Strangling is perhaps the most common and certainly the most intimate mode of murder, allowing the killer to literally squeeze the life out of the victim. It’s intimacy has a particular appeal for the sexually motivated murderer, who often strangles the victim to death while raping them. Serial killers who strangle their victims to death almost always rape them, either before or after killing them. Killers motivated by money or by a more general misanthropic rage tend to use guns or knives, methods that distance them from their victim. By contrast, the strangler is a killer who revels in the intimate moment of murder.
Ali Kaya was a turkish serial killer, who earned the name ‘the Babyface Killer’ due to his youthful appearance. He committed his first murder when he was 19 years old - he killed a man he believed had sexually assaulted his mother in the past. This theme would carry on throughout his crimes, with him eventually claiming that he was ridding the world of awful people.
Due to the nature and motivations of his crimes, incarceration did not aid in preventing them. One of his murders he committed while detained in Manisa Psychiatric hospital after murdering two wardens from his previous prison - he murdered his cell mate, who was a notorious rapist and child killer.
Kaya had also attempted and succeeding in escaping from prisons throughout his criminal career. His most recent escape was in January of this year, and when he was discovered attempting to cross the border to Syria he was in possession of a hand gun and a death list with ten names on it.
Arthur Shawcross killed and cannibalized parts of eleven prostitutes in the Rochester area, but he recalls sparing the life of one:
“You know, I had her by the throat and you know I mean she was fighting me and she was telling me, “Please, I’m on medication.” She says, “I know you’re on medication.” And when she said that, I came out of what I was doing… and I sat down in the driver’s seat and I just hold my hands like this, trembling, and started crying. “What the hell am I doing?… It just shocked me. I just pulled away and said, “What the fuck am I doing?” You know? Then we talked for a while. Then she asked me could I take her home. I said all right.”
Caroline Grills arriving it court in 1953. Grills was charged with murdering four people and attempting to murder a further three by poisoning them with Thallium. This earned Grills the nickname ‘Aunt Thally’ in prison, although she was only convicted of a single count of attempted murder she is thought to have been poisoning people since 1946 when she killed her stepmother. Although there was strong circumstantial evidence and traces of Thallium in the bodies of her victims police decided to only pursue a single charge of attempted murder, for which she received the death penalty.