10 Careless Mistakes That Got Serial Killers Caught

The most vile, wretched, and prolific serial killers of all time, brought down by... a traffic stop?

Ted Bundy Mugshot
Salt Lake County

Serial killers walk among us.

Some are outcasts of society that look "the type" while others blend into society so perfectly that their own families are none the wiser. All of them are the stuff of nightmares. Their unfathomable acts leave a scar on history and many of them continue their rampage without ever being identified by police.

Thankfully, every so often, these monsters are apprehended and put away for good. What's perhaps more shocking is that these animals, especially those that are so meticulous in their crimes, are caught through their own simple mistakes.

From leaving behind evidence, traffic infractions, and burying bodies in the backyard, the worst of the worst had their reigns curtailed for embarrassing reasons.

10. The BTK Killer Was Tricked Into Sending A Floppy Disk To Cops

Ted Bundy Mugshot
Kansas Dept. of Corrections

BTK — three letters that terrorized Wichita, Kansas, for over 30 years.

In 1978, a Wichita news station received a letter from an individual claiming to have killed six people since 1974. The writer suggested a nickname for himself based on the way his method of execution: bind, torture, kill.

The BTK killer taunted police and the press with his various murders stretching until 1991 — and then seemingly stopped. It wasn't until 2004 that BTK made contact with the police again, which inevitably led to his capture.

When BTK began sending letters once more, he asked law enforcement if they'd be able to trace him via a floppy disk. The police (obviously) claimed that they couldn't. After they received the disk, the BTK killer was arrested a week later.

No one would peg Dennis Rader for a serial killer. A family man, Rader was president of his church council, worked as a city compliance officer, and even led a Cub Scout troop. Had his arrogance and stupidity not gotten the best of him, there's a chance the BTK case would have stayed cold and Rader would be a free man today.


Nick Dauk hasn't written a bio just yet, but if they had... it would appear here.