The Most Famous Killer in Texas, Ranked

Choose the killer you think is the most famous!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Jun 19, 2024 07:45
The fascination with historical crime figures often moves communities towards deeper understandings of law and societal impacts. In Texas, a state with a storied past of notorious individuals, public ranking can serve as an analytical lens through which to view the interplay of media representation and public perception. This ranking hopes to initiate a broader dialogue on crime's effects on community and culture. By voting for the most famous killer, readers engage with the history in a manner that is participatory and reflective. This process not only brings different perspectives to the forefront but also highlights how collective memory is shaped. Such rankings are critical, as they help encapsulate the temporal shifts in attitudes towards crime and punishment.

Who Is the Most Famous Killer in Texas?

  1. 1

    Angel Maturino Resendiz

    Known as the 'Railroad Killer', he was convicted of several murders in Texas and other states.
    • Victim Count: 15+
    • Active Years: 1986-1999
  2. 2

    Charles Whitman

    Famous for the University of Texas tower shooting in 1966.
    • Victim Count: 16
    • Active Years: 1966
  3. 3

    Dean Corll

    Known as the 'Candy Man', Dean Corll was responsible for the Houston Mass Murders in the early 1970s.
    • Victim Count: 28+
    • Active Years: 1970-1973
  4. 4

    Henry Lee Lucas

    A drifter who claimed to have killed hundreds but was convicted of 11 homicides.
    • Victim Count: 11+
    • Active Years: 1960-1983
  5. 5

    David Koresh

    Leader of the Branch Davidians, responsible for the Waco Siege deaths.
    • Victim Count: 76
    • Active Years: 1993
  6. 6

    Elmer Wayne Henley

    Accomplice of Dean Corll in the Houston Mass Murders.
    • Victim Count: 28+
    • Active Years: 1971-1973
  7. 7

    Kenneth McDuff

    Nicknamed the 'Broomstick Killer', McDuff was convicted of multiple murders and was executed in 1998.
    • Victim Count: 9+
    • Active Years: 1966-1992
  8. 8

    Genene Jones

    A pediatric nurse convicted of killing infants in her care.
    • Victim Count: 2+
    • Active Years: 1977-1982
  9. 9

    Coral Eugene Watts

    Known as the 'Sunday Morning Slasher', Watts is believed to have killed more than 80 women.
    • Victim Count: 22+
    • Active Years: 1974-1982
  10. 10

    Joe Ball

    Known as the 'Alligator Man', he is suspected of killing several women in the 1930s.
    • Victim Count: 2+
    • Active Years: 1936-1938

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About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most famous killer in Texas. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or killer is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 104 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each killer once every 24 hours. The rank of each killer is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

Additional Information

More about the Most Famous Killer in Texas

Angel Maturino Resendiz
Rank #1 for the most famous killer in Texas: Angel Maturino Resendiz (Source)
Texas has a storied past with many infamous figures. Among them, killers have left a dark mark on the state's history. These individuals gained notoriety through their brutal acts, leaving communities in fear and sorrow.

In the 19th century, Texas was a rough place. Law enforcement was sparse, and the vast landscape made it easy for criminals to hide. Killers took advantage of this, committing heinous acts and often evading capture. The Wild West era saw many such figures who became legends, their tales passed down through generations.

As time progressed, Texas evolved, but the shadow of violent crime remained. The 20th century brought new challenges. Urbanization and population growth led to more complex criminal activities. Killers adapted to these changes, using new methods and tools. The rise of media played a role in this, as sensational stories captured public attention. Newspapers, radio, and later television, brought these tales into homes, amplifying the fear and fascination.

Law enforcement also advanced. Detectives and forensic experts developed new techniques to catch these criminals. Despite these efforts, some killers managed to elude capture for years. Their stories became part of the state's lore, with each case adding to the collective memory of fear and intrigue.

Texas's vast geography played a role in these stories. The state's diverse landscape, from dense forests to arid deserts, provided hiding places for those on the run. This made the task of tracking and capturing killers even more challenging. The rural areas, in particular, became notorious for harboring fugitives.

Community response to these crimes varied. In some cases, towns banded together, forming posses to hunt down the culprits. In others, fear led to isolation, with residents locking their doors and avoiding strangers. The impact of these crimes was felt deeply, altering the fabric of daily life.

The legal system in Texas also had its own unique characteristics. The state's approach to justice was often swift and severe. Public hangings and other forms of capital punishment were not uncommon, serving as both a deterrent and a form of closure for the affected communities. However, this did not always prevent future crimes.

The psychological impact of these killers on the public cannot be understated. The fear they instilled lingered long after they were caught or killed. Stories of their deeds became cautionary tales, warning future generations of the dangers that lurked in the shadows.

In modern times, Texas continues to grapple with violent crime. Advances in technology and law enforcement have made it harder for killers to evade capture. Yet, the legacy of past criminals remains. Their stories serve as a reminder of the darker side of human nature and the ongoing battle between law and disorder.

Texas's history with killers is a complex tapestry. It reflects the state's growth, challenges, and resilience. While the names and faces of these criminals may fade, their impact on the state's history endures. The lessons learned from these dark chapters continue to shape Texas's approach to crime and justice.

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