Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Obscure Streetwalker Strangler

Trial and Verdict

Kanatzar chose to prosecute Gilyard for seven of the murdersall from the deadly spree of 1986-87. The victims were Ann Barnes, Catherine Barry, Kellie Ford, Carmeline Hibbs, Sheila Ingold, Naomi Kelly and Angela Mayhew. DNA from semen evidence linked Gilyard to six of the seven women, and a hair provided the evidence in the murder of Mayhew.

Lorenzo Gilyard
Lorenzo Gilyard

It was a business-like proceeding, as trials without a jury often are.

Gilyard, who seemed a shrunken shadow of the burly man he was when arrested, betrayed no emotion in court, even as Kanatzar delivered the damning DNA evidence that each of the women died shortly after having sex with the defendant.

Defense attorney Thomas Jacquinot argued that Gilyard, who admitted to being a frequent customer of prostitutes, could have been a foil for a murderer who came along after he had sex with the women. But during closing arguments, Kanatzar countered, "The odds of some unknown person shadowing the defendant and killing those women immediately after he had sex with them defies logic."

Judge O'Malley didn't buy it, either. He convicted Gilyard of six counts of murder after a trial that lasted just a week. He was judged guilty of the six cases with DNA evidence and acquitted in the Mayhew murder.

On April 13, 2007, he stood before O'Malley for his comeuppance.

When the judge asked the defendant if he had anything to say, Gilyard spoke eight nihilistic words: "No matter what I say, it doesn't matter."

O'Malley then told Gilyard that he had "forfeited any right to live out here among the rest of us."

"Life without parole," the judge decreed, then repeated himself five times.

Joe Lambe, who covered the trial for the Kansas City Star, wrote that Gilyard's lip quivered as he listened to O'Malleyhis only reaction during the entire trial.

O'Malley said, "I want Mr. Gilyard to get up every day for the rest of his life, look in the mirror and say, 'This is what I've done. That's why I'm here.'"

But the judge's idealized concept of a daily prison ritual would require a glimmer of conscience, something Lorenzo Gilyard never seemed to display in a lifetime of violence against women.

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