|This list contains names and relevant details of various atheistic murderers, including genocidal/democidal dictators, mass shooters, serial killers, etc. It was composed to correct the notion that "atheists have never killed anyone" that some atheists have tried to argue and that all violence is somehow due to religion/theism. It has often been observed that when atheists make such a claim and are shown evidence to the contrary, they modify their argument (in a manner of the "No True Scotsman" or "Moving the Goalposts" fallacy) by insisting they meant, "No one has ever killed in the name of atheism," as this still attempts to pin down something that makes atheism look morally superior to religion/theism which supposedly cannot make the same claim. However, it could be argued that no one has actually killed in the name of mere "religion" or "theism" either but rather in the name of specific religious and theistic ideologies. Likewise, many have also killed in the name of specific atheistic ideologies, most famously, Marxism, which was the very reason why many murderers listed here committed their crimes (i.e. to rid the world of religion and of people seen to oppose "Communism"). Many non-Marxist atheists are listed here as well, diversely discrediting the absurd notion that all violence somehow springs from a belief in God (and thus gives credence to the idea that atheism does not necessarily inhibit humans from killing each other but may, as some of these examples could suggest, do the opposite).|
Vladimir Lenin (1870-1924) a.k.a. Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov
Atheist leader of Communist Russia (and the Soviet Union), as well as founder of the Bolshevik party. After overthrowing the Russian King (known as the "tsar") and murdering his entire family, he institued a campaign of mass killings and torture called the "Red Terror," which killed around 50,000 to 500,000 people. He also executed 14,000 to 20,000 priests for their disagreements with Bolshevism. Later, he seized food from peasants all over the country, which worsened the Russian Famine of 1921 that ended up killing 5 million people. He explained that this was a good thing, saying, "Famine would also destroy faith not only in the tsar, but in God too."
Leon Czolgosz (1873-1901)
Atheist assassin who shot and killed the President of the United States, namely, William McKinley. Notably, he claimed to be inspired by atheist philosopher Emma Goldman, who publically defended his actions.
Felix Dzerzhinsky (1877-1926) a.k.a. "The Iron Felix"
Atheist Director of the Cheka (the Bolshevik secret police), which executed 250,000 to 300,000 people during the Communist Revolution in Russia. He said, "We stand for organised terror - this should be frankly admitted. Terror is an absolute necessity during times of revolution."
Plutarco Elías Calles (1877-1945)
President of Mexico and Atheist who forcibly shut down multiple religious schools, monasteries, and convents, as well as confiscated large amounts of Church property. His policies ended up killing up to 4,000 priests, depriving 17 Mexican states of priests entirely. (In reaction to his vehement anti-religious policies, the people of Mexico fought back in the "Cristero War," which they eventually won)
Yemelyan Mikhailovich Yaroslavsky (1878-1943)
a.k.a. Minei Izrailevich Gubelman
Leader of the "League of the Militant Atheists" (a.k.a. "The Society of the Godless"), which not only destroyed 6,000 historical buildings (mostly churches and monasteries) but aided the Soviet government in exterminating Christian clergy and other religious groups, reducing their number from about 50,000 to only 1,000 in Russia through executions and condemnation to Russia's famous prison camps known as the "Gulags" (where they would overwhelmingly die from starvation and disease).
Joseph Stalin (1878-1953)
a.k.a. Jozef Vissarionovich Jughashvili
Atheist leader of Communist Russia (and the Soviet Union) who murdered about 50 million people by deliberately causing widespread famines, ordering massive and arbitrary executions, and sending large populations to the unlivable Gulag prison camps. Before this, at the urging of his parents, he had attended an Eastern Orthodox seminary but, far from becoming a priest, ended up becoming an atheist, rejecting Christianity and becoming perhaps the most influential promoter of the anti-religious, political theory of Marxism. Among his atrocities after assuming power in the government, he imposed state atheism, shut down several parishes, levelled numerous historic churches, and slaughtered tens of thousands of nuns, monks, and priests. He is famed for being one of the most murderous dictators of all time.
Gleb Bokii (1879-1937)
Ukrainian Communist and a Soviet secret policeman who shot 1,300 people during the atheist government's efforts to secure power.
Leon Trotsky (1879-1940)
Marxist revolutionary writer, Soviet politician, and atheist, who acted as Vladimir Lenin's right hand man, executing 1,200 to 2,168 people in Krondstadt for their disagreements with Bolshevism. Notably, he also founded the Red Army which would commit many of the Communist atrocities of the early Soviet era.
Margaret Sanger (1879-1966)
American eugenicist and atheist who founded Planned Parenthood, which, as of 2019, has performed about 8 million abortions. She popularized the widespread use of birth control, holding it up as a means to achieve racial purity, and used the slogan: "Birth Control: to create a race of thoroughbreds." When asked whether she condemned murder, she refused to answer but elsewhere commented, "The most merciful thing that the large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it." Margaret seems to have been an atheist, growing up with an atheist father, though baptized Catholic by her mother, which she rejected and nominally identified as an Episcopalian, relating to her superficial marriage to a rich Episcopalian businessman, whom she mocked as a "stodgy churchgoer ... yet, how often am I going to meet a man with nine million dollars?" (she would eventually cheat on him with several different men, ending in her second divorce). When asked if she actually believed in God, she vaguely answered, "I have a different attitude about the divine. I feel we have divinity in us, and the more we express the good part of our lives, the more the divine within us expresses itself" (never acknowledging the divinity of an actually existing God). Despite any nebulous affiliation with religious sentiment, she later just said, "I have outgrown the need for religion."
Vera Grebeniukova (dates unknown) a.k.a. Dora
Member of the Cheka (the Bolshevik secret police) and atheist who tortured and shot 700 prisoners during the early years of Communist Russia.
Manuel Azaña (1880-1940) a.k.a. Manuel Azaña Díaz
Atheist Prime Minister of Spain, under whose leadership Spain's violently anti-religious Red Terror took place, which killed 38,000 to 72,344 people, among whom were members of the clergy.
Vladimir Antonov-Ovseyenko (1883-1938)
a.k.a. "The Bayonet" or "Nikita"
Bolshevik leader and atheist who was responsible for the brutal massacre of the Tambov Resistance, crushing peasants who resisted Communism, resulting 200,000 to 240,000 deaths (some of these being martial killings).
Benito Mussolini (1883-1945)
a.k.a. Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini
Italian dictator and founder of the political ideology known as "Fascism" who caused the starvation of 40,000 people in Libya and massacred 30,000 Ethiopians. Despite receiving nominal membership in the Church in order to appeal to Catholics at one point, he was known to be an atheist, refering to himself as an "outright disbeliever" and that the Catholic Pope was a "malignant tumor" in Italy which must "be rooted out once and for all," declaring that there was no room in Rome for both the Pope and himself.
Petru Groza (1884-1958)
Atheist leader of Communist Romania, under whose leadership 60,000 people were executed and 100,000 others died under forced labor.
Sergei Mironovich Kirov (1886-1934) a.k.a. Kostrikov
Prominent Bolshevik leader (President of the Revolutionary Military Committee) and atheist who ordered "the merciless extermination" of prisoners "by any means possible." Around 4,000 prisoners had stones tied around their necks and were thrown in a river to drown.
Rosalia Zemlyachka (1876-1947)
Russian revolutionary, Soviet politician, and atheist who murdered 50,000 soldiers in brutal manners in Crimea, despite having promised them safe passage.
Béla Kun (1886-1939) a.k.a. Béla Kohn
Marxist revolutionary, atheist, and Soviet leader of Hungary who, when he had control of Crimea, carried out executions, resulting in the shooting of 60,000 and 70,000 people.
Adolf Hitler (1889-1945)
German Nazi dictator who is responsible for the Holocaust (a.k.a. The Shoah), a genocide that killed 11 million people, notably killing 6 million Jews due to the Nazis' particularly anti-semitic policies. While he would sometimes claim to be a Christian to the religious public, Hitler also declared, "Our epoch will certainly see the end of the disease of Christianity," and claimed that "The Christian religion is nothing but a Jewish sect," and that, "One is either a Christian or a German. You cannot be both." Joseph Goebbels affirmed that Hitler was "completely anti-Christian" and said the best way for them to deter the churches from fighting the Nazi government was to "claim" to be Christian while gradually "strangle any attempt" of religion from interfering with the state. Hitler said that he used the term "God" to refer to "the dominion of natural laws throughout the universe" (and said that he was opposed to "atheism" if it meant denying that). However, he was against any religious conception of God, saying that priests have exploited people's feeling, and that "In the long run, National Socialism [a.k.a. Nazism] and religion will no longer be able to exist together." For such reasons, there have obviously been historians who have classified Hitler as an atheist.
Ho Chi Minh (1890-1969)
a.k.a. Nguyễn Sinh Cun or Nguyễn Tất Thành
Atheist leader of Communist Vietnam, responsible for killing 1.7 million Cambodians, in addition to 2 million Vietnamese and 230,000 Laotians.
Carl Panzram (1892-1930) a.k.a. Jefferson Rhodes
American criminal and atheist who murdered 21 people, raped over 1,000 people, and committed multiple burglaries, robberies, larcenies, and arsons. He said, "I don't believe in man, God nor Devil. I hate the whole damned human race, including myself... I preyed upon the weak, the harmless and the unsuspecting. This lesson I was taught by others: Might makes right."
Genrikh Yagoda (1891-1838) a.k.a. Yenokh Gershevich Iyeguda
Soviet secret police official and atheist who is held responsible for the deaths of over 7 million Ukrainians during the "Holodomor" (a man-made famine in Ukraine engineered by the Soviet government). He was also one of the architects of the gulag system.
Bolesław Bierut (1892-1956)
Atheist leader of Communist Poland and agent of the NKVD (a Soviet law enforcement agency) who executed 22,000 to 54,000 people of the Polish population, targeting Catholic priests especially as they who were considered dangerous to the Communist regime.
Mátyás Rákosi (1892-1971) a.k.a. "Stalin's Best Pupil"
Atheist leader of Hungary, under whose leadership, 150,000 people were imprisoned, 2,000 of which were excuted. He also purged tens of thousands from the government, 5,000 of which were executed. He coined the term "salami tactics," when eliminating his non-Communist rivals, describing the process as "cutting them off like slices of salami."
Josip Broz Tito (1892-1980) a.k.a. Josip Broz
Atheist Dictator of Yugoslavia, directly responsible for the death of 570,000 to 1,170,000 people.
Mao Zedung (1893-1976) a.k.a. Mao Tse-tung
Atheist Leader of Communist China who killed 40 million to around 80 million people, through starvation, forced labor, and mass executions, famously making him the most murderous person in the history of the world.
Lazar Kaganovich (1893-1991)
Soviet politician who was instrumental in the atheist government's "dekulakization" and engineered famines which killed 14.5 million people.
Gavrilo Princip (1894-1918)
Bosnian Serb and atheist assassin who murdered Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife. This act incidentally sparked the beginning of World War I.
Nikolai Yezhov (1895-1940)
Head of the NKVD and atheist, where, under his leadership, 681,692 were executed and 140,000 who were arrested and eventually died in the Russian gulags from starvation.
Khorloogiin Choibalsan (1895-1952)
Atheist leader of Communist Mongolia who executed around 35,000 people.
Vasily Blokhin (1895-1955)
Soviet Russian Major-General, atheist, and chief executioner for the NKVD who holds the Guinness World Record for "The Most Prolific Executioner," having personally shot at least 7,000 prisoners to perhaps as much as 50,000 prisoners.
Lazar Kogan (1899-1939) a.k.a. Lazar Iosifovich Kogan
High-ranking NKVD officer of the U.S.S.R.'s Communist party and atheist who was in charge of the harsh slave labor force that worked on the White Sea Canal that ended up killing 25,000 workers.
Lavrentiy Beria (1899-1953)
Soviet politician and atheist who executed 7,000 to 10,000 Georgians in response to a nationalist uprising, which eventually got him promoted to Chief of the NKVD, where he was later responsible for the execution of 22,000 Polish captives. He is also known to have raped many women.
Paul Jaworski (1900-1929) a.k.a. Paul Poluszynski
Polish Atheist and gangster in Cleveland, Ohio, who killed up to 26 people. Before his execution, he was offered to see a chaplain but responded, "I preached atheism since the day I quit singing the choir. A man is yellow if he spends his life believing in nothing and then comes crawling to the church because he is afraid his death is near."
Martin Bormann (1900-1945)
Nazi German who was the right-hand man of Adolf Hitler and a known atheist, who signed the decree of 9 October 1942 prescribing that "the permanent elimination of the Jews from the territories of Greater Germany can no longer be carried out by emigration but by the use of ruthless force in the special camps of the East," thus playing a leading role in the Nazi Holocaust, which would murder 6 million Jews. He also enthusiastically supported the Nazi campaign against the Church, saying, "The Christian religion and National Socialist doctrines [a.k.a. Nazism] are not compatible," and banned clergy from the Nazi Party, forbade crucifixes in classrooms, and tried to get a leading Catholic bishop executed for his opposition to the Nazi's non-voluntary euthanasia program.
Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej (1901-1965)
Atheist leader of Communist Romania who judicially executed 137 people and then killed some tens of thousands more in connection to country's attempt at agricultural collectivization.
Bogdan Kobulov (1904-1953)
One of the main Soviet politicians and atheist police members who sentenced 22,000 people to death at the Katyn Massacre.
Deng Xiaoping (1904-1997)
Atheist Leader of Communist China who ordered that a group of protesters who were demanding more democracy be gunned down in Tiananmen Square resulting in 3,000 of them being slaughtered.
Władysław Gomułka (1905-1982)
Atheist leader of post-war Communist Poland, under whose leadership, Soviet terror killed 200,000 to 1 million people.
Leonid Brezhnev (1906-1982)
Atheist leader of Communist Russia (and the Soviet Union) whose genocide in Afghanistan killed 900,000 people.
Bhagat Singh (1907-1931) a.k.a. Shaheed Bhagat Singh
Indian Marxist who opposed Gandhi's philosophy of non-violence and murdered a police officer and threw bombs into a crowd, causing multiple injuries. He wrote a work called "Why I am an Atheist," saying, "Where is God? What is He doing? Is He getting a diseased pleasure out of it? A Nero! A Genghis Khan! Down with Him!"
Le Duan (1907-1986) a.k.a. Lê Duẩn
Atheist politician of Communist Vietnam who extrajudicially executed more than 100,000 people.
Truong Chinh (1907-1988)
a.k.a. Trường Chinh or Đặng Xuân Khu
Atheist leader of Communist Vietnam who executed 50,000 to 100,000 during his social reforms of Vietnam.
Enver Hoxha (1908-1985)
Atheist Leader of Communist Albania who killed more than 100,000 of his own citizens.
Todor Zhivkov (1911-1998)
Atheist head of State in Communist Bulgaria, under whose leadership the country's agricultural collectivization and political repression resulted in the deaths of 31,000 to 100,000 people (an unknown portion of these deaths probably happened under a few shorter-lived Marxist leaders before him, including Valko Chervenkov and Anton Yugov).
Kim Il-sung (1912-1994)
North Korean dictator who murdered as much as 3.5 million people when he violently transformed North Korea to conform to the political ideology known as "Juche," a culturally Korean version of Marxism-Leninism, resulting in the country becoming an atheist state.
Nur Muhammad Taraki (1917-1979)
Marxist President, Prime Minister, and General Secretary of Afghanistan who, despite having a Muslim background, promoted state atheism, launching a violent campaign of repression that killed up to 27,000 people.
Nicolae Ceaușescu (1918-1989)
Atheist and Communist Leader of Romania who murdered over 60,000 people in the revolution in Timișoara.
Kaysone Phomvihane (1920-1992)
Communist Prime Minister of Laos and atheist who murdered 100,000 (out of 400,000) in the Hmong Genocide.
Hua Guofeng (1921-2008)
Atheist Leader of Communist China, under whose leadership the one-child policy was instituted, which forced families to have only one child (though sometimes two, if the first one was female). This law stayed in effect until about 2015, having been enforced not only through contraception, but abortion (both voluntary and forced) and infanticide. The Chinese Health ministry reported that there have been over 336 million abortions performed on account of China's one-child policy (estimated to be around 1,500 abortions every hour).
Pol Pot (1925-1998) a.k.a. Saloth Sar
Atheist Leader of the violent revolutionary group known as the Khmer Rouge who became the leader of Cambodia, murdering 1 to 3 million of the country's population.
Ta Mok (1926-2006) a.k.a. Chhit Choeun
Cambodian military chief of atheist Khmer Rouge who was blamed for the death of around 1.7 million people.
Fidel Castro (1926-2016) a.k.a. Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz
Atheist leader of Communist Cuba who killed 35,000 to 141,000 people.
Jiang Zemin (1926-)
Atheist Leader of China who ordered the torture and murder of 65,000 followers of the Falun Gong religion (which was considered dangerous to Communism), after which he then harvested their organs.
Che Guevara (1928-1967) a.k.a. Ernesto Guevara
Atheist revolutionary leader who helped spread Marxism in Cuba. He wrote to his father about how he liked killing his first victim, seeing his brains pop out when he shot him in the head, and concluded, "Papa, I think I enjoy killing." He went on to execute 14,000 people in the name of atheistic Communism. Notably, he also asked the Soviets to give him nuclear weapons in order to bring about a nuclear apocalypse, saying, "the people [of Cuba] you see today tell you that even if they should disappear from the face of the earth because an atomic war is unleashed in their names ... they will feel completely happy and fulfilled." In addition, he fanatically supported Communist regimes throughout the world that killed millions upon millions of other people. He has been widely celebrated by atheists, including Christopher Hitchens who considered him "a role model."
Jack Kevorkian (1928-2011) a.k.a. "Dr. Death"
American pathologist and promoter of euthanasia who performed over 130 physician-assisted suicides and was eventually arrested for it. When asked if he believed in a god, he mockingly replied, "Bach. At least I didn't make mine up."
Babrak Karmal (1929-1996) a.k.a. Sultan Hussein
Afghan politician, under whose leadership, around 1.2 million were killed. Though some say a Muslim, he was known to be an atheist, considering that he imposed state atheism on Afghanistan.
Jim Jones (1931-1978)
American Marxist who transformed a group of church members into a Communist cult, wherein his fanatical followers would commit suicide on his command, resulting in a mass suicide of over 900 people (some of whom were forcibly killed, including children). He said that he "took the church and used the church to bring people to atheism."
Samora Machel (1933-1986)
Atheist President of Mozambique, who ruled the country in a Marxist-Leninist tradition and set up "reeducation centers" that have been described as "infamous centers of torture and death," where an estimated 30,000 people died.
Abimael Guzmán (1934-) a.k.a. Chairman Gonzalo
Peruvian atheist who led the Communist terrorist group known as the "Shining Path," which killed around 11,000 civilians (incidentally, up to 70,000 people were killed overall due to the violence they caused).
Alvin Lee King III (1935-1982)
A former teacher at a Texas high school, where he was known to be an outspoken atheist, who burst into a church with a rifle and a pistol, murdering 5 Christians and wounding at least 10 others (later hanging himself in his jail cell).
Richard Kuklinski (1935-2006) a.k.a. "The Iceman"
American contract killer who murdered up to 250 people for the mob. He admitted to being an atheist, saying the Church was a sham and that if God really existed, there would be no violence in the world.
Andrei Chikatilo (1936-1994) a.k.a. "The Red Ripper"
Soviet serial killer who killed and cannibalized 53 people. He confessed that Communism had a negative effect on him and that his atheism inspired him with anxiety which caused his mind to "split."
Mengistu Haile Mariam (1937-)
Atheist leader of Communist Ethiopia who killed 500,000 to 2 million.
Lee Harvey Oswald (1939-1963)
Atheist assassin who shot and killed the President of the United States, namely, John F. Kennedy. He was a Marxist and was also reported to have explicitly defended atheism.
Slobodan Milošević (1941-2006)
a.k.a. "Sloba" and "Butcher of the Balkans"
Atheist Leader of Communist Serbia who slaughtered 250,000 people (some number of these being martial killings).
Kim Jong-il (1941/1942-2011)
North Korean dictator who continued North Korea's atheistic political ideology known as "Juche," becoming responsible for a famine that killed 2.8 million to 3.5 million people.
Ted Kaczynski (1942-) a.k.a. "The Unabomber"
American atheist and anarchist who killed 3 people and injured 23 others with a series of homemade bombs. His parents raised him as an "intellectual atheist," and he maintained, "I believe in nothing."
José Eduardo dos Santos (1942-)
Atheist President of Angola and Marxist-Leninist, under whose leadership 125,000 people were killed in democide (some of these deaths possibly being on account of Angola's preceding Marxist President, Agostinho Neto), though he became less Marxist (and accordingly less democidal) later in life.
Hu Jintao (1942-)
Atheist leader of Communist China, under whose leadership around 75,000 people were executed.
Gary Heidnick (1943-1999) a.k.a. Gary Michael Heidnik
Criminal from Pennsylvania who kidnapped, tortured, and raped 6 women, eventually murdering 2 of them, turning one into food and feeding her to the others. Though he founded a mock "church" on the side to receive tax exemptions, he said he had always been an atheist.
Ivan Milat (1944-) a.k.a. "The Backpacker Killer"
Yugoslav serial killer and atheist who murdered 7 backpackers in Australia.
Ted Bundy (1946-1989) a.k.a. Theodore Robert Cowell
American serial killer who murdered 30 to over 100 people. He seems to have been a practical atheist at least with regard to morality when he proclaimed, "Why is it more wrong to kill a human animal than any other animal, a pig or a sheep or a steer? Is your life more to you than a hog's life to a hog? Why should I be willing to sacrifice my pleasure more for the one than for the other? Surely, you would not, in this age of scientific enlightenment, declare that God or nature has marked some pleasures as 'moral' or 'good' and others as 'immoral' or 'bad'?"
Harold Fredrick Shipman (1946-2004)
a.k.a. "Dr. Death" or "The Angel Of Death"
British doctor and most prolific serial killer in the history of the world, having murdered around 260 to up to 284 of his patients. He told police that he was an agnostic (which, according to many atheists, makes him an atheist).
David Roland Waters (1947-2003)
An atheist and office manager of the organization called "American Atheists" who murdered 4 people.
Stephen Paddock (1953-2017)
American mass shooter and atheist who murdered 59 people (including himself) at a music festival in Las Vegas, as well as injuring several hundreds of others, making it the deadliest mass shooting in the history of the United States of America. According to his brother, he only cared about money and gambling and "never affiliated with any religion."
David Berkowitz (1953-) a.k.a. "Son of Sam"
Atheist serial killer who murdered 6 people and wounded 7 others. He claimed he was involved with a Satanic cult but also said he did not believe in God.
Velupillai Prabhakaran (1954-2009)
a.k.a. Thiruvenkadam Velupillai Prabhakaran
Military leader and founder of the "Tamil Tigers," an atheist terrorist group based in Sri Lanka that sprang from Marxist-Leninst philosophy that vehemently rejected all religion. They assassinated many high-ranking political figures, including multiple world leaders (the only terrorist organization to have done so), additionally murdering over 4,000 people in only a few years through a variety of terrorist attacks, including suicide bombings. They were also the leading instigators and most prolific users of suicide attacks in the modern world, notably being the organization to invent exploding "suicide vests" (which is particularly noteworthy, considering how suicide vests have frequently been attributed only to "religious extremists," particularly radical Muslims, despite it actually being a product of atheist terrorists).
Brian Dugan (1956-)
Serial killer who murdered 3 people and sexually assaulted several women in Chicago. He described himself as an atheist to reporters and said he did not believe in heaven or hell, good or evil, calling them all "man-made constructions."
Jeffrey Dahmer (1960-1994) a.k.a. "The Milwaukee Cannibal"
Atheist serial killer who murdered 17 people. He tortured, raped, dismembered, and cannibalized several of his victims. He credited his atheism for being the reason why he killed those people, saying, "If it all happens naturalistically, what's the need for a god? Can't I set my own rules? Who owns me? I own myself."
Marc Lépine (1964-1989)
Canadian Atheist who shot and murdered 14 women and wounded 14 others and then shot himself in the "Montreal Massacre." His mother reported that he was "a confirmed atheist all his life."
Tommy Lynn Sells (1964-2014) a.k.a. "Coast to Coast Killer"
American serial killer and atheist who murdered at least 17 people, though he actually claimed to have murdered well over 70 people. He said this about himself: "I am hatred. When you look at me, you look at hate .... I don't know what love is. Two words I don't like to use is 'love' and 'sorry,' because I'm about hate."
Timothy McVeigh (1968-2001)
American terrorist who was convicted of the Oklahoma City Bombing, which killed 168 people and injured over 600 others (the deadliest terrorist attack prior to September 11, 2001). He informed the press that he did not believe in God.
Terry Nichols (1955-)
American terrorist and accomplice of Timothy McVeigh in the Oklahoma City Bombing (which killed 168 people and injured over 600 others). Even though he came to believe in God in prison, he described himself as an atheist when he was involved with terrorism.
Craig Stephen Hicks (1968-)
Atheist mass murderer who killed 3 Muslim students in the 2015 Chapel Hill shooting. He regularly made online posts condeming all religions, described himself as an "anti-theist," was a supporter of "Atheists for Equality," and was an outspoken fan of Richard Dawkins’ book The God Delusion.
Alexander Yuryevich Pichushkin (1974-)
a.k.a. "The Chessboard Killer" and "The Bitsa Park Maniac"
Russian serial killer who was charged for the murder of 49 people (though boasted murdering 62 people). He said, "I liked the sound of a skull splitting" and "skullfucked" his victims. As an atheist, he said, "I was baptized when I was three-months old. The baptism took place, but I did not want it. Well, I do not think that someone ... is there. I can also say that I will not either read the Bible or write an autobiography. I have never prayed to God, never will .... Men, as they age, increasingly dream that someone is there who is all powerful. Well, what is it?"
John Hughes (c. 1977-)
Atheist serial killer from the Isle of Man who confessed to killing 15 or more people. He compared himself to the Anti-Christ and told reporters he did not believe in God.
Benjamin Nathaniel Smith (1978-1999)
American atheist who murdered 2 people and injured 9 others in a series of drive-by shootings, eventually killing himself as well. He targeted racial and ethnic minorities due to his membership with the anti-Christian and neo-Nazi organization known as the Creativity Movement. Some have described the organization as "pantheistic," insofar as it ascribes the universe with ultimate importance and asserts that "everything is in nature" (thus denying the supernatural and any transcendent deity). While its founder Ben Klassen disliked the term "atheist" due to its negative connotations, he and the members of the movement (including Smith) officially rejected the existence of gods, angels, devils, heaven, and hell.
Israel Keyes (1978-2012)
Atheist serial killer from Utah who murdered 8 or more people before killing himself.
Seth Privacky (1980-2010)
American mass murderer who killed 5 people, including his parents, brother, and grandfather, telling people that he had been raised with "an atheistic, or agnostic, view to life."
Eric Harris (1981-1999)
One of the two high school students who committed the "Columbine High School Massacre" in which they shot and killed 13 people and injured 24 others (before killing themselves). He had written in his journal that he did not want to do what "parents, cops, God, or teachers" tell him to do, making him, at the very least, a practical atheist (and notably, he never indicated he believed in God at all). As recorded on a video tape, Harris is seen saying, "Go Romans! Thank God they crucified that asshole." He was enamored with Charles Darwin's concept of "Natural Selection," writing, "Natural SELECTION!!!!!!!!!!! God damn it's the best thing that ever happened to the Earth. Getting rid of all the stupid and weak organisms. I wish the government would just take off every warning label. So then all the dumbasses would either severely hurt themselves or DIE!" On the day of the shooting, he wore a t-shirt with the label "Natural Selection" written across it.
Dylan Klebold (1981-1999)
The other one of the two high school students who committed the "Columbine High School Massacre" in which (once again) they shot and killed 13 people and injured 24 others (before killing themselves). Recorded on video tape, he is seen cheering with Harris for the Romans because they crucified Christ ("that asshole" as Harris put it). Also on video tape, Klebold said he disliked one of his classmates, Rachel Scott, calling her a "Christian, Godly little whore," suggesting than he was not only an atheist but an anti-theist as well. Klebold and Harris made her the first victim of the Columbine shooting. After shooting her once, he asked, "Do you still believe in God?" to which she said, "You know I do." He then mocked, "Go be with with him," shooting her in the head.
Kimveer Gill (1981-2006)
Canadian mass shooter and self-described atheist who perpetrated the "Dawson College shooting," in which he shot and killed 1 and injured 19 others, before shooting himself in the head. In addition to being a fan of the Columbine High School Massacre, he had written on his website, "I hate this world, I hate the people in it, I hate the way people live, I hate God, I hate the deceivers, I hate betrayers, I hate religious zealots, I hate everything ... I hate so much ..."
Kip Kinkel (1982-)
Atheist High Schooler who shot and killed both his parents. The next day he went to school and shot and killed 2 students as well as wounded 35 others in the "Thurston High School shooting." He said, "If there was a God, he wouldn't let me feel the way I do. There is no God, only hate."
Kim Jong-un (1983-)
North Korean dictator who maintained North Korea as an atheist state and executed about 70 people just in the first few years of his reign to secure his power as well as for personal vendetta. Some of these executions were done "creatively," such as by anti-aircraft gun, mortar shell, and tying someone to a stake while torching them with a flame-thrower. He also killed, tortured, and starved an unknown amount of other people, numbering at least in the hundreds.
Michael Adam Carneal (1983-)
A self-professed atheist who went to a religious youth group in Kentucky and began shooting them after the opening prayer, murdering three girls and wounding five others.
Seung-Hui Cho (1984-2007)
South Korean mass shooter who killed 32 students (before killing himself) in the "Virginia Tech Shooting." He apparently had become an atheist, having dropped out of his church, and, according to his roommate, had "railed against his parents' strong Christian faith."
James Holmes (1987-) a.k.a. "The Dark Knight Killer"
American mass murderer who was convicted on 24 counts of murder and 140 counts of attempted murder, having shot up a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, which was playing the Batman film "The Dark Knight Rises" while he was dressed as the Joker (Batman's villain). He had labelled himself an agnostic on an online dating service website (which, according to many atheists, makes him an atheist).
Jeffrey James Weise (1988-2005) a.k.a. Jeff Weise
Ojibwe student who killed 9 and injured 7 people at Red Lake Senior High School, after which he then shot himself. His behavior during the shooting spree indicated militant atheism as a motive. He shot a female teacher in response to her saying, "God be with us," and then turned and asked a student, "Do you believe in God?" to which the student answered, "No," and consequently spared the student and proceeded to find other targets.
Jared Lee Loughner (1988-)
Atheist mass shooter in the 2011 Tucson shooting, killing 6 people (including a U.S. District Court Judge) and injuring 13 others (including a U.S. Representative). He was an outspoken critic of US currency having the phrase "In God We Trust," repeatedly mocked all religion (especially Christianity), and said Karl Marx's "The Communist Manifesto" was among his favorite books.
Pekka-Eric Auvinen (1989-2007)
Finnish student and Nazi enthusiast who shot and killed 8 people before killing himself in the "Jokela school shooting." He described himself as a "godlike atheist," having said, "I, as a natural selector, will eliminate all who I see unfit."
Christopher Sean Harper-Mercer (1989-2015)
a.k.a. Chris Harper Mercer
Mass murderer from California who killed 9 people at Umpqua Community College in Oregon, the deadliest shooting in the state's history. He described himself as an atheist on his MySpace page and asked multiple people if they were Christians and then shot them if they answered yes.
Elliot Rodger (1991-2014)
Atheist mass murderer who killed 6 people and injured 14 others at the University of California, Santa Barbara, using multiple guns and knives, and then committed suicide. He had written in his journal: "I am the closest thing there is to a living god. Humanity is a disgusting, depraved, and evil species. It is my purpose to punish them all."
Devin Patrick Kelley (1991-2017)
Atheist mass murderer who entered a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, shooting and killing 26 people, as well as injuring 20 others. His former classmates said he was an atheist who used social media to mock Christianity.
"Daniel E." (c.1992-)
Atheist murderer who stabbed a Christian woman to death in Germany for her refusal to support same-sex marriage. He identified as an "anti-theist" and wrote a "manifesto" explaining how his act of murder was motivated by his "hatred of religion."
Dimitrios Pagourtzis (2001-)
Atheist mass murderer who shot and killed 10 people and injured 13 others in a Santa Fe High School. He described himself as an atheist.
Gabe Parker (2002-)
Atheist mass murderer who shot and killed 2 people, as well as injuring 19 others at Marshall County High School in Kentucky. He affiliated himself with the "United Church of Bacon," a website that describes itself as one for atheists. After questioning him about his motive, the county sheriff's captain reported, "The biggest thing he gave me was that he said he was an atheist and that his life had no purpose and other people’s lives also had no purpose."