Bonnie and Clyde, America's most notorious killer couple
Bonnie and Clyde, America's most notorious killer couple

26+ Killer Couples Who Left Their Dark Mark on History

Romance can be a wonderful thing as long as your romantic activities don’t involve murdering people as a couple. Nevertheless, killer couples have left their dark mark on history for decades. Serial killer duos and other murderous pairs have likely existed since the dawn of humanity, but up until the modern age, catching murderers wasn’t easy. If there weren’t direct witnesses, the killing would likely go unsolved. Or worse, the killings could be pinned on someone innocent, allowing the guilty to live and kill as they please. Records from these times are virtually non-existent. 

The murdering duos on this list are the most notorious killer couples from recent times. You’ve probably heard of a few of them, but others you’ll find brand new. Their crimes range from the dark to the absolutely deranged, and some of these killers might leave you questioning if you should actually go through with that double date.

Bonnie Parker jokingly pointing shotgun at Clyde Barrow

Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow

Bonnie and Clyde are truly the world’s most famous criminal couple. Their names invoke the “ride or die” everyone wants in a partner, but these two took it literally. They were the two most prolific robbers of their era and were often romanticized for fighting back against capitalist establishments at the height of the Great Depression. During a crime spree that ran almost two years starting in 1932, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow robbed numerous establishments, stole cars, broke their associates out of prison, and engaged in shootouts with the police, as the Library of Congress explains.

Since this criminal couple was killed in a flurry of ambushing officers’ bullets in 1934, they were never convicted of the final crimes. It’s believed, however, that this killer couple murdered 13 people during their streak. The killings they definitely committed included police officers almost exclusively, though Bonnie and Clyde had been known to tangle with anyone who got in the way of their goals. Goals that seemed to be nothing more than getting out of poverty and making a name for themselves in the glorious world of crime.

Paul Bernardo - Ken of the Ken and Barbie Killers - mugshot
Image from Kingston Penitentiary

Karla Homolka and Paul Bernardo – The Ken and Barbie Killers

Karla Homolka and Paul Bernardo disguised themselves as a normal couple, which earned them the nickname “The Ken and Barbie Killers.” On the outside, you’d think they were a cheery, charismatic partnership, living the middle-class lifestyle. But the truth is Homolka and Bernardo were some of the most twisted killers in Canada.

Together, the couple killed at least three girls between the ages of 14 and 15 years old. This includes Tammy Homolka, Karla’s little sister, whom Karla served up to her serial rapist husband on a platter before she died from complications with the sedatives Karla had used to drug her. This incident was caught on video, as were most (if not all) of their crimes. The tapes authorities recovered from their home also included the killings of 14-year-old Leslie Mahaffy and 15-year-old Kristen French.

Before this couple became an item, Bernardo was already known to the Toronto area as the Scarborough Rapist. He plagued the area with nighttime assaults of young girls. You’d think that would’ve pushed Homolka off, but she only encouraged his activities. She was as much a member of this murderous duo as he was.

Hollin Brown Knowl close to The Moors Murder site

Myra Hindley and Ian Brady – The Moors Murderers

The killer couple behind the Moors Murders outside of Manchester, England, was Myra Hindley and Ian Brady. These were sick individuals who lured children to Saddleworth Moor in the ‘60s to kill them in barbaric fashion. Of course, Hindley claims she only did so under the dominance of Brady, who allegedly beat her and threatened to kill her family. Psychiatric reports, on the other hand, show that Hindley was fully aware of what she was doing at the time.

Hindley set up their victims easily, often asking for their help to unload groceries or search for lost accessories. Being a woman made some of the victims feel at ease in here presence. We’re talking children as young as 10 years old who felt more comfortable around a mother figure. The killers would walk these kids far enough into the wild lands of the moor to be out of the sight of passing cars. Then Ian Brady would rape them and end their lives with a slash to the throat.

Authorities caught on to the serial killer couple after one of Hindley’s in-laws caught Brady murdering a 17-year-old with an axe, according to The New York Times. Both were subsequently sentenced to multiple life sentences. They’re believed to have killed at least five teenagers and children, of which only one remains to be found.

Rosemary and Fred West

Rosemary and Fred West – Britain’s Worst Serial Killers

Rosemary and Fred West are Britain’s worst serial killers. As of the writing of this piece, the killer couple has 12 confirmed victims, but the true number is believed to be much higher. However, it would require finding the victim’s bodies to prove that, something that’s been quite difficult for the authorities in England.

Most of the West killings are thought to have been committed in the ‘70s, but the couple wasn’t caught until 1994. It was the murder of their eldest daughter, Heather West, that ended their career. The Gloucestershire Police’s timeline of the West Murders shows that jokes made by the living West kids were the tip-off investigators needed to put the West parents behind bars. Particularly, an inside joke about Heather being buried beneath the patio was the nail in their metaphorical coffin.

The West family had lived in the same house since the ‘70s, and the majority of Rosemary and Fred West’s victims were discovered buried in the yard or in the basement. Among the victims found in the house of horrors were Fred’s first wife and their nanny, whom Fred had killed himself, and Fred’s daughter from his first marriage, who Rosemary murdered while he was serving time for theft.

Christine Paolilla at trial

Christine Paolilla and Chris Snyder – The Clear Lake Massacre Killers

The story of South Texas killers Christine Paolilla and Chris Snyder is an interesting one. Paolilla’s peers bullied her throughout most of her young life. She’d developed alopecia at a young age and, due to such, lost her hair. Having to draw on eyebrows and wear wigs is hard enough on a little girl, but the daily bullying beat down Paolilla’s soul. The thick glasses she wore didn’t help either. The cruel children in her life would pick at anything to further destroy the girl’s self-esteem.

In her teens, Paolilla would become friends with a pair of popular girls in Clear Lake City, a suburb of Houston, who would make her over into the school’s “Miss Irresistible.” This is when Paolilla became involved with Chris Snyder. The man was 21 years old when the two started dating; she was only 17. Snyder’s criminal background didn’t lead to much approval from Paolilla’s friends and family, nor did his part in Paolilla becoming involved with hard drugs. But those are minor offenses compared to where these two were heading.

On a July night in 2003, Paolilla and Snyder stormed into her friend’s house to steal drugs, and things went south fast. An argument broke out, according to ABC, and the next thing they knew, bullets were flying at the two friends who’d helped Paolilla rise in status and the two guys accompanying them. The killer couple filled them all with repeated gunshots. This incident would become known as the Clear Lake Massacre.

Bailey Boswell and Aubrey Trail mugshots
Taney County Sheriff's Department

Bailey Boswell and Aubrey Trail – The Tinder Killers

Being murdered on a Tinder date is every single woman’s worst nightmare, and as Bailey Boswell and Aubrey Trail proved, the threat is real. Boswell, a 24-year-old woman, and her boyfriend, 52-year-old Aubrey Trail, met Sydney Loofe on Tinder. Loofe was the same age as Boswell, the one who charmed her into a date. Things must have gone well for the two because a second date was soon in the works, this time with Trail. Unknown to Loofe, these killers weren’t planning a pleasant night out.

On a November morning in 2017, Boswell and Trail were preparing for the date by purchasing items for their murder kit. Boswell had set up a meet between Loofe and Trail under the notion that Trail would start paying for the young girl’s life. In reality, Trail was attempting to pull Loofe into his cult. And this coming date would be the last one Loofe ever had.

The killer couple claimed Loofe died during rough BDSM play, but the court wasn’t convinced. Instead, it’s believed they tortured the young woman and killed her that night for passing on Trail’s attempted recruitment. Had Loofe’s death been an accident, the killers would’ve called for help rather than cutting her body into 14 pieces and burying her in a field. One chilling fact about this murder is that some of Loofe’s organs were never found with her remains. Nobody knows what came of them.

The Tinder Killers were found guilty of murdering Loofe. Trail was sentenced to death, and his appeals have been continuously denied by the Supreme Court. Boswell was sentenced to life in prison, and, as KETV explains, narrowly avoiding the title of first woman on death row in Nebraska.

Bloody knife in the rain
Image by kalhh from Pixabay

Jasmine Richardson and Jeremy Steinke – The Richardson Family Murderers

The Richardson Family Murders were committed by 12-year-old Jasmine Richardson and her 23-year-old boyfriend Jeremy Steinke in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada. Outside of the obvious “full-grown man dating a literal child” thing, this story is terribly dark. But Steinke and Richardson had a thing for “dark” in 2006 when the couple met at a punk concert. Steinke played at being a “300-year-old werewolf” who dressed goth and wore a vial of blood around his neck. Richardson was a 12-year-old who spent her time on the old website and had an attraction to older goths. It was a match made in 2000’s goth heaven (hell?).

When Richardson’s family found out about her relationship with Steinke, they tried to put a stop to it. All that accomplished was getting the entire family murdered on April 23, 2006. Steinke stabbed Richardson’s parents to death in the downstairs of the house. This was supposed to ensure the couple could finally be free to spend their lives together. Richardson’s plan was darker. The 12-year-old made her way upstairs to her 8-year-old brother’s room. What she did next was gruesome and ended with repeated stab wounds, a cut throat, and toys spattered with her little brother’s blood (via The New Zealand Herald). Richardson would later claim she killed him as an act of mercy, but this was a premeditated plan.

The couple was caught shortly after the killings. They were sloppy, and the trail of evidence they left was easy to follow. Steinke was sentenced to three life sentences. Richardson, however, was only incarcerated for 10 years. She’s now free under a new identity, living somewhere in Canada.

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Bloody knife on the ground
Image by Patricia Srigley from Pixabay

Kim Edwards and Lucas Markham – The Twilight Killers

Kim Edwards and Lucas Markham are the youngest known double murderers in Britain. Both halves of this couple were only 14 years old at the time they became the Twilight Killers, and it was Edward’s hatred for her family that got them there.

Edwards lived with her mother and 13-year-old sister Katie in Spalding, England. Where Katie shared a closely bonded relationship with their mom, Kim did not. In fact, Kim hated their perfect relationship, according to BBC, and she resented Katie for receiving the type of affection Kim never got. In the end, these feelings would drive her to kill.

Edwards was the mastermind behind the murders, and Markham wielded the knife that carried them out on an otherwise pleasant day in April of 2016. Markham, having been led through the house by Edwards, stabbed Edwards’ mother and sister in the throat while they slept. Edwards sat back and enjoyed the show. Information released after the court hearing showed that the young couple showed no remorse immediately after the murders but instead hung around the house, where they engaged in sex and watched Twilight in the living room. This is how they earned the name the “Twilight Killers.”

John Makin
Public Domain

Sarah and John Makin – The Baby Farmers

Baby farming was a fairly common practice at the end of the 19th century, as the University of Oregon explains. Mothers or families would have babies they couldn’t afford to feed or didn’t have the time to take care of, so they’d pass them off to someone else. Often, these “baby farms” took in more babies than they could handle, leading to unnecessary deaths via neglect or starvation. They did not usually involve a murderous couple like Sarah and John Makin, who murdered infants and toddlers to turn a profit.

It wasn’t unusual for parents who relinquished their children to baby farms to pay them a token fee or an allowance to go towards the care of the kids. The Makins capitalized on this by taking the children and the money, killing the children, and skipping to a new location in the middle of the night. The total number of children murdered by this killer couple is unknown, but 13 bodies were found buried behind just one of the homes Sarah and John Makin occupied. The Australian Dictionary of Biography explains John Makin was hung for his crimes while Sarah served a life sentence.

Catherine and David Birnie – The Moorhouse Murders

Catherine and David Birnie are thought to have abducted and killed at least four women in the 1980s. Their story is one that you’ll see a lot with killer couples. They were charming and sadistic. Catherine Birnie would lure women with free rides and other such promises that ended with them unknowingly chained to a bed in the Birnie house. David Birnie then raped and tortured these unsuspecting victims. Much like The Ken and Barbie Killers, the Birnies videotaped their deeds.

The women bound in the Birnie residence rarely left the Willagee, Australia, home alive. The one who did was Catherine and David Birnie’s undoing.

In 1986, 17-year-old Kate Moir managed to escape the Birnie house, as The Sydney Morning Herald details. The couple had chained her up and forced her to perform for them. David Birnie raped her several times and gave her sleeping pills so she could rest up. She hid the pills and went along with the act. The next day, while David was at work, she jumped out a window and ran for help. Initially, the police tried to dismiss her, claiming she was filing a false report. Moir, however, knew too many details to be ignored and set investigators on the killers’ path. The police arrested the Birnies for rape shortly after, and David led them straight to the bodies of the women they’d killed.

Martha Beck and Raymond Fernandez
Public Domain

Martha Beck and Raymond Fernandez – The Lonely Hearts Killers

Martha Beck and Raymond Fernandez are one of the most prolific serial killer couples in modern history. Though they were convicted of a single murder in 1951, their kill count is probably closer to 20 victims, if not more. Beck and Fernandez earned The Lonely Hearts Killers nickname by bringing in victims through the singles section of local newspapers. Fernandez would pretend to be a single man looking for love, and Beck would be his sister.

The couple killed all over the country. They even flew one suiter to Spain where they left her remains to be discovered by hotel staff after their departure. They buried another and her toddler in their basement. This twisted pair was protected by the inferior forensic technology of the ‘40s for nearly half a decade. When they finally were caught in Michigan, the killers reasoned they’d spend the rest of their lives behind bars serving life sentences, as History explains. Michigan didn’t have the death penalty. Execution was, however, an option in New York, where The Lonely Hearts Killers had committed several of their crimes. It only took one charge for this couple to get extradited to New York, where an electric chair was primed and waiting.

Michael Bear Carson Serial Killer

Article from Aug 13, 1986 Santa Cruz Sentinel (Santa Cruz, California)

Suzan and Michael Bear Carson – The Witch Killers

Suzan and Micheal Bear Carson killed three people in the early ‘80s. This killer couple is known as “The Witch Killers” because they believed they were on a spiritual mission to murder “witches.” And though their official kill count only lists three victims, authorities believe more murders may be waiting to be discovered.

The Carsons had odd religious views that blended the old religions of the law, namely the old texts from Christian, Jewish, and Islamic traditions, as Carson’s daughter explains in a Huff Post article she authored. Reading into the testaments of these spiritual traditions convinced the Carsons that their purpose in life was to help eliminate witches from the Earth. In their minds, they were on the righteous side of a holy war. In reality, they were delusional murders.

This killer couple’s spree came to an end in 1983 after shooting a driver who was kind enough to pick them up while they were hitchhiking. A UPS driver on the road behind them witnessed the murder, committed in broad daylight, and was able to lead police straight to the Carsons. The Witch Killers confessed to the three murders authorities directly questioned them about, arguing that their beliefs didn’t allow them to lie. However, they refused to answer whether or not they’d taken other lives during their “holy war.”

Gwendolyn Graham and Cathy Wood mugshots
Kent County Sheriff Department

Gwendolyn Graham and Cathy Wood – The Lethal Lovers

The Lethal Lovers are some of the worst types of killers. They took the lives of people they were meant to care for. Both Gwendolyn Graham and Cathy Wood worked at Alpine Manor Nursing Home in Walker, Michigan, as nursing assistants. While there in the ‘80s, according to ABC News, they killed five disabled elderly individuals by suffocating them with washcloths. Their rationale for these murders was truly bizarre.

According to Wood at trial, the killer couple killed as a way to bond. By committing an act as powerful as murder, they’d ensure that bond lasted a lifetime. Wood also claimed they chose their victims using the first letter of their target’s name. The nursing home kept a chronological death log that listed the names of the dead down the page. It was The Lethal Lovers’ goal to spell out the word “murder” inside it. Being one victim short, they never achieved their dreams.

Wood confessed to the killings after she and Graham broke up. Since there was no official evidence of foul play at the time of the victims’ deaths, Wood struggled to be taken seriously. In the end, Graham would be convicted on five counts of murder while Wood would only receive a sentence of 20 to 40 years on one charge. She was released in 2020 and has since moved to South Carolina to start her new life.

Revolver on table
Image by Monoar Rahman Rony from Pixabay

Faye and Ray Copeland – The American Gothic Killers

One thing you’ll learn from this list is that serial killers like places revolving around the word “moor.” Fay and Ray Copeland lived and killed on their farm in Mooresville, Missouri, before they were finally stopped in 1989. At the time, both couples were in their 70s. Hence “The American Gothic Killers” nickname.

Being a farmer and career criminal since his adolescence, Ray Copeland loved two things: cheap labor and bad checks. He’d been using homeless vagrants for both since the ‘70s. Copeland would hire hitchhikers, hobos, etc. to work the farm, convince them to write bad checks for livestock, then shoot them and dispose of their bodies. It was a fool-proof plan until one worker outran him and reported his crimes as an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers. The murder investigation took a while to get off the ground, but once it did, authorities uncovered five of Copeland’s victims.

The police found no remains on Copeland’s farm. For that, they had to investigate other local properties where Copeland was known to work part-time, as Crimes of the Centuries Volume 3 points out. Investigators found most of Copeland’s victims buried in a barn with bullet wounds in their heads from Copeland’s .22. Copeland’s former business associate, however, was found stuffed in a well at a completely different farm. Investigators initially believed Faye Copeland had no involvement in her husband’s crimes – she could’ve easily been a victim herself – but a single piece of evidence unraveled that story: A list of X’ed-off names matching the identities of Ray’s victims, written by Faye herself.

Teenager girl like the victims of the virgin hunters
Image by Sasin Tipchai from Pixabay

Monique Olivier and Michel Fourniret – The Virgin Hunters

The next killer couple on the list hails from Europe where they killed at least 11 people between France and Belgium: Monique Olivier and Michel Fourniret. These two are known as The Virgin Hunters for they meticulously planned the abductions of young girls and teenagers. Olivier would lure victims into a van under the guise of needing directions, then she’d pick up her husband down the street so he could rape and kill them, as she’d confessed in 2023 (via CBS News).

The Virgin Hunters’ victim list is appalling, even for serial killers, and includes girls ranging from 9 years old to their late teens. The only known outlier was the concubine of a robber Fourniret had met behind bars. Several trials have been held since the murderous pair was caught in 2003 after one of their potential victims escaped her kidnapping and fingered them. Each of the new cases has been prompted by the discovery of unknown murders. Unfortunately, some believe the known number of victims isn’t even half of the total list. If that’s true, there we may see more years added to The Virgin Hunters’ sentences.

Inessa Tarverdiyeva and Roman Podkopaev – The Gang of Amazons

Inessa Tarverdiyeva and Roman Podkopaev were the head of a serial killer family in Russia, known as “The Gang of Amazons,” who murdered around 30 people in the 2000s and early 2010s. Many of the killings were committed to turn a profit, but the family certainly took pleasure in torturing, mutilating, and ending the lives of their victims as well. When we say “family,” we’re not referring to unrelated members of a crime family. This was a biological family that included Tarverdiyeva and Podkopaev’s children and siblings, as Evil Families: A History of Bad Blood by Martin Knight explains.

For six years, this killer couple and their relatives murdered anyone from rich families whose possessions they could loot to police officers and children who may have otherwise become witnesses. They had no care for human life, which was made clear through the tortured remains of a teenager whose eyes they gouged from their sockets.

Podkopaev was killed in a police shootout in 2013 while Tarverdiyeva was arrested and charged with the family’s crimes. She claimed the murders were business and killing was as legitimate a career path as any other.

Ottis Toole mugshot
Public Domain

Henry Lee Lucas and Ottis Toole – The Confession Killers

Lovers Henry Lee Lucas and Ottis Toole claimed to have killed over 600 people, according to The Guardian, and if this were true, it would make them the most prolific serial killer couple in known history. Of course, 600 victims is likely an exaggeration. Even in the ‘70s, when this couple was on their murder spree, they would’ve found it exceedingly difficult to hit triple digits without being discovered. The problem is that we can’t tell exactly how high their death toll really climbed before they were caught in 1983 and 1984. Chances are it was much lower than the couple initially claimed.

Though the couple described hundreds of crimes in almost too great of detail, authorities knew something was fishy. Lucas confirmed their suspicions when he changed his tone while serving his sentence. For years the couple tried to take credit for crimes they didn’t commit, but according to Lucas, he’d only killed three people. It was these false confessions that earned them the moniker “The Confession Killers.”

Regardless of the actual number, Henry Lee Lucas and Ottis Toole were truly a deranged killer couple worthy of making this list. They killed, sexually assaulted, and cannibalized victims across 26 U.S. states. And they did so indiscriminately. If they thought they could murder someone and get away with it, that was all they needed to pull the trigger.

Lucas, who’d left Toole to pursue a relationship with his niece, was caught after killing her in 1983. Ottis Toole was arrested in 1984, after burning an elderly man to ashes.

Debra Brown and Alton Coleman mugshots
US Marshals

Debra Brown and Alton Coleman – The Death Row Couple

Debra Brown and Alton Coleman went on a crime spree through the Midwest in 1984 for 56 days, killing at least 8 people. Though one of their victims was 77 years old, this killer couple primarily abducted, sexually assaulted, and murdered children between the ages of 7 and 10 years old.

The amount of devastation these two caused in a two-month span is ridiculous. Along with their 8 murders, Brown and Coleman committed several robberies, rapes, and kidnappings. The couple’s first victim was a 9-year-old girl they abducted in Wisconsin. Authorities found her body across state lines in Illinois. Their killings would follow suit, except for the two people Brown and Coleman murdered during carjackings.

Both Brown and Coleman received death row sentences in 1984. Alton Coleman was executed in 2002, but Brown’s sentence was commuted to life in prison. It’s believed that Brown possesses an exceptionally low IQ and was, at least in part, manipulated by Coleman into carrying out heinous acts she otherwise wouldn’t have.

Caril Ann Fugate and Charles Starkweather – The Teenage Spree Killers

At 19 years old, Charles Starkweather was on a killing spree through Nebraska and Wyoming. His then 14-year-old girlfriend, Caril Ann Fugate, was along for the ride. In total, this killer couple is believed to have murdered 10 people. To be clear, Starkweather was the one who committed the murders, but Fugate was the accomplice in his terrible crimes.

The Teenage Spree Killers didn’t have the longest run, but it was a brutal one. Outside of Starkweather killing a gas station employee in December of 1957, they committed all of their murders over eight days in January of the following year. The first of those New Year’s murders was Fugate’s family.

Now, there’s been a lot of discourse on whether or not Caril Ann Fugate and Charles Starkweather are equally culpable in these deeds, as A&E points out. For one, Fugate was a young teen, and though she was capable of making her own decisions, kids of that age are fairly impressionable. Next, Fugate claims to have believed her boyfriend had been keeping her family hostage and that she had no knowledge of their murders. As far as she allegedly knew, the price for their lives was her compliance. Starkweather tells a different story though, one of Fugate’s participation as a more equal partner in their murderous endeavors.

Kidnap victim chained at feet
Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

Judith and Alvin Neelley – Boney and Claude

According to Thomas H. Cook’s True Crime: Blood Echoes and Early Graves, the Neelleys fancied themselves a more humorous version of the famous duo Bonnie and Clyde, and they dubbed themselves “Boney and Claude” as a fun little parody. But there’s nothing humorous about Judith and Alvin Neelley’s crimes.

Alvin and Judith Neelley murdered two people in premeditated, disgusting ways. The first was a 13-year-old the Neelley’s kidnapped in Georgia, whom Judith Neelley bound to a tree in Alabama and injected with cleaning chemicals in hopes of a traceless death. This was after the couple raped and tortured the poor girl. The bleach and pipe cleaner Judith pumped into the victim’s veins didn’t kill her, but it did cause her excruciating pain. Judith didn’t need a girl screaming in torment; she needed a dead one. So, she finished her off by shooting her and pushing her from a cliff into a deep ravine. The second of the Neelley’s victims was a 23-year-old they’d kidnapped, tortured, and murdered in similar ways in Georgia.

Judith showed no remorse at her trial. She’s even reported to have smirked at the jury when prosecutors recounted her crimes. She was originally sentenced to death, but the sentence was commuted to life without parole later on. She’s since been fighting for parole anyway, and even if that were to happen, she’d end up in prison in Georgia, where she’s already pled guilty to her second victim’s murder. Alvin Neelley died in prison in 2005.

New Mexico Correction Department

Cindy Hendy and David Parker Ray – The Toy Box Killers

Cindy Hendy and David Parker Ray are truly one of the most prolific serial killer couples on this list. Authorities believe these two murdered up to 60 women in the Southwest United States during the late ‘90s, and they did so in horrendous style.

Most killers come prepared with a murder kit, victim selection, and possibly a pre-planned way of disposing of their victim’s corpses. Cindy Hendy and David Parker Ray came with a murder trailer pulled behind their truck. This RV trailer, which they dubbed “The Toy Box,” was equipped with a restraint table and several ways to torture victims, as KRQE News explains. The killer couple would cut up their marks with surgical tools and shock them with electricity to cause deep, muscular pain. And they did all of it while forcing the victims to watch their own mutilations in the mirrors mounted on the ceiling above.

In the typical killer couple dynamic, Hendy helped lure Ray’s victims into The Toy Box, and she’s adamant that this was her primary involvement. Authorities disagree. It’s more likely that Hendy enjoyed a hands-on role in the couple’s twisted schemes.

Doug Clark Mugshot
Public Domain

Carol Bundy and Doug Clark – The Sunset Strip Killers

Carol Bundy and Doug Clark hunted the Sunset Strip in Las Angeles in 1980, preying on unsuspecting victims who were trying to make a buck. Their preferred mark was sex workers since these were people generally believed to have fewer ties to society, fewer people who’d miss them if they went missing.

The Sunset Strip Killings were brutal and often ended in gory mutilations like decapitation. Clark is thought to have committed at least three murders before he and Bundy started hunting Las Angeles together. She claimed to be forced into the crimes, but that’s seriously doubtful. This couple killed together, chopped up remains together, and participated in necrophilia together amongst other crimes. In total, the couple was convicted of eight counts of murder – six for Clark and two for Bundy.

Carol Bundy mugshot
Public Domain

Doug Clark has adamantly claimed innocence since the beginning, according to LA Magazine. He says the actual people responsible for these murders are Carol Bundy and her ex-boyfriend Robert Murray, whose severed head she brought to Clark as a gift. Clark died awaiting execution on death row in 2023, a place deaf to his pleas of innocence.

Cynthia Coffman mugshot
Public domain

Cynthia Coffman and James Marlow – The Folsom Wolf and Company

Cynthia Coffman and James Marlow became an item quickly after his release in 1986 from a Folsom Prison stint for stealing a car. They were married later that year. The couple was “all in” from the beginning. Coffman had even gotten the words “Property of the Folsom Wolf” tattooed on her buttocks – “The Folsom Wolf” being a nickname Marlow had picked up in the pen. Their relationship took to new heights in October of that year when Coffman and Marlow started their killing spree through California.

This killer couple would murder at least four people before authorities caught them due to a lazy mistake. The Folsom Wolf and his wife would leave one of their victim’s checkbooks in a dumpster along with some personal papers that identified them by name (via the Toronto Sun). Authorities ambushed this couple while they were mountain hiking in November.

Both Marlow and Coffman received the death penalty for their crimes. As of the writing of this article, Coffman holds the record for a woman spending the most time on death row, where she and her husband await their executions.

Girl tied up at wrists
Image by Engin Akyurt from Pixabay

Charlene Williams and Gerald Gallego – The Sex Slave Murders

Charlene Williams and Gerald Gallego are the killer couple behind The Sex Slave Murders that lasted from 1978 until 1980. Most of the killings happened in California, where the couple hunted young women at Sacramento malls, but the total territory of the murders spanned three states. Williams and Gallego would bind their victims, sexually assault them, and kill them. Teenage girls were their targets of choice, though they were known to kill the boyfriends of their victims from time to time.

Williams, who was Charlene Gallego at the time of The Sex Slave Murders, claims she never killed any of the victims, even though she pled guilty at trial. According to Williams in an interview with CBS News, she actively tried to stop Gallego. She only spent 17 years behind bars after making a plea deal with the courts in exchange for testifying against Gallego and putting him on death row, where he died of cancer. Williams was last known to reside in Sacramento, California, after her 1997 release. There she lives a relatively normal life and commits much of her time to charity. Even so, many aren’t convinced of her innocence and believe her proper place is behind bars.

High rise buildings
Image by 4504097 from Pixabay

Zhang Bo and Ye Chengchen – The High-Rise Toddler Killers

Zhang Bo and Ye Chengchen weren’t serial killers or hard-core criminals like many of the killer couples on this list, at least at first. They were a couple from Chongqing, China, who fell in love and wanted to start a family of their own. But in order for that to happen, or so they believed, they had to commit two counts of murder first.

Zhang Bo was already married when he got with Ye Chengchen, but the affair took him away from his wife and into a new home with his mistress. Ye Chengchen wanted children with Zhang Bo, but first, she wanted to start from a clean slate. See, Zhang had children with his previous wife, and this was a major issue for Ye, according to BBC. She hassled Zhang, instigating him into killing his two toddlers, and he complied. After 9 months of planning their murder, he tossed his kids out of a 15-story window in 2020 while they were playing in the high-rise apartment and tried to frame it as an accidental fall. The authorities saw through his gambit and sentenced the couple to death.

Picture of kid representing child abuse
Image by Marcos Cola from Pixabay

Countless killers through domestic abuse

This is a sad fact, but many of the killer couples that could make this list are lumped together in this section because their crimes were likely “accidental,” though no less despicable. Those killer couples who’ve murdered their children through child abuse gone “too far” certainly meant to cause harm, and we aren’t trying to excuse that. There is, however, a chance that these parents weren’t trying to outright murder their children.

Some of these abusers are surely more cruel and twisted than others, no better than the serial killers on this list – obvious sadists wanting to cause the most pain possible to innocents who didn’t deserve the torment. For example, Rayray Andrederral Darn and Marilyn Northington, who starved their 5-week-old, broke his bones, burned his face, and fractured his skull in 2021. Or Stephen Boden and Shannon Marsden, who killed their 10-month-old on Christmas of 2020. Their son had around 130 injuries when he died, according to The Guardian, including burns and 57 fractures. These types of killer couples are nothing to romanticize, though few killers should be. The mere existence of these monsters is a horrible stain on human history, but it’s important to know that they do exist, and they make up the vast majority of the killer couples out there.

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