19 Terrifying Serial Killers on TV

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We're taking a look at our fascination with serial criminals, and killers in particular. Why can't we get enough of them? 

Sometimes they're impossible to track, making the mystery part of the allure, and others we know who they are the entire time, and the frustration of waiting to find out who is going to be killed next can drive us mad. Then there are those who we find oddly charming, despite our better judgment. 

What does it mean if we cheer on a murderer? We can only hope we're not alone...

Scroll through our photo gallery to find out more about these intriguing and terrifying TV characters!

1. The Trinity Killer aka Arthur Mitchell - Dexter

The Trinity Killer aka Arthur Mitchell - Dexter
Arthur Mitchell was at first viewed by Dexter Morgan as a fellow killer to admire. What a tragic mistake. Not an oddball loner at all, Mitchell was "happily" married devout Christian man who killed as did his father before him. Ultimately, he murdered Dexter's wife, Rita, in her own bathtub, slicing her femoral artery so she bled out, tiny baby Harrison screaming out on the floor beside her.

2. Bloody Face aka Dr. Thredson - American Horror Story: Asylum

Bloody Face aka Dr. Thredson - American Horror Story: Asylum
Bloodyface was a serial killer with severe mommy issues, who chose his victims based upon their resemblance to dear old mom. His goal was become her, in a way, and he skinned the victims, wearing their faces and hair as his own. It's a lovely trait he passed onto his own son. How sweet!

3. The Carver aka Quentin Costa - Nip/Tuck

The Carver aka Quentin Costa - Nip/Tuck
More of a rapist than a killer (having only killed one of his victims), we're still including The Carver because he's a very memorable and frightening character, and his victims suffered greatly at his hands. The Carver may have been a renounded plastic surgeon, but he secretely hated superficial beauty. Instead of choosing another profession, he raped and killed those he despised, carving a giant, bloody smile into their poor, beautiful faces. Ironically, those who survived were sent right back under the knife to try to get more of that superficial beauty.

4. Red John aka Sheriff Thomas McAllister - The Mentalist

Red John aka Sheriff Thomas McAllister - The Mentalist
It took an entire series run for Red John to be seen, which made him scary. The reveal was the least of it. He endlessly taunted the CBI and Patrick Jane, whose wife and daughter he killed long ago. He was always one step ahead the smartest man we knew, leaving behind a creepy red smiley face as the only indicator he was there. But not in the end.

5. Joe Carroll - The Following

Joe Carroll - The Following
Joe Carroll had a a strange fascination with Edgar Allen Poe, and he was a former English Lit professor, putting him in the perfect position to pluck the eyeballs out of college co-eds. Despite his lovely treatment of them, he used his charm to amass a cult of followers who killed for him even when he was unable to do it himself any longer.

6. Hannibal Lecter - Hannibal

Hannibal Lecter - Hannibal
Hannibal was in a position power as a therapist. You tell him your darkest secrets, and he can use them against you later. But first he'll make sure you taste your absolute best by feeding you oysters and acorns, so when he eats you for dinner and serves you to friends, they're sure to comment on his haute cuisine. No, not all of his victims were intimate, but still, don't ever eat dinner with Hannibal the Cannibal.

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