Number of victims: 5
Date of murders: 1936 - 1938
Method of murder: Bludgeoning
Location: Illinois / California
Known as the “Brick Moron,” Robert Nixon used a unique murder weapon. He bludgeoned five women to death using a brick, the murders taking place in Chicago and Los Angeles between 1936 to 1938.
Nixon was a somewhat dimwitted youth who, at 18, had already served several terms for burglary but had never displayed any propensity for violence until June 1936, when he broke broke into a room at the Devonshire Hotel in Chicago and bludgeoned 24-year-old Florence Castle to death.The murder was witnessed by the victim’s 7-year-old son but his description of the killer didn’t help police. In any case, Nixon had already fled to California.
But the change of venue did nothing to dim the killer’s homicidal lust. In the space of just two months, he claimed three more victims, including 12-year-old Marguerite Warden.
With the heat on in L.A., Nixon headed back to Chicago, where he committed a final outrage on May 27, 1938. Florence Johnson, a fireman’s wife, was beaten to death with Nixon’s favorite weapon.
Shortly after the Johnson murder, Nixon was picked up on unrelated charges and his fingerprints were matched to the Castle and Johnson crime scenes. He initially denied involvement in the crimes but eventual cracked and confessed under sustained interrogation. Later, he demonstrated to police officers how he’d gained entry to his victim’s homes, scaling the side of buildings with remarkable agility.
Robert Nixon died in Illinois’ electric chair on June 15, 1939.