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Top 10 Most Dangerous Criminals In Los Angeles

Stalking the streets of Los Angeles, these mass murdering serial killers were eventually caught and locked away forever, from the Hillside Strangler to The Night Stalker and even the feared Scorecard Killer, we look at the Top 10 Most Dangerous Criminals to ever exist in the city of Los Angeles.

By Vidello ProductionsPublished 3 months ago Updated 3 months ago 11 min read

10 - William Suff

Originally convicted of killing his two month old daughter, Suff only served 10-years of a 70-year sentence in a Texas Prison.

Suff became known as The Riverside Prostitute Killer and The Lake Elsinore Killer after a number of murders were attributed to him between 1974 and 1992.

His victims, all women, numbered in the region of thirteen, however, other crimes within the region have been attributed to Suff, even though he has never been charged further.

Suff was arrested in 1992, after a routine traffic stop, when a police officer found a bloody knife and objects believed to be related to the killings.

Working as a warehouse clerk for Riverside County when he was arrested, Suff was still on parole from his crimes in Texas.

Astonishingly, Suff managed too delivered office furniture to the officers on the task force who were investigating his killing spree.

Suff was found guilty of killing 12 women and attempting to kill another, with police suspecting him of being responsible for around 22 murders over his span of crime.

On October 26, 1995, Suff was condemned to death and is currently being held on San Quentin State Prison's Death Row.

9 - John Floyd Thomas Jr.

Born in Los Angeles Thomas Jr.'s mother died when he was only 12 years old and he was raised by his aunt and a godmother.

He briefly joined the U.S Air Force in 1956, but received a dishonourable discharge after being arrested for burglary and attempted rape in Los Angeles.

Convicted of these crimes he was sentenced in 1957, to six years in the California state prison system, a place where he stayed until 1966 for parole violations.

The first batch of murders that Thomas Jr. was later attributed too, began in the mid-1970's and the serial killer the police were looking for gained the nickname "The Westside Rapist".

The killer's calling card was letting himself into the homes of elderly women who lived alone, attacking them fatally, then leaving pillows or blankets over their faces after the attacks.

After stopping his attacks in 1978, the attacks resurfaced in a different part of town, leading to a second nickname being issued as "The Southland Strangler".

With over 22 people murdered, the cases still had not been connected the killings stopped again in 1989.

Thomas was arrested on March 31, 2009 after a DNA match had flashed up on the newly created Combined DNA Index System, that had been opened to highlight unsolved cold cases.

He was charged with seven murders, however police believe he killed between 15 and 20 people, with his guilty plea seeing him avoid the death penalty and, instead receive life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.

8 - Randy Steven Kraft

Another man to terrify the suburban streets of Los Angeles, Kraft was born in Long Beach, California.

He earned a number of nicknames during his crime spree including the Scorecard Killer, the Southern California Strangler, and the Freeway Killer.

Between 1971 and 1983, Kraft is believed to have killed 67 victims and all of his suspected victims were males between the ages of 13 and 35.

Many of his victims were members of the United States Marines Corps and were found to have high levels of both alcohol and tranquilizers after death.

Kraft became known as the "Scorecard Killer" when he was arrested, as investigators discovered a coded list with sixty-one entries on a scorecard containing cryptic references to his victims.

After he was charged, Kraft's trial lasted a total of thirteen months and would prove to be the most expensive trial in Orange County history.

Kraft was found guilty of sixteen counts of murder and on August 11, 1989, the jury rendered a verdict of death in his case.

As of 2024, Kraft remains on death row at San Quentin State Prison with him continuing to deny responsibility for any of the homicides or other charges he was found guilty of.

7 - Vaughn Greenwood

Greenwoods attacks became headline news in California during his 1974 and 1975 crime spree, however he actually began his murder spree in November 1964.

During the months in-between, Greenwood was locked up in Chicago, thanks to his involvement in a knifing assault in Chicago in 1966 that saw him serve 5.5-years in prison.

He returned to California and began his reign of terror in December 1974, culminating with his ninth murder in February 1975.

By this time, he had earned the moniker, Skid Row Slasher for reasons far to gruesome to reveal here.

Many of the murders had a calling card left which led police to believe the murders were linked to Satanism, however this later proved not to be the case.

On 19 January 1977, Greenwood was sentenced to life imprisonment, however I have currently not found information to suggest how many victims he was convicted of actually killing.

6 - Timothy Joseph McGhee

Born on April 27, 1973, in Los Angeles, McGhee grew up as a typical kid, often with a passion for skating in his neighbourhood.

Raised in the neighbourhood of Atwater Village, McGhee's earliest recorded act of violence was an assault with a firearm in 1989.

His life of crime continued in 1994 when he was convicted of assaulting a law enforcement officer in San Bernardino County and was sentenced to four years in prison.

After joining Toonerville Gang, also known as Toonerville Rifa 13, McGhee's crimes escalated with him involved in the shooting of two rival gang members.

McGhee upped his criminality in 1997 when he is said to have committed his first homicide against 23-year old Frog Town Gang Member Ronnie Martin.

McGhee was later implicated in the murders of a bodyguard and the attempted murder of two others when he opened fire in Atwater Village after a crew had just finished a recording session for Death Row Records.

On June 3, 2000, McGhee had still not been apprehended and struck again, this time gunning down 16-year old rival gang member Ryan Gonzalez.

On July 4th 2000, McGhee had been tracking police who were responding to a theft and set a trap for them, later firing on the officers with an accomplice, but the two escaped.

McGhee struck again on November 8th 2001, when he ambushed a fellow gang member, Eduardo "Limpy" Rodriguez in a revenge attack for the loss of a fellow comrade, this attack killed Rodriguez girlfriend, Marjorie Mendoza.

Christina Duran became McGhee's next victim after talking to police about his antics, he attacker her on the night she celebrated her 29th birthday party in an execution-style murder.

By 2002, McGhee had appeared on America's Most Wanted and was being hunted by over 60 different local and federal investigators.

A $55,000 reward was offered for the arrest or capture of McGhee but to no avail and the U.S. Marshals Service became involved in the hunt after it was clear he was running the gang from another state.

By September 2002, he had reached the top 15 most wanted men in America and was wanted for questioning in an additional 11 homicides.

After national media picked up the case, McGhee's luck began to run out and he was traced to a business in Bullhead City.

After a positive I.D, officers from the LAPD, Bullhead City and federal agents moved in to arrest him and he gave up without a fight.

Held without bail in the Los Angeles County Men's Central Jail, McGhee commanded the respect of equally intimidating criminals, later starting a full blown riot with considerable damage done to the prison.

Finally after four and a half years of detention, McGhee went before a trial judge who described him as among the most feared gang members in Los Angeles.

One juror was even removed after apparently favouring McGhee before the trial had even concluded and other witnesses had to be forced to testify, such was the control of the defendant.

McGhee was found guilty of three murders and the attempted murder of two LAPD officers on October 25, 2007, by a jury who took a week to reveal their decision.

On August 27, 2008, after receiving a 75-year sentence for the prison riot, a jury agreed unanimously that 35-year-old McGhee should be sentenced to death.

He was additionally sentenced to multiple consecutive life sentences for the four attempted murders but had his death sentence commuted to life without parole during California's abolishment of the death penalty.

He is currently serving his sentence at Salinas Valley State Prison and will die in prison.

5 - Patrick Kearney

Born on September 24, 1939, Kearney was the oldest of three sons and was raised in a reasonably stable middle-class family.

Often targeted by bullies at school he would get beaten up on regular occasions, leading to him becoming withdrawn and dreaming of killing his enemies.

Kearney claimed to have killed his first victim, a hitchhiker he picked up and murdered in Orange, California, around 1962 and other victims soon followed.

He would often pick up young males who were hitch-hiking while driving his Volkswagen Beetle or his truck on long drives.

As time passed, his methods became more successful and he became more efficient at carrying out his crimes.

Kearney frequently purchased butcher knives and, after examining them and inquiring about the quality of the steel was noticed by the owner of the shop.

After being seen with John Otis LaMay on the day of his murder, police issued a warrant for the arrest of Kearney, who fled to El Paso, Texas, but later surrendered at the Riverside County Sheriff's Office.

Kearney made a full confession, initially admitting to a total of 28 murders before subsequently claiming to have carried out seven more.

He was given twenty-one life sentences after pleading guilty to avoid the death penalty and is incarcerated at California's Mule Creek State Prison, and he eventually became known as the "Trash Bag Killer"

4 - Lonnie David Franklin Jr.

Growing up in South Central Los Angeles, Franklin Jr. was married with two children and seemed like an ordinary guy.

Given a dishonourable discharge from the United States Army in July 1975, he was later convicted of two charges of theft, one charge of misdemeanour assault, and one charge of battery on a 17-year old.

Law enforcement missed an opportunity to catch Franklin because his DNA was not previously collected, even though he was convicted of a felony and was serving three years probation.

He was charged with ten murders and one attempted murder and held without bail but was never charged in the death of a suspected eleventh victim.

He earned the nickname, "The Grim Sleeper" after many of his crimes had 10-year breaks between them.

On May 5, 2016, after nearly three months of trial and a day and a half of jury deliberation, he was found guilty of ten murders and one attempted murder.

Franklin was sentenced to death on June 6, 2016, however he never made it to the electric chair, having been found dead in his cell on the 28th March 2020 with no details ever released about the cause of death.

Franklin has been linked to several other murders after his death including those of the Belize Ripper and has been the subject of many TV documentaries.

3 - The Hillside Strangler

The Hillside Strangler murders began with the deaths of two prostitutes who were found on hillsides northeast of Los Angeles in October and early November 1977.

Five more deaths followed, however, this time they were ordinary women with no known connection to prostitution and this began to get the media talking.

Rumours of a serial killer were abound, and three more deaths almost confirmed peoples worst fears before the murders suddenly stopped after the killer gained the nickname.

Kenneth Bianchi was arrested for the murder of two young women in Washington in 1979 and detectives were able to establish a connection between those deaths and the others.

The case became the most expensive trial in the history of the California legal system, with Bianchi found guilty of the murders and sentenced to life.

2 - William Bonin

Following multiple childhood problems growing up, Bonin completed a General Equivalency Diploma and served as a cook for four months in Alaska with the U.S. Air Force.

On November 17, 1968, Bonin began attacking young men whom he had picked up in his car and extensive efforts were being made by local police to locate a potential serial rapist that fit Bonin's description.

On January 28, 1969, Bonin was confronted by a policewoman who later arrested him and retrieved a pair of handcuffs he was carrying and Bonin repeatedly advised her to incarcerate him.

He was arrested, tried, found guilty and sentenced to the Atascadero State Hospital in June 1969 as a mentally disordered sex offender.

Bonin was released from prison on June 11, 1974 and immediately began to re-engage with similar crimes, before being sentenced to between one and 15 years in prison for further attacks.

After release, Bonin began his murder spree, attacking young men who he had picked up in his Ford Econoline van, before attacking them.

On June 11th 1980 after many murders, police caught Bonin attacking a victim in the back of his van when they forced entry on the side of the freeway.

He was arrested and given the Freeway Killer nickname after his guilt became obvious and himself, later confessing to the murders of twenty-one people.

Convicted of ten murders, Bonin was sentenced to death, however he was later convicted of a further four murders and three counts of robbery, with four more death sentences added on top of the original conviction.

Bonin filed numerous appeals against his convictions and sentencing but was unsuccessful, final ending his days inside the execution chamber of San Quentin State Prison on February 23, 1996.

He was the first person to be executed by lethal injection in the history of California, and his execution occurred fourteen years after his first death sentence.

1 - Richard Ramirez

During his crime spree, Ramirez spread fear and panic throughout California, especially in the Los Angeles and San Francisco areas.

His seemingly random and brutal attacks left communities on edge and law enforcement agencies scrambling to apprehend him.

The media coverage of his crimes only heightened the public's terror, earning Ramirez widespread notoriety and several nicknames including the Night Stalker, the Walk-In Killer and the Valley Intruder.

Ramirez's crimes were particularly gruesome and horrifying with him targeting men, women, and children of various ages and ethnicities.

His modus operandi included breaking into homes at night, often using unlocked doors or windows, to commit his atrocities.

Despite his efforts to evade capture, Ramirez was eventually arrested in August 1985, after being identified and pursued by a group of citizens in East Los Angeles.

He was convicted of all charges against him in 1989 and sentenced to death, however, he died of complications related to B-cell lymphoma while on death row in 2013, before his execution could be carried out.

Thanks for watching the Top 10 Most Dangerous Criminals In Los Angeles, please throw a like on the video to support the on-going series, comment below if you think I missed anything and subscribe with the bell icon for more top list videos coming soon.

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About the Creator

Vidello Productions

My name is William Jackson, a YouTube content creator and crypto enthusiast with over 142,000 subscribers and I make videos that are focused on the billionaire lifestyle and crime.

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