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Eugene Victor BRITT

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

   
 
 
Classification: Serial killer
Characteristics: Rape - Mentally retarded
Number of victims: 7 - 11
Date of murders: 1995
Date of arrest: November 7, 1995
Date of birth: November 4, 1957
Victims profile: Victims age eight to 51, all but one female
Method of murder: Strangulation
Location: Lake/Porter Counties, Indiana, USA
Status: Pleaded guilty but mentally ill. Sentenced to life in prison plus a consecutive 100 years in May 1996
 
 

 

Convicted rapist, confessed to killing eleven women in Gary, Indiana.


Indiana Serial Killer Sentenced To 245 Years

Portage Man Already Serving 100 Years Plus Life Sentence

CBS2Chicago.com

Nov 4, 2006

VALPARAISO, Ind. (Post-Tribune) ― Eleven years to the day after Eugene Victor Britt was arrested by Portage, Ind., police for the murder of 8-year-old Sarah Paulsen, he was sentenced to 245 years in prison for three murders and a rape.

Britt, who turns 49 on Saturday, pleaded guilty but mentally ill to the murder and rape of Maxine Walker, 41, of Gary, Nakita Moore, 14, of Gary, and Tonya Dunlap, 23, of Knox, and the rape of a 14-year-old girl, all in 1995.

Moore's sister, Veda Robinson of Gary, said Britt robbed them of seeing the youngest sibling enter her freshman year of high school and attend the prom. "Every day I work I feed his behind," she said.

Another of Britt's victims, Debra McHenry, 40, at one time lived next door to Britt and played with him when they were children. McHenry was mentally challenged.

Some of the family members of Britt's victims have battled addictions and mental illness in the aftermath of their losses.Deputy Prosecutor John Burke said the cases involving "almost unspeakably horrendous crimes" have been time-consuming. "I want justice for these people," Burke said.

Lake Superior Court Judge Salvador Vasquez, who imposed the sentence, ruled in September that Britt was mentally retarded and ineligible for the death penalty.

"You deserve to be in prison for the rest of your life," Vasquez said. "You deserve to die in prison."

Several people in the gallery responded with, "Amen!"

Britt, who at times shook and cried as he sat in his wheelchair, the result of a botched suicide attempt 11 years ago when he threw himself in front of a train, said he regretted his crimes.

"I'm just sorry. I'm truly sorry for my sins and I take full responsibility for my actions -- ain't nobody but myself. God knows I'm guilty. God knows I'm guilty."

Britt then launched into a rambling 15-minute speech about how people in the jail were "playing games on him," messing with his food and punishing him. At times his voice rose to a shouting level. "I don't listen to those evil voices when they talk to me all the time," he said.

Defense attorney Gojko Kasich, who represented Britt during the six and one-half years the Lake County cases were pending, asked Vasquez to recommend that Britt be held in isolation.

Vasquez, however, said his order will read that Kasich made the request. Britt will be housed in a maximum-security prison, Vasquez said.

As he was wheeled from the courtroom, Britt shouted, "God loves me, too."

Britt already is serving a life sentence plus 100 years for the strangulation of Sarah Paulsen of Portage.


Serial Killer Admits to Ind. Slayings

October 7, 2006

A mentally retarded man told a judge Friday he raped and killed five women and a teenage girl more than a decade ago, prosecutors said. As part of an agreement with prosecutors, Eugene Britt, 48, pleaded guilty but mentally ill to only three murders. Lake County prosecutors said Britt would be sentenced to 245 years in prison. Last week, the judge ruled he was mentally retarded and could not get the death penalty.

Defense attorney Gojko Kasich said his client has injuries suffered from being hit by a train during a 1995 suicide attempt after the killings. Britt already is serving life in prison plus 100 years for the 1995 slaying of an 8-year-old girl.

"It was the best resolution under the circumstances,'' Kasich said of the plea deal. "We never indicated a desire (for Britt) to get out, and he believed he should remain in an institution.'' Prosecutors say Britt attacked the women from behind, usually grabbing them by the neck, dragging them to abandoned locations and raping them. In a 1995 confession to police, he admitted to nine killings, but no charges were ever filed in two of the cases.


Petitions filed to declare Britt mentally retarded

Lawyers try to avoid death penalty for alleged serial killer

By RuthAnn Robinson - Times Staff Writer

Tuesday, September 30, 2003

CROWN POINT --- With six counts each of rape and murder against their client, who faces six death sentence requests, Eugene Britt's defense lawyers filed petitions Monday for the court to find Britt mentally retarded and to force prosecutors to prove he is not.

Since Britt, 45, a homeless man, was charged with the Gary murders in February 2002, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that executions of the mentally retarded violate constitutional guarantees against cruel and unusual punishment.

Police said after they arrested Britt for the Aug. 22, 1995, murder of Sarah Paulsen, 8, of Portage, he confessed to killing six women whose bodies were found in various Gary locations that year. Britt pleaded guilty to the Paulsen murder and is serving a life sentence without parole.

The petitions filed by defense attorneys Jerry Jarrett and Gojko Kasich are just the latest maneuver in the eight-year battle to try Britt's case.

Judge Joan Kouros was assigned the case and went back and forth determining Britt's competence to stand trial. In July, Kouros was suspended for not managing her court's caseload. The same month, the Indiana Department of Mental Health ruled Britt was competent to stand trial.

Judge Raymond Kickbush, who has temporarily replaced Kouros, accepted the decision and ruled Britt competent. He set a trial date for April 5, 2004.

The petition alleging Britt to be mentally retarded points to his intelligence quotient score of 60 on a test given in 1979 while he was in the Indiana State Prison. The Supreme Court decision established an IQ score of 70 as the upper benchmark for mental retardation, the petition states.

The petition also lists Britt's poor school performance, the fact that he rode his bicycle from Gary to his job in Portage on interstate highways and that he has never had a bank account, maintained a household or had a telephone number as proof his lack of social and living skills, a component of mental retardation, according to the American Psychiatric Association.

Current Indiana law that requires a defendant to prove he is mentally retarded was made unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court decision, the defense lawyers contend in one petition filed Monday. Instead, they argue, since there is ample evidence Britt is mentally retarded, the state should be forced to prove he is not.

If the court does not agree, the petition requests the court to make the state turn over all information of any testing or psychiatric evaluations done since the 1979 IQ test.

The day of Paulsen's murder, Britt had been fired from Hardee's restaurant in the Portage Toll Plaza. The manager phoned police that he had been sent home for harassing a female cashier about the time the girl had died. He had been riding a bicycle.

Witnesses reported seeing a black man riding a bicycle along Central Avenue about the time of the murder.

[...]

The death of a young white girl in Portage prompted a bright media spotlight and energetic police response. Meanwhile, the strangulation deaths of several blacks in Gary drew some media and police attention but nothing approaching the intensity of the Paulsen case.

Whether the race of the victims was the deciding factor is impossible to know. Other factors could have been an influence.

Reynolds and Portage detectives felt media and public outrage and responded to it. In Gary, detectives had more than a handful of strangulations to investigate, as the city had 132 homicides in 1995. Gary detectives were reluctant to link the killings despite their unusual similarities.

Paulsen's family also welcomed the coverage, and their daughter's death rallied the community.

Families of the strangulation victims in Gary were reticent to talk, Caldwell said. "In a lot the cases with Britt, these women were prostitutes. The families didn't want to say very much for fear of bringing up the other aspects of their personal lives."

"Just don't look at me," Eugene Britt ordered his victims. Those who did died. The ones who didn't lived.

It didn't matter if it was day or night or if the victim was white or black. When the "murdering and raping spirit" overcame him, Britt hit the streets. He would hop on his blue 10-speed bicycle and pedal around town in search of a woman he could easily overpower.

[...]

On May 12, 1995, a 13-year-old girl told detectives that Britt had abducted her three days earlier as she was walking home about 8:30 p.m. He dragged her up a hill and said he would kill her if she screamed, court records state. He said he then raped her and let her go because she did not look at his face.

About two months later, Deborah McHenry's nude body was discovered in a weedy area behind a house. Britt told police he had followed McHenry as she walked down the street, grabbed her by the neck and dragged her into a grassy area on the side of a house. He put his hands around her neck while he raped her because she was struggling, and then strangled her when he saw her looking at his face, according to court records. Afterward, he dragged her body behind the house and threw her clothing in a garbage can nearby.

The body of 13-year-old Nekita Moore was discovered in a weeded area near an abandoned house June 24, 1995. Britt said he abducted the girl as she walked down a sidewalk, dragged her to the side of the house and raped her twice while holding his hand over her mouth. Just before he strangled her, Moore pleaded for her life and said, "I'm only 13," Britt told police.

On Aug. 13, 1995, Michelle Burns' body was discovered in a grassy field behind a building. Britt told police he had grabbed Burns from the street and carried her to a grassy area near a building, where he raped her. He said he strangled Burns when she told him she would never forget his face, court records state.

The body of Betty Askew, age unavailable, was discovered in a weedy lot Sept. 2, 1995. Britt said he had started talking to Askew as she was walking through an alley. She sensed something was wrong and started screaming, he said. He grabbed her by the neck, carried her to a weeded lot between an abandoned house and garage and raped and strangled her. He took $300 from her purse after she was dead, according to court records.

On Nov. 8, the day after their conversation with Britt, detectives went to a wooded area described by Britt and found the remains of Tonya Dunlap, whom Britt had raped and strangled, he told police. According to court records, Dunlap flagged Britt down and started a conversation. Britt told her he had marijuana. When she found out he did not have any drugs, she tried to run, but Britt grabbed her by the neck and threw her into the weeds, court records show. He said he then threw her deeper into the wooded area, where he raped her three times and strangled her.

A police search party found the decomposed body of Maxine Walker on Dec. 2, 1995, in a weeded area Britt had described. Britt told police in his confession that he had approached the woman as she was walking and asked what she was doing. He said he could tell Walker sensed something was wrong, so he grabbed her and they fell into a weeded area, court records show. Britt kept his hands around her neck so she couldn't scream, dragged her into a wooded area and raped her twice as he strangled her, court records state. He said he then dragged her body into a field and left it there.


Accused serial killer Eugene Britt moves closer to trial

By RuthAnn Robinson - Times Staff Writer

Thursday, August 7, 2003

CROWN POINT -- The seven-year-long case against accused serial killer Eugene Britt moved one step closer to trial Wednesday.

Lake Criminal Court Judge Raymond Kickbush ruled Britt competent to aid in his defense, agreeing with the Indiana Department of Mental Health finding in July.

Britt, 45, is accused of murdering six women in Gary while living in a homeless shelter there during the summer of 1995. He is serving a life sentence for the 1995 abduction and murder of Sarah Paulsen, 8, of Portage, to which he pleaded guilty in April 1996.

A court bailiff wheeled Britt into the courtroom, where the defendant openly argued with Deputy Lake County Prosecutor John Burke. As Burke told Kickbush that doctors at Logansport State Hospital had ample time to determine competence during Britt's weeklong stay there, Britt disagreed.

"I wasn't there a week," Britt shouted. "I was only there an hour."

Public Defenders Gojko Kasich and Jerry Jarrett wanted Kickbush to order the state Department of Mental Health to produce all records supporting the competence finding. They contend the competence determination was based primarily on the observations of two orderlies, rather than on a doctor's interviews with Britt. Kasich said they also want to interview doctors Robert Sena and George Parker, who examined Britt.

Kasich said after Judge Joan Kouros, the original judge hearing the case, ruled in September 2002, that Britt was incompetent and sent him to the state hospital for treatment, doctors Sena and Parker promised to find Britt competent, because they thought he was too violent to stay in the hospital.

"They said they didn't want him down there because he's dangerous and, oh, by the way, we'll send someone up to find him competent." Kasich said. "The whole thing smells."

Kasich said if the state wants to take someone's life, the defense should be allowed time to question those who determined the competence finding.

Kickbush disagreed and set a status hearing for Aug. 27.

Burke said only after doctors Sena and Parker interviewed Britt and examined hundreds of pages of mental health and medical records did they determine Britt was competent. They believed he was faking incompetence, Burke said.

Jarrett told Kickbush he would appeal the decision. Kickbush is temporarily replacing Kouros, who was suspended in July from the Lake Criminal Court bench for an inability to properly manage her court's caseload.

While Wednesday's decision moved the case closer to trial, there still is an issue of whether Britt is mentally retarded. The state plans to ask for the death penalty, but recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions ruled that people found to be mentally retarded determined by their IQ cannot be executed.

On July 16, Kickbush ruled the defense didn't follow the law when they requested the death penalty be dismissed. The judge gave the defense until Aug. 16 to file a proper petition for a determination of mental retardation.

Kasich said when Britt entered state prison in 1979 he tested to be mentally retarded. Defense attorneys contend a state law that puts the burden of proof on the defense to prove a client is retarded is unconstitutional.

Burke praised the judge's decision Wednesday.

"It is a pleasure having Judge Kickbush sitting in this case," Burke said. "He is everything a judge should be. He is pleasant, knows the law and is not afraid to make a decision. Judge Kickbush has accomplished more in three weeks with this case than the former judge did in three years."


Accused serial killer to be examined again

Eugene Britt to return to court July 9 after final assessment of mental state

By Bill Dolan - Times Staff Writer

Thursday, June 26, 2003

CROWN POINT -- The Indiana attorney general has accepted a local judge's ruling that an accused serial killer is mentally incompetent and should be treated at a state hospital.

Lake Criminal Court Judge Joan Kouros announced that news Wednesday along with a decision that she will seek one more medical opinion on whether Eugene Britt is mentally retarded before deciding whether to dismiss a death penalty murder charge against him.

"I'm extremely close to dismissing the death penalty. I think I've heard all the evidence I need. I just feel I have to do this final step," the judge said.

Britt's defense team wanted the death count dismissed immediately. Deputy Prosecutor John Burke believes Britt is faking mental illness and is demanding Britt be given an IQ test.

Britt, who sat in a wheelchair, didn't appear to care one way or another.

The 45-year-old homeless man is charged with the strangulation killings of six women and the rape of a seventh in 1995 and could face execution if found guilty of multiple murders.

Britt already is serving a life sentence after pleading guilty to the 1995 abduction-murder of Sarah Paulsen, 8, of Portage.

Police said he confessed to the other killings. The bodies were found in various locations throughout Gary. He was charged three years ago with those killings, but the case has been repeatedly delayed.

Kouros ruled last September that Britt is too deranged to understand the seriousness of his situation and ordered him treated at Logansport State Hospital and has indefinitely postponed his jury trial.

Indiana Attorney General Steve Carter's office earlier demanded Kouros reconsider, claiming she failed to follow state law, which requires her to appoint three psychiatric doctors to examine the defendant and testify at a hearing.

Kouros appointed such a panel in 2000 to examine Britt. They found him mentally competent to stand trial. Kouros agreed with them at the time, but changed her mind last year after hearing new defense evidence on his mental condition from Philip Coons, a forensic psychiatrist and a professor at Indiana University in Indianapolis.

Coons also suggested Britt is mentally retarded because he scored low on an IQ test administered in 1979 by state prison officials following another conviction.

State and federal law forbid the execution of a mentally retarded person.

Kouros said she has asked Merrillville psychologist Dr. Douglas Caruana to examine all the evidence involving Britt's mental status and give her an opinion. She asked both sides to return to court July 9.

Burke complained Caruana was one of the three doctors who earlier said Britt was mentally competent. He asked why Kouros was asking Caruana to give another opinion on Britt's retardation.

Judge finds Britt competent.


Serial killer suspect handicapped, lawyers say

Northwest Indiana News

Jun 8, 2003

A Lake Criminal Court judge has set a June 18 hearing to decide whether accused serial killer Eugene Britt is mentally retarded and therefore should not face the death penalty.

Attorneys for Britt, 45, of Gary, who is already serving a life term for the murder of a Porter County girl, say their client has an intelligence quotient (IQ) score of 60, well below the 70 the American Psychiatric Association has deemed to be the limit of retardation.

However, Deputy Prosecutor John J. Burke said the 1979 prison test that determined this score is inadequate and that during a test of Britt's competence, a psychiatrist concluded Britt's "true IQ can only be ascertained with intelligence testing."

Britt is accused of six murders and 6 rapes in Lake County in 1995 and is currently facing the possibility of being executed if convicted.

Defense attorneys Jerry Jarrett and Gojko Kasich said Britt's low IQ should prevent him from being executed under a 2002 U.S. Supreme Court decision that said executions of the mentally retarded violate constitutional guarantees against cruel and unusual punishment.

The defendant in that case, Renard Atkins of Virginia, was convicted of capital murder and other crimes and sentenced to death despite having a demonstrated IQ of 59.

After the Virginia Supreme Court upheld the death sentence, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the sentence and set the bar for executions higher.

Jarrett and Kasich argue Britt has never held a job that requires other than repetitive, simple activity and that he was in special education during his time in Gary schools and was only advanced to another grade for "social" reasons.

Burke countered that Britt, while not an outstanding student, achieved average grades in math, science and urban studies at Roosevelt High School and was never in high school special education.

A 1993 hearing before Britt's release from prison on a prior rape conviction showed him to be "psychologically intact (with) no indications of gross mental illness or disorder that would inhibit (him) from living a law-abiding life."

He is charged with raping and strangling half a dozen women in Gary before being arrested for the Aug. 22, 1995, murder and rape of Sarah Paulsen, 8, near her home in Portage. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced May 22, 1996, to life without parole.

After his arrest, Britt allegedly confessed to at least six other murders, and led police to the bodies of 2 victims who had never been reported missing.

The motive for the murders, the state alleges, was to kill victims who looked at Britt's face and could identify him. In addition, during the rapes, he would withdraw before completing the rape in order to avoid leaving bodily fluids behind, Burke said.

These planned and thought-out acts "are not only evidence of Britt's sanity," Burke said, "but are also strong and convincing evidence that the defendant, Eugene Britt, was not and is not mentally retarded."

Burke has asked Criminal Court Judge Joan Kouros to deny the defense petition to have the death penalty withdrawn.


State will appeal Britt ruling

By Mark Kiesling - Times Staff Writer

Friday, December 6, 2002

CROWN POINT -- The Indiana Attorney General's office on Thursday notified Lake Criminal Court Judge Joan Kouros it will appeal her earlier decision finding accused serial killer Eugene Britt incompetent to stand trial.

The attorney general's office filed a motion Nov. 15 asking Kouros to reconsider her decision in September that Britt, 44, of Gary, is not competent to go to trial for six murders in Gary during the summer of 1995. The state is seeking the death penalty.

Kouros denied that motion the day it was filed, and Thursday the attorney general's office wrote Kouros, saying it will appeal that denial to the Indiana Court of Appeals.

Kouros said Thursday she has not seen the notice, although she said she has received it. She said she plans to review it and forward it to the Lake County Clerk's office.

"Right now, I am not certain they even have the right to an appeal," she said. The judge said the normal course of appeal would be to file the motion with the trial court -- Kouros -- and once she grants the right of appeal it would move to a higher court.

Stacy Schneider, spokeswoman for Attorney General Steven Carter, said Thursday, "We think we are proceeding properly" after receiving a final order from Kouros' court.

At issue is whether Britt is competent to assist his attorneys in his own defense. If not, he would not be brought to trial until and unless he is found competent but detained in a state mental health facility.

Three court-appointed doctors have examined Britt and found him competent, but Philip Coons, an Indiana University forensic psychiatrist hired by defense counsel testified Britt lacks sufficient comprehension to understand what is happening in his surroundings.

After Coons' testimony, Kouros ordered Britt sent to Logansport State Hospital for at least 90 days.

Coons interviewed Britt in jail July 8, 2001. Lake County Deputy Prosecutor John J. Burke said Coons' interview was too brief and too nonfocused on the competency issue to be used as a basis for a decision on Britt's competency.

Britt already is serving a life sentence after pleading guilty to the 1995 abduction-murder of Sarah Paulsen, 8, of Portage.

He allegedly confessed to police that he also committed the other killings. The bodies were found in various locations throughout Gary, from open fields to abandoned houses.


Man accused in killings ruled fit for trial

Associated Press

January 24, 2001

CROWN POINT, IN A confessed child-killer charged with murdering six women and suspected in at least three other homicides has been found competent to stand trial.

After hearing testimony Monday from three mental health professionals, a Lake County judge ruled that Eugene Britt, 43, is competent and set an Aug. 13 trial date.

Psychiatrist Peter Gutierrez testified Monday that even though he found Britt competent, he also found him scary enough to have him shackled by hand and foot during their interviews.

"This is only the second time I have had anyone shackled," said Gutierrez, who has been a practicing psychiatrist for more than 40 years.

"I told them in the jail, 'When you bring him out, I want him shackled."

Britt faces death penalty murder charges alleging that he strangled six Gary women between May and November of 1995 when he was living in a homeless shelter in Gary. Police said he confessed in November 1995 to raping and killing eight women, and killing a man. The victims were left in abandoned buildings or heavily wooded areas.

Gutierrez and two other mental health professionals testified during Monday's competency hearing that Britt understands the charges he faces and is able to assist in his own defense the two key elements of competency.

After Lake Criminal Court Judge Joan Kouros found Britt competent and set his trial date, Britt began to mumble, then shout that he did not understand what Kouros was doing.

When she repeatedly asked Britt what he did not understand, he replied each time, "What I understand is that there ain't gonna be no trial. ... I confessed to this in 1995, so what's the point in a trial?" he asked. "I don't have no education, so I don't understand nothing. I just understand there ain't gonna be no trial."

As a bailiff wheeled the wheelchair-bound Britt from court, he shouted at Kouros, "You'll do what you want to do, why don't you just kill me? That's what you want to do, why don't you just kill me?"

Britt was in custody for the August 1995 murder of Sarah Paulsen, 8, of Portage, when he allegedly confessed to the string of murders in Gary. He had been living at a Gary homeless shelter when he was arrested for the Paulsen murder.

He pleaded guilty to the Paulsen killing and was given a life sentence. After Kouros ruled Britt competent to stand trial, defense attorney Kevin Relphorde hinted that he will file an insanity defense, which would require additional mental examinations and a separate hearing.

Competency is the ability to understand charges and assist in defense. Insanity is the inability to tell the difference between right and wrong at the time of the crime and can be either temporary or chronic.


Eugene Britt

Gary Post-Tribune

June 30, 2000

In Crown Point, an apparently bored Eugene Britt sat through a court hearing Thursday morning at which a number of issues related to his pending trial were ruled upon.

The broad-shouldered, bald Britt has already made statements that he is not looking to be put on trial for the six murders and a rape he has been accused of committing.

But because prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against Britt, he will have to go through a lengthy trial.

At Thursday's hearing, Lake Superior Court Judge Joan Kouros was to have set a trial date, but it was postponed until September.

On Feb. 11, Britt, 41, was charged with six counts of murder and six counts of murder in the perpetration of rape of six Gary women.

Britt was also charged with an additional count of rape.

Once the trial starts - perhaps sometime next year - Britt's conviction in the 1995 death of an 8-year-old Portage girl may be told to jurors.

Britt is now serving a life sentence for the Aug. 22, 1995, murder and sexual assault of Sarah Lynn Paulsen.

Britt's confession in the case and his sentencing order handed down by a Porter County judge will likely be told to jurors by Lake County Deputy Prosecutors John Burke and Derla Gross.

But what else is discussed about the Paulsen case will depend on whether Britt is called to the stand to testify by his court-appointed public defenders, Kevin B. Relphorde and Gojko Kasich.

Portage police investigated the death of Paulsen for weeks before arresting Britt in November 1995. Britt was an employee at a fast-food restaurant on the Indiana Toll Road in Portage.

Once in police custody, Britt asked for a pastor and began confessing to other alleged murders.

Based on Britt's information, police found the body of one of Britt's victims in a wooded lot on U.S. 20 behind a vacant restaurant.

The bodies of five other women would be found later, but it took five years for Britt to be charged in the deaths.

In the hearing, Kouros ordered prosecutors to make available copies or computer images of about 300 crime-scene photographs it has to the defense.

Prosecutors were also asked to provide copies of any audio and video tapes of Britt's confessions.


Confessed Serial Killer Could Face Death

Told Cops He Raped, Strangled Victims

By Janet Prasad - APBNews.com

Feb. 15, 2000

GARY, Ind. (APBnews.com) -- Prosecutors this week likely will push for the death penalty for an alleged serial killer accused of raping and killing six women during the summer of 1995.

Eugene Britt, 42, currently is serving a life sentence without parole for the 1995 murder of an 8-year-old girl in Portage. Last week, he was charged with the six murders and one rape.

The charges come after a four-year investigation that followed Britt's confession in November 1995, authorities said. The victims were raped, strangled and left in weedy vacant lots or wooded areas.

"Basically, he confessed to these murders and told them where the bodies were. So [police] went and found the bodies and had to do quite a bit of forensics," said Diane Poulton, spokeswoman for the Lake County prosecutor's office. "There wasn't a big hurry at this point, because he is serving life in prison."

Britt's first court appearance on the new charges is scheduled for Thursday, when he also will be appointed a public defender, Poulton said.

Porter County authorities contacted Gary police detectives in November 1995 and said Britt wanted to talk to them about "other women in Gary," according to court records. On Nov. 7, 1995, Britt described the murders to Gary detectives from the Porter County Jail.

Life plus 100 years

Porter County officials originally charged Britt with the November 1995 murder of the 8-year-old Portage girl. In May 1996, he pleaded guilty to the murder and two counts of criminal deviate behavior and was sentenced to life in prison plus a consecutive 100 years, said Kathy Minick, a spokeswoman for the Porter County prosecutor's office.

In his confession, Britt described at length the rapes and killings he is charged with in Portage, a city about 15 miles from Gary.

On May 12, 1995, a 13-year-old girl told detectives that Britt had abducted her three days earlier as she was walking home about 8:30 p.m. He dragged her up a hill and said he would kill her if she screamed, court records state. He said he then raped her and let her go because she did not look at his face.

About two months later, Deborah McHenry's nude body was discovered in a weedy area behind a house. Britt told police he had followed McHenry as she walked down the street, grabbed her by the neck and dragged her into a grassy area on the side of a house. He put his hands around her neck while he raped her because she was struggling, and then strangled her when he saw her looking at his face, according to court records. Afterward, he dragged her body behind the house and threw her clothing in a garbage can nearby.

The body of 13-year-old Nekita Moore was discovered in a weeded area near an abandoned house June 24, 1995. Britt said he abducted the girl as she walked down a sidewalk, dragged her to the side of the house and raped her twice while holding his hand over her mouth. Just before he strangled her, Moore pleaded for her life and said, "I'm only 13," Britt told police.

Bodies found in wooded areas

On Aug. 13, 1995, Michelle Burns' body was discovered in a grassy field behind a building. Britt told police he had grabbed Burns from the street and carried her to a grassy area near a building, where he raped her. He said he strangled Burns when she told him she would never forget his face, court records state.

The body of Betty Askew, age unavailable, was discovered in a weedy lot Sept. 2, 1995. Britt said he had started talking to Askew as she was walking through an alley. She sensed something was wrong and started screaming, he said. He grabbed her by the neck, carried her to a weeded lot between an abandoned house and garage and raped and strangled her. He took $300 from her purse after she was dead, according to court records.

On Nov. 8, the day after their conversation with Britt, detectives went to a wooded area described by Britt and found the remains of Tonya Dunlap, whom Britt had raped and strangled, he told police. According to court records, Dunlap flagged Britt down and started a conversation. Britt told her he had marijuana. When she found out he did not have any drugs, she tried to run, but Britt grabbed her by the neck and threw her into the weeds, court records show.

Met victim casually

He said he then threw her deeper into the wooded area, where he raped her three times and strangled her.

A police search party found the decomposed body of Maxine Walker on Dec. 2, 1995, in a weeded area Britt had described. Britt told police in his confession that he had approached the woman as she was walking and asked what she was doing. He said he could tell Walker sensed something was wrong, so he grabbed her and they fell into a weeded area, court records show.

Britt kept his hands around her neck so she couldn't scream, dragged her into a wooded area and raped her twice as he strangled her, court records state. He said he then dragged her body into a field and left it there.


SEX: M RACE: B TYPE: T MOTIVE: Sex./Sad.

VICTIMS: 11 confessed

MO: Random slayer of victims age eight to 51, all but one female

DISPOSITION: Life without parole for guilty plea on one count, 1996

 

 

 
 
 
 
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