Krajcir confesses to five murders in Cape Girardeau

Friday, April 4, 2008
Confessed serial killer Timothy W. Krajcir adjusted his glasses while being escorted to the rear door of the federal courthouse in Cape Girardeau, Mo. for his arraignment Friday, April 4, 2008. The hearing was moved from the county courthouse in Jackson, Mo. for greater security. (AP Photo, Southeast Missourian, Fred Lynch)
Confessed serial killer Timothy W. Krajcir adjusted his glasses while being escorted to the rear door of the federal courthouse in Cape Girardeau, Mo. for his arraignment Friday, April 4, 2008. The hearing was moved from the county courthouse in Jackson, Mo. for greater security. (AP Photo, Southeast Missourian, Fred Lynch)

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) — Confessed serial killer Timothy Krajcir pleaded guilty Friday to killing five women nearly 30 years ago in southeast Missouri, but avoided the death penalty after making a plea deal with prosecutors.

Krajcir received several life sentences after pleading to five counts of murder and several lesser counts including armed criminal action. Krajcir agreed to confess to the unsolved crimes if authorities would agree not to seek his execution.

Krajcir, 63, has admitted to killing a total of nine women in four states. He has already received life sentences for two killings in southern Illinois. He has not yet been charged for killings he confessed to in Pennsylvania and Kentucky.

Residents of this quiet river town were horrified in the late 1970s and early 1980s when four women were murdered in their homes and a fifth was kidnapped outside a Wal-Mart and killed.

Krajcir confessed to the killings only after DNA evidence linked him to one murder in Cape Girardeau and another in Illinois. Cape Girardeau County prosecutor Morley Swingle said families of the victims agreed with his decision to forgo the death penalty if Krajcir would admit to the killings. Detectives say he revealed details about the murders only the killer would know.

Krajcir pleaded guilty in the federal court house in Cape Girardeau. Swingle said the hearing was held there to provide greater security and handle a large crowd of victims' relatives, the public and the media.

Before he confessed, Krajcir was serving time in an Illinois prison for unrelated rape charges. He has spent most of his adult life in prison. The string of murders to which he confessed occurred during a brief window of time that he was free. Krajcir attended Southern Illinois University, where he studied criminal justice.

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