Lorenzo Jerome Gilyard, Jr. (born May 24, 1950) is an American serial killer. A former trash company supervisor, Gilyard is alleged to have raped and murdered 13 women and girls from 1977 to 1993. He was convicted of six counts of murder on March 16, 2007.
Gilyard’s background was dysfunctional; his father, Lorenzo Gilyard (February 24, 1927 – October 24, 1999) was convicted of rape in 1970, his brother Darryl E. (also Daryle E.) (born February 12, 1953) was convicted of a drug-related murder in 1989 and sentenced to life without parole, and his sister, Patricia D. Dixon (born July 20, 1958), a prostitute, was convicted of the murder of a customer in 1983 and served a 10-year sentence. In his teen years, Gilyard was known to bully and sometimes beat women.
Most, if not all, of Gilyard’s victims were prostitutes. All were found shoeless and dumped in secluded spots around Kansas City, Missouri. Most had cloth or paper towels stuffed into their mouths and ligature marks around their necks.
Gilyard was a convicted child molester, having raped the 13-year-old daughter of a friend. Probation records show that from 1969 to 1974 he was suspected of five rapes, but was never convicted. Gilyard became a suspect in 1987 in the murder of Sheila Ingold. A crime lab later linked all 13 victims to one killer using DNA testing. A blood sample Gilyard provided in the 1987 investigation led to the murder charges.
Of his known victims, 12 were murdered between 1977 and 1989. After living with Jackie Harris for a short time in Missouri and Los Angeles, they were married in Las Vegas, Nevada, on May 29, 1991, after which he and his wife returned to Los Angeles for over a year. Shortly after his return to Missouri, he murdered his 13th known victim. There have been no attempts yet to tie him to any killings in the Los Angeles area during his various stays between 1987 and 1992, and it is assumed, but not proven, that he stopped killing in 1993.
Gilyard was tried on seven first-degree murder charges. The prosecution focused mainly on DNA evidence that criminal forensics experts shows he had sex with the victims around the time they were killed. “All the victims have several things in common: all were found dead during the same one and a half year period, all were left in secluded or obstructed locations, all were strangled, all showed signs that they were involved in a struggle, all were missing their shoes and all but one showed distinct signs of sexual intercourse,” Prosecution Attorney Jim Kanatzar said in opening statements to the court.
Gilyard was sentenced to life in prison without parole. He is serving his life sentence in Crossroads Correctional Center.
Gilyard was convicted in the murders of:
- Catherine M. Barry, 34
- Naomi Kelly, 23
- Ann Barnes, 36
- Kellie A. Ford, 20
- Sheila Ingold, 36
- Carmeline Hibbs, 30.
He was acquitted of the murder of Angela Mayhew, 19, due to insufficient evidence.
Other victims not brought to trial were identified as:
- Stacie L. Swofford, 17
- Gwendolyn Kizine, 15
- Margaret J. Miller, 17
- Debbie Blevins, 32
- Helga Kruger, 26
- Connie Luther, 29.
- Paula Beverly Davis, 21
- Un-named Victim’23