Donald Leroy Evans
Donald Leroy Evans
July 5, 1957
Watervliet, Michigan, U.S.
|Died|| (aged 41)|
|Cause of death||Murder|
|Other names||Don, Donny,|
|Criminal penalty||Death penalty|
|Victims||3 confirmed - Claimed more than 70|
Span of crimes
|5 August 1991|
Donald Leroy Evans (July 5, 1957 – January 5, 1999) was an American serial killer who murdered at least three people from 1985 to 1991. He was known for confessing to killing victims at parks and rest areas across more than twenty U.S. states.
Born in Michigan, Evans was convicted of his first crime in Galveston, Texas, for the rape of a local woman in 1986. He was sentenced to fifteen years in prison, but served only five. After his parole in 1991, he returned to Galveston and took work as a desk clerk in a motel, but was discharged after parole officials "objected to a convicted sex offender working in a motel setting."
Evans found steady employment aboard a fishing boat, but eventually faced a new arrest warrant when a former girlfriend filed a complaint to police about threats of violence. Evans stayed ahead of law enforcement officials briefly by stealing a car and fleeing to Mississippi. He tried to remain inconspicuous in the Gulfport area, but soon became embroiled in the crime for which he would receive the death penalty: the rape and murder of 10-year-old Beatrice Louise Routh on August 1, 1991.
Evans seized the homeless girl from a Gulfport park and sexually assaulted her, before strangling her to death and dumping her corpse in a rural area. At trial, the medical examiner testified that the girl "was conscious, and could feel pain" throughout her day-long ordeal. Arrested soon afterward, Evans confessed to abducting the girl, and he was remanded to a federal prison in Colorado on kidnapping charges. On August 16, 1993, a jury trial in Mississippi convicted Evans of sexual battery and murder; three days later, the same jury refused an option to grant him life imprisonment and sentenced him to the death penalty.
Incarceration and death
While in custody, Evans also claimed responsibility for killing more than 70 other people in 22 different states. Most of the murders and rapes took place at rest stops and public parks. The authorities were originally skeptical of Evans's claims, but two of his descriptions were perfect matches to unsolved cases across Florida. In 1995, Florida authorities tried and convicted Evans for the 1985 strangulation death of Ira Jean Smith.
He successfully escaped the Harrison County Jail in June 1993, but was recaptured a short time later. Evans was stabbed to death in 1999 by a fellow death row inmate at the Mississippi State Penitentiary while in the shower.
- Ira Jean Smith (Black, female, 38, 3-7-1985)
- Janet Movich (White, female, 38, 4-14-1985)
- Beatrice Louise Routh (White, female, 10, 8-1-1991)
- Staff writer (September 19, 1993). "Former Isle resident Evans gets death sentence in Miss". Galveston Daily News. Galveston, TX. AP. Retrieved December 12, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- "'Galveston drifter' Evans appeals for new trial". Galveston Daily News. Galveston, TX. AP. April 8, 1997. Retrieved December 12, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.