VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
These interviews with serial killers ain't a walk in the park. For this list, we'll be analyzing the most bizarre and harrowing discussions that were had with famous killers before they were executed. Our countdown includes Richard Ramirez, Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy, and more.
Disturbing Interviews with Serial Killers Before Execution
Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re looking at Disturbing Interviews with Serial Killers Before Execution.
For this list, we’ll be analyzing the most bizarre and harrowing discussions that were had with famous killers before they died or were supposed to be put to death. If they weren’t actually executed, they could still be eligible, as long as they were sentenced to be.
Which of these unnerved you the most? Let us know in the comments below.
Oscar Ray Bolin
In the mid-1980s, Oscar Ray Bolin killed three women throughout the Tampa area. Following his arrest, Bolin’s cousin testified against him and implicated him in a fourth homicide. He received three death sentences and was executed on January 7, 2016, at the age of 53. One day before his death, Bolin was interviewed by Tampa’s Fox 13. Bolin appears calm and courteous throughout the interview, even expressing fear and worry about his upcoming execution. He also professes his innocence - something he continuously maintained throughout his imprisonment. Bolin looks and sounds like a nice enough guy, which only makes the darkness underneath seem that much more sinister.
A notorious serial killer known as The Night Stalker, Ramirez terrorized California with his violent burglaries, assaults, and killings. Ramirez took the lives of at least fifteen people and was convicted of thirteen homicides, leading to nineteen separate death sentences. In 1993, “Inside Edition” aired an interview with Ramirez, who was then awaiting execution on death row. Among other discussion points, he explained his theories on the psychological development of serial killers like himself. Even more chilling, when asked why he killed his victims, Ramirez hides a smile and simply says “no comment.” Ramirez was still awaiting execution in 2013 when he died of cancer.
A very prolific serial killer, Carroll Cole claimed at least sixteen victims throughout his life, although he confessed to killing 35. He was originally sentenced to life in prison in Texas but was given the death penalty following his extradition to Nevada. Three days before his execution, Cole granted an interview to Las Vegas’s KLAS-TV. While smoking a cigarette, Cole shows complete indifference for his own life but expresses remorse for his crimes. In the end, he even claims that he deserves to die for what he did. Cole is very quiet and reserved, and aside from some brief flashes, doesn’t show much emotion. It makes the interview all the more disturbing.
Westley Allan Dodd
On January 5, 1993, Westley Allan Dodd was executed by hanging, making him the first American criminal to be legally hanged in nearly thirty years. Between September and November of 1989, Dodd assaulted and killed three boys, leading to his moniker The Vancouver Child Killer. Dodd’s final interview is absolutely bone-chilling. With complete confidence, Dodd states that he would kill again if set free and that he “liked” what he did. He also claims that his execution would make a great example for future criminals. Throughout this interview, Dodd proves that he was fully self-aware, and a self-aware child killer is a very scary thing.
The first woman to be lethally injected, Velma Barfield killed six people between 1969 and 1978. She was convicted for just one homicide - that of her boyfriend, Rowland Stuart Taylor. However, it was enough to ensure a death sentence, and Barfield was executed on November 2, 1984. Her interview with Raleigh’s WBTV shows a woman in pain rather than one who causes it. She seemingly attempts to garner sympathy by speaking about her isolation in prison and her years-long battle with drugs. She also credits God for getting her through the trials and tribulations of prison life. While Barfield apologizes for her crimes, most of the interview is about her, and it may rub many viewers the wrong way.
John Wayne Gacy
Known widely as The Killer Clown, John Wayne Gacy claimed at least 33 lives inside his suburban Chicago home. At the time, Gacy set an American record for the most homicide convictions. In 1992, he spoke with Walter Jacobson of CBS 2 Chicago as part of a television event. In a rather shocking and unnerving turn of events, Gacy played innocent. He even claimed that he took a “truth serum,” and that that proved his innocence. Like Barfield, Gacy also plays the sympathy card, portraying himself as a loving family man. Yet sometimes the veneer slips, and Jacobson is quick to notice the scheming man underneath. It’s all quite eerie and probably not at all what viewers were expecting.
On January 23, 1989, Ted Bundy - perhaps the most notorious serial killer in American history - was visited by a psychologist named James Dobson. And it showcases his well-publicized powers of manipulation. Bundy appears clean and well-dressed, offering a friendly “next-door neighbor” vibe. He’s charismatic, charming, and well-spoken - not at all what one would expect from a serial killer. Finally, he latches onto Dobson’s evangelical beliefs, blaming both the adult film industry and violence in the media for his crimes. Biographers and historians argue that this is a prime example of classic Bundy subterfuge. Knowing that, the footage comes across as deeply ominous and foreboding. The term “psychopath” is often bandied around too often, but in this case, many agree that the term fits.
The final interview with Aileen Wuornos is the complete antithesis of Ted Bundy’s. Wuornos shot and killed seven men in a span of one year, and while she claimed self-defense, she was found guilty of six homicides and sentenced to death. Wuornos’s final interview is deeply troubling. She often widens her eyes and yells in a confrontational tone, and even verbally attacks the interviewer, Nick Broomfield. She makes bizarre claims like getting tortured by “sonic pressure.” She states that dying will be like “Star Trek” and that she’ll go on to colonize another planet. Wuornos’s violent past, her abrasive behavior, and her mental state all combine to create some truly uncomfortable viewing.