Confessed killer has long history of crime, sexual deviancy

Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Timothy W. Krajcir (Aaron Eisenhauer)

Before he killed in Cape Girardeau, he raped in Pennsylvania.

Timothy W. Krajcir is 63 years old now, a confessed serial killer, a convicted rapist.

He's from a small Pennsylvania town called Laury's Station.

According to a psychologist's letter sent to a Pennsylvania courthouse in July 1983, he was raised by a single mother. Abandoned by his father at birth. Moved at least a dozen times in his early childhood.

His mother had been cold and unaffectionate. The letter says he hated her.

During his teen years, he described himself as a shy, introverted young man who by the age of 14 had developed voyeuristic habits.

He wore feminine clothing. He fondled women in public.

A therapist once told him he acted out his anger toward his mother by committing violence against other women. Following the rapes, he would have intense sexual fantasies about his victims, the letter said.

By the age of 18, in 1963, he was sentenced to 13 years in an Illinois state prison for rape.

He joined the Navy and later relocated to the Carbondale area in Southern Illinois. It was around that time, in 1977, when Krajcir began driving an ambulance. Sometimes he would drive the ambulance to Saint Francis Medical Center or Southeast Missouri Hospital. Hiding behind a hero's uniform, Krajcir introduced himself to Cape Girardeau.

And that's where Krajcir began killing, according to police and public documents. Police say Krajcir confessed to five murders in Cape Girardeau. The announcement came Monday at a news conference.

Krajcir has spent the last 24 years behind bars. He hasn't been a free man since 1983, roughly the time when fear among women in Cape Girar-deau hit its peak.

The first murders in Cape Girardeau occurred in 1977 with the slayings of Mary and Brenda Parsh and later Sheila Cole. Then, five years later in 1982, Margie Call and Mildred Wallace were murdered, as well as a woman named Deborah Sheppard, an SIU student from Illinois. Between the killings, Krajcir was in an Illinois prison.

In 1979, after he raped a 13-year-old girl, Krajcir became the first person in Jackson County, Ill., to be committed on the sexually dangerous person statute, according to Cape Girardeau County Prosecuting Attorney Morley Swingle. By 1982, he was conditionally released. He continued psychiatric treatment, got an EMT license and took classes in criminal justice administration at SIU, according to Cape Girardeau police chief Carl Kinnison. Cape Girardeau detective Jim Smith said Krajcir sought victims in Cape Girardeau during that time because he wanted to avoid committing crimes "in his own backyard."

Six months after Mildred Wallace's body was found, Krajcir returned to Pennsylvania where he committed two bizarre acts of violence toward women.

According to an arrest document signed by Sgt. Harold Boyer of the Allentown Police Department, Krajcir robbed two women at gunpoint, forced them to undress and fondled one of them. According to the document, Krajcir had threatened to kill the victims' family members if the women didn't cooperate. He also stole a change purse from one of the victims. The following year, Krajcir forced "indecent contact" with another woman and was arrested in a separate incident after police caught him at a shopping center with a .25-caliber blue steel automatic pistol. Because of prior conviction, police arrested him on weapons charges, but he was linked to the previous crimes.

He was charged with theft, receiving stolen property, reckless endangerment, indecent exposure, criminal trespass, aggravated assault, indecent assault, making terroristic threats and firearms violations. Krajcir was convicted of those crimes, but before he was sentenced, he was injured while trying to escape Lehigh County Prison. He and another inmate tied bed sheets together to form a rope, according to court documents. The other convict escaped, Krajcir slipped, injured himself and was caught.

He was sentenced for up to five years with the specific directive that prison officials be advised that he needed continuous psychotherapy and psychiatric treatment. He was moved to Big Muddy River Correctional Center, an Ina, Ill., prison, in 1988 on the civil commitment under the sexually violent predator statute.

Lt. Paul Echols of the Carbondale police department interviewed Krajcir on many occasions concerning the Deborah Sheppard killing.

"He's a likable person. You're sitting there talking to him, and you know all the evil that he's done in his life, but it's just hard to believe," Echols said.

Prison guards described Kracjir as an exceptional athlete and easy to get along with, Echols said.

He also spoke with some women who used to work with Krajcir, and they said he had seemed like a "sweet guy."

In 1977, a group of psychologists from Saint Francis Mental Health Clinic painted a different picture as they assisted detectives in creating a personality profile of the type of person they suspected may have committed the Parsh homicide.

The conclusion reached was that the killer had slain the mother and daughter in a revenge-type murder, according to a police memorandum dated Aug. 30, 1977.

The individual or individuals were considered to have an "obsessive compulsive personality and generally not deal well with other people," the letter said.

Parts of the profile matched Krajcir, and parts did not, which is typical of such analysis, police said.

bdicosmo@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 245

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