9 Serial Killers Who Are Now Free

Lock yo' doors, lock yo' windows, and keep yo' True Crime podcast blaring!

Pedro Alonso López The Monster of the Andes
Armenio Dominguez/CC BY-SA

You know what's scary? Spiders. Spiders are scary. You know what's even scarier? Humans. Particularly humans that gain a sick sense of delight in murder. For those rare few of you who didn't spend last year's lockdown(s) watching True Crime documentaries, a serial killer is typically a person who murders three or more people, generally with the goal of abnormal psychological gratification. The murders normally take place over the course of a month, or longer, and often include significant amounts of time between murders.

Many serial killers spend long amounts of time in prison - if not their whole lives after capture. Some don't make it to prison or they get killed inside, or even receive the death penalty in places that still have it. But there are a few rare cases where serial killers either escape from prison, are released on technicalities, or simply serve the time their respective legal system has decided is adequate. The following is a list of said people.

Specifically, we are looking at serial killers who were captured, tried, and either escaped or released and are currently still living, to the best of our knowledge. Unfortunately for the world, there are enough out there that we had to exclude, such people as "Dr. Death" McGown and "Freezer Baby" Courjalt because they were too tame to make the list. Isn't that horrifying?

Warning: these stories are terrifyingly disturbing.

9. Anatoli Neželski

Pedro Alonso López The Monster of the Andes

Neželski was born in 1951 in Estonia, at that time a republic within the USSR. After spending his youth working as a fisherman, he started a job in a furniture factory. With the newfound tools at his disposal, Neželski manufactured himself a makeshift pistol.

His wife quickly divorced him and claimed he was a violent, religious fanatic. Afterwards, he got a job as a security guard and joined the Druzhina - the Soviet volunteer police. This service in the Druzhina is where things start to get worrisome. When his finances worsened, Neželski used his police experience to become a robber. In August 1994, Neželski eventually broke into his ex-wife's home and murdered her new boyfriend with his self-made pistol. He also killed the manager of a currency exchange, and later an accountant, in crude robberies.

Neželski spent the next two years on the run from police, eventually being apprehended while living in poverty. He readily confessed to his killings and was convicted of three counts of murder. Due to a loophole in Estonian law, the maximum sentence was either 15 years or the death penalty, and the year he was captured the death penalty had been abolished. He served his 15 years and was released in March 2013, and has been living freely in Estonia since then.

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Author of Escort (Eternal Press, 2015), co-founder of Nic3Ntertainment, and developer behind The Sickle Upon Sekigahara (2020). Currently freelancing as a game developer and history consultant. Also tends to travel the eastern U.S. doing courses on History, Writing, and Japanese Poetry. You can find his portfolio at www.richardcshaffer.com.