Born: February 25, 1929
Number of victims: 15
Date of murders: 1944 - 1965
Method of murder: Shooting / Stabbing
Location: Tennessee / Ohio / Michigan / llinois / Indiana
A native of Tennessee, Clarence Walker served his first prison time at the age of just 14, when he was convicted of manslaughter. After his release, he began traveling the country, supporting himself through petty crime and serving two more prison terms. What the authorities didn’t realise was that Walker was a serial killer, responsible for at least 14 murders across five states between 1951 and 1965.
Walker was eventually arrested in Chicago in June 1965, after the most prolific killing spree of his criminal career. On February 6, 1965, 37-year-old Mary Jones disappeared after drinking at a bar in Benton Harbor, Michigan. Nine days later, Delores Young, 19, was kidnapped off the street in the same town. Her naked body found in a burned-out house days later. Sixty-year-old Amelia Boyer was next, abducted from a laundromat in March 1965. Days later, seven-year-old Diane Carter disappeared. Her mutilated remains were found on April 4, together with those of Jones and Boyer.
Police eventually got a lead on a man named “James Darnell,” an alias used by Walker. After his arrest, he clammed up, and with limited evidence prosecutors were not able to try him for the murders. He was eventually sentenced to 320 years for attempted murder, rape, and robbery. Authorities in five states subsequently closed the files on 14 murders, convinced that their suspect was in custody.