Netflix 'Monster’ universe: The horrifying serial killers that could find their way on to screens
After Netflix revealed that 'Monster' will get two more seasons with different criminals, here's a list of killers whose tales could be featured next
Warning: This article contains a recollection of crime and can be triggering to some, readers' discretion advised
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: The series ‘Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story’ may have become one of Netflix’s biggest successes of 2022, but this retelling of the serial killer’s life also resulted in plenty of backlash from fans. ‘Monster’ is the third adaptation of the story behind prolific killer Jeffery Dahmer’s crimes, eventual arrest and prosecution. The series skyrocketed Netflix’s viewership to such heights that show-makers Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan decided to turn it into an anthology.
The streaming platform is now set to release two more instalments to the ‘Monster’ 'universe' pretty soon, along with the highly-anticipated second season of the mystery-thriller ‘The Watcher’. According to Netflix, the upcoming seasons will feature two different killers and the stories of their crimes. But so far, the streaming giant has not revealed the names of the criminals just yet. While fans are having a hard time warming up to the idea of Netflix and Ryan Murphy monetizing these horrific true stories while also glamorizing convicted killers, the darkness around the tales of these serial killers is no doubt alluring to many. So here’s our take on the serial killer tales that Netflix might tackle next, hopefully with some respect.
Following the record-breaking success of DAHMER - Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, Ryan Murphy & Ian Brennan will create two more installments that will focus on other monstrous figures who have impacted society.— Netflix (@netflix) November 7, 2022
A second season of The Watcher has also been greenlit! pic.twitter.com/NmFdj6soJj
Chester Turner was an Arkansas native who was convicted in 2003 of 11 murders. Ten of his victims were women he had sexually assaulted, while the 11th victim was the fetus of one of his victims who was six months pregnant when murdered. Turner's modus operandi was strangling his victims and leaving the bodies partially naked. He even sexually assaulted a 47-year-old woman for over two hours and threatened to kill her if she approached authorities. The woman nevertheless filed a complaint leading to Turner’s arrest. He was convicted based on a DNA sample that matched the DNA found on two of his victims. Soon, 13 other cold case murders unravelled with one thing in common: the area where these murders occurred. All of Turner’s murders took place in a four-block area along Figueroa Street, near his residence. Turner was later also convicted of four other murders taking his macabre total to 15. He was sentenced to death in 2007 for the first 11 murders and received a second death sentence in 2014. The California Supreme Court heard an automatic appeal on September 2, 2020 in the case. On November 30 it reversed Turner's murder conviction for the unborn baby, but upheld the death sentence for the other 14 victims.
Ángel Maturino Reséndiz
Ángel Maturino Reséndiz bludgeoned at least a dozen people to death during his reign of terror. Infamously known as 'The Railway Killer' he was on the top of the FBI’s “most wanted criminals” list from around the late 1990s. Labeled by law enforcement as “a walking, breathing form of evil", Reséndiz gained notoriety as a prolific killer after the robbery, rape, and murder of Claudia Benton in 1998. Reséndiz entered Benton’s house, stabbed her repeatedly, and beat her with a 2-foot-tall bronze statue. The fingerprints found at Bennet’s house linked Reséndiz to a chain of other crimes that occurred near Texas railroads. 'The Railroad Killer' caused a nationwide frenzy which resulted in an international hunt for the serial killer, complete with a task force assigned to the crime, dubbed Operation Train Stop. Reséndiz was brought to justice after his own sister negotiated his surrender. According to Reséndiz, it was "God’s will for him to destroy abortion clinics before an evil presence compelled him to kill at random". Maturino Reséndiz pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. Nevertheless, he received the death penalty for his heinous crimes and was executed in 2006.
Randy Steven Kraft
Described as one of the “deadliest and most depraved serial killers", Randy Steven Kraft, aka the 'Scorecard Killer', was convicted of killing 16 men over 11 years. He has also been tied to the murders of 8 other men. Kraft was labelled the 'Scorecard Killer' after police found a note or "scorecard" with the initials of his victims' names. Most of Kraft’s murders took place between 1970 and 1980. His victims were found dead near highways in California. Kraft was caught by authorities when he was pulled over for driving under the influence by the California Highway Patrol. When the officers looked inside his car they found a man who appeared to be unconscious in the back seat. Upon further inspection it was concluded that the man, named Terry Gambrel, was dead. The victim’s body was also found with his trousers lowered suggesting sexual assault. After a thorough search of Kraft’s car, police found tranquilizers, prescription drugs, and at least 70 photos of dead or unconscious men. Even the car seats were stained with blood. Officers also got their hands on a coded, hand-written list. Kraft killed his victims through strangulation, suffocation or even by fatal overdoses of alcohol or drugs.
On August 11, 1989, a jury found Kraft guilty and he was sentenced to death. As of 2022, Kraft remains on death row at San Quentin State Prison, and continues to state he is not guilty of the crimes.
The Zebra Murders
A rampage that caused a city-wide panic in San Fransisco, the 'Zebra Murders', was the term coined for the murders carried out by a group of African-American men. The killings became known as the 'Zebra Murders' because the investigation was called Operation Zebra. The men were believed to be a part of the Death Angels cult related to the Nation of Islam and devoted to murdering White people. The group was responsible for over 70 murders, and at least a dozen attempted murders. Most of their victims were shot or decapitated. One of the victims even had his spleen, colon and kidneys ripped apart, but miraculously survived. The Death Angels rose to prominence between mid 1970s. Three men, Manuel Moore, Larry Green, JCX Simon, and Thomas Manney, were arrested for the grisly crimes after Anthony Harris, a part of the group, decided to come forth to authorities with information. Harris recognized his own picture in the composite sketches released by authorities. He agreed to surrender himself and provide information on his fellow perpetrators in return for protection and the $30,000 reward money offered by the police for information on the killers.
Based on extensive testimonies of 108 witnesses in what became the longest criminal trial in California history, Larry Green, J. C. X. Simon, Manuel Moore, and Jessie Lee Cooks were convicted in 1976 of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder. Each man was sentenced to life imprisonment.
On March 12, 2015, JCX Simon was found unresponsive in his cell at San Quentin State Prison. Moore died in 2017 at the California Health Care Facility. Cooks died in prison on June 30, 2021 at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility and Green is in the California State Prison, Solano.
The serial killer and rapist Anthony LaRette Jr was convicted of one murder in 1980 but later confessed to 31 murders dating back over a decade. LaRette received the death penalty for the sole murder of 18-year-old Mary Flemming, whom he tried to assault sexually and stabbed twice before slashing her throat. LaRette committed murders in over 11 states, including Colorado, Arkansas and Nebraska. He even confessed to having committed more than two dozen rapes.
LaRette's trial venue had to be moved to Warrenton due to publicity. He was found guilty after just one hour of deliberation by the jury, with a recommendation that he be sentenced to death.
Afer exhausting all appeals LaRette was scheduled to be executed on November 29, 1995; making him Missouri's longest-serving death row inmate. The day before his scheduled execution date, he was granted a stay of execution on the grounds that the claims of ineffective counsel and supposed mental illness be taken under consideration. The stay of execution was lifted on the very next day. LaRette was executed via lethal injection at the Potosi Correctional Center. In his final statement, he apologized to both his and his victims' family members, saying: "I'm sorry it had to come this way." His last meal, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch consisted of steak, a dozen fried shrimp, baked potato, fried potatoes, fried mushrooms, fried onion rings, and two cans of Coca-Cola.