Did Serial Killers Exist in Ancient Times?

Serial killers have long been a topic of fascination and terror for people around the world. However, many wonder if these violent criminals existed in ancient times.

While we may not have had the term “serial killer” back then, there are plenty of historical accounts of individuals who committed multiple murders over a period of time. Let’s take a closer look at some examples.

The First Recorded Serial Killer

The Bible tells the story of Cain and Abel, two brothers where Cain murdered Abel out of jealousy. While it’s impossible to know if this was a real event or simply a story, it does raise some questions about whether or not serial killers have been around since the beginning of human history.

Ancient Rome

One of the most famous killers in ancient Rome was Locusta, a woman who made her living by selling poison. She was reportedly responsible for several high-profile murders including that of Emperor Claudius.

The Dark Ages

During the Dark Ages, there were numerous accounts of individuals who killed multiple people over an extended period. One example is Gilles de Rais, a French nobleman who confessed to killing over 100 children between 1432 and 1440.

The Renaissance

Perhaps one of the most well-known serial killers from this time period is Elizabeth Bathory. Known as “The Blood Countess,” she allegedly murdered young girls in order to bathe in their blood, believing it would keep her youthful and beautiful.


While we may not have had a formal term for serial killers back then, there are plenty of examples throughout history that suggest these types of criminals have been around for centuries. It’s clear that our fascination with these individuals is nothing new, but it’s important to remember that their actions are nothing short of horrific and should never be glorified.