Number of victims: 8
Date of murders: 1988 - 1989
Method of murder: Suffocation
In July 1988, an anonymous caller phoned a Florida TV station and confessed to killing several patients at a nursing home. He also warned that he was likely to kill again. The information was passed on to the police and their investigation led them to a nurses’ aide named Jeffrey Lynn Feltner. Feltner was questioned but denied making the call. With no evidence to the contrary, the police were forced to let the matter drop.
A short while later, the calls started up again. This time the caller claimed to have murdered a specific patient, although the information he gave was easily disproven. Nonetheless, the police were able to positively link the call to Feltner and he was arrested for filing a false report. Found guilty, he was sentenced to four months in jail.
After his release, Feltner moved to Daytona Beach and signed up with a temporary agency for healthcare professionals. He worked at several nursing homes over the next year, and sure enough the calls started up again. This time, however, the police knew exactly who was responsible. Feltner was arrested again and this time the police investigation revealed that his confessions were not fake after all. At least one of the seven patients he claimed to have asphyxiated had indeed been murdered. As many of the other patients had been cremated, it was impossible to verify all of Feltner’s confessions.
Feltner was arrested in August of 1989, on one charge of first-degree murder. Under interrogation, he claimed to have killed one patient for every year he’d worked as a nurses aid. At least one of those claims was verified, leading to a second murder charge being added.
However, by the time the matter came to trial, Feltner had retracted his confessions, saying it had all been a stunt to draw attention to the poor conditions in nursing homes. It did him no good. Found guilty of murder, Jeffrey Feltner was sentenced to life in prison.