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Serial Killer Index Short List
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Serial Killer Index
serial killers by name [m] amazon
  MAXWELL Bobby Joe 1945 USA ... ... ... 10
Skid Row Stabber 1978 CA
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Los Angeles police were still recovering from jibes about the "Skid Row Slasher" case when transients in their city started falling prey to yet another random slayer. Knives were favored once again, and there was a suggestion of familiar ritual about the murders, with the name of Satan scrawled in blood, on cardboard, near one victim's body. Newsmen dubbed their latest maniac the "Skid Row Stabber," to avoid confusion, and before his ultimate arrest, he proved himself as lethally prolific as his predecessor. Jesse Martinez, age 50, was the stabber's first victim, found in a skid row parking lot on the morning of October 23, 1978. Five days later, 32-year-old Jose Cortez was knifed to death in an alley, followed by 46-year-old Bruce Drake on October 30. J.P. Henderson, age 65, was found sprawled on a sidewalk, in the predawn hours of November 4. Five days later, taking a leaf from the old Slasher's book, 39-year-old David Jones was killed on a walkway of L.A.'s Central Library. Francisco Rodriguez, 57, and 36-year-old Frank Reed were both found in parking lots, killed on November 11 and 12, respectively. The second victim in a double-header on November 12, 49-year-old Augustine Luna was stabbed to death behind a building on South Main Street. Jimmie White Buffalo, a 34-year-old Indian, became the ninth victim five days later, stabbed repeatedly in the upper torso with a long-bladed knife, his body dumped in a parking lot. Thus far, the Stabber's victims had been claimed within an area of fifteen blocks, and there were no survivors. That changed on November 20, when transients Jose Ramirez, 27, and Ricardo Seja, 24, were wounded in separate attacks, detectives admitting a "strong likelihood" of the Stabber's involvement. If they needed a motive, it could be found on the wall of a downtown bus station: "I'm Luther. I kill winos to put them out of their misery." On Thanksgiving Day, 45-year-old derelict Frank Garcia was stabbed to death on a bench in City Hall Plaza, less than 200 feet from the entrance of L.A. police headquarters. A latent palm print was recovered from the bench, but it was useless to authorities without a suspect for comparison. Two months later, 34-year-old Bobby Maxwell was arrested while standing over a skid row derelict, clutching a ten-inch dagger in his hand. Pleading guilty on misdemeanor weapons charges, he was sentenced to 60 days in jail while police pressed their investigation of the most promising suspect to date. A Tennessee native, Maxwell had served time for robbery in the Volunteer State, and cellmates recalled his devotion to Satan whom Maxwell called "Luther." A search of his flat turned up knives compatible with nine of the Stabber slayings, and Maxwell's palm print matched the latent print recovered from the bench where Frank Garcia died. Charged with ten counts of murder and five counts of robbery in May 1979, Maxwell smilingly confided to another prisoner that he had killed the derelicts in order "to obtain souls for Satan." Legal wrangling delayed Maxwell's trial until January 1984, and testimony took another seven months, leaving jurors divided in their opinions of his guilt. On July 12, Maxwell was convicted of murdering Frank Garcia and David Jones; he was also acquitted of three murder counts, with jurors failing to reach a decision on five homicides. In Bobby's case, two did the trick, and he received a term of life imprisonment.
Copyright 1995-2005 by Elisabeth Wetsch
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