Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Addicted to Murder: The True Story of Daniel Conahan Jr.

Conahan

Daniel Owen Conahan Jr. was born on May 11, 1954, in Charlotte, North Carolina. Shortly after his birth, Daniel's parents moved to Punta Gorda, Florida. While Conahan was raised in a middle-class family, he was the product of a troubled childhood, which was intensified by the use of alcohol and drugs.

Friends of Daniel later described him as a loner. He realized he was gay while attending high school and his family was not pleased with his new sexual disposition. In an attempt to help their son with his sexuality, his parents sent him to several psychiatrists. Conahan was irritated at being treated as though he were abnormal and stated many times that his sexuality was not a disease and could not be cured.

"It wasn't the kind of thing you were open about in the 1970s," Conahan later told investigators. "But I found a gay bar, and if I got there early, they wouldn't card me. Being gay is part of God's plan, too."

In 1973, Conahan graduated from Miami's Norland High School. Classmates described him as a quiet loner, participating in school activities halfheartedly.

Conahan joined the Navy in 1977. Following boot camp, he was stationed at the United States Naval Base in Great Lakes, Ill. Nonetheless, his career as a naval officer was short lived. The following year, Conahan attempted to lure sailors off base for sex in a motel. He was eventually turned in and threatened with a court martial, but the district attorney could not find anyone willing to testify against him. Months later, Conahan attempted to perform oral sex on a sailor, which resulted in a vicious brawl. Fed up with his dishonorable behavior, the Navy immediately discharged him.

After his discharge from the military, Conahan remained in Chicago for 13 years. He worked several different jobs, but never seemed to fit in anywhere. The majority of his free time was spent frequenting gay bars.

"I learned there are a lot of hitchhikers on U.S. 41 from North Port to Fort Myers, and some of them were looking to perform sex acts for money," he told investigators. "Yes, I did (proposition people). And I took some pictures of people. I didn't have a place to take someone to or time to sit in the parks and run into the bushes like some of them do, and I wasn't into (doing it in) bars."

In 1993, Conahan moved back to Florida, to live with his elderly parents in Punta Gorda. While living with his parents, he took nursing classes at Charlotte Vocational-Technical Center in Port Charlotte. In 1995, he graduated at the top of his class and became a licensed practical nurse. Bill Kelly (The Fifteen Most Horrific Murder Cases Ever to Shock America) provides details, with some from The NaplesDaily News.

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