Robert Charles Browne
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Robert Charles Browne
|Criminal penalty||Life imprisonment|
|Victims||2-7; confessed to more|
Span of crimes
|March 28, 1995|
Robert Charles Browne (born October 31, 1952) is an American man convicted of two murders and serving a double-life sentence in the Colorado Territorial Correctional Facility. Browne is also a self-professed serial killer, alleging that he killed 48 people, mostly women, as well as an additional woman in South Korea during his time in the US Military. Though many claims made by Browne remain uncorroborated, if accurate his account would make him one of the most prolific serial killers in American history.
Browne was born in Coushatta, Louisiana. According to a Red River Parish sheriff, Browne grew up as one of nine children in a hardscrabble family. He was a high school dropout who joined the United States Army and served from 1969 to 1976, when he was dishonorably discharged for drug abuse.
Murder of Heather Dawn Church
Browne was arrested on March 28, 1995, on the charge of first-degree murder for the September 17, 1991, killing of Heather Dawn Church, 13. Although he initially pleaded not guilty to the charges, on May 25, 1995, in a plea agreement, he changed his plea to guilty so that prosecutors would not seek the death penalty.
On July 27, 2006, in a similar plea agreement, he confessed to the death of Rocio Delpilar Sperry, 15, who was killed on November 10, 1987, at an apartment complex. Sperry's body has never been recovered.
In his confession, authorities say Browne admitted to murdering up to 48 other people in a period spanning from 1970 until his arrest. Browne instigated a new investigation by sending a cryptic letter to the authorities in 2000. The letter read, "Seven sacred virgins entombed side by side, those less worthy are scattered wide, the score is you 1, the other team 48." The letter included a hand-drawn map with outlines of Colorado, Washington, California, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi, with a number written inside each state.
Reception to Browne's claims has been mixed. John Suthers, Colorado politician and former state Attorney General, has stated that Browne's story is credible. Journalist Dave Herrera, in contrast, has expressed skepticism about Browne's claims of being a serial killer. Herrera notes that no bodies have been discovered or definitely linked to Browne and only seven of his confessions are detailed enough for even a tentative link to an unsolved crime. Herrera argues that Browne is motivated by a desire for attention and/or better medical care, and further describes previous journalistic investigation of Browne's claims as "surprisingly slipshod" and uncritical of his story.
- Katherine Hayes, 15 – killed in Louisiana in July 1980
- Wanda Faye Hudson, 21 – killed in Louisiana, date unknown
- Faye Self, 26 – killed in Louisiana, date unknown
- Melody Bush, 22 – killed in Texas in March 1984
- Nidia Mendoza, 17 – killed in Texas in February 1984
- Rocio Delpilar Sperry, 15 – killed in Colorado on November 10, 1987
- Lisa Lowe, 21 – killed in Arkansas in November 1991
- PM, Newsweek Staff On 7/29/06 at 8:00 (29 July 2006). "Did Robert Charles Browne Really Murder 48?". Newsweek.
- Rocky Mountain News Hometown wonders of multiple slayings
- WILLETT, ANSLEE (30 July 2006). "Choice of victims made Browne especially dangerous". The Gazette. Archived from the original on 17 October 2006. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
- truTV.com- Enigmatic Case of Robert Charles Browne
- msnbcmedia.msn.com Rocio Delpilar Affidavit PDF
- Denver Post Felon Claims to be Serial Killer
- "Case File 2033DFCO". doenetwork.org. The Doe Network. Retrieved 16 August 2015.
- "Colorado killer details gruesome murders". Associated Press. NBC News. msnbc.com. 29 July 2006. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
- Browne told investigator Charlie Hess in prison interviews that he killed 49 people — 48 in the USA and one, a fellow soldier, in Korea — and he provided details about 20 of the killings, Maketa said. In the rest of the cases, Browne said he couldn't remember details, the sheriff said. MSNBC.com Colo. killer details murders
- "USATODAY.com - Colo. killer claims creativity in slayings". usatoday30.usatoday.com.
- Dave Herrera (2007). Robert Charles Browne is a Killer Con Man, Westworld.com, accessed 26 June 2017
- "Convicted Killer Says He's Killed 48 People". WLTX. Retrieved 2019-02-18.
- Colorado killer details murders
- Colorado man says he committed 48 murders
- El Paso County Sheriff's Department statement
- Brown, Chip (April 29, 2007). "The Confessor". The New York Times Magazine.
- Forensic Files - S12:E12, "Screen Pass" Official Forensic Files YouTube Channel
- Robert Browne Summary El Paso County Sheriff's Office, 28 July 2006