Top 10 Scariest Police Sketches

Discover the top 10 scariest police sketches that have sent chills down the spines of investigators and the public. From the haunting Phantom to the chilling Silent Stalker, these sketches depict terrifying figures linked to unsolved cases and disturbing behavior. Explore the dark world of crime and the tireless efforts of law enforcement to keep our communities safe.

In this article, we will explore the top 10 scariest police sketches that have sent chills down the spines of investigators and the public.

Top 10 Scariest Police Sketches

Selene Delgado Lopez

It started with a newscast about a missing woman from Mexico in the 1990s but it grew into a bizarre viral phenomenon thirty years later while the whole world was struggling to sit at home during the Covid pandemic. Selene Delgado Lopez went missing and was never found, a sadly common story for those in poverty, but in 2020 her story got renewed fame when suddenly a social media profile alleging to be her seemed to show up mysteriously. More alarming, she seemed to be friends with everybody already – even though nobody knew who she was.

Derrick Todd Lee tormented the Baton Rouge area in the ‘90s and early ‘00s when he was caught partly due to this sketch. Even after his capture, it’s no wonder that this sketch has continued to live on through the internet. The stark expressionless face, coupled with those wild, wide eyes, really conveys the sentiment of a cold, calculated, and violent murderer. I do admit that the comparison of Selene and the sketch makes them look eerily similar, but it just feels like a coincidence.

Selene Delgado López, el perfil en Facebook que 'desconcierta' a usuarios | El Siglo de Torreón-Selene Delgado Lopez
Selene Delgado Lopez

Due to the lack of information regarding Selene, a popular idea emerged that Selene was not a real person but an AI-generated image. A YouTube video surfaced comparing the facial features of Selene’s photo to multiple other photos and sketches from around the world. It appeared that Selene’s facial dimensions matched a certain police sketch extremely well. It was a police sketch of Derrick Todd Lee, the Baton Rouge serial killer

Laura Simonson-The Girl in the Suitcase

In 2014, two suitcases were found, each containing the body of a woman. The first was quickly identified as Laura Simonson, but the second required more work. Police released a sketch of the woman, but her body was so badly decomposed that they decided to really lean into accentuating certain features to extremely inhuman proportions.

This is a common tactic utilized by sketch artists because it helps differentiate the subject from the hundreds of other human faces people see daily. It also helps jog people’s memories by highlighting and magnifying the subject’s most defining features. The result, in this case, is an artist recreation that looks like a terrifying alien-chipmunk hybrid.Despite this, a family saw the sketch and noted that the prominent buck teeth, small lower teeth, high cheekbones, and small eyes bore a striking resemblance to a loved one they hadn’t heard from in a while.

With that lead, authorities were able to compare dental records and confirm the identity of Jenny Gamez.Jenny was killed and stashed away by a former police officer after they met online. The night she was killed was their first date. Thanks to the sketch artist who decided to enhance the features of Jenny’s face to extreme levels, law enforcement was able to identify her quickly.

This is a good reminder that while it may seem disrespectful to release a sketch that ridiculous, there’s a reason for doing so

A former suburban Milwaukee police officer pleaded guilty to killing a woman in Minnesota and ditching her body in a suitcase along a rural Wisconsin highway.

After pleading guilty to second-degree murder, Steven Zelich was sentenced to 25 years in prison for the 2013 death of 37-year-old Laura Simonson, of Farmington, KTTC-TV reported. Zelich previously was sentenced to 35 years in prison in Wisconsin after pleading guilty to the 2012 death of 19-year-old Jenny Gamez, of Cottage Grove, Oregon.


Laura Simonson-The Girl in the Suitcase
Laura Simonson-The Girl in the Suitcase Photo credit: WRN

John List Clay Bust

Westfield, New Jersey, U.S. List assumed a new identity, remarried, and eluded justice for nearly 18 years. He was finally apprehended in Virginia on June 1, 1989, after the story of his murders was broadcast on the television program America’s Most Wanted.

The List Murders of 1971 - Historic Newspapers-John List Clay Bust
John List Clay Bust

On the surface, John List seemed to have it made: A deeply religious family man with a wife and three kids, he had a successful career as a bank president and a sprawling 19-room Victorian mansion in the comfortable suburban setting of Westfield, New Jersey.

But in December 1971, John List’s neighbors realized something strange. No one had seen any members of the List family for almost a month, since November 9. Neighbors noticed that all the lights in the house were constantly on—at least, until they started to burn out one by one. Eventually, List’s 16-year-old daughter’s drama coach, worried about her extended absence, notified the police.

Investigators were horrified when they entered the List family mansion on December 7, 1971. Inside they found five dead bodies: John’s wife Helen; their three teenage children, Patricia, Frederick, and John, Jr.; and John’s 84-year-old mother, Alma. All had been shot dead. Helen and the children were laid out in the mansion’s grand ballroom. John’s mother was discovered in her apartment in the attic.


john list
Photo Credit: Alchetron

List stood trial, and, in April 1990, a jury found him guilty of five murders. A judge sentenced List to five life terms behind bars. The killer remained out of the public eye until he agreed to an interview with Connie Chung in 2002. In the interview, conducted from prison in New Jersey, List explained the details and motivations behind his grisly crimes. He told Chung, “I approached all of them from behind so they wouldn’t realize till the last minute what I was going to do to them.”

john list
List’s mugshotPhoto Credit: Wikimedia Commons

John List died in 2008, in police custody at a hospital in Trenton, New Jersey, at the age of 82.

Featured photo: Alchetron 

Deandre Charles

Deandre Charles, who memorably went viral in 2015 because the sketch police released was a candidate for worst of all time, has filed a lawsuit. He alleges that police had evidence that he didn’t murder a rabbi but that prosecutors charged him anyway, ruining his life. The explosive claims were first reported by the Miami New-Times.

Top 10 Scariest Police Sketches
Top 10 Scariest Police Sketches
  • Rabbi Joseph Raskin was shot and killed on Aug. 9, 2014, in Miami. Charles, who was 14 at the time, was accused of an attempted robbery and Raskin’s murder. When police announced Charles’ arrest, they also introduced the sketch you can see above. It received a lot of attention online.
  • Could you imagine being charged with murder because someone made a goofy sketch that kind of, sort of resembled you? Deandre was justifiably upset and is now suing the authorities on allegations that prosecutors had the DNA evidence to exonerate him but still pursued a guilty verdict. To Charles’s credit, he has channeled his anger into a musical career as Papito El Franklins. He’s actually pretty talented

The evidence against Deandre Charles included a drawing that some called the “worst witness sketch in history.”

Top 10 Scariest Police Sketches
Top 10 Scariest Police Sketches

Cheryl Bowman

Cheryl Bowman was a middle-aged woman who was found murdered in Houston, Texas on November 26, 1989. She was identified in July 2005.

  • heryl Bowman’s decomposed body was discovered by people searching for aluminum cans at about 7 a.m. in far west Houston. Her body was found face down in the 11200 block of Clay Road near Addicks Reservoir. Her cause of death was not known at the time of her discovery, but the Houston Police Department believed she was killed then dumped in the area. Notably, the popular reasoning behind her reconstruction covering her face was that she was beaten so badly that this area of her face could not be reconstructed, though the source for this reasoning has yet to be found.
  • Curiously, another unidentified woman was found murdered in Houston that day. There is no indication whether the cases are related or not.
  • Through unknown means, Cheryl Bowman’s body was identified in July 2005. Since her identification, no further information on the investigation into her murder is currently available.
Cheryl Bowman-Top 10 Scariest Police Sketches
Photo credit: Doe Network


Glenn Edwin Rundles

Despite being the subject of what’s been described as the “worst police sketch ever,” an armed robbery suspect was found.

Glenn Edwin Rundles, 32, was arrested  and charged with aggravated robbery, indecent exposure, and burglary, the eParis Extra reported. Police believe Rundles is the man who robbed two women at knifepoint in East Post Oak, Texas, on January 16.

The case would have been unremarkable were it not for the resulting police sketch of the suspect, which was so bad that it prompted Gawker to pose the question, “Did two Texas women get mugged by a cartoon?”

An officer saw the sketch and thought it looked a lot like Rundles, who was identified by the victims. Once again, we see the sketch artist getting the last laugh. In fact, Rundles saw the sketch in the paper and thought it looked so much like him that he attempted to alter a tattoo on his neck to hide his identity. Maybe go for the fake mustache and glasses next time

Glenn Edwin Rundles, Robbery Suspect, Arrested-Top 10 Scariest Police Sketches
Glenn Edwin Rundles


Hung Phuoc Nguyen

With the help of a sketch that a witnesses provided to the police, the suspect was identified as homeless 44-year-old Hung Phuoc Nguyen.

Nguyen pretended to be an employee of Central Market while the real employee stepped away on January 30 at 23 N. Market St., according to Lancaster Online. He reportedly took an undisclosed amount of money and fled on foot.

On Tuesday, police officially released all the available details they had regarding the case including the hand-drawn sketch. Nguyen was also positively identified by a witness, investigators, and officers who recognized his physical description.

“This was not done in jest,” the police wrote in a Facebook post referencing the quality of the sketch provided to them.

Witness Draws Sketch of ‘Asian’ Man Accused of Stealing, Nails It-Hung Phuoc Nguyen -Scariest Police Sketches
Hung Phuoc Nguyen

How Hung Phuoc Nguyen Was Arrested In 2022

Jocelyn Park was visiting one of her favorite stands at the Central Market in Lancaster, PA, when she noticed an unfamiliar man standing behind the booth holding a wad of cash. After failing to subdue the man, Jocelyn contacted the police, but before she did, she thought she should jot down a description of the man while it was still fresh in her memory. That is when the graphic designer with two art degrees decided to do one better and draw the suspect. The quick sketch was… simple. The sketch quickly went viral, with people mocking it relentlessly online and newscasters stifling laughter any time it was revealed.

Jocelyn noted that she was hurt by the criticisms, but she was unwavering in her confidence that the suspect would be caught based on her artistic rendition, no matter how amateur it appeared. Sure enough, an officer saw the sketch and thought it looked like someone they knew. The officer then produced a photo lineup, and Jocelyn pointed out the same suspect. About a week after Park’s drawing, Hung Phuoc Nguyen was arrested


Conclusion-Scariest Police Sketches

Police sketches are meant to aid in identifying suspects, but some sketches have a way of haunting our nightmares. The top 10 scariest police sketches mentioned above serve as a chilling reminder of the darkness that exists in our world. While these sketches may be terrifying, they also serve as a testament to the importance of law enforcement and the tireless efforts they make to keep our communities safe.

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