Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Obscure Streetwalker Strangler

Red Flag

A psychiatrist examined Gilyard as part of a competency test in that 1975 case, according to a profile of Gilyard by Mark Morris of the Kansas City Star.

The shrink noted that the twisted Gilyard insisted that he, not the adolescent he raped, was a victim. The psychiatrist could have required Gilyard to get help.

Instead, he wrote, "It is my recommendation that Mr. Gilyard would benefit from, but does not require, further psychotherapy either individual or group in nature." There is no evidence that Gilyard received methodical mental health treatment, and his pattern of violence continued.

He was charged in 1979 with raping a woman while holding a gun on her boyfriend. Despite compelling evidence, a jury acquitted him.

In 1980, he was convicted of assaulting his third wife, who divorced him. He then stalked and beat her twice in 1981 while the case was under appeal.

Lorenzo Gilyard, 1981
Lorenzo Gilyard, 1981

Ultimately, he served jail time for those assaults, as well as a parole violation related to a jewelry theft. Those cases finally put Gilyard behind bars from May 1982, just after Margaret Miller was killed, until January 1986, two months before the eight-murder spree began.

Yet another sexual assault charge against Gilyard in 1989this one involving a neighborled to a suspended sentence and probation under a plea bargain.

That incident offered a glimpse into the depth of Gilyard's pathology.

The victim and Gilyard had dined and shared a bottle of bottle of wine on Halloween Eve. He made sexual advances, and she demurred. He reacted, as usual, with violence. In the middle of the ordeal, the victim said, Gilyard held a knife to his own throat and threatened suicide unless she complied with his sexual demands.

Under the plea deal in that case, Gilyard was required to undergo sex and anger counseling. But it was too late for 12 of the 13 women he killed.

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