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3 Suspected Serial Killers Who Were Taken Down by Potential Victims

3. Richard Marc Evonitz


Monday September 9th, 1996 was a hot day in Spotsylvania County, Virginia. After school, sixteen-year-old Sophia Sylva was at home with her sister. Sophia decided to do her homework outside. She grabbed a can of soda and then whet and sat on her front porch. A short time later, her sister went outside and found her soda can and her homework on the top step of the porch, But Sophia wasn't there. Her sister assumed that she was just at her friend's home. When her parents arrived home, they both stepped over the soda can and the homework on their way into the house. When Sophia's family realized that no one has seen her for several hours, they became alarmed.

The police and volunteers look for Sophia, but they can't find any trace of her. She was eventually found six weeks later in a shallow pond about 20 miles from her home. Her body had been wrapped in a blue quilted moving blanket, and she had been there for several weeks. The medical examiner said that she was probably killed within a day or two of being kidnapped. She had been sexually assaulted and strangled to death. On her body. the medical examiner found some blue fibers. After her body was found, a 44 year old neighbor of Sofia's family became a suspect in her murder. In his van the police found blue fibers and forensic experts said that they were a match to the fibers found on Sophia.

He was arrested on lesser charge for a different crime, and held while the police and the district attorney built a murder case against him. But then nine months later, something happened that changed the direction of the case. Two sisters, 15 year-old Kristin and 12 year-old Kati Lisk, disappeared from their front yard in Spotsylvania after school on May 1st, 1997. The sisters lived less than 10 miles away from Sofia Sylva. Their bodies were found five days later in a creek about 40 miles away from their home. They both had been sexually assaulted and strangled to death. Investigators immediately noticed similarities between the murders of the Lisk sisters and Sofia Silva Notably, all three young women went missing from their front yards in broad daylight.

All three have been sexually assaulted, strangled, dumped in shallow bodies of water, and blue fibers were found on their bodies. Male DNA was also found on Sophia and the sisters. The DNA was compared and it was a match, proving that the same man killed all three girls. Since Sofia's neighbor was sitting in prison when the sisters were kidnapped and killed, he couldn't have been the killer. It turned out that the blue fibers didn't come from his van. The forensic expert who examined the fibers had developed tunnel vision and lied about the results. After the DNA was tested, the neighbour was released from prison.

The forensic expert who lied about the results ended up losing her job. The murders terrified the citizens of Spotsylvania County. Who strangled to death the three young women and would he strike again? A few uneasy years went by in Spotsylvania and no other young women were kidnapped, but the killer hadn't been identified, either, and he could have been walking the streets. Then in 2005 there was another kidnapping. But this one wasn't in Spotsylvania. This one happened over 400 miles away in Columbia, South Carolina. 15 year-old Kara Robinson was inside of a friend's home watering flowers when she vanished. There were no witnesses. It was just like she vanished into thin air. Her family and friends feared the worst. But 18 hours later, Robinson walked into a police station, wearing shackles.

She told an officer that a man in his late 30's pulled up to her as she was watering the flowers outside of her friend's home. He got out of his car, walked up to her, and asked her if she wanted to buy any magazines. Kara said no, and instead of leaving the man pulled out a gun. He ordered Kara to get into a Rubbermaid container in the trunk of his car. After securing her in the Rubbermaid container, the man drove away. When the car stopped and turned off, he picked up the Rubbermaid container that contained Kara and carried her into his apartment. He kept her captive for the next 18 hours. He sexually assaulted her repeatedly, and he did sadistic things like make her watch news coverage of her own disappearance.

Kara says she just did everything that was asked of her. She was nice and respectful towards him and she even started cleaning up his apartment. Eventually the man decided it was time to go to bed. He shackled Kara to a bedpost and then fell asleep on the bed beside her. When Kara heard him snoring, she managed to slip her hands from the shackles fastening her to the bed. Once she freed herself, she ran from the apartment and flagged down a passing car. She then convinced the driver to take her to the police station. As they drove away, she pointed out her kidnapper's apartment and told the driver and the passenger to remember it. Kara told the police everything she could about the man and the apartment.

Because of her information, her kidnapper was identified as Richard Marc Evonitz. The police raced to his apartment, but he was gone. In his apartment, they found a footlocker and inside of it were several trophies from the murders of Sofia Silva and the List sisters. His DNA was also compared to the DNA found on the three victims, and it was a match. Two days later, the serial killer was finally located. Evonitz had called his sister and asked her to meet. She called the authorities and told them that he was in Sarasota, Florida. When the police located him, Evonitz led them on a high-speed chase. He ran over some tire spikes and was forced to get out of his car.

When he got out of the car, he had a gun in one of his hands. The police told him to surrender, and when he didn't, they released a dog on him. Evonitz was bit by the dog several times, and then he put the gun in his mouth and shot himself. Since the information that Kara gave to the police led to Evonitz being exposed as the killer of the three young women, she was given the one hundred fifty thousand dollar reward that had been offered for information surrounding the murders. Kara said that she got through the ordeal because she stayed calm. In 2010, Kara became a sheriff's deputy in South Carolina. She said that she was disappointed that Evonitz killed himself. She wanted him to go to trial so that when he saw her testifying against him, he would know that she was the reason that he was going to prison. She wanted him to know that kidnapping her was the biggest mistake of his life.




2. Lorenzo Montoya


On February 2nd, 2009, a woman was walking her dog in an empty lot in West Mesa which is an area on the outskirts of Albuquerque, New Mexico. As she walked she saw a large bones sitting on the earth. She thought the bone looked odd, so she took a picture and texted to her sister who was a nurse. Her sister told her it was a human femur. The police were called and they started to excavate the area. In total they found the bones of 11 women and a fetus buried in shallow graved, all within a 100 acre area.

Over the next year the police were able to identify all the women The first woman who went missing was 21 year-old Monica Candelaria who was last seen alive on May 11th, 2003. Her family heard rumors the man named Isaac had bragged about murdering her and buried her in West Mesa. The family told the police what they heard and the police either didn't investigate the tip, or, if they did they didn't find anything. Half a year later, in October 2003, 27 year-old Doreen Marquez vanished. Then, from the beginning of 2004 until September of that year, Nine more women went missing and they would all be found buried within the 100 acres at West Mesa.

They range in age from 15 to 32 and most were Hispanic, one was black, and the rest were white. Nearly all of them had a history of prostitution, drugs, or both. There was one exception. that was 15 year-old, Jamie Barela. She was last seen on the April 3rd, 2004 when she and her cousin, 27 year old Evelyn Salazar, left a family party to go to a park. Salazar went missing at the same time and her body was also found buried in West Mesa. The last woman to go missing that was found buried in West Mesa was Michelle Valdes, who was four months pregnant when she went missing in September 2004.

Nearly a year after Valdez went missing, the Albuquerque Police realized that several women who had a history of drug use and prostitution had been reported missing between 2001 and 2006. In total, they compiled the list of sixteen names of missing women. The police never made the list public. The year after the list was compiled, a crime reporter with the newspaper in Albuquerque was doing a ride-along with some officer and she learned of the existence of the list. She wrote a story about it and it was published in September 2007.

Then the first bone was found in February 2009. Out of the list of 16 women, 10 of the women were found in West Mesa. The 11th woman that was found but wasn't on the list was Syllania Edwards. She wasn't on the list because she wasn't reported missing in Albuquerque. There were very little clues at the burial site of the 11 women who all disappeared between May 2003 and September 2004. Most of the remains were just bones, so the medical examiners couldn't even distinguish the cause of death for any of the women.

Since none of the bones bore signs of bullet or knife wounds, it's believed that the women were strangled. But they can't say that for certain. The possible clues that they did find, which have been made public, is a plant egg that is found on newly purchased plants, and some carpet fibers. The killer was given the misleading name the West Mesa Bone Collector. It is misleading because he didn't collect or keep any of his victims bones or pieces of their bones like the killer in Geoffrey Deaver's book The Bone Collector, Which was adapted into a movie in 1999 starring Denzel, Washington.

He was called that because when the remains of his victims were found they were mostly just bones. Less than six months after the first bone was found the police developed a list of five suspects, but didn't identify them publicly. Five years, later a local television news reporter in Albuquerque identified two of the five suspects. The first one came to the attention of the police within a week of the bones first being discovered. His name is Joseph Blea. A week after the first bone was found, one of his ex-wives called the police and said he was capable of being the killer.

Blea had an extensive record with the police Between 1990 and 2009, the police encountered him 130 times. Many times they came across him in an area of Albuquerque known for prostitution and drugs. The police even have circumstantial evidence linking him to the graves in West Mesa. It is the plant egg that was found buried with one of the victims. The police were able to trace the tag back to a nursery or Blea had been a regular customer. Perhapps most damning is that Blea  is connected to another murder in a series of terrifying sexual assaults on teenage girls.

In 1985, 22 year-old Jennifer Lynn Shirm, who worked in the sex trade, was found beaten to death under some brush in Albuquerque. In 2009, the police were alerted to the fact that Blea's DNA was a match to the DNA found on the victim. However he was never charged for that murder. Instead, in 2013, it was announced that he was the prime suspect in a series of sexual assaults on at least four teenagers between 1988 and 1993. The details of only one attack were made public and those details revealed Blea was a terrifying predator.

In 1988, he broke into the home of a mother and daughter while they were at work and school. Once inside, he waited for the 13 year old girl to come home. He grabbed the girl and then sexually assaulted her at knife point. He luckily left her alive. A lawyer who was involved in the trial said that this attack was similar to the assaults he committed on the other three teenagers In 2015, Blea was convicted of those attacks and he was sentenced to 90 years of prison. Blea has never been charged with murder and he's currently appealing his sexual assault convictions.

The second suspect in the West Mesa murders that was identified in the news report, was a man named Lorenzo Montoya. Like Blea, Montoya was known to hang out in the area of Albuquerque where drug users the prostitutes frequented. He also had been arrested several times for soliciting prostitutes and his ex-girlfriend said he was abusive. One ex-girlfriend said that he threatened to kill her and bury her in lime. On December 17 2006, Montoya met 19 year-old Sherick Hill online. They met at a bar and Hill agreed to go back to Montoya's trailer home to perform a private dance for him.

Hill drove her own car and on the way to Montoya's she picked up her boyfriend, Frederick Williams. They drove to Montoya's trailer and. when they got there, Hill went inside the trailer while Williams sat in the car. After an hour, Hill hadn't come back to the trailer so Williams went to go check on her. When Williams walked up to the trailer, he saw Montoya dragging Hill's limp body, that was bound with duct tape. Both Williams of Montoya were carrying guns. When they saw each other they pulled out their guns, and they aimed it at each other Williams fired and Montoya was hit. The police and paramedics arrived a short time later.

Both Montoya and 22 year-old Sherick Hill were dead. Williams wasn't charged because the police deemed the shooting to be self-defense. Before Williams had shot him, Montoya had bound Hill's wrists and ankles with duct tape and strangled her. He was killed as he was dragging her body out to his car, presumably so he could take her somewhere to dispose of her. Montoya was killed three years before the graves were found, but after his death he became the prime suspect in the rash of disappearances.

The lead investigator said that the murder of Hill was meticulous, and he highly doubted it was Montoya's first murder. Although they wouldn't know it for another three years, the graves were less than three miles from where Montoya lived. The police search Montoya's trailer and found several unusual videotapes. The contents of one videotape were made public. It shows Montoya having sex with an unidentified woman, and then the recording stops. A little bit later on the same tape, there's the following clip. It only shows the wall and Montoya's trailer, but you can hear someone pulled duct tape off a roll and a plastic bag, quite possibly a garbage bag, is being rustled.

Some investigators suspect that while the video was recording, Montoya was preparing to dispose of a body. There were some carbon fibers found among the remains in West Mesa and they were compared to carpet fibers at Montoya's trailer. They were not a match. But proponents who think that Lorenzo Montoya was the West Mesa Bone Collector Point out that women stopped disappearing after he was killed. There were six women on the list of 16 who weren't found buried in West Mesa. One went missing in 2001 and the other five went missing between January 2005 and May 2006 and then Montoya was killed in December 2006

Besides the eleven victims found buried in West Mesa, and the other six missing women, the police fear there may be more victims. In 2015 they released stills taken from videotapes of two women. The images are grainy, but the police are hoping that someone will recognize the women. They may be victims or they may have information proving that Montoya was the West Mesa Bone Collector. Unfortunately, despite the police putting a lot of time and effort into the case, they can't say with certainty who is the West Mesa Bone Collector.



1. William Nance


In 1974, Missoula Montana had a population of just over 30,000 people. On February 5th, the city was rocked by a horrifying crime. Five year old Siobhan McGinnis was walking home alone when she was kidnapped. Her body was found two days later on the outskirts of the city, down near the interstate. She had been sexually assaulted and stabbed to death. A few months later, the city was rocked by another brutal murder. 39 year-old Donna Pounds was found dead in the basement of her home. She had been sexually assaulted, and then her wrists and ankles were bound with duct tape. She had been forced onto her knees and then she was shot five times in the back of the head.

The gun was left on the floor between her legs. Throughout different bedrooms of the home there were ropes tied to the bedposts. The town was in a panic a rumor started to swirl Many people in the city thought that the murders were the work of Satanists. They believed that the murders were part of a series of three. They thought the Satanists would kill a virgin, a Christian woman, and finally a betrayer. Siobhan McGinnis was the virgin, and Donna Pounds, who was the wife of a minister, was the Christian woman. People with a guilty conscience in Missoula lived in fear that they may be the betrayer. But the third satanic murder didn't happen.

What the citizens in Missoula didn't know was that the police has suspect in the murder of Donna Pounds. The suspect was a strange 18-year old man who lived in the same neighborhood as Pounds, and he was friends with her children. He was seen in the Pound's backyard around the time of the murder. However, they couldn't find enough evidence to charge him. Before long, the murders of Siobhan McGinnis and Donna Pounds both went cold. Five years after the murders, the body of a young teenage girl was found in Beavertail State Park, just east of Missoula. She had been there for three or four months and her body had decomposed greatly.

The medical examiner determined that she had been stabbed to death. She did not match any local missing-persons reports and instead of being another Jane Doe, she was given the name Beavertail Betty. Another six years would go by. And then, in September 1985, another body of a young teenage girl was found in the Missoula Valley. This time the body was found near Crystal Creek, about 20 miles away from where Beavertail Betty was found. Like Beavertail Betty, the police were not able to identify the girl. She was dubbed Christie Crystal Creek. She had been shot to death.

A few months later on December 12, there was a horrifying home invasion in Ravalli County, Montana, which is about 60 miles south of Missoula. A man  had forced his way into the home of Mike and Teresa Shook. Teresa had been baking sugar cookies with her two youngest children while the oldest child slept. After entering the home, the man shot Teresa on the ankle and then struck Mike in the head with a blunt object. Mike was tied up and then the killer plunged a knife into his chest After they had seen their parents attacked, the two youngest children were put into their cribs and then the man took Teresa into the master bedroom.

At some point, a towel was wrapped around her ankle to stem the bleeding from the gunshot. She was tied to the bed, sexually assaulted and finally stabbed in the chest. After killing Mike and Teresa, the man started a fire in the family's home. He walked out of the house, leaving the couple's three children, who were all under the age of seven, to die in the fire. Luckily, the fire didn't spread quickly and the neighbors were able to save the children. Only two things were taken from the family's home: a silver dollar collection and a hunting knife. Two weeks later, the third body of a teenage girl was found in the Missoula Valley.

She was buried in a shallow grave. She had been shot to death and she had been dead at least three or four months. Based on where she was found, she was called Debbie Deer Creek. Nine months passed by and no progress was made on any of the cases. Then on September 4th 1986, the police were called to the home of Doug and Kris Wells in Missoula. Their house was a bloody crime scene. The worst night of the couple's life unfolded when a man named Wayne Nance stopped by their home. Nance was a 31 year old furniture delivery man that worked for a furniture company that was managed by Kris Wells.

Doug Wells was outside when Nance approached him and asked if he could borrow a flashlight. Doug agreed and let Nance into his home. When he did, Nance struck Doug in the back of the head. At gunpoint, Nance forced Kris to tie up her husband. Nance then tied Kris up in the bedroom. Nance dragged Doug into the basement, where he tied him to a pole and beat him. Nance then pulled out an 8-inch knife and buried it into Doug's chest. Nance pulled the knife out of Doug's chest and went upstairs to assault Kris, leaving Doug to bleed to death in the basement.

Amazingly, Doug didn't die. He was able to free himself and he grabbed a rifle that he had in the basement. He loaded the rifle with one round and walked up the stairs. Nance heard Doug coming up the stairs towards the bedroom so Nance ran towards the stairs with his knife in hand, ready to finish off Doug. Doug saw Nance. He aimed his rifle and pulled the trigger. The bullet hit Nance in the side of the abdomen. Without any more ammo, Doug turned his rifle around and started swinging it like a baseball bat at Nance, who made his way back to the bedroom.

When Nance got into the bedroom, he grabbed his 22 caliber revolver and fired three times at Doug. One bullet hit Doug in the leg, but he didn't stop swinging the rifle. He finally connected the butt of the rifle with Nance's head and this caused Nance to drop his gun. Doug picked up Nance's gun and fired a bullet into his head. Nance finally stopped moving. 911 was called and Doug was rushed to the hospital. Both he and his wife, Kris, survived the brutal encounter. Nance was pronounced dead at the hospital.

The police quickly realized that the home invasion wasn't an isolated incident for Nance, and he was really a vicious serial killer that left a trail of bodies in his way wake. When they looked at Nance's home, they found hair which belonged to Debbie Deer Creek, the girl whose body was found on Christmas Eve 1985. They also found a strip of black-and-white photographs of Nance and the girl together, but there were no other clues to her identity. When the girl was killed, Nance was working at a bar in Missoula. While working there he met a lot of young females, a few who were runaways. Debbie Deer Creek was one of those runaways. Witnesses said that she lived with Nance for a while and when she went missing, he told people that she ran off with a trucker.

In 2006, her DNA was matched to a missing-persons report. Debbie Deer Creek was 16 year-old Marcella Bachman, who was reported missing seven months before her body was found. She had hitchhiked from her home in Vancouver, Washington, and she ended up at the bar in Missoula where Nance worked. Sometime in late September 1984, after living with him for a few weeks, Nance led to the creek where he had already dug her grave. He forced her to get into the grave and then shot her three times in the back of the head. A few weeks before her body was found, Mike and Teresa Shook were killed in their home.

There were obvious similarities between the attacks on the Wells and the Shooks. The police were able to confirm that Nance killed the Shooks after the silver dollar collection and the hunting knife that was stolen from their home on the night that they were killed were found in Nance's home. christy Crystal Creek was the second girl who was found dead in the Missoula Valley in September 1985. Unfortunately she has never been identified. The first girl, who was found in Beavertail Hill State Park in 1979, Betty Beavertail, was identified 30 years after she was killed.

She was 15 year old, Devonna Nelson, who disappeared in July 1978 after she ran away from her home in Seattle. There's no definitive evidence tying adds to the murders of Devonna Nelson and Christy Crystal Creek but Nance is the only suspect in their murders. But there was evidence that Nance was responsible for the 1975 murder of Donna Pounds. Shortly after the murder, the police had suspect, and it was an eighteen year old neighbor that was friends with pounds children. The strange 18 year old neighbor was Wayne Nance. When the police searched his home after Pounds' murder, they found a pair of bloody underwear. The problem was that they couldn't link the blood on the underwear to the crime scene.

So that's why he was never charged in connection with Pounds' murder. Finally, there's the murder of five year old Siobhan McGinnis, the first murder that rocked Missoula. After William Nance was killed, many people, including Siobhan's mother, assumed that he was the one who killed her. In 2008, DNA found on Siobhan was compared to Nance's DNA. It was not a match, meaning Nance didn't kill the five-year-old. As for who did kill her, that is still a mystery to this day. But her family is hoping that one day they'll find a match to the DNA. Before he was stopped by Doug Wells, Wayne Nance killed at least four people, and he is the only suspect in two other murders.

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