Arthur Shawcross seemed almost destined to be a serial killer. His childhood was a virtual blueprint for sociopathic behavior that included the classic love/hate relationship with his mother and father, behavioral problems, bedwetting, arson, and several head injuries. The result was a man so full of rage that the only question was not if he would kill, but when.
Shawcross’ career of murder may have actually began while doing a tour of duty in Vietnam. The slayer spoke of going into the jungle alone at night and killing women and children in gruesome fashion, though he would claim that the victim’s were enemy collaborators. That pattern of excuses would later repeat itself after his arrest for his stateside murders. To hear him tell it, every victim forced him into murder by attempting to harm him or by insulting him.
The veteran’s murders in the U.S. began in 1972 when he killed Jack Blake, 10, and Karen Hill, 8, in Watertown, New York. The children’s bodies were found only days apart and Shawcross was arrested for the Hill slaying which police had more evidence in than Blake’s death. Not enough evidence, evidently, and Shawcross’ lawyer managed a plea bargain that landed Shawcross a twenty-five year sentence. He was released in 1987 and after being driven from a few communities after residents found out about his gruesome past conviction, Shawcross finally settled into some obscurity in Rochester, New York.
Predictably, it was not long until he began killing again only now his victims became prostitutes, drug users, and homeless women. In the spring of 1988 women began to disappear from the streets of Rochester, most turning up dead in culverts or wooded areas surrounding the city. In less than two years eleven victims were found dead or were missing before authorities caught a break when they discovered the body of prostitute June Cicero while conducting a helicopter search of a rural area near Rochester. In a stroke of luck, a car was also parked at the scene, it’s driver standing along the road slmost directly above Cicero’s body. The man was Shawcross, who had picked an unfortunate time to come to the dumpsite and relive the killing.
Shawcross soon bent under questioning and admitted to slaying the eleven women, later leading police to the two yet-undiscovered bodies. Investigators, and later psychiatrists, listened as the multiple murderer told of cannibalizing the vaginas of some of his victims, sometimes after returning to the decomposing remains days later. The twisted slayer at one time even admitted to doing similarly disgusting things to young Jack Blake’s body after the killing the boy.
No fate would have been too harsh for Shawcross and he was found guilty after employing an ineffective insanity defense and sentenced to 450 years in prison.
Monday Mar 5 @ 10:01pm with 9 notes