10 of the World's Most Prolific Serial Killers

Ted Bundy
Ted Bundy waves to TV cameras as his indictment for the murders of Florida State University students Lisa Levy and Margaret Bowman is read at the Leon County Jail in Florida. Hulton-Deutsch Collection/Universal History Archive/Getty Images

Between 1973 and 1978, Bundy — the subject of the Ann Rule true crime book "The Stranger Beside Me" — killed at least 30 women.

Bundy's modus operandi was to lure female victims into his Volkswagen, sometimes by pretending that he'd been injured in an accident and needed their help. Once inside, he would pull out a crowbar and knock them unconscious, then rape them before beating and strangling them to death. He liked to kill his victims under the light of a bright moon or in the illumination of his car's headlights.

After a failed abduction attempt in 1974, he was arrested in Utah and convicted of aggravated kidnapping and attempted murder. But while being transferred to Colorado to face murder charges there, he escaped from a courthouse library and went to Florida. While there, he broke into a college sorority house, attacked four women students and beat two of them to death before breaking into a nearby home and beating another woman who fortunately survived. Bundy committed one more murder — kidnapping and killing a 12-year-old girl, before he was caught. He was executed in 1989 [source: Truesdell]