Texan may have killed 60 Evans, 34, claims 10-year, 17-state spree of slayings.

August 14, 1991|By Knight-Ridder

BILOXI, Miss. -- Donald Leroy Evans has told investigators that he killed more than 60 people in a 10-year rampage in 17 states, his attorney says.

Fred Lusk, Evans' court-appointed attorney, said yesterday the count could go higher, but investigators "have what we believe is all he can recall in detail at the present time."

Evans, 34, of Galveston, Texas, has claimed that he killed victims in Florida, Texas, Alabama, Arizona, California, Washington, Idaho, Colorado, Wyoming, Michigan, South Dakota, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, North and South Carolina, Illinois and maybe Georgia.

Only three of the murders -- including that of Beatrice Louise Routh, 10, who was kidnapped in Gulfport, Miss., on Aug. 1 and whose nude body was found Sunday -- have been confirmed, Lusk said, but two murders committed in Florida in 1985 "basically match in detail what Evans told investigators."

If Evans' claims are true, he would be responsible for more murders than any known serial killer to date. Henry Lee Lucas, a drifter convicted of 13 murders, once claimed that he killed 360 people but later said he had killed only one person, his mother. The most prolific serial killer so far is Donald Harvey, a former nurse's aide who pleaded guilty to 37 murders in Ohio and Kentucky and was sentenced to life in prison.

Evans detailed many of the killings during a four-hour session yesterday with Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Golden, FBI Special Agent George Holder, Gulfport detective Whitney Carvin and Lusk at the Harrison County Jail in Biloxi, where he is being held without bond.

Lusk said Evans has agreed to be taken to other states to point out where the bodies are, if they have not already been recovered.

According to Evans, the killings began about 1977, after Evans was released from the Marine Corps, Lusk said.

The victims Evans described included men, but Lusk said most of the victims were women, "probably a lot of, if not a majority," of whom were sexually assaulted.

Some of the men were killed so Evans could get to their wives or girlfriends, Lusk said.

"He would come up on people in parks camping," Lusk said. "He did a lot of park-type things."

Many victims were prostitutes, Lusk said.

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