History’s Most Educated Serial Killers Story

Throughout history, there have been individuals who have committed heinous acts of violence, instilling fear in the population. In addition to the rising death toll caused by these killers, another notable aspect is their level of education.

Ted Kaczynski, known as the Unabomber, earned a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Michigan, the same institution where H. H. Holmes attended medical school. Michael Ross, on the other hand, graduated from Cornell University, an Ivy League school, with a degree in agriculture, aspiring to become a business owner. The psychologists are surprised by the fact that many of these individuals have the qualifications to be productive members of society instead of predators.

Who Should Know These Facts?

Researchers and students may find value in exploring the relationship between education and serial killers to understand the potential negative influences of education. Some intelligent serial killers have demonstrated how education can be misused for personal gain. This serves as a cautionary example for individuals particularly students to use education for positive purposes only.

It is even interesting to know why the author chose to write on such a topic. ‘While perusing various articles and listening to crime reports on different media outlets, I observed an interesting trend among some educated serial killers. Their level of education stood out to me, prompting further research into their backgrounds. As I delved deeper, I uncovered surprising and previously unknown information. I decided to document these findings here to shed light on the psychology of serial killers and the role education may play in their actions. Here are some best known serial killers followed by 5 smartest serial killers in detail, and a serial killers collage.

Serial Killer


Notable Details

Ted Bundy

Attended law school at University of Puget Sound

Known for his charm and intelligence

Jeffrey Dahmer

Attended Ohio State University

Described as having above-average intelligence

Dennis Rader

Held a degree in electronics

Reported IQ of 135

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World’s Top 5 Educated Serial Killers in History

One can never know what a human brain is capable of. While some geniuses used the power of the brain to invent some of the most miraculous theories and machines, there are some individuals who used their smart brains to plot crimes. Some people argue that education has a positive effect on the crime rate. Still, some individuals from society prove that statement wrong by committing violent crimes despite having graduated from respectable institutions. World’s best serial killers have opened new insights for psychologists to understand the twisted minds of human beings.

Let’s take a look at those educated serial killers who had introduced the world with fear that can’t be surpassed by anything.

Ted Bundy


Ted Bundy’s name still sent chills down the spine of people even 30 years after his execution at Florida State Prison in 1989. He is considered the most successful serial killer of all time, and every true crime documentary is incomplete without Bundy. History has never seen a more heartless and manipulative serial killer than him.


  • Ted Bundy kidnapped, raped, and brutally murdered women during the 1970s. The true number of his victims is still unknown. After a decade of denial, he confessed to 30 murders in seven different states.

  • His crime territories were not well defined because he killed wherever he went. Bundy’s popular crime states were California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Oregon, Utah, and Washington.

  • He didn’t only kidnap the women but also broke into the houses of his victims to sexually assault them and violently kill them by strangling, bludgeoning, and stabbing them.

  • Attorney Polly Nelson, a member of his last defense team, wrote, “Ted Bundy is the true definition of heartless evil.


  • Ted Bundy is one of the most educated serial killers in history who attended multiple schools as an undergrad.

  • He graduated from the Woodrow Wilson High School in Tacoma, Washington.

  • He enrolled in the University of Puget to study liberal arts.

  • He graduated from the University of Washington with a major in psychology, just two years before his confirmed murder. Bundy used his knowledge of psychology to manipulate victims later in his murder spree.

  • He attended the Republican National Convention as a Rockefeller delegate.

  • He took a semester of classes at Temple University in Philadelphia.

  • He was studying Law at the University of Utah when he was arrested. He used his law knowledge and defended himself in court during his trial. His being his lawyer helped him escape the prison, but he was recaptured after killing two more women out of the four he attacked.

  • Even after more than 30 years of his execution, the world hasn’t seen a serial killer smarter in terms of planning crime by using their education.

Harold Shipman


Next time you think that all doctors are the angels of God, remember this name: Harold Shipman. We never know how many doctors are sick in mind and killing their patients because their profession puts them away from suspicion. This is what happened in Shipman’s case as well.


  • He was a professional physician who was alleged to have killed 218 of his patients between 1972 and 1998, even though the true number of his victims might be higher.

  • His murder style was to prescribe such medicines to his victims that will kill them slowly in sleep or by heart attack. His victims were mostly elderly women who died in their sleep.

  • He was known for stealing his patient’s property and assets after countersigning their cremation certificate, which later on got him caught and arrested.

  • He committed suicide in prison in 2004.


  • He passed his Eleven-Plus in 1957 and is known to be an excellent student.

  • He was marvelous as a distance runner and also served as the vice-captain of the athletics team.

  • He studied medicine and graduated from Leeds School of Medicine, University of Leeds, in 1970.

H.H. Holmes


Herman Webster Mudgett, known as H.H. Holmes, was an American serial killer and con artist who was on an active murder spree between 1891 and 1894. Despite having confessed to 27 murders, he was convicted of one and executed by hanging.


  • His murder spree began when he purchased a building to transform it into a hotel. He killed most of his victims by luring them in there, but his murder style and weapon were never found.

  • Some researchers estimate that his number of victims is 133.

  • His Criminal career had no shortage of crimes since he was involved in insurance fraud, forgery, swindling, bigamous illegal marriages, horse theft and murder.


  • Holmes attended Phillips Exeter Academy and was known for his outstanding academic capabilities.

  • He graduated high school with honors at Gilmanton Academy.

  • He graduated from the Department of Medicines and Surgery at the University of Michigan.

  • He was a noted advocate of human dissection.

Marybeth Tinning


Whenever there is a crime, it is considered to be done by men. In history, men are most likely to be associated with serial killing, and that makes them the strongest suspects of crime. The world may not perceive women to be serial killers, but there were women who committed gruesome crimes and got away for a long time because none suspected them. Marybeth Tinning is an American Serial killer who was convicted of murdering her ninth child and is suspected of being the serial killer of her other eight children. So, next time when you think that mothers can’t hurt their children, remember Marybeth Tinning.


  • The death of Tinning children one by one was initially thought to be due to some genetic problem until her sixth child, who was adopted, died in 1981.

  • She chooses to kill her victims with poison or smothering.

  • Her three-year-old daughter died of a caffeine pill overdose. An autopsy of her revealed hundreds of capsules inside her body.

  • All of her children died from one cause to another, and their deaths were listed as natural and undetermined.


  • She graduated from Duanesburg High School in 1961.

  • She worked as a nursing assistant at Ellis Hospital in New York and excelled in her skills. She later used her medical knowledge to kill her children naturally and pass the deaths off as varying syndrome.

Michael Bruce Ross


Micheal Bruce Ross was an American Serial killer and rapist who killed over eight girls and women in Connecticut and was executed in 2005.


  • He was alleged to have killed over eight girls and women and raped seven out of his eight victims.

  • He was also alleged to have raped a woman named Vivian Dobson in 1983 but not killing her.

  • He confessed to all his murders but was convicted for only the last four of them and sentenced to death.


  • He was an excellent student who excelled in primary and high school.

  • In 1977, he graduated from Killingly High School in Connecticut.

  • He graduated from one of the IVY league universities, Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. He majored in economics.

Debate: Failed Relation of Education And Crime

If Education was thought to lower crime, then why did serial killers with the highest degrees and high IQs commit these crimes? Why has education failed to lower crime?

The simple answer is that the education system in the world is not meant to educate individuals on a deeper level and only produces degrees that don’t have any connection with people’s mental health. The education system focuses more on getting the assignments and exams done instead of focusing on the college student’s mental health side by side.

Do you know what is common in all the killers mentioned above except their degrees and higher education? Their poor mental health. They were all abused and neglected by society at one point in their life. Most of the serial killers share with the psychologists how they see their victims as a punching bag, a tool that can help them let out their pent-up frustration.

The abuse they went through in their childhood ruined their mental health, taking away the factor of humanity and empathy for others. Crime, for them, is a way of expressing their rage and a stress reliever. Ed Kemper was a serial killer who killed women just because his mother never loved him and abused him on a daily basis. Marybeth Tinning killed her children because she was never wanted and loved as a child by her parents.

Are Serial killers born or made? This is a very serious question that has been discussed greatly. Some individuals are born with that dangerous mindset and violent tendencies, and no matter how much loving their parents are, they will commit the crimes. This category is psychopaths. But the most common killers are those who developed a criminal mindset due to their surroundings, lack of care, and poor upbringing. They are called sociopaths.

“We are all evil, in some form or another.” This statement was made by Richard Ramirez, one of the most prolific serial killers known as ‘Night Stalker’.His statement is undoubtedly true. We humans are all evil in some form. Those who do not seek mental assistance, knowing that they can be dangerous, are the evilest of them all. Every human being goes through pain, disappointment, a form of abuse, or ignorance, and all that frustration keeps stacking up in the back of our mind, waiting to be outburst. Then, one day, a sudden trigger gets pulled, and that individual commits violent crimes. You never know if a serial killer is sitting next to you or a potential killer who is surpassing their rage inside, waiting for it to take over them.

It’s time to combine education with the importance of mental health and implement strategies to ease students’ stress and give them a chance to open up before they choose the way of crime to show their pent up rage. Education alone is useless in developing an individual. We must provide mental peace to the people before the evil rage takes over them. Mental health counseling and proper sessions with psychologists should be part of the student’s routine so they can talk about their concerns and miseries. There needs to be more research on educated serial killers to prevent these dangerous factors of crime and lower the

Are Serial Killers Born or Made?

It’s a combination of the two. Some killers are born with a criminal mindset, while others develop that mindset due to their surroundings and circumstances.

Popular Serial Killer Research Topics

  • Psychology of Serial Killers

  • Are the smartest serial killers born or made?

  • How Upbringing Shapes a Serial Killer?

  • Important serial killers collage

  • The Objectives of an Educated serial killer

  • Categories of Best Known Serial killers

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Your Take Away

Crime stays very much with society, and we can’t possibly get rid of it because evil individuals will commit crimes no matter what circumstances they are provided with. Studying most educated serial killers helps us understand the psychology of serial killers, how to not be a victim of them, and how to help others from not taking such wild steps due to their deteriorating mental health.


Ted Kaczynski, who is known as an Unabomber, is a domestic terrorist, was a prodigy and PhD in Mathematics from the University of Michigan. He attended Harvard at 16 and published papers in mathematical journals.

Dahmer, who killed and dismembered 17 males, is alleged to have an IQ of 145, which puts him in the category of borderline genius. He could have been a prodigy in Chemistry if he wasn't caught up in the crime.

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