|Born||October 25, 1965|
|Died||June 10, 2002|
|Cause of death||Suicide|
|Number of victims||12-17|
|Span of killings||2000–2002|
Maury Troy Travis (October 25, 1965 – June 10, 2002) was an American serial killer from Ferguson, Missouri, who committed suicide in a St. Louis county jail, after being arrested for murder. Travis was named in a Federal criminal complaint for the murders of two women. At the time of the murders, Travis was a waiter and on parole for a 1989 robbery. While in his letter Travis claimed to have murdered 17 women, some authorities were doubtful; others thought he may have murdered up to 20 women.
Travis is believed with some certainty to have killed two women, Alysia Greenwade, whose body was discovered 1 April 2001 in Illinois (after having been last seen in Missouri), and Betty James, whose body was discovered about two months later in Missouri (after having been last seen in Illinois).
From May to October 2001 four other women were tortured and strangled: Teresa Wilson, Verona Thompson, Yvonne Crues and Brenda Beasley. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch ran a profile piece on Wilson, and Travis responded to it with a letter and a map. The letter had a return address of I THRALLDOM, a web bondage site, but no other identification. However, the map was recognized to have come from Expedia.com, and further investigation traced it to Travis, who was arrested.
In the letter he said, "I'll tell you where many others are." And then: "To prove I'm real, here's directions to number seventeen." Travis was arrested on a Federal criminal complaint and, while in the custody of the U.S. Marshal Service, was housed at a St. Louis County jail facility in Clayton, Missouri. Investigators found a torture chamber at Travis's residence, instruments of torture, a stun gun, newspaper clippings of some of his crimes, and videotapes of Travis committing some of his crimes.
In the media
Evil, I also covered this story in an episode entitled: "Hell's Basement".
- "Internet Used to Find Man Charged in 2 of 10 Killings". The New York Times. 11 June 2002. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
- Suhr, Jim (11 June 2002). "Man charged with deaths of prostitutes". Southeast Missourian. Associated Press (via). Retrieved 2 May 2012.
- Simon, Stephanie (17 June 2002). "Virtual Trail Led to Serial Killer Suspect". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
- "Serial killer's home movies". ABC Primetime. ABC News. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
- Ramsland, Katherine. "Murder Cop: A Profile of Vernon J. Geberth". truTV Crime Library. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
- Suhr, Jim (12 June 2002). "Inmate's Suicide Won't Stall Probe". The Southeast Missourian (Associated Press (via)). Retrieved 2 May 2012.