On February 13, 1999, after a jury said it was unable to decide whether the defendant was insane, a mistrial was declared in the quadruple murder trial of Thomas "Zoo Man" Huskey. The 12-member panel, brought 200 miles from Nashville to Davidson County because of intense local publicity, told Judge Richard Baumgartner they were deadlocked 6-6. The defense claimed Huskey, a former zoo elephant trainer, possessed multiple personalities he couldn't control. One personality in particular, an evil alter ego named "Kyle," confessed to the 1992 the murder rampage that claimed the lives of four prostitutes.
Huskey is charged with killing Stone, Darlene Smith, Patricia Rose Anderson and Patricia Johnson and leaving their bodies in trash-strewn woods off Cahaba Lane in East Knox County, Tennessee. Prostitutes knew him as "Zoo Man" because he also liked to take them to a barn near the Knoxville Zoo for sex. The "Zoo Man" has already been convicted of attacking and raping several women in 1991 and 1992, and he is serving a 66-year sentence for those crimes.
After his arrest in October 1992, Huskey met several times with Knox County investigators. Calling himself "Kyle," he described how he met the victims, what they wore and what they did once he took them to Cahaba Lane, a dead-end road where he could bind, beat and rape women he picked up around Magnolia Avenue.
While being interrogated he related how he talked with Anderson, a prostitute with a serious drug habit, about what he would do with her. Anderson, who was pregnant, begged him to let her go. Huskey -- or Kyle if you are to believe his multiple personalities -- said he strangled her, laid her body on her stomach, threw a jacket over her back and shoved an old mattress on top of her.
In his trial Dr. Jeffrey W. Erickson, Ph.D. testified for the defense saying Huskey was suffering from a brain disorder when he first examined him in 1977. Erickson saw Huskey when was 16, after he broke into a house on the grounds of the Knoxville Zoo to steal money.
His defense contended that as a young man he was recruited by a sado-masochistic prostitution ring which permanently scarred his psyche. Since his arrest in October, 1992, psychologist Dr. Diana McCoy, Ph.D, repeatedly interviewed the "Zoo Man" and uncovered his purported multiple personalities. She also testified that Huskey reported having spells in his past in which he lost track of time. According to McCoy, Huskey was insane when he killed the four women.