Serial killers have haunted Texas for years and left a trail of bodies

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They are the most chilling of murderers – the serial killer.

Portrayed in books, television shows, movies and nightmares, many are surprisingly ordinary looking, with regular jobs, hobbies, even family and friends.

But what they do to feed their impulses is far from ordinary. Whether it be control driven, like Ted Bundy, a mentally ill and angry ex-professor like Ted Kaczynski (the Unabomber) or a deranged cannibal like Jeffrey Dahmer, there’s nothing typical about someone who kills repeatedly.

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A professor at Radford University teamed up with Florida Gulf Coast University to determine which states had the most serial killer victims. Professor Mike Aamodt concluded that there have been 4,743 serial killers and 13,105 victims in the United States from 1900 through Sept. 4, 2016.

Texas has 893 victims (about 7 percent of the total), second in the country only to California, which has 1,628 known serial killer victims during that 116 year period.

Texas has been the killing ground for some of society’s more infamous ghouls, including Coral Eugene Watts, who is suspected of killing more than 80 women. It is also the native state for two killers who gained notoriety in California – Richard Ramirez, the infamous “Nightstalker,” who received 13 death sentences, and Rodney James Alcala, the “Dating Game Killer.”

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Alcala was never convicted of murder in Texas, but he is awaiting execution in California for five killings. And, authorities believe his body count is much, much higher.

Texas is also home to multiple unsolved murders, including the “Texas Killing Fields” cases, which may be tied to serial killers.

While the odds of being murdered by a serial killer are long – only 6.11 people per million in Texas have become a victim – they sure do haunt our dreams.

Scroll through the gallery above to see photos of known serial killers with a connection to Texas

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