The Biggest Serial Killer In History

This is the untold story of the biggest serial killer in the history of mankind. Well, at least as I have been able to discover. And its kind of untold. I connected a few dots before others did, as far as I can tell.

It is the story of Tillikum.

Tillikum was born in 1985 near the beautiful coastline of Iceland. His early years are shrouded in a somewhat murky mystery, though the general consensus is that it was likely a difficult childhood. At the tender age of 6 he moved against his will to Vancouver, which is where the troubles began.

Tillikum is a killer whale. Quite literally. In 1991, soon after his capture, he drowned his trainer in front of spectators at Sealand of the Pacific in British Columbia. In this effort he was assisted by two female killer whales. Keltie Byrne slipped and fell into the water, and then Tillikum along with the other two whales held her underwater until she drowned. The whale exhibit was closed due to the incident. Some said it was just the whales playing, not knowing how long a human could stay underwater.

Seen as not a wonderful candidate for training, Tillikum was bought by Seaworld in Miami as a breeding whale. In 1999 he was 14, the age at which orcas come to maturity (killer whales have roughly similar lifespans to pre-modern humans, living up to 80 or 90 but more commonly to 40 or so). At that point, a man with unknown intentions hid in Seaworld as the park closed. Perhaps inspired by Free Willy he jumped into Tillikum's tank after everyone had left. His body was found the next morning on Tillikum's back, seemingly unharmed in terms of an attack, but very much dead. Again, it was thought that perhaps this was just Tillikum playing around. There was no camera installed in the breeding tank and so there was no evidence one way or another.

Sometime in the last 10 years someone at Seaworld made the brilliant decision to train Tillikum as a performing whale, even with his checkered past.

Today, Tillikum struck again. He is now 29yrs old, 12,300lbs, and has added a confirmed homicide to the two possibles. This was not a drowning either, this was a full on attack. One eyewitness account from a viewing area: "The trainer was explaining different things about the whale, and then the trainer that was down there walked away from the window. Then [the whale] took off really fast in the tank, and he came back, shot up in the air, grabbed the trainer by the waist and started thrashing [her] around."

Killer whales at SeaWorld Orlando

Not sure why - but so far no one has seemed to put together the current attack with the two previous ones. The news articles do not mention the others. I found it because on a local Miami newspaper website it had automated links to the stories from 1999 and 1991, still up and archived on their site. I am sure those less intelligent than Norm (such as CNN) will pick up on it eventually. Crazy story really. You would think maybe the animal should be released to the wild? Or at least kept relatively clear of humans.

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