Arthur Shawcross was a serial killer from New York State who would kill two children and then be released from prison to kill more. In this article on My Crime Library we will take a closer look at Arthur Shawcross
Arthur Shawcross Early Life
Arthur Shawcross was born in Kittery Maine on June 6, 1945. The Shawcross family would move to Watertown New York when he was young. Shawcross had below normal IQ levels but was able to do well in school. According to Arthur he was a frequent bed wetter who was frequently abused by his mother, sexually abused by an aunt and had sexual relations with his sister. Arthur Shawcross would drop out of high school before graduating
When he was twenty one years old Arthur was drafted into the United States Army where he would serve a tour in Vietnam, Shawcross would brag about violent events during the war however he never saw active duty.
Once out of the Army Arthur Shawcross and his second wife, his first wife divorced him when he was drafted, would move to Clayton New York
Arthur Shawcross would be arrested several times during the first few years for burglary and arson. Eventually he would be sentenced to five years in prison however he was paroled after twenty two months.
Arthur Shawcross First Murders
Just six months after being released from prison Arthur Shawcross would sexually assault and murder a ten year old boy, Jack Owen Blake, the little boys body would not be found until September.
In September just days before the body of Jack Blake was found Arthur Shawcross would sexually assault and murder a eight year old girl. This time the body was found quickly and Shawcross would be arrested the next day.
When it was time for trial Arthur Shawcross would take a plea deal where he was allowed to plead guilty to manslaughter for both years and was given an indeterminate prison sentence with a maximum of twenty five years.
Arthur Shawcross would serve fourteen years for the two murders and would be paroled in April 1987
Arthur Shawcross More Murders
It did not take Arthur Shawcross to start his reign of terror once released and in early March of 1988 women began to go missing. Arthur would target for the most part sex workers
# Name Age Disappeared Discovered 1. Dorothy “Dotsie” Blackburn 27 March 18, 1988 March 24, 1988 2. Anna Marie Steffen 28 July 9, 1988 September 11, 1988 3. Dorothy Keeler 59 July 29, 1989 October 21, 1989 4. Patricia “Patty” Ives 25 September 29, 1989 October 27, 1989 5. June Stott 30 October 23, 1989 November 23, 1989 6. Marie Welch 22 November 5, 1989 January 5, 1990 7. Frances “Franny” Brown 22 November 11, 1989 November 15, 1989 8. Kimberly Logan 30 November 15, 1989 November 15, 1989 9. Elizabeth “Liz” Gibson 29 November 25, 1989 November 27, 1989 10. Darlene Trippi 32 December 15, 1989 January 5, 1990 11. June Cicero 33 December 17, 1989 January 3, 1990 12. Felicia Stephens 20 December 28, 1989 December 31, 1989
Arthur Shawcross Arrest And Trial
Arthur Shawcross would be arrested in January 5, 1990 after a witness saw him near the location where June Cicero was found.
Arthur would be charged with ten counts of murder and would plead not guilty by reason of insanity. Shawcross would be found guilty of the murders and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole
Arthur Shawcross Death
Arthur Shawcross would die on November 10, 2008 from cardiac arrest
Arthur Shawcross Videos
Arthur Shawcross More News
Arthur J. Shawcross, a serial killer serving a 250-year sentence for strangling, suffocating or beating to death 11 women in the Rochester area in the late 1980s, died on Monday. He was 63.
Erik Kriss, a spokesman for the New York State Department of Correctional Services, told The Associated Press that Mr. Shawcross had been taken earlier on Monday from the Sullivan state prison in Fallsburg, N.Y., to a hospital in Albany after complaining of leg pain. The cause of death was under investigation, he said.
Mr. Shawcross was arrested on Jan. 4, 1990, a day after the state police spotted him near the frozen body of one of his victims. In the previous 21 months, the bodies of many women nine of them prostitutes who been working the streets of downtown Rochester had turned up along the banks of the Genesee River and in creeks, gorges and remote wooded areas off country roads.
At the time of his arrest, Mr. Shawcross was on parole after serving 15 years of a 25-year manslaughter sentence for the 1972 strangling of an 8-year-old girl in Watertown, N.Y. He had confessed to that killing, as well as to strangling a 10-year-old boy in Watertown. But he had not been prosecuted for killing the boy because law enforcement officials did not believe they had sufficient evidence.
On Dec. 13, 1990, after a 13-week trial and six hours of deliberation over a two-day period, a Monroe County jury convicted Mr. Shawcross on 10 counts of murder. It was one of the longest and most expensive trials in the county’s history. Three months later, in neighboring Wayne County, Mr. Shawcross pleaded guilty to murdering another woman.
Throughout his trial for the 10 killings, Mr. Shawcross, beefy and graying, sat virtually still, his shoulders sloped and his head down. In his pretrial confession, he had told investigators that for several years while being married, having an affair and often going fishing he also regularly patronized prostitutes he met in Rochester’s red-light district near Jones Park. He said he had killed one after she bit him, another for being too loud during intercourse, another for trying to steal his wallet and a fourth for calling him a “wimp.”
The jurors rejected the defense claim that he was insane at the time of the killings because of brain damage, childhood abuse and traumatic experiences as a soldier in Vietnam.
Mr. Shawcross was born in Watertown in 1945. After his parole from his sentence for the 1972 killing of the 8-year-old girl, he lived briefly in Binghamton and then in the small town of Delhi. But public protests drove him from both communities. State parole authorities helped him move to Rochester in 1987. There, he married a woman who had been his pen pal during his imprisonment and worked at night as a $6-an-hour salad maker for a food wholesaler.
In October 1999, eight years after his conviction for the 11 murders, prison authorities sent Mr. Shawcross into nine months of solitary confinement after it was discovered that, through friends outside, he was selling paintings he had made in prison and his autograph on eBay.