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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Coral Watts

While reading about the Long Island Ripper the other day, I became curious about who the most prolific serial killer ever in this country was. It turns out that exact numbers are hard to come by: many serial killers are convicted for only a fraction of their actual murders, so their exact tallies are never known. Most confess to fewer than they are actually responsible for, whereas others, like Henry Lee Lucas, who claimed 600 murders, turn out to merely to be trying to burnish their fearsome reputations. (Albert DeSalvo, the "Boston Strangler," is thought by many to have falsely confessed as well.)

One of the candidates  for the most prolific serial killer in US history is Carl ("Coral") Eugene Watts, pictured above. I wondered why I hadn't heard of him.

According to Wikipedia and other sources, Watts was extremely hard to catch, for a number of reasons. He did his deadly work in many different counties in several different states. He used different methods of killing, including strangulation, stabbing, bludgeoning, hanging, and drowning. (Most serial killers leave a more consistent signature.) He did not use his victims for sex, and therefore left no DNA. And the vast majority of the women he killed were white. (Serial killers almost always stay within their race.)

He was eventually caught after breaking into the home of two young women in Houston. One broke free and managed to get help. She reported that when Watts was trying to drown her roommate, he jumped up and down and clapped his hands in glee.

Watts eventually confessed to the killings of twelve women in Texas. But he later implied that there were 80 other murders he committed, and police actually consider him the prime suspect in 90 more.

Compare that number to such infamous killers as Ted Bundy, with his 35 (or more) killings. Or John Wayne Gacy, with his 33. Or Jeffrey Dahmer, 17. Richard Ramirez ("The Nightstalker"), 13. Or Kenneth Bianchi and Angelo Buono (the "Hillside Stranglers"), 12 and 10, respectively.

All these men are household names. Yet Watts is not.

It's hard to believe that we wouldn't have heard of a white man who had killed close to 100 black women. In fact not only would he be a household name, he would be synonymous with racism as well.

But Watts was a black man who killed up to 100 white women. So you'd never heard of him, until now.


hodaddy/Joseph Foy said...

Always amazed me and I did everything in my power to make the American public aware of him and the carnage he did. I still am truly puzzled why even after his death he escapes 99% of all "notorious" seral killer list.

John Craig said...

hodaddy/Joseph Foy --
The answer is simple: our one-sidedly liberal media prefers to publicize white on black crime, like the Duke lacrosse case, which made the front page of the New York Times for several days running until it became apparent that the black stripper who claimed she had been raped was lying. A black man who may have killed up to a hundred white women in Michigan and Texas? Nah. Not worthy of coverage.

As a law enforcement official from Michigan you must have found this particularly frustrating.

hodaddy/Joseph Foy said...

He killed 1 black woman, hispanic, so the black on white is a washout and that's just of the know 20. He killed indiscremetly. He killed numerous times a day. The day he was capptured he killed one woman, tried to kill another but she splipped away from the blood on his hands. He then cleaned up and went after Melinda and Lori. When I witnessed him kill Helen I had nothing to do with law enforcement and the 30 year fight I had trying to get him convicted for that murder was what was so frustarting.
After we got him his first murder convicition for Helen's murder I sent him many letters pleading with him to do the right thing and confess to all the numerous murders he committed but to no avail.

John Craig said...

Wow, so you were the witness from Michigan I read about. I hadn't made that connection. Congratulations on your part in bringing him down, good work.

As far as pleading with a sociopath to do the right thing, I'm afraid that's an exercise in futility.

hodaddy/Joseph Foy said...

I agree...beating your head against a tree. But it was a promise I made to the victims and their famalies. I still believe to this day that 100 possible victims is a low ball figure. In detroit he's suspect in over 80, in Texas over 30 and Canada won't say. Then there's his road trip from Detroit to I think Tenesee where his grandma lived and then to Houston. I'm sure that route is just littered with unsolved and missing women.

John Craig said...

According to Wikipedia he is the chief suspect in at least one murder in Tennessee back from when he briefly attended Lane College on a football scholarship. He is also thought to have killed before the age of fifteen; don't know if those early killings are included in your tally.

Anonymous said...

What I find so upsetting is how you tried to spin this to a liberal media thing which has nothing to do with how many victims Watts left behind. Regardless of race he killed women period! Murder is murder. If you are so concerned about this go ask the justice system why there are a million black men in prison. Why the justice system is rigged for the famous and wealthy. Ask why the drug laws suck for minorities and the poor. Get your shit right before you start blaming the media that sucks on both sides sur.

John Craig said...

Anon --
There's no question that the justice system works better for the rich and famous, but that wasn't the point of this post.

As far as why there are a disproportionate number of black men in jail, it's because they commit a disproportionate number of violent crimes. (Of the four major categories, assault and battery, armed robbery, rape, and murder, they commit roughly eight to ten times as many per capita as whites do.) But that wasn't the point of this post either.

And no one argues that murder isn't murder.

If you don't believe the media is biased as far as reporting white on black vs. black on white crimes, why do cases like the Duke lacrosse case get such an inordinate amount of publicity? And if this isn't so, why has everybody heard of Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer, but very few people have heard of Coral Watts, who killed far more people?

That was the point of this post.

Anonymous said...

You are all oafs. It's the same reason the the horror movie Candyman doesn't get much credit for being a awesomely scary movie. Because "America", does not want to hear of black men butchering poor defenseless white women. Only whites are allowed to do such. Not only to add that it would induce race riots in savagely rural states. Ones that barely keep up with media. Point blank period.