone Collector".
Chillingly, in December 2010 police released pictures they had received of other women they wished to identify who could have been linked to the West Mesa killer. The women appeared to be unconscious in the photographs and the police refused to divulge where the pictures had come from.
Were the photographs handed to them by the killer? Was he playing a game of cat and mouse? Police in the area have been reluctant to say if the killer is in prison for another crime, dead or still at large. So which is it? I bet all the people of New Mexico are praying for anything but the latter.
2. Smiley Face Killer. 200+ victims
Due to the sheer amount of victims, many are skeptical that the Smiley face killer exists, and think of it as an urban legend.
But, the horrifying truth is that young men from all over the USA have all died in the same circumstances. Leading some experts to believe there isn't just one killer, but a gang of killers all working together to commit murder.
Two retired police officers wouldn't believe that over 200 young men, none of which were known to be suicidal, all popular, enjoyed sports, good at school, could all just die by accidental drowning.
They believe they can link at least 40 drownings in 25 cities in 10 separate states in America.
Further investigation has now proved that many of the scenes could be linked, by a drawing of a small smiley face left somewhere near where some of the young men's bodies were found.
The killers also left clues as to where next victims could be found. The word 'Sinsinawa' was found written on a wall near to where one mans body had been washed up. Weeks later, another unfortunate young man's body was found, hundreds of miles away. The police believed the young man had been out into the water at Sinsinawa Ave.
So why has the killer been leaving these subtle clues? And will the police ever catch up to the killer, or killers? Drowning makes it almost impossible as evidence gets washed away, and the body moves away from the area it entered the water, also meaning evidence gets lost. So it remains a mystery.
A mystery that has claimed the lives of over 200 young men so far.
1. Highway Serial Killer. 450+ victims
Each red dot on the picture is sadly a victim of 'The Highway Serial Killer', and the numbers are growing. The FBI has stated that this isn't just one killer, but a network of killers who use the highways to murder and run.
The profile of the murderers tends to be truck drivers, or people who need to use the highway frequently due to their job. This means they don't stay in one place for too long. Which makes the killers harder to track.
Most of the victims have high risk lifestyles, such as prostitution and drug use, which means they are less likely to have a fixed place to live, making it harder for people to realize they are missing. They also move around a lot, and with less stability, sadly, it is easier for someone to fall of the radar more easily.
One highway in-particular gained notoriety for the amount of victims, and was named the 'highway of tears.'
A 500 mile stretch of road along Highway 16 between Prince George and Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada has been the place where 16 women have been murdered between 1969-2006, and that's only counting the victims that were found. Up to 43 families have claimed they have lost a family member along that strip of road.
Police have suspects, but are doubtful they will ever be able to convict the killers of each of the women.
Police and local people strongly suggest not to hitch-hike, you can never be sure who's car you might be getting into.
And if you live in any of these towns or cities, or even if you don't, always remember to take extra precautions to keep yourself safe, always let a person you trust know where you are at all times. NEVER walk in dimly lit areas and carry a mobile phone to ring the police if you find yourself in an emergency situation.