Christopher Bernard Wilder (13 March 1945 – 13 April 1984) was a serial killer who abducted and raped at least 10 women and killed at least seven of them during a spree across the United States in early 1984. His rampage began in Florida and continued across the country through Texas, Oklahoma, Nevada, California and New York before he committed suicide during a struggle with police in New Hampshire on 13 April. He is also believed to have raped girls aged 10 and 12 in Florida during 1983. For many years since his death, Wilder has also been considered the prime suspect in the unsolved Wanda Beach murder of two teenage girls in Sydney, Australia in 1965.
Wilder was born in Australia. His father was an American naval officer and his mother an Australian. He almost died at birth, but recovered, only to almost drown in a swimming pool at age two. In 1962 or 1963, he pleaded guilty in the case of a gang-rape at a beach in Sydney and was put on probation, during which time he also received electroshock therapy. There is some evidence to suggest that this course of treatment only exacerbated his violent sexual tendencies. It is known that he had virtually memorized the text of the 1963 novel The Collector by John Fowles, in which a man keeps a woman in his basement against her will until she dies. A copy of the novel was found among his possessions after his death.
In 1968 he married, but his wife left after only a week. Wilder emigrated to the United States in 1969. He lived in Boynton Beach, Florida in a mansion on Mission Hill Rd and made a small fortune in real estate while developing an interest in photography. Over the next few years, however, between about 1971 and 1975, he was in and out of court facing various charges related to sexual misconduct. He eventually raped a young woman he had lured into his truck on the pretense of photographing her for a modelling contract. This would become part of his modus operandi during his later rape and murder spree. Despite several convictions, Wilder was never jailed for any of these crimes.