On May 21, 1998, after being arrested in Chicago, 24-year-old Eric Matthews confessed to killing his stepson, his wife and two other women. The stepson, 1 1/2-year-old James, was found dead in a trash bin in New Orleans. At first he said he dropped the kid at a hospital, but later admitted strangling the boy in a fit of rage, then confessed to a couple of rapes and the murders of his wife and two ex-girlfriends.
Matthews' crime spree began the 18th with the killing of his wife, Lashann Matthews, 20, at their trailer home in Hammond, Louisiana, about 45 miles northwest of New Orleans. He then fled with her two children, Rosalyn and James. James' body was found two days later in a trash bin behind a church in a New Orleans suburb. Rosalyn, his stepdaughter, was found with him unharmed at the time of his arrested.
While being questioned, Matthews also admitted committing two rapes in Indiana and Louisiana and killing two of his ex-girlfriends in the early 1990s. Authorities believe those two murders occurred in the Indianapolis and Michigan areas.