Real Killer – A Very Morbid Game


This is a pretty simple time-waster I made for parties. But first, be warned: This game involves the discussion of serial killers, their victims, and their methods. This is not a game for anyone squeamish about said subjects. Nor is this a game you should be playing with your in-laws during thanksgiving. You have been warned.

The gameplay is fairly straight forward, but it requires some preparation. First, go to wikipedia and look up serial killers, and do a search for lists by victim numbers. Pick out a few obscure killers your players are unlikely to recognize. For my game I chose serial killers with bizarre quirks and habits, because I wanted the game to be fairly light.

Next, skim google for some grainy black-and-white pictures that are similar to your killer’s profile. The goal is to present your players with three faces. It’s up to them to guess which is the real killer. And if you really want to mess with their heads, throw in a few B-List celebrities.

So, which one’s the real killer?

nannie-doss-realIf you picked A or C, I have bad news…

Pictured center (B) is a charming old bird by the name of Nannie Doss, AKA The Giggling Grandma. As wikipedia puts it, she poisoned the unholy hell out of 11 people, including four husbands, two children, two sisters, her mother, a grandson, and a nephew. And yes, she was giggling when she confessed this to the police.

For guessing who the killer is, award 1 point per player.

Award 2 points per player for guessing the correct method of murder. I limited my categories to strangulation, shooting, poisoning, and dismemberment.

Lastly, award 3 points for the player who guesses closest to the killer’s body count.

The number of victims can be varied significantly, keeping the players on their toes. You might start off with a killer like Doss, whose path of destruction was limited to family members who talked through Perry Mason episodes, and switch to a gentleman like Pedro Lopez, AKA the Monster of the Andes, who stalked and strangled between 100 and 300 young women. But remember, if you stray too far down dark paths during this game, you can turn a lighthearted story session into something genuinely unpleasant.

pedro lopez_real

…which is a mistake CNN makes every day.


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