On the night of June 27, 1981, a knife-wielding slasher wounded eight vagrants on New York City streets. The random attacks were committed over a two-hour period, between the Bowery and Pennsylvania Station, with victims including four white men, three blacks, and one Latino. Eight days later, on July 5, the same man killed two vagrants and critically wounded four others in a new series of random, unprovoked slashings. In the predawn hours of July 6, police captured 32-year-old Charles Sears near the scene of the latest attack, the bloody razor still in his pocket. A one-time mechanic for Con Ed, Sears boasted a rap sheet spanning the past decade. In June 1971, he drew a year in jail on conviction of weapons charges, larceny, robbery, and resisting arrest. Released in 1972, he was back in jail by December, sentenced to three years for grand larceny, forcible theft with a deadly weapon, and other charges. Paroled in March 1974 and discharged from parole in November 1975, Sears had been a fugitive since 1977, sought on charges of clubbing a man with a wrench, in an argument over a parking space. The new charges were more serious, and Sears tried for a plea bargain on August 25, pleading guilty on two counts of attempted murder. He changed his mind on October 25, withdrawing his plea and asserting that he was on drugs at the time he confessed . The argument was academic, as psychiatrists found Sears unfit for trial in March of 1982, and he was confined to an institution for the criminally insane.