Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Wayne Adam Ford: The Remorseful Serial Killer

Wayne's World

Wayne Adam Ford was born in Petaluma, Calif., to Calvin Eugene Ford and his German immigrant wife, Birgette on December 3, 1961. He was the couple's second son. Wayne's oldest sibling was his brother Rod who was born two years earlier. Little is known about Wayne's youth except that he didn't have a close relationship with his parents and he had some run-ins with the law.

Wayne' s mother and father divorced in 1971 after a turbulent marriage. Smith suggested that sometime after the divorce, Birgette traveled the world for approximately six years, leaving behind her two sons in the care of their father in Napa, Calif. It is believed that her prolonged absence was emotionally difficult for Wayne, especially because Wayne and his father didn't get along well.

According to Jeff Barnard's November 1998 Associated Press article, Wayne left high school before graduating and enlisted into the U.S. Marine Corps. He further stated that he worked as a chemical and biological specialist. Wayne took his job seriously and he worked hard to advance rank.
While he was enlisted, Wayne began dating a woman whom he eventually married. Smith said that not long after their wedding, Wayne became increasingly demanding, obsessive and abusive towards his wife. Eventually the emotional strain proved too much and the marriage ended in divorce.

In 1985, Wayne was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps after serving for a brief period in Okinawa, Japan. According to Rick Halperin's Death Penalty News-California article, he was let go after 6 years of service because of mental problems. Smith suggested that little is known about Wayne's activities after his discharge until a year later when he got into trouble with the police for allegedly beating, raping and robbing a prostitute. Interestingly, he was never prosecuted for the crime, probably because of a lack of evidence.

In January 1986, Wayne began a relationship with another young woman. The relationship was a turbulent one, marked with frequent arguments and break-ups. Halperin stated that shortly after the break-up Wayne was arrested for animal cruelty for having shot a dog to death in his backyard. Wayne pleaded guilty to the crime and received a brief jail sentence. His punishment did little to deter his violent behavior and his blatant disregard for life steadily grew more intense.

In 1994, Wayne began dating a 19-year-old girl, whom he met while briefly working at a karaoke bar as a singer. After a brief courtship, the couple married. It didn't take long for cracks to appear in the relationship.

Smith stated that from the beginning of the marriage, Wayne suffered from severe bouts of depression and he also became extremely controlling and aggressive toward his new wife. It was a pattern that seemed to repeat itself in every one of his relationships. Even though his wife desperately tried to please him, there was little she could do to make him happy.
Not even the birth of their fist child in 1995 was enough to save the failing relationship. Eventually the couple divorced and their son went to live with his mother and grandmother in Las Vegas. Wayne took up permanent residence in a trailer-home in Arcata, Calif.

Following the split, Wayne complained that he was refused visitation rights to his son. According to Halperin's article, his ex-wife's alleged non-compliance "hurt him badly." As a result, Wayne's anger, which was facilitated by alcohol abuse turned deadly.

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