Craig Price (murderer)

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Craig Price
Craig Chandler Price.png
Craig Chandler Price

(1973-10-11) October 11, 1973 (age 49)
Span of crimes
July 27, 1987 – September 1, 1989
CountryUnited States
State(s)Rhode Island
Date apprehended
Imprisoned atFlorida State Prison, Raiford, Florida

Craig Chandler Price (born October 11, 1973) is an American serial killer who committed his crimes in Warwick, Rhode Island between the ages of 13 and 15. He was arrested in 1989 for four murders committed in his neighborhood: a woman and her two daughters that year, and the murder of another woman two years earlier.[1] He had an existing criminal record for petty theft.[1]

Price calmly confessed to his crimes after he was discovered.[1][2] He was arrested a month before his 16th birthday[3] and was tried and convicted as a minor. By law, this meant that he would be released and his criminal records sealed when he turned 21,[1][4] and Price bragged that he would "make history" when he was released.[1]

The case led to changes in state law to allow juveniles to be tried as adults for serious crimes, but these could not be applied retroactively to Price.[2] Rhode Island residents formed the group Citizens Opposed to the Release of Craig Price to lobby for his continued imprisonment, due to the brutality of his crimes and the opinion of state psychologists that he was a poor candidate for rehabilitation.[2]

During his incarceration, Price has been charged with additional crimes, including criminal contempt for refusing a psychological evaluation,[4] extortion for threatening a corrections officer, assault, and violation of probation for fights while in prison.[1] He was sentenced to an additional 10–25 years, depending on his cooperation with treatment. Craig Price is the youngest serial killer in U.S. history.

Details of the murders[edit]

Price committed his first murder at the age of 13 in Warwick, Rhode Island on the night of July 27, 1987,[5] Price broke into a home that was only two houses away from his own[3] whereupon he took a knife from the kitchen and stabbed 27-year-old Rebecca Spencer 58 times, killing her.[3]

A little over two years later, Price was a 15 year old freshman in high school when he murdered three other neighbors on September 1, 1989. Price, high on marijuana and LSD,[6] stabbed 39 year old Joan Heaton 57 times, her 10-year-old daughter Jennifer 62 times, and crushed the skull of Heaton's 7-year-old daughter Melissa, and inflicted 30 stab wounds. The stabbings were so brutal that the handles broke off the knives he used, with the blades staying inside the bodies of the victims.[5]

At the time, the brutality of the murders was mostly unknown due to Price's sealed records. According to law-enforcement officials, Price had no remorse when confessing to the crimes,[2] and as for the motive, Price himself claimed racism by white people beginning when he was a young child was a factor and that the first time he wanted someone to die was when a group of white adults allegedly shouted racial slurs at him and tried to run him over with their car when he was a young boy.[6][7]

Prison violence[edit]

An officer from the Rhode Island Department of Corrections said Price has been booked twice for fighting since leaving the Adult Correctional Institutions in Cranston. Price was denied parole in March 2009 and his release date was set for May 2020. In 2004, he was transferred from Rhode Island to Florida to serve his time due to his violent tendencies.

In Florida on July 29, 2009, Craig was involved in a prison fight with another inmate. While trying to break up the fight, one of the correctional officers was stabbed in the finger by a handmade shiv in Price's possession.[8] In the wake of the prison fight, Price was transferred to another facility.[9]

On April 4, 2017, Price was accused of stabbing fellow inmate Joshua Davis at the Suwannee Correctional Institution in Live Oak, Florida with a 5" homemade knife. On January 18, 2019, he was sentenced to 25 years for the crime.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Hulking boy killer changes justice system". Associated Press via 31 December 2007. Archived from the original on 2008-01-03. Retrieved 2008-01-01.
  2. ^ a b c d "Citizens' Group Warns Public of Convict's Release From Prison". The New York Times. New York, NY. August 21, 1994. Archived from the original on 2012-11-06. Retrieved 2011-03-04.
  3. ^ a b c "Teen-ager charged in three homicides and 1987 slaying". Spokane Chronicle. Spokane, Washington. September 18, 1989. Retrieved 2011-03-04.
  4. ^ a b Hill, John (March 10, 2009). "Murderer Craig Price denied parole". The Providence Journal. Providence, RI. Archived from the original on June 28, 2011. Retrieved 2011-03-04.
  5. ^ a b "Rhode Island Is Seeking to Keep a Killer of Four in Jail When He Reaches 21". The New York Times. New York, NY. November 14, 1993. Archived from the original on 2012-11-06. Retrieved 2011-03-04.
  6. ^ a b Arsenault, Mark (March 7, 2004). "Into another world". Providence Journal. Providence, RI. Archived from the original on February 6, 2010. Retrieved 2011-03-04.
  7. ^ O'Neill, Helen. "Juvenile Serial Killer Remains in Prison". Internet Archive. Archived from the original on 4 January 2008. Retrieved 22 April 2020.
  8. ^ Krause, Nancy (July 30, 2009). "Craig Price accused in prison stabbing". East Providence, RI: Archived from the original on 2011-09-28. Retrieved 2011-03-04.
  9. ^ Gant, Andrew (July 31, 2009). "Serial killer slashes prison guard in Milton". Santa Rosa's Press Gazette. Santa Rosa, FL. Archived from the original on 2011-07-16. Retrieved 2011-03-04.
  10. ^ "Craig Price gets 25 years in stabbing of inmate".

Further reading[edit]