Convicted of stabbing several Baltimore woman in unprovoked attacks, James had served seven and a half years in prison when he was released, in December 1947, on "Christmas parole." If the authorities believed their man was rehabilitated , they had made a fatal error. James was not imbuded with Christmas spirit, but he did possess the same compelling urge to kill that had resulted in his first imprisonment. On June 15, 1948, in Baltimore, he raped and robbed a housewife, leaving her alive and otherwise uninjured. Twelve days later, in Washington, D.C., he ambushed 11-year-old Carol Bardwell in a city park , dragging the girl off her bicycle and stabbing her to death. On July 6, he repeated the tactic in Baltimore, killing another 11-year-old, Marsha Brill. Arrested in the latter case and ultimately charged with all his recent crimes, James was tried, convicted, and returned to prison for life.