20 Creepiest Photos Linked to True Crimes

20 Creepiest Photos Linked to True Crimes
VOICE OVER: Peter DeGiglio
These creepy photos will keep you up at night. For this list, we'll be looking at the most horrifying photographs that have come from actual crime stories. Our countdown of the creepiest photos linked to true crimes includes Salah Abdeslam, Tyler Hadley's Party, Dahmer's Drum, Ed Gein's House, and more!

20 of the Creepiest Photos Linked to True Crimes

Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re looking at 20 of the Creepiest Photos Linked to True Crimes.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the most horrifying photographs that have come from actual crime stories.

Did any of these photos chill your blood? Let us know in the comments below!

Salah Abdeslam

On November 14, 2015, two men were captured on camera walking near a French gas station. One was wearing a black jacket and walking with his hands in his pockets. This photo doesn’t look like much, but it becomes terrifying once the context becomes clear. The man in the black jacket is terrorist Salah Abdeslam, and he had just helped commit a series of attacks in Paris. Occurring the night before the photo was taken, the coordinated attacks killed 130 people and injured more than 400. Abdeslam was the only perpetrator to survive, and he called his friends to pick him up. They did so, and Abdeslam was captured on camera while fleeing the country. He was later captured and sentenced to life in prison.

Christopher Wilder

Throughout a period of six weeks in 1984, Christopher Wilder embarked on a cross-country trip from Florida to California. Along the way, he abducted and sexually assaulted at least twelve individuals. He has also been linked to eight murders, although the true number is likely higher. On April 1, Wilder attended a fashion show in Las Vegas hosted by Seventeen magazine. In one picture taken on that fateful day, Wilder can be seen sitting in the background, wearing white pants and a dark jacket. An aspiring model named Michelle Korfman would disappear from this event, and her body was found one month later near a rest stop. Her death was later linked to Christopher Wilder, who abducted her from the fashion show.

Death Masks

Found in the Cleveland Police Museum are a series of death masks hanging on the wall. It’s an unbelievably eerie sight. Not only is the concept of human heads hanging on a wall disturbing, but the death masks look eerily realistic. These grotesque decorations date back to the 1930s, when they were made in the midst of the city’s most infamous killing spree. The still-unidentified Cleveland Torso Murderer killed at least thirteen people between 1934 and 1938. Because most of the victims were transients, it was very difficult to identify them - especially considering what happened to their bodies. Enter these plaster death masks of the victims, which were displayed to the public in the hopes of someone recognizing their faces.

Tyler Hadley’s Party

Two young men pose for the camera, one of whom is holding a drink. That man is Tyler Hadley, and he had just killed his parents. In fact, their bodies were still upstairs. Hadley killed his mother and father earlier in the day, hid their bodies in the master bedroom, then used their credit cards to fund a party that dozens of people attended. The other man in the photo is Michael Mandell. Hadley told Mandell of the crime, and Mandell even found the bodies in the bedroom. Regardless, he stayed at the party and even took this selfie with Hadley. It wasn’t until Mandell had left the party hours later that he reported the crime to authorities.

John Edward Robinson Holding Tiffany Stasi

The photo is of poor quality, but the content is clear. A happy group of people are centered around a man wearing a yellow sweater. This man is holding a very young baby, who is adorably dressed in white. But that baby is not his own. In fact, he killed the baby’s mother and stole her. The man is serial killer John Edward Robinson, who took the lives of at least eight people. He befriended a young mother named Lisa Stasi, killed her, and took her young daughter Tiffany, later posing for this photo. He then sold Tiffany to his brother and sister-in-law, who “adopted” her for $5,500 in “legal fees.” It would be fifteen years before Tiffany Stasi learned of her true identity.

The Shawn Moore Crime Scene

A child’s bicycle lies abandoned on the roadside while a police officer speaks to witnesses in the background. This is a startlingly great picture, conveying a primal sense of fear and danger and letting you know that something is definitely not right. This bike belonged to Shawn Moore, who was riding home from a convenience store when he was forcibly abducted by Ronald Bailey. The bike was left behind, a painful reminder of Moore’s interrupted life. Bailey took Moore to a secluded cabin, where he proceeded to drug, assault, and eventually kill him. Bailey was later found guilty of first-degree murder and kidnapping and sentenced to life in prison.

The Mad Bomber of New York

Everything about George Metesky is terrifying. Throughout the 1940s and ‘50, Metesky earned the moniker The Mad Bomber, as he planted explosives in many public areas around New York. While these bombings never killed anyone, they left fifteen people injured. Metesky was finally identified and caught in 1957 and taken to the Waterbury Police Headquarters. A photographer took a picture of Metesky inside his jail cell, and the result is absolutely blood-chilling. Metesky glances out of his cell, a gleeful smile plastered on his face and his eyes depicting a complete loss of reality. Metesky was found legally insane, with the Judge calling him “hopeless and incurable both mentally and physically.”

James Bulger

This famous photograph depicts James Bulger, who is walking through a mall and holding the hand of an older boy. Another boy wearing a darker jacket walks in front. These two are Robert Thompson and Jon Venables, and they are in the process of discreetly kidnapping Bulger. The young boy was shopping with his mother at the New Strand Shopping Centre when she briefly took her eyes off him to pay for some groceries. It was then that Thompson and Venables swooped in and guided Bulger away by hand. His body was found two days later near some railway tracks.

A Man, His Daughter, & a Car Bomb

For a period of about thirty years, Northern Ireland was embroiled in a political conflict known as The Troubles. This ended with the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, but this ceasefire was not honored by a splinter group of the Irish Republican Army called “The Real IRA.” As a form of protest, they planted a car bomb in the town of Omagh. It went off on August 15, 1998, killing 29 and injuring hundreds. In this photograph, taken shortly before the bombing, a man in a yellow sweater holds a child on his shoulders. Right beside them is the red car in which the bomb was planted. Both the man and the child survived, but the photographer was one of the 29 fatalities.

Regina Kay Walters

It’s one of the most visceral photos in true crime - a girl wearing a black dress holds her hands towards the camera, an obvious defensive gesture that elicits great fear of whoever is behind the camera. That “whoever” was a man named Robert Ben Rhoades, who may have killed more than fifty women while working as a truck driver. He took this haunting snapshot of Walters shortly before strangling her to death, and Walters’s decomposing body was later found on the same farm depicted in the image. The photo was later found by investigators in Rhoades’ house. If it’s any consolation, it was Walters’s death for which Rhoades was convicted and finally put away.

Leonard Lake's Cabin

This photo is quite unassuming at first. It’s an aerial shot of a rubble-strewn building with various crew members working amongst the debris. It’s a sight that millions of people see every day on their way to and from work. But this is actually the compound of Leonard Lake, and it hosted some nightmarish atrocities. Lake and his accomplice, Charles Ng, took their victims to this cabin in the Sierra Nevada foothills and committed horrible acts against them before ending their lives. It’s believed that the duo killed up to 25 people inside the cabin, and authorities later found the likes of videotapes and human remains at the site.

Shari Miller

In July of 1984, a man named William Bradford met young bartender Shari Miller at The Meet Market in Los Angeles. After convincing Miller that he was a professional photographer, he extended a proposition to take some photos of her. She agreed, and the two drove north into the desert of California. Bradford took various photographs of Miller, who can be seen wearing a pair of denim shorts. Soon after the photos were taken, Bradford killed Miller and took her body back to Hollywood, where he abandoned it in an alley. Bradford was a predator who was out on bail at the time of Miller’s killing. She was just one of a potential 28 victims.

Dahmer’s Drum

It’s amazing how a story can re-contextualize a picture. This seemingly harmless photo depicts a blue plastic drum in the corner of an old room. Nothing too strange or malicious. Until you realize what’s inside the vat. It belonged to Jeffrey Dahmer, who is probably the most notorious serial killer in American history. One of Dahmer’s survivors took note of the drum while inside the house and noticed a very strong and unpleasant smell coming from it. When Dahmer was finally caught, investigators uncovered the drum and found it filled with hydrochloric acid and human remains. Dahmer was going full “Breaking Bad” and dissolving his victims inside the drum.

John Lennon & Mark David Chapman

​​A very famous photo taken by Paul Goresh shows John Lennon signing an autograph while a man in glasses stands over his left shoulder. Thousands of photos just like this were taken throughout Lennon’s career, but this one is steeped in malice. This photo was taken around 5 PM on the evening of December 8, 1980. Nearly six hours later, Lennon returned home and was shot by the man in the photo - the very same man he had given an autograph to earlier in the evening. This, of course, is Mark David Chapman, and he had been planning to kill Lennon for months. While Chapman watched Lennon sign his album, he knew that he would kill him just a few hours later.

Karen Sprinker

Throughout the late 1960s, a man named Jerry Brudos killed at least four women in Oregon. One of them was an 18 year old named Karen Sprinker. On March 27, 1969, Brudos was wearing women’s clothing and scoured a department store parking lot for victims. He found Sprinker and kidnapped her at gunpoint. Brudos then took her to his personal garage and made her put on underwear while he took photos. One of them has been released, and it shows a calm-looking Sprinker gazing into the lens. Shortly after the photo was taken, Brudos killed Sprinker and put her body into the Willamette River.

Ted’s Tools

Few serial killers are as notorious as Ted Bundy. His name is synonymous with evil, and he may have killed up to 36 women throughout the mid ‘70s. Bundy was arrested in the early morning of August 16, 1975 by patrolman Bob Hayward, and when Hayward searched Bundy’s vehicle, he discovered a treasure trove of suspicious material. Inside the Volkswagen Beetle, and later photographed for the world to see, were the likes of garbage bags, an ice pick, rope, gloves, a ski mask and more. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough solid evidence to hold Bundy at the time, and he was promptly released from custody. He went on to kill again before he was finally captured for good in February of 1978.

The Columbine Class Picture

It’s pictures like this that proves the volatility of life - you never know the types of people you’re literally sitting beside. This photo shows the Columbine High School class of 1999. In the top left corner, some boys can be seen making gun gestures with their hands. Two of these boys are Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, who, just weeks later, would enact the historic Columbine attack. On April 20, 1999, Harris and Klebold killed 13 at their high school. The perps would also take their own lives, bringing the total body count to fifteen. Even more were injured, and Columbine became an international talking point.

Rodney Alcala's Photos

A vicious man who killed at least eight, Rodney Alcala is famously known as The Dating Game Killer, as he once appeared on the titular game show. While searching his home and his personal storage locker, investigators found over 1,000 photographs, many of which depicted people in sensual poses. 120 of these photos were eventually released to the public in the hopes of identifying the subjects. The released photographs are not explicitly sensual in nature, but merely depict people - mainly young women - posing in artful manners. It’s unclear how many of these subjects were killed by Alcala, but at least one missing persons case - that of 28-year-old Christine Thornton - was solved with the help of the photographs.

A Message from The Lipstick Killer

While his conviction is controversial, The Lipstick Killer is thought to be Illinois criminal William Heirens. The Lipstick Killer got his name from a particularly creepy crime scene, and this crime scene was famously photographed. Frances Brown was killed inside her apartment, and the perp left behind a message for whoever came across her body. Scrawled on the wall in lipstick were the words “For heaven's sake catch me before I kill more I cannot control myself.” Unfortunately, the killer did indeed strike again, kidnapping and taking the life of the young Suzanne Degnan. This occurred just one month after the death of Brown.

Ed Gein’s House

The inspiration behind numerous fictional killers like Norman Bates and Leatherface, Ed Gein is a notorious body snatcher who fashioned himself one nightmarish house. Gein would dig up corpses from graveyards around Plainfield, Wisconsin and use their bones and skin to make household objects. When authorities searched Gein’s house, they found the likes of garbage bins, upholstery, bedposts, bowls, and lampshades - all of which were made from human remains. Many photos were taken of Gein’s house, most of which depict a horribly cluttered space filled with trash and furniture. It’s eerie to think how much of that stuff was made out of the recently exhumed. Perhaps the scariest picture is that of a chair upholstered with old and leathery-looking skin.