On May 28, 2003, Atlanta, Georgia, police, FBI agents, and US Marshals arrested Derrick Todd Lee for the brutal rapes and murders of seven women. Prosecutors in Louisiana are seeking the death penalty. Additional charges are expected to be levied as more evidence emerges tying Derrick Todd Lee to other unsolved murders across the Eastern half of the United States. This arrest was the culmination of a massive manhunt that had been ongoing for several months and the end result of an investigation that had been ongoing for the past three years.
Lee is the sole suspect in the brutal murders of at least seven women in southern Louisiana since September of 2001. He is also the primary suspect in several homicides leading back nearly a decade. DNA has already firmly tied Lee to a dozen homicides and is expected to tie him to others as results of test are returned from the FBI labs in Quantico, Virginia, and state investigative labs.
As is the case with numerous serial killers, Derrick Todd Lee traveled by bus thus avoiding the expense and security measures of airlines, and the expense and legalities of owning or renting an automobile.
He also worked cash-only jobs in construction or landscaping, thus affording him an opportunity to scope out additonal burial grounds, the security of said work sites, the ability to get in and out at night, and the proximity to his new “killing fields”. Working cash-only jobs also eliminated a paper trail. Odds are he resided in any number of homeless shelters in each new locale giving him access to hundreds of “Nobody cares” victims, a roof over his head, free meals and showers, and a largely anonyomous existence.
This habitate would also provide any number of cash-only job opportunities, as it does nationwide. He probably, as do most men within the shelter environment, panhandled to increase his cash flow and hunting instincts for prey. Already a career felon, Derrick Todd Lee had ample survival skills and was not above resorting to other crimes to survive.
Derrick Todd Lee first came to the attention of law enforcement as a probable serial killer back in 1998 for the April murder of Randi Mebruer, 28. This murder tied him to the murder of Connie Warner, 41, whose body was found in September, 1992. The arrest and initial indictment warrant for Lee was for the murders of Pam Kinamore, Lee’s third victim, and Carrie Yoder, 26 – a Louisian State University student – Lee’s fifth victim.
Derrick Todd Lee caught the attention of investigators after he was reported for having discussed the murder of Mebruer with an assortment of individuals, probably in a bar. When his DOC records were pulled, it was discovered Lee’s criminal history included arrests for stalking, burglary, attempted murder, Peeping Tom behavior, and an assortment of other crimes.
The Attornery Generals’s lead investigator obtained permission to take a DNA sample from Derrick Todd Lee, who cooperated then promptly pulled his two children from school, stating they were moving to Los Angeles. At the time of his arrest, Lee’s wife and children could not be located. They are now on a national Missing Persons list and could also have become homicide victims.
In May, 2004, a State Appeals Court ruled that combined evidence from all seven cases presented to the court could be used in each upcoming trial for Derrick Todd Lee. As of the date of this ruling, Lee had been charged with the murders of:
Gina Green — 41.A nurse and office manager for Home Infusion Network. Her body was found at her home on Stanford Avenue in Baton Rouge on September 23, 2001. A divorcee, Gina lived alone in her apartment near Louisian State University. Autopsy reports reflected she had been raped and strangled. The report listed the time of death as 9:00 am.
In addition, her apartment had been burglarized. Gina’s purse was never found but her cell phone was located across town in an alley several weeks later.
Christine Moore — 23. May, 2002. Vanished while jogging. She had left home in her car to drive to her favorite jogging spot. Her car was found abandoned on River Road. In June, 2002, Christine Moore’s nude, bludgeoned, and raped body was found on a dirt road in Iberville Parish. She died from blunt force trauma to the head.
Charlotte Murray Pace — 22. On May 31, 2002, at 2:00 Charlotte’s roommate came home to find Charlotte had been stabbed to death. Investigative reports indicated she put up a fierce struggle with her attacker before dying. She had been raped. Police speculated the fight she gave Lee probably resulted in marks on him. Charlotte had only lived in this apartment for two days before she murdered.
She had moved there from her apartment three doors down from Gina Green. The move was a result of Gina’s murder and Charlotte’s knowledge she was being stalked and might become the next victim. It is also speculated Charlotte may have been a witness to Gina’s murder. Her apartment had also been burglarized. Among the items taken were the keys to her BMW. The killer also left behind a bloody footprint.
In August, 2002, a Multi-Agency Homicide Task Force was established after DNA quickly linked Derrick Todd Lee to both the murders of Gina Green and Charlotte Murray Pace as well as Pam Kinamore. From security camera videos, police were able to obtain a composite of Derrick Todd Lee.
Trineisha Dene Colomb — 23. November 21, 2002. In the afternoon of November 21, Trineisha’s black 1994 Mazda MX3 was found with the keys in the ignition on Robbie Road in Grand Coteau. A Marine, Treneisha was nowhere to be found. Three days later a rabbit hunter discovered her nude corpse several hundred yards off the road in a wooded area in St Landry Parish, 30 miles from where her car was located. She had been bludgeoned to death and raped.
At this point, Treneisha was Derrick Todd Lee’s first known black victim, thus disproving the FBI’s insistence that 90% of all serial killers kill within their own ethnic group. Once again disproving the NAACP’s claim that there are few of any black serial killers. Police are just picking on “the niggers.” Really?
This mindset has always been known to stymie serial homicide investigations and keep killers from being charged with homicides of victims outside their ethnic group. The killers know this. Some aspects of the Profiling System are beneficial, provided investigators do not close their minds and keep in mind that merely because a killer’s seminal fluid is not found on the victim on on premises does not mean he wasn’t there. Killers know about DNA, too, and hundreds – like millions of child rapists – use condoms.
They also run in packs like rogue wolves. Watching someone else victimize and rape their victim is psychological erotica more fueling than the worst porn – other than slasher flicks and most serial killers have these also, some on the internet – thus escalating their behavior like a wildfire out of control, making their own rape of their victim twice as vicious.
Having a buddy system also gives you someone else to blame while dangling “info you don’t have bait” in the faces of cops who just want to be done with this case and move on down the road. This Info Bait is always already in the hands of police but the killer will be allowed to “cut a deal”. They don’t want you to stop listening. They don’t want you to forget him. They don’t want swept under the judicial rug. They want in the limelight and the fact that most law enforcement officers want to be done with them just enrages them, and gives them a sense of kinship association: the same way he treated his victims — as none entities to be done with — is precisely how law enforcement treats them in the midst of an investigation that gets worse every day, and who just want to be out of this river of blood.
Got him on five counts, leave it rest. Let the other victims lie. Let’s just get the M-F locked up and let the courts do the rest.
The harder a victim struggles is also erotica for the sociopathic/psychopathic killer. Not struggling will not keep the victim alive for a short time but it usually results in extended and more violent torture out of pure rage that the victim’s control was better than the killer’s. Invariably additional victims will be accrued the same day because the rage-erotica factor was not achieved with the first victim and fueled further by that same victim.
This gruesome erotica factor is needed both for satisfaction and for stilling the beast raging in the minds and soul of the killer. Without it, the killer is tormented, sleep won’t come, and they become angry: at the victim who caused this restlessness and the stupidity of law enforcement for being so lax in playing his games. This factor and disconnected thrill kill belief that one is doing something righteous for the good and betterment of mankind is what kept Hitler’s Armies of killers moving forward. They were provided well in advance of any slaughter with the programming needed to provide the disconnection factor to the conscience sensors.
Pamela Puglia Kenamore — 44-year old successful business woman, antique dealer, wife and mother when brutally slain on July 12, 2002. Her mother, Lynne Marino, was honored by the “Alliance for Good Government” 2004 in Louisiana, and the “FBI Citizens’ Academy Alumni Association, Louisiana Chapter” in 2006, at their annual banquets, as a state “Outstanding Civic Activist.”
She has been credited for her valiant efforts to keep her daughter’s memory alive and is well known for organizing monthly rallies at the Baton Rouge Louisiana State Capital prior to the arrest of Derrick Todd Lee.
Carrie Yoder —26. On March 3, 2003, Carrie Lynn Yoder, a doctoral student at LSU was reported missing from her home on Dodson Avenue. She lived less than five miles from both Gina Green and Charlotte Pace. Like Colomb, she lived alone. Her boyfriend of three years, Lee Stanton, reported her missing two days after she failed to call him.
The last time Lee Stanton spoke with Carrie she was headed to the Winn Dixie. After not hearing from her or having his calls answered, Lee went to Carrie’s apartment where he found the lights on, her car where it was supposed to be, and the back door open, all just as it would normally be for a young woman bringing in bags from the supermarket.
It is not out of the realm of possibility that this boyfriend is an accessory, or member of this particular rogue pack. This has sure happened before, daily in fact, without the killer ever being apprehended while being in the face of law enforcement and the press, and the victim’s family and friends.
On March 13, 2003, Carrie’s bludgeoned and raped body was discovered near the Whiskey Bay Bridge less than ten yards from where Pam Kinamore’s body was found eight months previous. She had been raped and strangled before being bludgeoned. DNA made her Derrick Todd Lee’s fifth victim. Her murder also incited panic on campus among female students.
In addition, the previous discovery of another victim outside the “victims profile” should have sent up a red flag and split the investigative team in half with one half concentrating on the “Who Cares” murders of prostitutes. All serial killers know this, too. Investigators will bust their behinds to solve student murders faster than those of married and home murders, last on the list are the murders of prostitutes and women in homeless shelters.
This additional hunting ground and investigative knowledge not gives the killer a higher score card but ample opportunity to fuel both the rage-erotica need and mess with police and society. The publicity surrounding student murders or the murders of business women is also a thrill for the killer, as is the accompanying panic. At this point, some serial killers even contact the press to hype them up. The slaughter of Bad Girls is also a thrill for them. They know you don’t care. Few do, including families of the “ladies of the evening”.
This satisfies the blood lust and the conviction that with their actions they are doing something sociologically righteous while increasing the odds of him not being caught as rapidly, and when he is, that he won’t be prosecuted for all the carnage in his wake because investigators won’t check cold case files — if they exist — on hookers. Making matters worse, they don’t talk either.
Neither does anyone with information from within homeless shelters even though about 35% of the female occupants of homeless shelters are women of domestic violence remanded there with no other option.
Melinda McGhee — 31. March 24, 2003. Nurse and mother of two, Melinda vanished from her home in Atmore, Alabama, 250 miles from Baton Rouge. The last to talk to her were her mother and husband when she called them from her job at a nursing home at 8:30 am. Evidence in the home indicated a struggle and left evidence tying her disappearance to the Baton Rouge Serial Killer but DNA samples were inadequate. As of the date of Derrick Todd Lee’s indictment, Melinda McGhee’s body had not been located. Serial killer Jeremy Brian Jones was and is still a suspect in Melinda’s murder.
Lillian Robinson — 52. January, 2002. Prostitute, Lillian Robinson disappeared from St. Martin parish. Her niece was the last to see her alive. On February 10, 2002, fishermen discovered Lillians’s nude decomposed body floating in the waters around Whisky Bay Bridge in the same vicinity where Kinamore and Yoder were later found. Her body had been in the water nearly a week. Her name was finally added to the Task Force list on April 8, 2003.
Lillian and her niece had lots of chats about these killers and all the bodies washing up in creeks and on the banks of Whiskey Bay but that happens. No need to change. Too late now anyway. Done too far gone. If it happens, it happens. That’s about how most police feel, only they don’t have the under-current of fear and inevitability running through them.
Like other bridges over rivers or the ocean in other cities, they are favorite dumping grounds of serial killers, domestic violence murderers (who can also be serial killers), baby killers, and suicides. Like land fills for rubbish, they are largely the last place cops or search teams scour for bodies — even when numerous other bodies have been found year after year in the same “graveyard” radius. Both are the most obvious places to begin.
When, over a year or five, most of the victims are identified as known prostitutes, then eventually investigators assume all the victims are prostitutes — regardless of Missing Persons reports, age of the missing, gender of the missing, race of the victim, or the socio-economic status of the victims. Illegalities know no boundaries. Neither do killers. Neither does incompetence.
Randi Mebruer —Her home was in the same Zachary subdivision of Oak Shadows virtually next door to the home of Connie Warner, 41, murdered in 1992. Connie’s body was discovered by a truck driver, eleven days after she vanished, in a ditch near the state capitol building.
Geralyn DeSoto — 21. Found by her husband, Darren, beaten and stabbed to death on January 14, 2002, at her Addis, Louisiana, mobile home. Darren came home from work to find his young wife splayed across their bed, nude, with her throat slashed. She had been raped and beaten so badly he barely recognized her face.
It took all in his power to talk to police or testify in the trial of Derrick Todd Lee.
Lee was also charged with the rape and beating of Diane Alexander in July, 2002. She testified in his pretrial hearing. A victim left alive because her son came home and chased off Derrick Todd Lee while in the midst of his attack. DNA ties Derrick Todd Lee to this assault. Both the vicitm and her son were called as star witnesses for the prosecution in Derrick Todd Lee’s first trial on August 5, 2004. On August 8, 2004, jurors found him guilty of the murder of Geralyn DeSoto. Judge Free sentenced him to life in the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola with no possibility of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence.
His second murder trial began in September, 2004. for the murder of Charlotte Murray Pace, 22. On October 4, 2004, Derrick Todd Lee was convicted of first degree murder for Charlotte’s death and remanded to the Louisiana State Penitentiary Death Row.
In October, 2008, Lee’s appeal to the Supreme Court for the overturn of his sentence was denied and upheld. As of July, 2010, Derrick Todd Lee was still breathing and back in court for the tenth time appealing for a new trial. Thus far, his requests have been denied.
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