A native of Newport News, Virginia, Poyner spent most of his adult life in prison. Convicted on two counts of burglary in 1981, he was paroled in September 1983, residing with an elderly minister while he found work in a local fast-food restaurant. Thus far, Syvasky's crimes had all been economic, aimed at reaping easy money, but he was about to turn another page on his career. Somewhere, along the way, he had acquired a taste for blood. On January 23, 1984, Joyce Baldwin, 45-year-old proprietor of a beauty salon in Hampton, Virginia, was found dead behind the counter in her shop, shot once in the left side of her head. A week later, in Williamsburg, the gunman turned up at Louise Paulett's motel, killing the elderly manager along with her maid, 43-year-old Christine Brooks. On January 31, in Newport News, Vicki Ripple, age 18, was shot to death on her job at a local ice cream parlor. Two days later, again in Newport News, police recovered the nude body of Carolyn Hedrick from a church parking lot. A candy distributor from Hampton, she had been shot once in the head, her car and samples stolen by the killer. Police determined that all five victims were shot during the noon hour, as if their killer had struck on his lunch break from work. Carolyn Hedrick's car was recovered on February 3, the candy missing, and a local barber provided authorities with the description of a suspect who had entered his shop the day of the murder, trying to sell a large quantity of candy bars. Traced through the description and assorted other bits of evidence, Syvasky Poyner was in custody by February 4. Initially charged with capital murder in the Hedrick case, Poyner had confessed to all five murders by the early days of May. Tried for the Brooks-Paulett murders in June, he was convicted on all counts and sentenced to die. A week later, waving his right to a jury trial in Hampton, Poyner was likewise convicted on nine counts relating to the deaths of Carolyn Hedrick and Joyce Baldwin. He was executed in Virginia.