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Dean Phillip CARTER





Classification: Spree killer
Characteristics: Rape
Number of victims: 5
Date of murders: April 10-14, 1984
Date of arrest: May 15, 1984
Date of birth: August 30, 1955
Victims profile: Jillette Mills, 35, and Susan Knoll, 33 / Bonnie Guthrie, 24 / Tok Chum Kim, 37 / Janette Cullins, 25
Method of murder: Strangulation
Location: California, USA
Status: Sentenced to death in 1985

The Supreme Court of California

opinion S014021 opinion S023000

Alaska-born, in 1957, Carter was working as a freelance television cameraman in Anchorage when he decided to try his luck in California, in the spring of 1984. Along the way, his quest for new beginnings would become a dead-end nightmare, as he ran amok and claimed at least five lives. 

His first attack, on March 25, involved the rape of a San Diego woman who survived Carter's assault. On April 10, he strangled roommates Jillette Mills, 35, and Susan Knoll, 33, stuffing their bodies in a closet of their Culver City apartment. 

The following day, in Los Angeles, he strangled 24-year-old Bonnie Guthrie, a friend of Knoll's, moving on to kill 37-year-old Tok Chum Kim in her Oakland apartment, on April 13.

A day later, the fast-moving killer was back in San Diego, where he strangled 25-year-old Janette Cullins to death at her home. Arrested on May 15, in Ventura County, Carter was held in lieu of $1 million bond while detectives built their case.

Evidence recovered from his car linked Carter with the Oakland strangulation, and within a week he had been charged with five counts of murder, marking the end of his rampage.

Michael Newton - An Encyclopedia of Modern Serial Killers - Hunting Humans


Dean Philip Carter (b. August 30, 1955) is an inmate at San Quentin, California's Death row. He has been convicted (in two separate trials) of the murder of four women: Susan Knoll, Jillette Mills, Bonnie Guthrie, and Janette Cullins.

Carter was born the illegitimate son of a half-Eskimo woman in Nome, Alaska, He was adopted by a former police and fire chief in Nome, Alaska. When he was 12, Carter was declared a delinquent child and committed to a youth camp, from which he attempted to run away at least three times. He later was placed in a foster home. Carter's crimes continued and "by the time he was 14 or 15, he was a fairly confirmed burglar." He later served adult prison terms in Oregon for auto theft and in Alaska for burglary.

He worked for KTUU-TV in Anchorage, Alaska, and later as a free-lance cameraman in Seattle in the early 1980s.

In one of his letters, Dean Carter claims he's innocent. The California Supreme Court record of his appeal, however, shows that his semen was present inside the bodies of three of the murder victims. Also, his latent, bloody palm print was found in one of the victims' homes, and there is an ATM video of him emptying out another victim's bank account. Also, a car that he stole from his first murder victim was found a block from another murder victim's home and then the car of that murder victim was stolen. He was arrested a few days later in Arizona driving the stolen car, along with personal items from the homes of each of the victims. He was also convicted for raping two women prior to the murder convictions.

Dean Carter spends his days on Death Row trying to inform the world about the American Justice System and life on Death Row. He reaches a lot of people (including many students) through letter writing and columns on his Deadman Talkin'website. The Website is hosted by one of Dean Carter's friends.



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