Alfred Gaynor

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Alfred J. Gaynor
Alfred Gaynor.png
Born 1967 (age 47–48)
Springfield, Massachusetts
Criminal penalty Life in prison
Conviction(s) Murder
Victims 9
Span of killings
April 1995–February 1998
Country United States
State(s) Massachusetts
Date apprehended
April 10, 1998

Alfred J. Gaynor (born 1967) is an American serial killer and rapist who killed nine women in Springfield, Massachusetts.


Alfred Gaynor was born in 1967 in Springfield, Massachusetts. Gaynor, a former handyman and crack addict worked odd jobs in the 1990s. He met several of his victims in a mutual search for crack cocaine and robbed some for drug money after strangling and raping them. Three of the women's bodies were found by their children.[1] He killed 9 women between April 1995 and February 1998.[2]

Gaynor was arrested on April 10, 1998.[2] He was originally convicted of murdering JoAnn C. Thomas, Loretta Daniels, Rosemary A. Downs and Joyce L. Dickerson-Peay[3] and sentenced to life in prison on May 19, 2000.[2] After the death of his 67-year-old mother in 2006, he admitted to the rapes and murders. Gaynor denied guilt before his mother's death because he ‘just couldn't destroy everything she believed in.’[1] In 2010, Gaynor admitted to killing Vera E. Hallums, Jill Ann Ermellini, Robin M. Atkins and Yvette Torres in a plea deal with his nephew Paul L. Fickling, who had been sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of the murders of Amy Smith and Destiny Smith on Nov. 17, 1998.[3] Gaynor admitted to killing Smith, while Fickling pleaded guilty to manslaughter, reducing his sentence to 19 to 20 years in prison minus the 14 he had already served.[1]

On April 30, 1998, Gaynor was caught on video being attacked in court by a victim's son. The son, significantly larger than Gaynor, delivered several punches and then hit Gaynor with a chair before officers were able to gain control.

In 2005, Gaynor's art titled "A Righteous Man's Reward", depicting Jesus was offered on an online auction.[4] In 2010, Gaynor tried to sell hair samples and a vampire drawing online.[5]


  • Vera E. Hallums, 45 - found tied, beaten and strangled in her apartment on April 20, 1995.
  • Amy Smith, 20 - found in her apartment on July 11, 1996 with her 22-month-old daughter Destiny Smith, who died of starvation and dehydration.
  • Jill Ann Ermellini, 34 - found in the cab of a truck in an auto body yard on June 16, 1997.
  • Robin M. Atkins, 29 - found strangled, bound and gagged in a downtown alley on Oct. 25, 1997.
  • JoAnn C. Thomas, 38 - found in her home on Nov. 1, 1997.
  • Yvette Torres, 33 - her partially clothed body was found propped against the bathroom door of her apartment on Nov. 15, 1997.
  • Loretta Daniels, 38 - found in an alley on Feb. 2, 1998.
  • Rosemary A. Downs, 42 - found in her home on Feb. 11, 1998.
  • Joyce L. Dickerson-Peay, 37 - found outside an empty restaurant on March 11, 1998.[2]


  1. ^ a b c "Handyman admits to killing at least 8 Mass. women". Associated Press. December 12, 2010. Retrieved March 12, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Alfred J. GAYNOR". Retrieved March 12, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Buffy Spencer (October 18, 2010). "Paul Fickling pleads guilty to manslaughter charges in death of Amy Smith; Alfred Gaynor admits to 4 additional murders". The Republican. Retrieved March 12, 2014. 
  4. ^ Katherine Ramsland and Karen Pepper. "Serial Killer Culture". Retrieved March 12, 2014. 
  5. ^ Dan Ring (November 21, 2010). "Sale of prison-made items by Alfred Gaynor, convicted serial killer, raises legislative issue". The Republican. Retrieved March 12, 2014. 

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