Who Is The Want-Ad Serial Killer Harvey Carignan?

Harvey Carignan, better known as the Want-Ad Killer, was a notorious serial killer who left a trail of terror and devastation across America. He is known for his brutal murders during the 1970s. His gruesome criminal activities happened in several states, including Minnesota and Washington. He is America’s most terrifying serial killer. Let’s take a look at his real story.

Also Read: How Did The Serial Killer Jeffrey Dahmer Die?

Who Was Harvey Carignan?

Harvey Carignan was born on May 18, 1927, in Fargo, North Dakota. He had a troubled childhood and was known to have behavioural issues from an early age. He was diagnosed with schizophrenia and spent a significant part of his life in mental institutions. Harvey was discharged from the Army in 1946 and had a string of criminal convictions for assault, robbery, and rape.

How Did The Want-Ad Killer’s Lure His Victims?

Harvey Carignan would respond to newspaper ads placed by women looking for companionship. He would lure them to silent areas and then would rape and murder them. His victims ranged in age from 13 to 40. He was known to have killed at least five women between 1956 and 1974. He was eventually caught in 1974 after an intense manhunt that lasted several months.

Who Is Harvey Carignan

The Trial And Conviction Of Harvey Carignan

Harvey Carignan’s trial was a highly publicized affair, and he was known as the Want-Ad Killer by the media. The prosecution presented overwhelming evidence against him, including eyewitness testimony, physical evidence, and his own confession. He was found guilty of five counts of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Harvey Carignan’s Crime Left A Lasting Impact

The Want-Ad Killer, Harvey Carignan’s crimes left a lasting impact on America’s psyche. The fear and paranoia he inspired in many women who placed ads for companionship were palpable. His crimes were the subject of intense media scrutiny, and his case was one of the first high-profile cases where the use of psychological profiling was used to apprehend a serial killer.

Carignan’s technique of responding to newspaper ads to lure his victims was a novel approach to killing, and it terrified many people who had previously thought themselves safe. He was able to prey on women who were looking for companionship, and his method of operation made him difficult to track down.

Harvey Carignan Killer

How Did Investigators Capture Carignan?

The psychological profiling used in Carignan’s case was a new approach to criminal investigations at the time. Investigators used Carignan’s patterns of behaviour to create a profile that helped them identify him and eventually capture him. This groundbreaking technique helped usher in a new era of criminal investigations, and it has since been used to solve many other high-profile crimes.

The Want-Ad Killer’s legacy lives on in other ways as well. His case has been the subject of books, and documentaries, and even inspired an episode of the popular TV show Criminal Minds. True crime enthusiasts continue to be shocked by his crimes. His story has become a lesson about the dangers of meeting strangers and trusting people too easily. 


Harvey Carignan may be gone, but his gruesome crime lives in the mind of his victim’s family. His story serves as a reminder of the dangers that lurk in the most unexpected places. The Want-Ad Killer’s name will forever be associated with terror and devastation. But his capture and conviction are proof of the dedication and justice of law enforcement agencies.

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