Krajcir pleads guilty to 1979 Pa. murder

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Convicted serial killer Timothy Krajcir pleaded guilty Friday to his eighth slaying, the 1979 rape and murder of a nurse in Berks County, Pa.

Krajcir, 63, a Pennsylvania native, was sentenced to life in prison for killing Myrtle Rupp, 51, inside her South Temple, Pa., home.

The sentence angered Rupp's nephew, who said Krajcir deserved to die.

"I'm not sure another life sentence for Timothy Krajcir really serves justice here. It really only prolongs the life of a career criminal who in my opinion deserves the death penalty," said David Rupp, reading from a statement in Berks County Court. "If he doesn't deserve the death penalty, who does?"

He said he hopes Krajcir is killed in prison.

Krajcir has already received enough life sentences for 13 felonies he committed in Cape Girardeau three decades ago, including five murders and seven sexual assaults, to have him serving a minimum of 650 years in prison. He's also serving 80 years for two murders of Southern Illinois women.

DNA evidence implicated him in several of the slayings, including Rupp's. He has been in prison as a sexual predator since 1983 and confessed to the murders, nine total, after receiving assurances he wouldn't face the death penalty. He has not been charged with murder in the 1979 death of a Paducah, Ky., woman because the killing apparently occurred in Illinois; however, Kentucky authorities have charged him with burglary and kidnapping.

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)

In the Pennsylvania case, Krajcir posed as a police officer investigating a burglary he'd committed earlier that week to get into Rupp's home in Muhlenberg Township, according to police. Krajcir pulled out a knife, tied Rupp to a bed, raped her and strangled her.

Rupp, a widow, worked as a nurse at the former Community General Hospital and was recovering from foot surgery at the time of the attack.

Krajcir had lived in Muhlenberg Township for several years as a teenager and lived in nearby Allentown at the time Rupp was killed. He was linked to her slaying last year by a DNA match.

Judge Linda K.M. Ludgate sentenced Krajcir via closed-circuit television from the Tamms Correctional Center in Illinois.

David Rupp said he hopes Krajcir "encounters someone in the prison population exactly like himself, who one day arbitrarily decides to make Timothy Krajcir his victim.

"As that someone strangles the last breath of life from Krajcir's pathetic, repulsive existence, perhaps Krajcir will reflect on what he has done not only to Myrtle but all his other victims," said Rupp, his voice shaking. "That is precisely how Timothy Krajcir deserves to die. That would be justice."

When he pleaded guilty to killing the five women in Cape Girardeau on April 4, Krajcir expressed remorse, saying he searched for years for an explanation for the crimes he felt compelled to commit.

"I'm terribly sorry for what I've done," he said, shedding a few tears while he spoke.

His apology surprised Cape Girardeau County Circuit Judge Benjamin Lewis, who told Krajcir he hoped he never took another breath as a free man.

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