What serial killers looked like before crimes – including chilling prom pic

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When we think of notorious serial killers, certain images are indelible in our minds.

This may be an older looking Harold Shipman glaring into a mugshot camera with his rectangular shaped glasses or Ted Bundy slouched in court smartly dressed in a suit.

Here we take a glance at what some of the world’s most evil serial killers used to look like in lesser known photographs.

This includes a teenage boy posing with his date before prom – a now haunting picture that was taken shortly before he began his sickening killing spree soon after leaving school.

We also examine how the appearance of some of Britain’s monsters changed over time.

Jeffrey Dahmer

Jeffrey Dahmer was known as the ‘The Milwaukee Cannibal’ after he murdered, dismembered, and cannibalised 17 people.


But a photo has now emerged of him appearing just like any other shy and awkward teenage boy.

It was taken in 1978 when an 18-year-old Dahmer took Bridget Geiger, then 16, to senior prom.

He stands rigidly and gazes into the distance as his arms hang by his side.

Dahmer turned into a killer not long after the prom night – strangling a hitchhiker with a dumbbell bar in his parent’s home.

He later went on to kill men or boys and was known to keep the skulls and genitals of some of his victims.

Dahmer was eventually jailed before he was himself killed in prison by inmate Christopher Scarver in November 1994.

Peter Sutcliffe

We all know Peter Sutcliffe as The Yorkshire Ripper and one of Britain’s most evil mass murderers who murdered 13 women.

But before becoming a sadist he was once just a teenage boy who posed in family photographs.

One shot shows Sutcliffe aged 14 sitting alongside his grandmother, mum and siblings.

He is perched to the left of the image and is innocently smiling into the distance.

The happy family snapshot is a far cry from the pictures of a menacing Sutcliffe with his bushy hair, eyebrows and beard who embarked on a reign of terror in the mid to late 1970s.

Prostitute killer Sutcliffe was jailed in 1981 before he died last year.

Dennis Nilsen

One of Britain’s most vile serial killers is Dennis Nilsen – a man who dismembered his victims before stashing body parts in his flat for months.

But before embarking on his twisted campaign, Nilsen served in the British Army for 11 years.

He joined in 1961 and he trained to become an army chef, as pictured above. The snap shows a skinny, hunched and awkward looking Nilsen peering into a camera.

Nilsen was a butcher in the Army Catering Corps before leaving the forces in 1972 where he began butchering bodies rather than animals.

He went on to be found guilty of six counts of murder and two of attempted murder before receiving a life sentence.

But in 2018 he died behind bars in “excruciating pain” after suffering a pulmonary embolism and retroperitoneal haemorrhage.

Harold Shipman

Harold Shipman was given the depraved nickname Dr Death because he was responsible for more than 200 of them.

He was infamous for abusing his role as a doctor where he injected patients with a lethal dose of morphine before taking money from their savings.

The public remembers him for his rectangular glasses, grey beard and cold eyes.

But the above photo shows him as a fresh-faced schoolboy with thick dark hair standing next to his fellow students.

The snap was taken in 1961 and at the turn of the century Shipman was sentenced for 15 murders.

He later hanged himself just before his 58th birthday in January 2004.

Fred and Rose West

Wicked couple Fred and Rose West used to live in a home in Gloucester dubbed the House of Horrors.

They even buried their own daughter, Heather, 16, in the back garden after killing her.

But one black and white picture of the perverted couple appears to depict them as young and innocent.

Rose looks wide eyed and youthful as she glances at the camera while her partner Fred holds her on his lap.

Fred later took his own life in 1995 before he could face trial for killing 12 people.

Meanwhile Rose was sentenced for murdering 10 people and she remains behind bars.

Myra Hindley

Serial killer Myra Hindley was once branded ‘Britain’s most hated woman’ after accompanying partner Ian Brady in the rape and murders of five kids.

Her mugshot has been widely circulated – showing her with an intense stare with her platinum blonde hair.

But an earlier image shows Hindley in a brown skirt as she sits and smiles widely on a bed.

Instead of the blonde hair, she has brunette locks and looks unrecognisable to her later mugshot.

She was jailed in 1966 alongside Brady for her part in the Moors Murders.

Hindley then died in 2002 aged 60 before Brady passed away 15 years later aged 79.

  • Serial Killers
  • British Army
  • Murder

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