Number of victims: 7
Date of murders: February - April 1997
Method of murder: Shooting / Stabbing
Paul Dennis Reid had come Nashville with dreams of a country music career. But like so many hopefuls before him those dreams had come to nothing. Before long he found himself working as a dishwasher at a Shoney's restaurant in Donelson. Still, at least it was a job. On February 15, 1997, he lost even that. In a fit of temper, he threw a plate at another employee and was fired. Seething, Reid went home and spent the night drinking and plotting his revenge. Eventually, he’d decided what to do.
The following morning, Reid showed up at a Captain D's restaurant. It was still closed but Reid was allowed in by employee Steve Hampton after he said that he was there to apply for a job. Once inside, he took Hampton and another employee, 16-year-old Sarah Jackson, hostage. He then robbed the restaurant before taking Hampton and Jackson to the cooler, where he shot them execution-style.
Over the next two months, the city of Nashville was plagued by an assassin dubbed “The Fast Food Killer” in the media. On March 23, 1997, McDonald's employees, Ronald Santiago, 27, Robert A. Sewell Jr., 23, and Andrea Brown, 17, were shot to death by a man who entered the restaurant just before closing time and took them hostage. Another employee, 17-year-old Jose Alfredo Ramirez Gonzalez was stabbed 17 times but survived to identify Reid as his attacker.
A month later, Angela Holmes, 21, and Michelle Mace, 16, were kidnapped during a robbery at a Baskin-Robbins ice cream store in Clarksville, about 50 miles northwest of Nashville. The women were driven to Dunbar Cave State Natural Area where Reid slashed their throats and dumped their bodies.
But the net was fast closing on Paul Dennis Reid. Jose Gonzalez had provided a description to police and they also had a fingerprint, lifted from a movie rental card that was in found in Steve Hampton's wallet, which Reid had carelessly discarded along a road.
On June 25, 1997, Reid went to the home of the Shoney's manager who fired him and tried to force his way in. Unsuccessful, he eventually left, not knowing that his intended victim had videotaped the entire incident. The tape was released to the media and Reid was arrested later that same day.
Tried and found guilty of the ‘Fast Food Murders,’ Reid received three death sentences. He currently awaits execution.
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