Serial Killer: Chester DeWayne Turner
[This post was updated June 19, 2014 after Turner was found guilty of four additional murders.]
Chester DeWayne Turner was sentenced to death in 2007 for the murder of 10 women between 1987 and 1998 in South Los Angeles. Authorities believe he was tied to another nine killings. DNA samples of semen and other bodily fluids taken from each victim matched Turner's genetic profile.
Prosecutors described Turner, a onetime pizza delivery man, as a savage predator fixated on violence, dominance and control, from which he derived sexual satisfaction. He would rape and strangle his victims, then dump their bodies.
Most of the killings took place in the 30-block stretch of motels and apartments that runs south from Slauson Avenue along Figueroa Street -- an area notorious for prostitution, drug crime and violence.
During the span in which the murders occurred, Turner moved often, bouncing between prison, skid row missions, girlfriends' apartments and the home of his mother and grandfather, a few blocks from Figueroa in South L.A.
On June 19, 2014, a jury found Turner guilty of four additional murders. Jurors deliberated less than a day before convicting him on four counts of first-degree murder. The victims are Elandra Bunn, Deborah Williams, Mary Edwards and Cynthia Annette Johnson. The penalty phase of the case is expected to begin June 20.
Turner, a Locke High School dropout born in Arkansas, had been in and out of prison for years on various convictions, including theft, drug possession and rape.
He joins the roster of Los Angeles' most prolific serial killers, including Charles Manson, "Night Stalker" Richard Ramirez and "Freeway Killer" William Bonin.
Since the early 1980s, at least five serial killers, and possibly more, were active in the South Los Angeles area. These killers targeted mostly young African American women, dumping their bodies in alleys, vacant buildings or parks.