Prosecutors in Fort Lauredale, Florida,
said they would ask a judge to dismiss four murder convictions against a
man who has served 21 years for pleading guilty to six killings and a
rape, after DNA tests proved he did not commit two of the murders.
Broward County prosecutors cleared 49-year-old Jerry Frank Townsend of
four of the murders because they said the DNA results found no credible
evidence to support his confessions. The tests for the two murders found
DNA from another man, Eddie Lee Mosley, the Broward County Sheriff's
Office said. Mosley, now 52, has been in state psychiatric hospitals
since 1988, when he was found incompetent to stand trial for the murders
of two Broward women.
Townsend will remain in prison for two
other murders and a rape he confessed to committing in Miami-Dade County,
but prosecutors there said they were investigating whether the
convictions should stand. Dennis Urbano, one of the attorneys who
represented Townsend in the Miami-Dade cases, said it would be unfair to
keep his client locked up because his confessions cannot be trusted.
According to the attorney Townsend was mentally retarded and confessed
to any crime police mentioned because he wanted to please them. Urbano
said he experimented with Townsend at the jail and could get him to
confess to anything.
On June June 15, 2001, Townsend was freed
after DNA evidence indicated he didn't commit any of the killings he
confessed to having committed. "It is abundantly clear that he is
the victim of an enormous tragedy," said Judge Scott Silverman.
In 1979, Townsend, 49, was convicted of
two murders and pleaded guilty to four others after confessing to the
six killings. But his confession was thrown in doubt when DNA evidence
in two of the murders cleared him and pointed at Mosley as the killer.
Police said Townsend, whose IQ is between
50 and 60 and has the mental capacity of an 8-year-old, admitted to
crimes he did not commit to please detectives. "He liked the cops,
he wanted to be with the cops. They were his buddies and frankly that's
a great tool if you get suspects to like you -- that's a good thing,"
Miami Assistant Police Chief James Chambliss said. "He was trying
to be helpful to them. That's where the problem came up."
Townsend was originally arrested and
charged with raping a pregnant woman in daylight on a downtown Miami
street. The victim and witnesses pointed him out to police a few blocks
away. During the investigation, Townsend confessed to several other
slayings and was taken to murder scenes in Broward County.
On September 1, 2001, Fort Lauderdale
police announced DNA evidence had linked Mosley to the death of an
eighth woman slain in 1984. Mosley, who has been involuntarily committed
to psychiatric institutions since 1988, was genetically linked to the
rape and murder of 29-year-old Loretta Young Brown.
Previous DNA tests
have linked Mosley to the seven other deaths -- Emma Cook, 54; Teresa
Giles, 22; Sonja Marion, 13; Vetta Turner, 34; Shandra Whitehead, 8;
Terry Jean Cummings, 21, Naomi Gamble, 15.
Mosley has not been charged
with any of the killings because he has been found incompetent to stand
trial in two of the murders. Prosecutors began testing Mosley's DNA
against several South Florida murders after tests linked him to the 1985
slaying of 8-year-old Shandra Whitehead. He is suspected of slaying up
to 16 women and young girls in the Fort Lauderdale area between 1973 and
By Jonathon King - JonathonKing.com
Sunday, October 30, 1988
EDDIE LEE MOSLEY IS RATTLING down Southwest
Second Street in Fort Lauderdale, his hulking shoulders bent over his
grocery cart, his bright eyes picking over the roadside for bottles or
cans or anything that might sell for another buck. He has been scanning
the same scrabble all day. It is nearly midnight.
Eddie is dressed
in his usual work clothes: a knit shirt and a pair of beige pants that
hang off his hips. He is a big man—over 6 feet tall and 190 pounds—but a
somewhat wasted version of the 260-pound giant who had ripped apart a
pair of steel handcuffs a few years back.
Eddie has been
walking for hours, like he does every day. He knows every alley, back
door, trash dump and vacant lot in northwest Fort Lauderdale. For 40
years this has been his home.
Less than a
block away, a Fort Lauderdale police officer is working the burglary of
a nursery. The stolen plants are identical to those that are now in
Eddie's shopping cart. Eddie has already spotted the brown and white
Fort Lauderdale police car cruising by.
"I coulda run
but I'm clean. I did nothin'," he will say later. "I got a lot of police
at the city jail in Fort Lauderdale knows me. The police passes me all
the time. They wave and says, 'How you doin', Eddie?"'
This time, the
officer does not wave. Instead, he stops Eddie and arrests him.
At police headquarters, Eddie is questioned by a
detective, as he has been so many times before.
But this time, when detective Kevin Allen talks about the dead woman in
the block house, Eddie remembers. He remembers the block house, the beer
cans in the corner, the woman he had sex with, the color of her sweater,
the way she passed out, the way she appeared to be dead, the way he ran
Finally, the police are able to place Eddie at the scene of a rape and
strangulation, and he's charged with murder on May 18, 1987. This time,
police believe they have enough evidence to lock Eddie away forever.
Today, Eddie Lee
Mosley is being held in a state prison for the criminally insane. But
Eddie has been there before. If doctors do not rule him competent to
stand trial by October 1992, there is a chance Eddie would be set free
to walk the streets again.
"We can only
hope that this (confession) will put him away for good," says Detective
Allen. "If he's released, he'll kill again. Just like he has in the past."
enforcement officials are right, Eddie Lee Mosley is the most prolific
serial killer in the history of South Florida. And he has earned the
title without being convicted of a single murder.
If the cops are
right, a retarded junk man from a poor black neighborhood has eluded
police for 15 years while killing a dozen women and raping 40 others in
Fort Lauderdale and Lakeland.
If you believe
the police claims, you have to ask how such a man stayed free to uncoil
such a string of violence. Was it the result of official apathy for the
killings of poor black women? Was it due to egregious flaws in the
judicial system? Or did a prolific killer remain free through sheer dumb
And maybe the
most important question of all is: Will Eddie Mosley, a suspect in
dozens of brutal crimes, one day again be set free, as he was in the
EDDIE LEE MOSLEY
WAS BORN on March 31, 1947, the third of Willie Mae Robinson's 10
children. Eddie's family knew from the beginning that something was
complications during his delivery. Eddie didn't cry at birth like most
babies. Willie Mae admits that Eddie has had mental problems since birth
and "had no control over it."
education stopped in 1960 when he was 13 and still in third grade. He
was dropped from the public school system because he "could not get
along with others" and "acted in the severely defective range,"
according to reports from Eddie Lee Mosley's public school records.
Now 41, Eddie
still cannot read or write. Over the years he has worked a variety of
manual labor jobs where his brute strength and willingness to follow
orders were exploited.
From the time he
was first picked up for disorderly conduct at the age of 18, Eddie has
been arrested nine times. The charges range from indecent proposal to
armed robbery to sexual assault and murder. He has spent a total of five
years and five months in jail and nearly six years in mental
defenders, Steve Michaelson and Gary Cowart, who have spent thousands of
hours on his defense, say the murder cases against Eddie are purely
circumstantial, that he isn't "bright enough" not to have left a
positive clue behind and that the police have botched their
Although he has
never taken the witness stand, Eddie speaks a simple defense born of the
advantage of me 'cause I ain't got no understandin' and I ain't got no
education," he says when asked why he is in jail.
interview last year, before attorneys won a gag order to keep Eddie from
answering questions, Eddie sat for three hours with a doctor and his
public defender. The session was recorded on video-tape.
straight into the psychologist's eyes as he struggles to concentrate on
the questions. He says he is innocent, that he would never intentionally
"I'm just an old
junk man. My mind's on money, feelin' good, drinkin' a little beer, a
little wine. Getting' a little lady when I want to. Feelin' good."
JULY 23, 1973.
FORT LAUDERdale detective Doug Evans is about to meet Eddie Lee Mosley
for the first time.
Over the next 15
years, Evans will become convinced that Eddie is killing women in
northwest Fort Lauderdale, a list of women that will include one of
Evans' own family.
But on this
summer day in 1973, Evans and his partner, McKinley Smith, are looking
for a rapist.
1971 and July 1973, an unprecedented number of sexual batteries have
occurred in the northwest section of the city. The nearly 150 incidents
are all the same: victims are lured or forced to vacant lots where they
are choked and raped.
As part of a
special unit working the crimes, Smith is driving with three rape
victims in his unmarked car, hoping the women might recognize the man
who attacked them. As they cruise near Sunrise Boulevard and Northwest
31st Avenue, they pass a large black man walking with a limp and
carrying a silver-colored cane.
"There be that
S.O.B. now," says one of the women.
Smith swings the
car around and all three women identify Eddie by the limp and the two-inch
scar on his left cheek. Smith calls Evans for backup as Eddie slips into
officers spot him again, Eddie has just come from behind a house,
wearing a pair of panties on his head.
Eddie to halt and drop the cane, but the big man hesitates. Smith fires
a warning shot over Eddie's head, and when he drops to the ground, the
officers clamp handcuffs onto his wrists.
arrest, Evans puts together a photo lineup that includes the scarred
face of Eddie Mosley. More than 40 women who had been victims of rape
identify Eddie from the photos as their attacker.
"It was just the
beginning," recalls Evans, now a private investigator. "After that
initial contact, me and Eddie were like magnets attracting.
sitting in the detective bureau that night and saying to McKinley, 'You
may have made the biggest mistake of your career. You may regret missing
Eddie with that shot.' And we did. And a lot of people have suffered
since that day."
AT THE TIME OF
EDDIE'S arrest, the Fort Lauderdale police and the Broward Sheriff's
Office are working the murders of two black women. Eddie will become the
prime suspect in both killings. However, he is never charged. Eventually,
police will charge Jerry Frank Townsend with one of the two murders
after a rambling confession in 1979 in which he admitted killing 23
women across the country.
sentenced to two consecutive 25-year prison terms in 1980 after juries
found him guilty in two slayings, including one of the 1973 killings.
still believes that Eddie was the real killer, that the 1973 murder
cases were mishandled because the victims were poor blacks and
considered low priority.
took the easy way," Evans says. "Townsend was con- fessing to everything
and they just let him."
alone in his opinions. Assistant State Attorney Kelly Hancock, who
prosecuted Townsend, said years later that the 1973 homicide
investigations by the Broward Sheriff's Office were "the most poorly
investigated cases I've ever seen. The victims were all black. Nobody
dozens of rape victims who identified Eddie Mosley in 1973 as the man
who attacked them, he was charged with only three counts of sexual
battery. The jury found him innocent by reason of insanity, and he was
sent to the Florida State Hospital in Chattahoochee, where he would
remain for the next five years.
period, police now say, the rapes and strangulations in northwest Fort
Lauderdale suddenly stopped.
After five years
of treatment with psychotropic drugs, therapists and doctors decide that
Eddie Mosley no longer needs hospitalization. On Feb. 1, 1979, he is
transferred to South Florida State Hospital in Pembroke Pines, where,
according to a staff psychiatrist, Eddie "demonstrated exceptional
later Eddie is discharged, with the understanding that he will continue
to take his medication and keep monthly appointments at the Henderson
Mental Health Clinic in southwest Fort Lauderdale.
And that's when the bodies start popping up again.
During the next three months, four young black women are raped and
strangled within walking distance of Eddie Mosley's home in northwest
All four deaths
are charged to Jerry Frank Townsend after he begins his litany of
confessions. "Everybody thought that was it, that they had their man
when they tagged Townsend," Evans recalls.
"All I could say
was that if you're right, the bodies will cease to come. If you're wrong,
they'll keep turning up."
arrested in September, but the killing doesn't stop. During the next
four months, three more bodies of young black women are found in vacant
lots near Eddie's home, victims of rape and strangulation. One of the
victims, Arnette Tukes, is the cousin of detective Doug Evans.
are told of Eddie's criminal history, and attempt to question him. But
Eddie's family refuses to let him talk, and soon after they send him to
Lakeland to stay with his grandfather.
Within weeks of
his arrival, two black women disappear in his grandfather's neighborhood.
No bodies are found, but Lakeland police interview neighbors who say
they saw a man fitting Eddie's description chasing a black woman down
the street. She was screaming for help.
questioned by police, his grandfather sends Eddie back to Fort
Months later in
Lakeland, the skeletons of Ida Ingles and Letha Mae Williams are found
in empty fields. They have been raped and strangled. The time of their
deaths coincides with Eddie's visit.
"Ain't no way in
hell, if the investigations had been carried out the way they should
have been, Eddie would have been walking the streets," Doug Evans says.
"Bodies were falling like flies in 1979. If this had happened in a white,
middle-class neighborhood, Eddie would have been history after two
Lauderdale Police Chief Ron Cochran's assessment of the investigation is
"I'm sure Leo
Callahan (Fort Lauderdale police chief from 1973 to 1983) and I both
look back and wish we'd done something different that would have changed
the outcome," says Cochran, who was police chief from 1983 to 1987. "It's
possible that some of those homicide cases were handled in a different
way because of who they were and where they occurred, but I don't think
it was done consciously.
"I have to hand
it to Doug, he was right about Mosley, and a great deal of attention was
finally paid to the case. We tried to put Eddie away, but those times we
were successful, he didn't stay away."
PERIODS WHEN the police drop their surveillance, Eddie resumes his
On April 12,
1980, he is again charged with sexual battery. He pleads not guilty but
is convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison by Judge Stanley Kaplan.
Steve Michaelson appeals the conviction on the grounds that Eddie's
representation at the 1980 trial was inadequate because his attorney
should have pursued a plea of insanity.
As part of the
appeal, Eddie is examined by several court-appointed psychiatrists, with
is "somewhat below normal;" he is "mentally defective" but competent to
stand trial; he has "significant intellectual defects and mental
retardation;" he is "incompetent, has been so since early childhood, and
will be so for the foreseeable future."
appeals paper is shuffled, Eddie Mosley marks time at the Broward County
Jail near Pompano Beach, where detention personnel, doctors and inmates
get a more personal look at the wandering junk man.
Soon after his
arrival at the jail, Eddie is made the houseman—an inmate trustee—of C
Module, which houses the county's most violent, dangerous and mentally
ill criminals. It is no place for the timid, but it's an atmosphere
where Eddie thrives.
Eddie became a
houseman, says Dr. John Spencer, administrator for the jail's forensic
unit, because, "He was a big guy and he was fearless. He did whatever
was asked of him without asking back."
One day Eddie
puts his fearlessness to good use. A huge, violent inmate threatens to
set fire to the jail and kill everyone in the place. He is locked in a
cellblock and has a pack of matches. Jail officials figure he might make
good on his threat.
volunteers to help, no one objects. Eddie enters the cellblock alone.
For a few moments, loud, indistinguishable sounds are heard, then Eddie
emerges with the matches.
One of his
former cellmates has vivid, frightening memories of Eddie.
"He would try to
make the newer detainees have sex with him," says Claude Brooks, who
spent five days with Mosley in a Pompano Beach cell. "He would grab them
by their throat and lift them up off the ground and make them do things
that I didn't think was right."
Although he was
never his therapist, Dr. Spencer saw Eddie four to five days a week,
three to four hours a day during the nine months he was held in the unit
for the criminally insane. Spencer considers Eddie a sociopath.
"I believe that
Eddie Lee Mosley, by his history and by his clinical profile and
presentation, poses a significant risk to our society."
that Eddie is no calculating, cunning criminal. His portrayal is more
instinctual and more chilling.
"I just mean
that he happens along like a shark swimming through the water, and when
he comes across something edible, he eats it," Spencer says.
ON NOV. 15,
1983, EDDIE MOSLEY becomes a free man once again.
wins a retrial on appeal and negotiates a reduced sentence. Since he has
already served nearly 3 1/2 years, time is subtracted from the new
sentence and he is released within a week. Dr. Spencer's opinion is
never formally presented to the court.
And the killings
A month after
Eddie's release, a group of boys finds the body of Geraldine Barfield,
35, in a field behind the Immanuel Church of God in Christ in the
northwest section of Fort Lauderdale.
Six weeks after
his release, on Christmas Day, the body of Emma Cook, 54, clad only in a
red sweater, is found in an abandoned block house strewn with beer cans.
others, Emma Cook's body is found shortly after her death. Semen samples
compatible with Eddie's are lifted from her clothing.
Eddie is a
suspect, but the evidence is considered inconclusive. Four years will
pass before Eddie makes his dramatic confession in May 1987 and is
charged with the murder of Emma Cook.
In the meantime,
he is still on the streets.
On May 16, 1984,
Eddie is again charged with sexual battery.
on the street, Eddie begins talking to a woman in Bass Park and invites
her to a field to share some beer and marijuana.
It is a scenario
that has occurred many times during the past 15 years. How many times
did women take what they wanted from the retarded junk man and walk away?
And how long before Eddie learned to get what he wanted?
Eddie has never
denied meeting women and having sex with them.
"I got a lot of
women's out there. We have sex. Come to my house or somewheres. No
problem," Eddie says. But Eddie also says of his sexual partners, "If
she disfuse me, I don't bother her. I do not touch her."
people tell a different story of Eddie's dealings with women.
"I have seen him
slap them and hit them and pull their hair and choke them," says Elijah
James, a crack dealer from the northwest streets.
"He goes off and
he say you going to do this, you ain't going to play with me, you smoked
my dope, you tell me you're going to make love.
"He goes off, the man goes completely off. He's a raging
bull and don't nobody try to stop him because most of the people be
scared of him."
The woman Eddie met in Bass Park, however, charges that he demanded sex,
then raped and tried to choke her.
arrested and once again evaluated by a court-appointed psychiatrist. Dr.
Arnold Zager had seen Eddie twice before, in 1980 and 1981. His
evaluation surprises no one at the Fort Lauderdale detective bureau.
if released, will be of danger to society in the future and most
definitely will be prone to commit future acts of sexual battery," Zager
Eddie pleads not
guilty to the charge. During the trial his defense attorney reveals the
woman's history of prostitution and argues that she had given consent to
the sex act.
The jury finds
Eddie not guilty, and he is released on Oct. 25.
In the next two
months, the bodies of two women are found inside churches in the
northwest section. Both have been raped and strangled in vacant lots and
dragged into the buildings. Eddie Mosley is listed as a suspect, but
again the evidence is inconclusive, and he is not charged.
admit that what they have may be the work of a serial killer, and the
Broward Sheriff's Office asks the FBI for help.
At the time the
FBI gets involved, the Bureau is perfecting a serial killer unit which
would become its Violent Criminal Apprehension Program (VICAP). The
results of its study is stunning.
information on any one suspect, and using police and medical examiner
reports from Fort Lauderdale, the VICAP unit sends back a profile of the
suspect detectives should be looking for:
middle-aged black man living in the area of the murders.
He would be a
streetwise, school dropout with a history of mental illness and below-average
He would have no
military experience, would dabble in alcohol and drugs and be a loner
who walked the streets at night.
He would have
been questioned before about the allegations and have denied them.
He would have
been irritable and impulsive before committing the crime and would feign
It is an
unerring portrait of Eddie Lee Mosley.
On Feb. 24,
1987, The raped and strangled body of Santrail Lowe, 24, is found in a
junkyard on Northwest Sixth Place.
But the case is
not considered a priority. It is handed to detective Kevin Allen, the
newest investigator in the Fort Lauderdale homicide division.
After two weeks
with little success, Allen looks for help and finds Doug Evans, who has
been transferred from the homicide unit and is two months from
For the next
three months, Allen gathers details of the 12 unsolved murders that took
place within walking distance of Eddie Mosley's home. He interviews
psychiatrists, reinterviews rape victims and talks to inmates who shared
prison time with Eddie. He checks school and institutional records, and
then takes his mountain of information to the most respected criminal
profilers in the FBI's VICAP program.
Allen's material, the FBI sketches a scenario for handling future
contacts with Mosley.
On the night of
May 17, 1987, when Eddie is picked up for stealing the nursery plants,
Allen knows Eddie almost as well as Eddie knows himself.
"He's much more
savvy than anyone ever gave him credit for," Allen says. "When we
finally got the chance to interview him, we did everything the profilers
suggested. After five hours he just said, 'Well, I guess they got me.'"
On July 22,
1987, Eddie Lee Mosley is indicted by a Broward County grand jury for
the murder of Emma Cook and Theresa Giles.
will throw out figures like 25 to 30 murders and 200 to 300 rapes,"
Allen says. "We've tried to concentrate on the ones we're sure of, and
all I can say is that it shouldn't have gone on as long as it did.
"There was a
breakdown of the total system—the cops, the attorneys, the psychologists.
We're all responsible."
But the murder
indictment is not the end of the Eddie Mosley story.
On Oct. 23,
1987, court-appointed psychologists and psychiatrists again testify
about Eddie's mental condition. The court finds him mentally incompetent
to stand trial for murder.
Judge Robert Carney orders Eddie to be held under tight security at one
of the state's mental hospitals and asks that a report on his mental
condition be issued in six months.
law, if Eddie's mental condition does not improve in five years, the
criminal charges against him may be dismissed. After that, it would once
again be up to the doctors to recommend whether Eddie should return home.
Then a judge would have to make a decision.
of one of the many psychological reports on Eddie is foreboding. This
one is from clinical psychologist I. Bruce Frumkin, in an evaluation
dated Oct. 17, 1987:
"Mr. Mosley does
not appear to meet the criteria for involuntary hospitalization. While
he is moderately mentally retarded and would be unable to live entirely
on his own without suffering from neglect, prior to his arrest he was
doing quite well living with his mother and siblings.
Mosley's mental retardation and psychological problems do not make him
dangerous to himself or others..."
MOSLEY IS BEING held at the Corrections Mental Health Institution in
Chattahoochee. His guilt or innocence, which can only legally be decided
by a jury, may never be determined.
And if he is
Doug Evans thinks he knows the answer. Says the
ex-detective: "Everywhere Eddie goes, murder will follow."
Eddie Lee Mosley
"Worse than Gacy": Case Mocks Justice
Feb. 4, 2001
Mosley's doctors reported that he worked hard to overcome the "disability'' that led to his commitment to a state hospital. And they
rewarded that diligence by allowing Eddie Lee out into the community on
a supervised work detail.
"Supervised work detail'' was one of the phrases in the hospital status
report that left Detective John Curcio fairly astounded. And "community
said, amazed just to say the words aloud, that Mosley was said to have
"earned community contact. Those were the exact words. He had earned
reaction turned to something like horror when he read in the same upbeat
report how the "developmentally disabled'' Eddie Lee Mosley was "quite
anxious to get back to his family and community.''
Lee's "community'' is Fort Lauderdale. And "developmentally disabled''
must be one of the nicer euphemisms for rapist-killer. And not just any
rapist-killer, but a man who police believe plundered lives with such
random efficiency that he surely must be one of the most horrifying
figures in Florida history.
than Bundy. Worse than Gacy,'' insists Doug Evans, the retired Fort
Lauderdale detective who pursued Mosley for years. "I think he killed
25 to 30 women in this area. God knows how many in all. He traveled
prolific enough of a killer that two of his murders could be hung on
other men. Frank Lee Smith spent 14 years on Death Row before dying
there of cancer, declaring his innocence in the 1985 murder of
8-year-old Shandra Whitehead to the end. Police say the preliminary
analysis of DNA samples found on Shandra matches the DNA of Eddie Lee
1979, police had extracted a confession out of a retarded carnival
worker named Jerry Frank Townsend for a string of killings, including
the brutal rape and murder of 13-year-old Sonja Yvette Marion in
northwest Fort Lauderdale. Last year, Curcio, who had inherited Evans'
longtime skepticism of the Townsend confession, pursued the old DNA
evidence from the Marion case. He came up with a match - Eddie Lee
police estimates of another 100 rapes. And suddenly sterile bureaucratic
words now associated with Eddie Lee Mosley like "supervised work
detail'' and "community contact'' take on a sinister tone. "I thought,
`Here we go again,' '' said Curcio.
Sonja Marion, victim
suspect will be evaluated
detained in hospital since 1990 could
face charges in slayings
By Paula McMahon and Ardy
Saturday, March 31, 2001
County man who has been linked by DNA evidence to the murders of two
children and is the prime suspect in many other homicides will be
evaluated for the first time since 1990 to see if his mental condition
has improved to the point he could stand trial.
Judge Joyce Julian agreed Friday to appoint two or three psychologists
to evaluate whether Eddie Lee Mosley is competent to go to trial. If he
is found competent -- unlikely, his public defenders say -- prosecutors
will be able to refile murder charges against him in previously
dismissed cases and add new charges.
been involuntarily committed to a state psychiatric hospital since 1988,
when a Broward judge ruled that he was not legally competent to go to
trial for the murders of two women. Those charges were dismissed in
1990, as the law requires, because Mosley showed no sign of improvement.
recently, Mosley's name resurfaced as a suspect in several unsolved
Broward murders. He came under scrutiny again last year when DNA testing
exonerated Frank Lee Smith in the 1985 murder of 8-year-old Shandra
Whitehead. Smith died of cancer on Death Row before testing connected
Mosley to that murder.
case caused the Broward State Attorney's Office earlier this year to ask
the Broward Sheriff's Office and Fort Lauderdale police to review any
cases that were ever linked to Mosley, Smith or another man, Jerry Frank
Townsend, who is in prison on other murder convictions.
Sheriff's Office is reviewing five cases that were blamed on Townsend.
separate development last year, Fort Lauderdale police reopened the July
1979 murder of 13-year-old Sonja Yvette Marion, and DNA testing matched
Mosley's hair to semen found on the victim's clothing. The Marion murder
was initially blamed on Townsend, but prosecutors dropped the charges
against him in that case because his confession did not match the
circumstances of the crime.
for Mosley's arrest in the Marion case was issued in December. However,
prosecutors advised detectives not to serve it on Mosley because if he
is found to be legally incompetent again, the charge would have to be
turns 54 today, is being held under an involuntary civil commitment at
the Tacachale facility for developmentally disabled adults in
result of the Frank Lee Smith case, Eddie Lee Mosley is a suspect in
several cases including those attributed to Jerry Townsend," prosecutor
Chuck Morton, who requested the re-evaluation, said in court Friday.
Mosley has been detained in the hospital on the ground that he is a
danger to himself and others, his legal competency has not been
evaluated since July 1990, Morton said.
assistant public defenders Bill Laswell and Steve Michaelson did not
object to the evaluations but said they may want to attend the sessions.
Lauderdale Police Detective Mike Reed would not say that Mosley was a
suspect in several open murder cases being handled by his department.
cases are open and active investigations," he said. "They occurred in
the same period that Mosley was active in the community."
Fort Lauderdale cases include the Marion case and those of an
unidentified female in 1972; Vetta Turner in 1973; Susan Boyton in 1979;
Arnette Tukes in 1980; Gloria Irving in 1980; Geraldine Barfield in
1983; Emma Cook in 1983, and Santrail Lowe in 1987.
DNA ties Mosley to 6th slaying
Tests link alleged serial killer to 1984 strangling
de Vise - South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Thursday, May 3, 2001
DNA evidence released Wednesday points to accused serial
killer Eddie Lee Mosley in the 1984 slaying of Teresa Giles, the sixth
murder linked to Mosley in a flurry of genetic testing over the past
Surviving relatives of Giles, who died at age 22, said
they hoped that the new evidence will bring Mosley to justice. Her raped
and strangled body was recovered near a church altar on Dec. 18, 1984,
one of several similar murders that haunted a northwest Fort Lauderdale
neighborhood in the 1970s and 1980s.
"I do believe you reap what you sow. No crime should go
unpunished,'' said Cynthia Burgess, who said Giles was her uncle's
girlfriend. "She was very sweet, very giving, a very compassionate
Prosecutors charged Mosley with the Giles murder in 1987.
But a judge ruled him mentally incompetent to stand trial, and the
charge was dropped. Mosley, now 54, remains confined in the Tacachale
Center for developmentally disabled adults in Gainesville and is
undergoing a new psychological evaluation.
If a judge finds Mosley competent, prosecutors likely
will charge him with the Giles murder and five others linked to him by
"It certainly makes the case that we had presented years
ago stronger,'' said Charles Morton, chief of the Broward State Attorney
Steven Michaelson, an attorney for Mosley, said his
fitness to stand trial remains the most pressing concern.
"The question is whether or not he's competent,'' Michaelson
said. "We don't believe he's any more competent now than he
was when he was hospitalized in the late '80s.''
Giles' death is one of about a dozen slayings from the
1970s and 1980s that prosecutors are revisiting with modern DNA
technology to find possible genetic links to Mosley. The work is a
collaboration between the Broward State Attorney, the Broward Sheriff's
Office and the Fort Lauderdale Police.
The sweeping review began after investigators discovered
DNA matches to Mosley in a pair of murders blamed on other men. In the
most dramatic case, Frank Lee Smith went to Death Row and died of cancer
before DNA evidence last December linked Mosley to the 1985 slaying of
8-year-old Shandra Whitehead.
Suspected in a string of rape-murders in the Dillard High
School area of Fort Lauderdale and unincorporated Broward, Mosley has
yet to stand trial for a single slaying because of his retarded mental
Giles' family last saw her on the way to the store. Her
body was recovered inside United Church of God, 1151 NW 27th Ave. in
Prosecutors were set to go to trial against Mosley in
1987 on charges that he murdered Giles and Emma Cook, 54, found raped
and strangled in a deserted concrete shed on Christmas Eve, 1983. They
said he had confessed to both crimes, although no physical evidence tied
Mosley to the Giles murder.
But a judge ruled him incompetent to stand trial, citing
psychiatric testimony that Mosley had the intelligence of an 8-year-old.
Investigators say they were confident all along the DNA
test on semen recovered from the Giles crime scene would match Mosley.
"We did not have any doubt about the outcome of this,''
said Cheryl Stopnick, spokeswoman for the Broward Sheriff's Office.
DNA evidence against Mosley began piling up in October,
when genetic testing linked him to the murder of 13-year-old Sonja
Marion at a Dillard High ballfield. Another man, Jerry Frank Townsend,
was wrongly blamed for that crime.
Frank Lee Smith's exoneration followed. In April, DNA
evidence matched Mosley to three more murders -- two of them formerly
blamed on Townsend.
Broward Sheriff Ken Jenne ordered a review of evidence
against Mosley, Townsend and several Death Row inmates in March in
response to the controversy sparked by the initial DNA findings against
The inquiry appears to be spreading beyond those cases.
Prosecutors and public defenders have agreed to test DNA evidence from a
1983 killing that put a Miramar teen in prison for life, according to
Broward State Attorney spokesman Ron Ishoy.
Anthony Caravella was convicted of the rape and stabbing
death of Ada Cox Jankowski, 58, largely on the strength of taped
His attorneys believe DNA evidence may prove his
Eddie Lee Mosley
Fort Lauderdale police announced DNA evidence has linked a suspected
serial killer Eddie Lee Mosley to the death of an eighth woman slain in
Mosley, who has been involuntarily committed to psychiatric
institutions since 1988, was genetically linked to the rape and murder
of 29-year-old Loretta Young Brown.
Previous DNA tests have linked
Mosley to the seven other deaths -- five women, a teen-ager and a girl.
Mosley has not been charged with any of the killings because he has been
found incompetent to stand trial in two of the murders. Prosecutors
began testing Mosley's DNA against several South Florida murders after
tests linked him to the 1985 slaying of 8-year-old Shandra Whitehead.
is suspected of slaying up to 16 women and young girls in the Fort
Lauderdale area between 1973 and 1987.
Eddie Lee Mosley
a court-appointed psychologist, Eddie Lee Mosley, who has been linked by
DNA to the rapes and murders of eight females, including a teenager and
a child, is incompetent to stand trial for those crimes because he is
Mosley, 54, was evaluated
in the state psychiatric hospital in Chattahoochee, where he is confined.
"It is the opinion of this examiner that Mr. Mosley is incompetent
to proceed," psychologist Trudy Block-Garfield wrote in the
competency evaluation report.
She added Mosley does not have a rational
understanding of the murder and rape charges against him, does not
understand what the death penalty means, did not understand the role of
his lawyer or the prosecutor and would not be able to give reasonable
and relevant testimony.
Eddie Lee Mosley
November 17, 2001
According to a court-appointed psychologist, Mosley is incompetent to
stand trial for those crimes because he is mentally retarded. Mosley was
evaluated in the state psychiatric hospital in Chattahoochee, where he
is confined. "It is the opinion of this examiner that Mr. Mosley is
incompetent to proceed," psychologist Trudy Block-Garfield wrote in
the competency evaluation report. She added Mosley does not have a
rational understanding of the murder and rape charges against him, does
not understand what the death penalty means, did not understand the role
of his lawyer or the prosecutor and would not be able to give reasonable
and relevant testimony.
Block-Garfield wrote that Mosley
functions somewhere in the range of a 51/2-year-old and an 11-year-old,
with the verbal ability of a 7-year-old, and that over the years his IQ
has tested in the high 40s to the low 60s. "In virtually all
testing, he scored in the mentally retarded range," she wrote.
"There is no real indication that Mr. Mosley is psychotic, and it
is questionable that he ever was psychotic."
Fort Lauderdale homicide detective John
Curcio has maintained that Mosley was putting on an act in his
interviews with psychologists through the years.