Known as Joel the Ripper, he murdered and dismembered at least nine women in New York.
He was very interested in horticulture and interned at the Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park.
He killed mostly prostitutes and drug addicts; he was convicted of nine murders, although he is believed to have killed many more.
He was living with his mother and sister at the time of his arrest.
He is referenced in a "Seinfeld" episode in which Elaine, played by Julia Louis Dreyfus, is embarrassed to be dating a man who shares a serial killer's name.