In the wild spectrum of human interaction, there’s one heinous act that captivates people more than any other — murder. It’s been one of the most popular subjects in the arts as far back as the ancient Greeks, who frequently wrote about homicide in poetry and drama alike, and it still remains in vogue today, appearing in the form of countless based-on-true-stories thrillers and ripped-from-the-headlines crime procedurals. There’s even revolting murder-themed porn in the world if that says anything about how fucked up we are as a species. All of this points to the fact that people killing each other will never cease to capture our imagination, and nothing illustrates the arresting appeal of murder quite like all of these sick and twisted serial killer tattoos.
Chance are that you’re wondering why the hell anyone would get a tattoo of a serial killer. They’re not really the sort of cultural icons who warrant tributes, but that doesn’t deter true-crime fanatics. This may seem insane: celebrating murder isn’t an acceptable gesture, especially in today’s increasingly violent society, but most people with these tattoos will argue that it’s out of morbid curiosity more than anything else. Someone with a portrait of the Night Stalker probably isn’t actually into night-stalking outside of Facebook. They’re like just obsessed with what makes psychopaths tick, and this preoccupation with the inner-workings of warped minds isn’t a crime at all.
The amount of people who have tattoos of serial killers is somewhat flabbergasting, but it also illustrates the powerful allure of true crime. Ted Bundy tattoos are a big hit with the ladies, and there are more portraits of Jeffrey Dahmer than there were heads in his fridge, but the real-life killer clown himself, John Wayne Gacy, takes the cake when it comes to body art. We’ll be the first to say that portraits of this deranged individual are pretty disgusting (and, as you all know, we love murderous clowns like Pennywise and Killer Klowns from Outer Space), but we have to admit to being fascinated by whatever it was that compelled him to dress up in oversized clothing and silly makeup before killing boys and burying them underneath the floorboards.
To see more killer body art, make sure to follow these artists on Instagram. If you’re a diehard true-crime fan yourself, consider doing something unthinkable, and have one of them design a portrait of your favorite serial killer for you.