Eric Armstrong photo, taken from his Junior High
School yearbook in New Bern, NC. The photo depicts
Armstrong in 1991, at the age of 17.
Armstrong got arrested around 12:30 a.m. on April 12, 2000
Armstrong strangled women
inside his car while he was engaged in sexual intercourse
Armstrong also had sex with some of his victims
after they died.
A family photo catches John Eric Armstrong playing in
North Carolina last March 2000, with his 14-month-old son, Austin.
Ones he was 'sailer of the month',
now he's known as a serial killer.
Shipmates called Armstrong 'Opie'.
Railroad yard in southwest Detroit
from suburban dad to accused serial killer unfolded rapidly
and by chance on april 10, 2000, after a passenger on a
train passing through southwest Detroit reported what
appeared to be corpses near the tracks. The bodies turned
out to be Rose Marie Felt (32), Kelly Hood (34), Robbin
Brown (20), all prostitutes. They were killed at different
times, then dumped in the isolated area. The first body had
been placed in the area up to four weeks ago, the second
three weeks ago and the third April 10, 2000. Police
arrested Armstrong two days later and charged him in five
John Eric Armstrong,
front, and his parents, stepfather Ron Pringle, left rear,
and Linda Pringle, listen
as the jury's guilty verdict is
announced March 8, 2001, in the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice
Bonnie Jordan, left, and Judy Jordan, sisters of
murder victim Wendy Jordan, sit in court.
During closing arguments,
at the first trial, Prosecutor Elizabeth Walker dramatically
held up her arm, looked at her watch and said: "The
pathologist testified that it took at least 30 seconds for
Mr. Armstrong to strangle Wendy Jordan, and maybe even
longer. This is how long 30 seconds takes." The courtroom
was still as the time ticked by. "And you can imagine that
she was not just laying there waiting, wondering how long it
would take to die. She probably struggled for her life".
John Eric Armstrong
carrier U.S.S. Nimitz, the largest sailing vessel in the
world, and one of the most
powerful weapons of war ever
enlisted in April 1992 and was assigned to the aircraft
carrier U.S.S. Nimitz following boot camp. He was a Third
Class Petty Officer when he left the Navy in April 1999. He
received two Good Conduct Medals. Each medal represents
three to four years of honorable service. Armstrong's last
assigned duty was as barbershop supervisor aboard the ship,
whose crew includes men and women.
USS Nimitz logo
Wayne County Jail
New County Detention
Facility and offices for county sheriff and city police
containing 8,400 square feet and a mezzanine floor of 4,500
square feet. Houses beds for 4 women and 20 men with an
isolation cell, 2 holding cells 2 handicap accessible cells,
a medical exam room and an inmate library. The central
dispatch/control room is bullet resistant and is operated by
contemporary technologically advanced security and
Armstrong, wearing a yellow uniform with
"Wayne County Jail Prisoner" on the back, in court
The accused killer spent
30 days in a in a North Carolina psychiatric hospital as a
suicidal teen who was distressed after rejecting sex with a
girl from his high school. That incident -- along with
alleged sexual abuse by his father and the death of his
infant brother Michael -- may still haunt him. Armstrong,
who was 5 when his brother died in January 1979, regularly
visited the cemetery -- where his mother had not allowed him
to go on the day of the burial.
John Eric Armstrong in court
with large tiger tattoos displayed on his forearms.
He blamed Michael's death
on his father, also named John, who abandoned the family
four months later. "Even as a teen-ager, he felt (his father)
killed the baby. I don't know where that came from," said
Armstrong's mother. "We had an autopsy. But he never did
believe it." Ron Pringle, Armstrong's stepfather, said it is
now clear to him how significant Michael's death was to
Armstrong. The family recently found Armstrong's Bible and
saw Michael's name was written four times in the section
recording family deaths, he said.
John Eric Armstrong in court