Some girls love bad boys. For every man who commits a massacre, there’s a whole crowd of women who go wild for him. More often than not, when serial killers and mass murderers make their way into prison, there’s a truckload of love letters waiting for them.
We spend a lot of time trying to figure out what’s wrong with the men who kill—but the women who love them may be every bit as disturbed as the killers themselves. Here is a small collection of examples.
10. The Woman Who Creeped Out Ted Bundy
Ted Bundy, the serial killer and rapist who ended at least 30 lives, got hundreds of letters from female fans while he was in prison. One woman named Janet, though, was so enthusiastic that she even managed to creep Ted Bundy out.
He only responded to her once, and Janet reacted like it was the most profound moment of her existence. “I got the letter you sent me and read it again,” she wrote him. “I kissed it all over and held it to me. I don’t mind telling you I am crying. I just don’t see how I can stand it anymore. I love you so very much, Ted.”
When she started showing up at his trials, even Bundy got nervous. He wrote a letter to his wife, Carole, telling her to stop letting Janet sit near her so that he wouldn’t have to look at her. “There she sits contemplating me with her mad eyes like a deranged seagull studying a clam,” Bundy wrote. “I can feel her spreading hot sauce on me already.”
9. Dylann Roof’s ‘Roofies’
After white supremacist and mass murderer Dylann Roof opened fire on a church in Charleston in 2016, he got such a massive following of female fans online that they even came up with a name for themselves: “roofies.”
For some reason, a group of women felt strangely aroused by the news of the murder. One was frankly honest about her confusing feelings, writing, “I feel so bad that I find Dylann handsome, but wtf can I do about it.”
Others, though, embrace it. One woman got his name tattooed beneath her breasts and kept a whole blog where she bragged about the love letters she’d sent him and shared lists of what she called “lesser known facts about Dylann.”
In the Internet age, enough of these people can come together that they actually have subcultures within their fan club. Dedicated “roofies” scorn the new fans, who they call “newfies,” feeling an elite superiority for having admired the mass murderer from the second he massacred a church full of innocent people.
“The OG’s are more mature & I would say know the most about Dylann, his life & the case,” one self-proclaimed roofie explained. “The newfies don’t really know a lot about him, they like to start drama.”
8. James Holmes’s Fangirls
“I hope you’re okay James,” begins one woman’s letter to James Holmes.“You’re all I think about. You’re all I think about. I actually had a dream about you, haha. I gave you a hand massage!”
It was one of literally thousands of cards that James Holmes received after opening fire on a crowded theater in Colorado and murdering 12 people in 2012. She’d enclosed a picture of herself—but that was hardly abnormal. Holmes has received so many pictures from admiring girls that he has a wall full of them.
It’s hard to imagine, but for some women, the sight of a wide-eyed, mentally unstable mass murderer drove them wild. The letter raves about his appearance. “I can’t believe your curls are gone. I like them,” she wrote. “I like a lot about your appearance. You’re handsome. You have strong hands and facial hair. You have really nice eyes.”
It’s all creepy, but there’s a disturbing suggestion in almost every one of these letters. A lot of them end with a line like, “If there’s anything I can do for you let me know.” If Holmes asked, these women would do whatever he bid.
7. Richard Ramirez’s Secret Admirer In The Jury
Richard Ramirez got so many letters from fans that he had his own stationary made with “NightStalker” emblazoned across the top of the page.
He got all kinds of letters. He got letters from teenage girls and adult women alike and even ended up marrying one of his admirers while he was in prison. But the most disturbing story has to be the one about Cindy Haden, the Night Stalker admirer who was on his jury.
After weeks of batting eyes at the serial killer with a pentagram on his hand, Haden brought Ramirez a plate full of cupcakes with the message “I love you” written on top.
Haden’s love for Ramirez wasn’t enough to get him off, though, and after a few arguments in the jury booth, even she put through a guilty verdict. She was still convinced, though, that she’d met her one true love. She visited Ramirez in jail, told him that she loved him, and even brought her parents along to meet the man she was convinced was her soul mate.
6. Josef Fritzl’s Fangirls
Josef Fritzl kept his own daughter locked in a cellar for 24 years. While she was trapped in his home, he repeatedly abused her and used her as a sex slave, fathering seven children through rape before she finally managed to escape.
He was about as horrible as a human being could be. And yet, when he got caught, hundreds of women sent him love letters. They wrote that they knew he was “good at heart,” with at least one woman telling Fritzl she was sure that he’d only locked up and sexually abused his daughter to keep her from getting into trouble.
Fritzl’s cellmate recalled that he would get dozens of love letters. He said that he remembered being deeply disturbed by a picture Fritzl showed him. It was sent in by a female fan, who had posed for him next to a masked man, acting out a rape fantasy and sending it into a convicted rapist.
“The fans saw him as the chief monster,” Fritzl’s cellmate said. “They respected him.”
5. Ian Brady’s Eulogizers
Ian Brady, with the help of his girlfriend Myra Hindley, molested and murdered five children in the 1960s. But when he died of cancer in prison in 2017, a whole group of women went out onto the Internet acting like they’d lost their soul mate.
“Oh my God, I just heard about Ian. This is the worst day ever,” one wrote. “I hope he’s at peace wherever he is. I love you Ian, and I will never forget how incredibly generous it was of you to reply to me. I’ll love you forever and I’ve got your name on me for the rest of my life.”
She wasn’t lying. She showed off a picture of the tattoos that she had on her arms. The names “Ian,” “Myra,” “Jeff [Dahmer],” and “Ted [Bundy]” had been permanently inked onto her flesh.
She wasn’t even the only one. Another woman said she was “crying so much” about his death, while yet another said, “You were an interesting individual with interesting, fascinating brains and thoughts. You introduced a whole new thing to me.”
4. Anders Breivik’s Fan Club Has Tips On How To Write Him Love Letters
Anders Breivik, the white supremacist who massacred 77 people in Norway with pipe bombs and an assault rifle in 2011, receives at least 800 letters per year, most of them from female admirers.
During his trial, a 16-year-old girl begged him to marry her, while a Swedish woman named Victoria has gotten on the news for declaring herself his one true love. She’s told the world that she loves Breivik so much that, in her words: “I really wouldn’t want to live a life without him.”
There are actually fan clubs online that give instructions on the best times to write Breivik letters and a guide on how to write him. “Are you a girl or woman that is in love with Breivik?” their guide says. “You should know this is perfectly natural, I encourage you to declare your admiration and love for Breivik. Publicly if possible, especially if you’re cute.”
There’s a disturbing reason why they want more love letters going to Breivik. They want more copycats. The guide explains: “Men need to know that women admire militant nationalists.”
3. Jeffrey Dahmer’s Loving Donors
Jeffrey Dahmer isn’t just a killer. He raped, murdered, and dismembered the bodies of 17 boys, often even cannibalizing and desecrating their corpses after they were dead. And yet, for some reason, he was so popular with the ladies that in 1993 alone, his admirers sent him $12,000 to help him buy things in prison.
A large chunk of that money came from one single fan in London, who was so enchanted by the stories of him desecrating young boys’ bodies that she sent him $5,920. She wasn’t the only person who sent him things, though. Most women just sent him a few dollars to spend on cigarettes and a couple of books or magazines to help him pass the time.
“He did awful things,” one woman admitted when asked why she would send money to a serial killer, “but way deep down he isn’t a mean kid.”
2. Nikolas Cruz’s Facebook Community
There’s a Facebook community with 300 members called “Nikolas Cruz — the First Victim.” It’s a group of women who are in love with the Parkland High School shooter, where they share ideas on how they can help him and make photo collages of the mass murderer with hearts around his head.
The women there send love letters to Cruz every chance they get. “I’m 18-years-old. I’m a senior in high school,” one woman, who could’ve been one Cruz’s victims if she’d been one of his classmates, wrote in a letter decorated with hearts and happy faces. “When I saw your picture on the television, something attracted me to you.”
She’d sent him a suggestive picture showing off her body. “I’m really skinny,” she told Cruz, “and have 34C sized breasts.”
She was hardly the only one who did it. Another woman sent him a whole collection of pictures, with one showing her sucking a Popsicle in a bikini and another just showing a close-up shot of her breasts.
“In my 40 years as public defender, I’ve never seen this many letters to a defendant,” Cruz’s public defender, Howard Finklestein, has said. To Finklestein’s credit, though, he won’t let Cruz know. He has staunchly refused to reward Cruz for his crime by letting him see the letters.
1. Kenneth Bianchi’s Copycat Admirer
Veronica Compton was so inspired by the rapes and murders of Kenneth Bianchi, the Hillside Strangler, that she wrote a play about it. It was called The Mutilated Cutter, and she sent it to the serial killer in the hopes of catching his eye.
“I hope you received my letter and could spare a moment during your busy schedule to look over my play. I really think you will find the plot quite fascinating. After all, it was you who inspired it,” she wrote in a letter attached to her script. “I hope to inspire you one day.”
She was very serious about it—and she’s a perfect example of how dangerous these fangirls really can be. In 1980, after winning Bianchi over with some suggestive photographs, she decided to try to commit a copycat murder to convince the police that the killer was still at large.
Compton smuggled Bianchi’s semen out of jail in a plastic glove. She’d planned on murdering a woman and planting his semen on her body to make it look like the DNA tests had misidentified Bianchi. Compton, though, wasn’t a very effective killer. Her victim got away and called the police, and Compton ended up behind bars.
Just like Bianchi, though, Compton got love letters of her own. A man named James Wallace started writing love letters to her while she was in prison and even ended up leaving his wife of 37 years for her—all for the love of a monster.