Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Patrick W. Kearney: The Trash Bag Murderers

The Noose Tightens

Because John LaMay told his neighbor that he was going to visit someone named Dave in Redondo Beach, the police equated that name with a name that regularly appeared on the sign-in sheets at the gay bathhouses, and soon were knocking on the door of the modest Kearney/Hill home in Redondo.

Kearney and Hill welcomed them in, and seemed to be relaxed, concerned about the missing boy, and totally innocent. While there, though, investigators helped themselves to a few carpet fibers, because for the first time in a trash bag murder, carpet fibers had been caught up in the nylon filament tape used to seal the bags.

The fibers matched.

As soon as the police left, Kearney destroyed all the files he'd kept on Dean Corll.

The police came back and asked for samples of both Kearney's and Hill's pubic hair as well as hairs from their dog. The pair cooperated fully.

All the fibers and hair matched evidence left on LaMay's body.

But when the cops went back again, this time with a search warrant, the couple was gone.

Police found a hacksaw with a fresh, clean blade, but little bits of blood and tissue were caught up in the corners. John LaMay's blood and tissue. They found residual blood all over the bathroom, invisible to the naked eye, but clearly there under forensic examination. They found familiar nylon filament tape, and a search of Kearney's office at Hughes Aircraft offered up a source of the exact same trash bags used in what was looking like upward of twenty murders.

 

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