Donald Leroy Evans
(born July 5, 1957) is an American serial killer who murdered more than
15 people from 1970 to 1991. He was discharged from the United States
Marine Corps in 1970. He was known for sexually assaulting and brutally
killing victims at parks and rest areas across 20 states. He was a
drifter, a drug addict, a convicted rapist and a white supremacist.
Arrest and conviction
In 1991, Donald Leroy Evans was arrested in Louisiana
for the kidnapping of a ten year old girl. He confessed to the killing
and led the authorities to the girl's body. He also confessed to killing
more than 60 other people in over 20 different states.
Most of the murders and rapes took place at rest
stops and public parks. The authorities were originally skeptical of
Evan's claims, but many of his descriptions were perfect matches to
unsolved cases across Florida and Illinois. He successfully escaped the
Harrison County Jail, but was recaptured a short time later.
He was tried and convicted for the kidnapping, raping,
strangulation, and murder of 10 year old Beatrice Routh in 1993. In
1995, Florida authorities tried and convicted Evans for the
strangulation death of Ira Jean Smith. During the trial Evan's requested
a name change to "Hi Hitler."
Donald Leroy Evan's execution was never carried out.
He was stabbed to death in 1999 by a fellow death row inmate at the
Mississippi State Penitentiary.
Serial killer or con artist?
U.S. task force to investigate Evans' claims of 60 slayings
Kevin Moran, Ruth Rendon, Stephen Johnson - The Houston
August 15, 1991
GALVESTON - The odyssey that landed Donald Leroy Evans in a
Mississippi courthouse confessing to more than 60 murders began with a
con job in Galveston.
Now federal officials in Mississippi are forming a task force to
determine whether the parolee - charged in the kidnap-slaying of a 10-year-old
homeless girl - is attempting the ultimate con job by claiming he's
murdered scores of people across the nation.
"We're taking it seriously," Jenny Smith, spokeswoman for the U.S.
attorney's office in Biloxi, Miss., said of Evans' claim. He has told
authorities that during a 10-year period beginning in 1977 he killed
dozens of people, most of them women.
The gruesome tale - which if substantiated would make him the worst
serial killer in the nation's history - unfolded after Evans, 34, told
his attorney he wanted assurances that he would get the death penalty
for killing Beatrice Louise Routh, a 10-year-old he picked up on a
On July 26, taking the car of a man who thought he was helping out
an ex-convict trying to turn his life around, Evans left Galveston on
the journey that ended in Mississippi.
He had been paroled April 18 to Galveston after doing time in a
Texas prison for sexually assaulting a Galveston woman in 1986.
At his Galveston east end apartment building, Evans buttered up
neighbors with fresh fish dinners. He convinced them he was an ex-convict
turned faithful churchgoer and charity worker. But, Evans wasn't so
truthful about his criminal history with others.
He told one employer he was attending Chicago's DePaul University
when he was really doing prison time.
"He could sell his grandmother a $10,000 pair of tennis shoes," said
Joseph A. Whitted, 27, a commercial deep-sea diver whose car Evans took
and whose identity the former convict assumed when he left Texas. Police
said Evans also took $150 he got from pawning some of his girlfriend's
Along the way to Mississippi, using Whitted's identity, he cashed
checks on a bank account Whitted had closed months before.
"He was telling people he was me, passing out my resumes," said
Whitted. "It's kind of spooky."
Not only did Evans not return the car, he used Whitted's birth
certificate, which was in a briefcase in the vehicle, to obtain a
driver's license under Whitted's name.
Evans had given yet another name to the homeless girl's mother, but
authorities here aren't surprised at the identity switch.
He was using the name "Jason Michael McGowen" when he was charged
with the April 18, 1986, sexual assault of the Galveston woman. He
pleaded guilty to the charge and was sentenced to 15 years in prison. He
was paroled after five years.
At his arrest, he also lied about his age, adding six years.
Whitted said Evans, whose history of crime and mental problems
indicates an inner storm of anger and distrust, had a confident, calm
"He was a good con man," said Whitted. "He had me snowed."
Evans told acquaintances he was helping raise money to build a new
school at a Lutheran church here. It could not be determined late
Wednesday whether such plans are under way in Galveston.
Evans got a job May 9 as a desk clerk at the S.S. Galveston Motel.
On his application, Evans said he graduated from high school in
Brownsville, studied business accounting and English composition at
DePaul for a year, then took design and drafting classes at a college in
the east Texas community of Athens, near Tyler.
He listed research and study in theology and church history as an
area of special study.
Galveston parole officials said they ordered Evans to leave the
motel job because the potential for his committing another sex offense
in the motel setting was increased.
His employer said he was fired.
Evans reported later he was working on a shrimp boat, but parole
officials said they didn't verify that before Evans left.
Before his departure, officials said, Evans met all parole rules,
including participation in a rehabilitation program for sex offenders.
A revealing account of his early history is in a court-ordered
evaluation by Dr. John W. Goodman of Galveston, who conducted three 1986
interviews in pretrial mental evaluation in the rape case.
Evans told Goodman he is from a large family. He said he had five
brothers and three sisters - one of whom died of cancer at age 6.
He told Goodman he completed elementary school in Michigan and
middle school in Ohio. He said he attended a year of high school in
Brownsville but dropped out because of "difficulty with teachers and
Admitting that he underwent extensive counseling during his only
year of high school in Brownsville, he said he attempted suicide at 16
by using roach poison and drugs.
He later joined the Marine Corps but was discharged because of
Maj. Rick DeChaineau, a spokesman with the Public Affairs Office of
the Marine Corps Headquarters in Washington, D.C., confirmed that Evans
joined the Marines in San Antonio on Sept. 30, 1975, at the age of 18
and was discharged less than a year later.
After boot camp, Evans was assigned to Infantry Training School at
Camp Pendleton, Calif., and then transferred to the 3rd Marine Division
based on Okinawa.
Upon arriving there, he was assigned to perform maintenance duties
and was put in a Correctional Custody Platoon, or CCP. DeChaineau said
he could not tell from Military Personnel Center information if Evans
was a member of the platoon for disciplinary reasons or if he was a
staff member assigned to handle other platoon members (prisoners).
"My reading is that Evans was dumped in the CCP because he was a
whacked-out jerk," DeChaineau said.
Evans eventually was transferred back to Philadelphia where he was
listed as a patient from July 14, 1976, until his discharge on Sept. 2,
Court records state that Evans received psychiatric care in Illinois
and Michigan in veterans hospitals in 1978 and 1979.
The psychiatric report sheds little light on Evans' whereabouts
after early 1979 and none on exactly when he arrived in Galveston.
In January 1987, Goodman found Evans only marginally competent to
stand trial for the sexual assault of the woman here, but a jury later
found him competent to stand trial. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced
to 15 years in prison. He was released on parole five years to the day
after his 1986 arrest.
He spent much of the time writing and filing his own court documents,
including repeated claims of poor representation by his court-appointed
attorneys and repeated pleas for release on reduced bond.
In one letter to Galveston State District Judge Roy Engelke, Evans
said he wanted psychiatric help.
"I'm not at all an idiot of any sort," Evans told Engelke. "I do
have a mental illness and want very much to receive proper treatment in
the veterans' hospital. But how can I when I can't trust a lawyer to
prove my innocents (sic) so I can get treatment."
Susan Burris, the assistant Galveston County district attorney who
prosecuted Evans, said, "This man is not a person I have forgotten over
the years. He made that much of an impression on me at the time that I
handled the case."
His Galveston parole officer said he seemed to be frank.
"He was a very talkative and open person," said Kelley Romar, senior
district parole officer. "He was very open about his day-to-day
Galveston's acting police chief, Capt. Earnest Boyd, on Wednesday
announced that Galveston authorities are checking records of unsolved
murders in the area, but have found no positive links to Evans.
He said there are no reports that Evans confessed to murders in the
Evans doesn't claim any Island murders
Kevin Moran - Staff, Associated Press
The Houston Chronicle
August 20, 1991
Donald Leroy Evans - the drifter who claims more than 60 murders and
who Monday pleaded guilty to kidnapping a girl in Mississippi - recounts
no murders in Galveston, police said.
"I can tell you that he has claimed no murders in this area,"
Galveston police investigator Jim Thompson said Monday. "The task force
has told me that."
Federal officials in Mississippi formed a multiagency task force to
investigate Evans' claims that he killed more than 60 persons in a 10-year
spree in 17 states after his release from the Marines because of mental
Though he drifted from state to state during that time, Evans, 34,
had lived off and on in Galveston since about 1984. He was sent to
prison for a Galveston sexual assault in 1986 but was paroled back to
the city in April.
After pleading guilty in a Biloxi, Miss., federal court Monday to
kidnapping 10-year-old Beatrice Louise Routh - a homeless girl whose
raped and strangled body was found Aug. 11 - Evans joked about the death
penalty his lawyer says he wants.
"How can you hurt my case?" he asked U.S. District Judge Walter Gex
III. " I'm going to death row. What are you going to do? Kill me?"
Although the maximum term for the federal case is life in prison,
Evans has been charged in both Mississippi and Louisiana in the child's
slaying. He confessed to taking her to Louisiana, raping and killing her
there and then dumping her body in Mississippi.
Authorities in the two states have not decided where he will stand
trial for the slaying, but both have the death penalty. Gex set a
sentencing for Oct. 24 in the federal case.
Evans, born in Michigan, was one of nine children.
After his parents divorced, he spent one year of high school in
His name first turned up in Galveston police records when he was
arrested in July 1984 for stealing a bottle of wine, Thompson said. In
December 1985, Galveston County deputies arrested Evans for public
urination on the Bolivar Ferry.
Thompson said his next known arrest came in March 1986, when Gail
Stewart, his girlfriend, accused him of assault.
Thompson said he has no records of the outcome of any of the charges.
Evans is known to have been in the Galveston, Port Bolivar and
Cameron, La., areas between July 1984 and his April 1986 arrest for
sexually assaulting a Galveston woman, Thompson said.
After his return to Galveston in April, He lived with Stewart until
he stole a car and fled to Mississippi in late July, parole officials
Confessed Killer Wants Direct
Access To Press
By Gene Swearingen, Betty Attaway - Knight-Ridder Newspapers
Tuesday, August 20, 1991
GULFPORT, Miss. - Donald Leroy Evans pleaded
guilty in federal court yesterday to kidnapping a 10-year-old girl
whom he is also charged with raping and strangling, but he
threatened to quit talking about more than 60 other murders he
claims to have committed unless he is allowed to tell his story to
Evans, 34, said he wants "to get the truth out (because)
there have been misconceptions (about) how people like me are allowed to
slip through the system."
Warned by U.S. District Judge Walter Gex III that
what he told the media could eventually be used against him in state
murder trials, Evans said it did not matter.
"How can you hurt (this) case? I mean, I'm going to
death row. What are they going to do, kill me?"
Evans, acting as his own co-counsel, appeared before
Gex in U.S. District Court in Biloxi, Miss., to plead to the kidnapping
charge. His court-appointed lawyer, Fred Lusk of Biloxi, was at his side.
Lusk and Evans had appeared before U.S. Magistrate
John Roper minutes earlier for arraignment on the kidnapping charge.
Since his arrest for kidnapping Beatrice Louise Routh,
Evans has confessed to more than 60 other murders nationwide. Lusk said
yesterday that at least one of those murders was in a foreign country,
but did not name the country.
Evans has been charged with capital murder in the
death of the child, whom he kidnapped Aug. 1 from a park in Gulfport,
Gex ordered a pre-sentencing report from probation
officials on the kidnapping plea and set a sentencing date of Oct. 24.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Golden said in court
yesterday that the girl's mother, Tami Jean Giles, let Beatrice go with
Evans to buy food to barbecue, but that Evans bought duct tape which he
later used to bind the girl.
Evans was arrested in Louisiana on Aug. 5 and was
charged in federal court with kidnapping, the charge he pleaded guilty
On Aug. 11, Evans led police to Beatrice's body. He
was charged with capital murder last Friday.
Lusk, whom Roper appointed to represent Evans on Aug.
8 after he was brought to Mississippi from Louisiana, said he told Evans
that leading authorities to Beatrice's body would probably result in a
capital murder charge.
Lusk said Evans ignored the warning. "He said he had
to do it," Lusk said.
In exchange, the government promised to keep Evans in
federal custody, except to make him available for state trials and any
execution date he may face, and let a girlfriend from Galveston, Texas,
Evans said yesterday he also had a deal to have the
girlfriend along if he was taken to other states to help recover victims
he claims to have killed.
At least two videotapes of Evans' confessions - one
about the kidnap, rape and murder of Beatrice and the other about other
alleged victims - have been recorded. Gex ordered the Beatrice tape
sealed yesterday but said he did not have the second tape and could not
control it. That tape was sent to the FBI in Jackson, Miss.
Lusk, who has been criticized by other attorneys and
some members of the media for following Evans' wishes and talking about
the murder cases, said Evans "directed me to reveal to the press about
this case and the others around the country."
Evans said in court that he was pleased with Lusk's
representation but wants to bypass Lusk on publicity and talk directly
to "select news groups."
Evans "insists that the truth be known," Lusk said. "His
beliefs (about talking directly to the press) are strong. He doesn't
want to use me and I don't want him to use me."
Evans told Gex if he did not get direct access to the
press, he would stop talking about the 60-plus murders.
Gex said the out-of-state murders had nothing to do
with Evans' kidnapping plea, and that he would consider press access if
Evans submitted a request through Lusk in writing.
Serial Killers: Going for The
Monday, Aug. 26, 1991
Did he or didn't he? That's what cops want to know
about Donald Leroy Evans, 34, a drifter from Galveston, Texas, who
claims to have murdered 60 people in a 10-year rampage across 20 states.
If true, the boast would make Evans the nation's most prolific serial
killer. But police and FBI investigators are skeptical, and began a
thorough investigation last week.
The case came to light two weeks ago -- just as
Milwaukee mass-murderer Jeffrey Dahmer was making headlines -- when
Louisiana police arrested Evans. He told them he had kidnapped, raped
and strangled Beatrice Routh, a 10-year- old homeless girl, on Aug. 1.
As proof, he led police to her body in a grassy field off a rural
Mississippi highway. Last week a murder charge in the Routh case was
filed against Evans in Mississippi. Federal kidnapping charges will
follow this week.
At this point, only Evans knows for sure how many
people he killed. But there are indications that Routh was not his only
victim. According to his court-appointed attorney, Fred Lusk, Evans has
told police about two prostitutes he claims to have killed in Florida in
1985. Pieces of evidence gathered in Fort Lauderdale and Daytona Beach,
Lusk said, "basically match in detail what Evans told investigators."
Evans says that most of his victims were women, and that he strangled
and sexually assaulted many of them. He claims that he can lead
investigators to "every one" of his victims.
"It's hard to say what kind of person Donald Leroy
Evans is," said Lusk. "He fits your description of a middle-aged
Caucasian with above-average intelligence." A 1987 psychiatric
evaluation quoted in the Washington Post found Evans to be suffering
from a "lifelong history of behavioral difficulties and frank mental
illness." Evans, who has been hospitalized for psychiatric treatment and
once attempted to commit suicide, has a lengthy arrest record. Sentenced
to 15 years in prison for sexual assault in 1986, he was released on
parole last April. His main wish now, said his attorney, is to receive
the death penalty.
Donald Leroy Evans
Don, an army veteran,
drug addict and drifter from Galveston, Texas, is another possible
serial killer with a hefty ego. A convicted rapist, he was arrested in
Louisiana in 1991 where he confessed to the kidnapping and murder of a
ten-year-old girl in Gulfport, Mississippi. But that wasn't all he
wanted to confess. Donny kept on confessing and confessing to the tune
of more than eighty kills. What he revealed to authorities was a ten-year
killing rampage spanning ten states that later he said was a hoax. Evans
made made a career out of leading federal authorities on multistate,
fruitless searches for seemingly nonexistent victims.
Evans later admitted he
misled authorities. The drifter was sentenced to death in 1993 in the
strangulation death of Beatrice Louise Routh, who was abducted in
Gulfport park, taken to Louisiana and killed, then returned to
Mississippi, where her body was dumped. Previously he had been convicted
on a federal kidnapping charge and was sentenced to a life term. He
escaped from Harrison County jail in June 1993, but was recaptured about
a mile away. En Julio de 1995, Evans pleaded guilty in Fort Lauderdale,
Fla., to the 1985 killing of Ira Jean Smith. He received a life sentence.
There are twelve other
cases in which he is strongly suspected but for which he will never be
tried. His other confessed killings remain unproved and, for the most
part, have not been investigated. Evans became a local talk-radio
phenomenon in Florida when declared himself a white supremacist, shaved
his head, began calling himself "Hi Hitler." He spent two
weeks on a talk show extolling the pleasures of murdering a black hooker
On 5 January 1999, the drifter killer was fatally stabbed in the Mississippi
State Penitentiary by a fellow death row inmate Jimmie Mack. Evans, who
was 41 at the time of his death, was gored with a cell-made shank by
Mack, who is black, while returning from taking a shower. "We don't
mourn him. We simply close his file," said Harrison County District
Attorney Cono Caranna, who prosecuted Evans in the 1991 rape and
strangulation of a 10-year-old girl. "Most people you'd be able to
say something good about them," he said. "Everything I saw in
his life was pure self involvement and as close to evil as I've ever
seen." Corrections officials would not comment on whether there
were any racial overtones in the slaying of Evans.
Donald Leroy Evans
Arrested for the Gulfport,
Mississippi, rape and murder of ten-year-old homeless girl Beatrice
Routh, Donald Leroy Evans soon confessed to over sixty murders. Evans
claimed that immediately after his discharge from the Marines in 1970,
he began drifting and evidently killing just about everybody in his path.
His claims of prolific serial killing immediately bring to mind the
inflated kill totals of Henry Lee Lucas, who sent investigators spinning
with his claims of killing more than 100 victims.
It appears that Evans may
not have been exaggerating quite as much as Lucas, though it certainly
does not appear that he killed anywhere near sixty. After being tried,
convicted, and sentenced to death in the Routh killing in 1993, Florida
authorities in 1995 successfully prosecuted Evans for the strangulation
death of Ira Jean Smith. He earned a life sentence for that killing. In
both of his trials, and during his entire incarceration for that matter,
Evans made a joke of the proceedings, making ridiculous appeals and
requests on an almost daily basis. His least shining moment of the
Florida trial was when he petitioned the court to refer to him not as
Donald Leroy Evans during proceedings, but as "Hi Hitler". The
not-too-bright Evans didn't realize that Hitlers followers addressed
their leader with the chant of "Heil Hitler".
Thankfully for everybody
involved, fellow Mississippi death row inmate Jimmy Mack stabbed Evans
to death in the shower in early January, 1999. At the time of his death
Evans was the prime suspect in at least twelve unsolved murders.
Serial Killers A-Z
Serial Killer Donald
Death Row Inmate Stabbed to Death
January 5, 1999
PARCHMAN, Miss. (AP) -- A drifter who falsely claimed he killed dozens
of people in 22 states was stabbed to death by a fellow death row inmate
at the Mississippi State Penitentiary.
Donald Leroy Evans, sentenced to death for strangling a 10-year-old
Gulfport girl, was attacked Monday with a makeshift knife, known in
prison parlance as a "shank,'' while being led to his cell, said
Corrections Department spokesman Ken Jones.
"He was stabbed to death by Jimmie Mack, another death row inmate. Mack
was being taken by corrections officers to the shower when the stabbing
occurred,'' Jones said. "The matter is under investigation right now,
including how the shank was obtained by Mack.''
Evans, 41, won notoriety after his 1991 arrest when he declared himself
to be a serial killer and white supremacist, and claimed to have
information on slayings around the country. He later said the
confessions were a hoax.
Corrections officials would not comment on whether there were any racial
overtones in the slaying of Evans, who was white. Mack, 29, is black and
is on death row for the 1990 beating death of a Gunnison man.
"We don't mourn him. We simply close his file,'' said District Attorney
Cono Caranna, who prosecuted Evans for the rape and strangulation of
Beatrice Louis Routh. "Everything I saw in his life was pure self-involvement
and as close to evil as I've ever seen.''
Death row inmate stabbed to death at penitentiary
Tuesday, January 5, 1999
PARCHMAN, Miss. (AP) - A fellow death row inmate on
Monday fatally stabbed Donald Leroy Evans, who once confessed to dozens
of murders and led police in several states on fruitless searches for
victim's bodies, authorities said.
"We don't mourn him. We simply close his file," said
Harrison County District Attorney Cono Caranna, who prosecuted Evans in
the 1991 rape and strangulation of a 10-year-old girl.
"Most people you'd be able to say something good
about them," he said. "Everything I saw in his life was pure self
involvement and as close to evil as I've ever seen."
Evans was "incapable" of remorse and delighted in
leading federal authorities on the multistate search for victims,
Caranna said. "He was just running a scam."
Evans, sentenced to death for killing the girl, was
attacked at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman with a
makeshift knife, known in prison parlance as a "shank," while being led
back to his cell after a shower, according to Corrections Department
spokesman Ken Jones.
"He was stabbed to death by Jimmie Mack, another
death row inmate. Mack was being taken by corrections officers to the
shower when the stabbing occurred," Jones said.
Evans, 41, generated media interest after his arrest
in the girl's killing by declaring himself a serial killer and white
supremacist, and by claiming to have information on slayings around the
country. He later admitted he misled authorities.
The Galveston drifter was sentenced to death in 1993
in the strangulation death of Beatrice Louise Routh, who was abducted in
Gulfport park, taken to Louisiana and killed, then returned to
Mississippi, where her body was dumped.
Previously he had been convicted on a federal
kidnapping charge and was sentenced to a life term.
He escaped from Harrison County jail in June 1993,
but was recaptured about a mile away.
In July 1995, Evans pleaded guilty in Fort Lauderdale,
Fla., to the 1985 killing of Ira Jean Smith. He received a life sentence.
Corrections officials would not comment on whether
there were any racial overtones in the slaying of Evans, who was white.
Mack is black.