Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Serial Killer Andrew Urdiales

Julie McGhee, Mary Ann Wells, and Tammie Erwin

   

According to court records that detailed his confession to the two detectives, Urdiales said that he had killed Julie McGhee, 29, on July 17, 1988 in Cathedral City, Calif., near Palm Springs, and that she had been his second murder victim. He described how he had picked up McGhee in an area frequented by prostitutes, and had driven her to a remote construction site, out in the desert, where they had had sex. A short time later he had told McGhee to get out of his car, after which he had shot her in the head, he said. He claimed that he had not felt anything after committing the murder, and commented about how "quiet and peaceful" it had been in the desert where he had shot McGhee. Afterward, he said, he had driven to a bar where he had drunk "some beers and watched the girls dance."

From left: Tammy Irwin, Julie McGhee and Mary Anne Wells
From left: Tammy Irwin, Julie McGhee and Mary Anne Wells

Two months later, on September 25, 1988, Urdiales said, he had picked up Mary Ann Wells and had driven her to an industrial area in San Diego where they had had sex. Afterward, he said, he had shot her in the head and taken back the $40 he had paid her, and had dumped her body in an alley where it was later found, along with the condom he had left behind.

The following spring, on April 16, 1989, Urdiales said, he had picked up prostitute Tammie Erwin, with whom he'd had sex on at least one prior occasion, and had driven her to a vacant lot near Palm Springs where she performed oral sex on him. Urdiales said that he did not recall having argued with Erwin as he had argued with some of his other victims, but he did remember shooting her as she had stood outside his truck as he prepared to leave. He had been inside the pickup when he shot her, and, as she had stood there holding her head, he shot her a second time, which brought her to the ground. Before he had driven off, he said, he had shot her a third time.

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