Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Patrick W. Kearney: The Trash Bag Murderers

Rage in Action

When Hill left the house after a fight, Kearney would go prowling. He'd jump in his Volkswagen and go out to pick up hitchhikers or young men from gay bars. Being of slight build, he had a surefire system of subduing his victims: he shot them in the head with a .22-caliber pistol without warning. Sometimes he'd be driving down the highway, paying strict attention to the speed limit with his left hand on the steering wheel, then shoot his victim in the passenger seat with his right.

Then he'd drive around until he found a suitably private place for him to relieve his frustrations, vent his rage, and wield his power.

As soon as he was alone with their corpses, he would undress them and have sex with them. Then he would employ the hacksaw and cut them into pieces. If he was at home, he did this in the bathroom, fastidiously washing each body part and draining it of blood to keep it from smelling. He left no fingerprints in the dried blood.

Dean Corll
Dean Corll

He learned all this from carefully reading the notorious crimes of Dean Corll, who murdered 17 young boys in Houston, wrapped them up in trash bags, and buried them. Kearney studied Corll's heinous crimes, and collected newspaper clippings as news of his torture and murder spree came to a violent conclusion when one of his vicious accomplices killed Corll with his own gun.

Most of Kearney's victims reminded him of the type of person who had given him a bad time during his teenage years: blond and arrogant. Sometimes, after he'd killed them and had sex with their corpses, he would beat them.


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