Stephen Peter Morin
February 19, 1951
Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.
|Died||March 13, 1985 (aged 34)|
|Cause of death||Lethal injection|
Span of crimes
|November, 1969–December 11, 1981|
|State(s)||Nevada, Colorado, Texas (others suspected)|
|December 12, 1981|
Stephen Peter Morin (February 19, 1951 – March 13, 1985) was an American serial killer responsible for at least four murders of young girls and women in the 1970s and early 1980s. Since Morin led a transient lifestyle and constantly moved around the country, the exact number of his victims is uncertain, but he's suspected of a total 48 violent crimes across the USA. In the early 1980s, he was pursued by the federal authorities.
Little is known about Morin's childhood. He was born on February 19, 1951, in Providence, Rhode Island, into a poor family. He dropped out of school early, and in his teenage years, Stephen began to use narcotics and delved into the criminal lifestyle.
In the mid-1960s, Stephen was arrested in Florida for car theft. He was convicted and spent some time in an institution for juvenile delinquents. Freed in 1968, Morin left Florida and wandered around the country. For the majority of the 1970s, he resided in Northern California, specifically in the San Francisco Bay Area, constantly changing his places of residence and using various pseudonyms while committing crimes. For some time, he lived in San Francisco, where he worked as a car mechanic and builder.
Since the 1970s, Stephen became addicted to drugs and led a transient lifestyle. In 1976, in San Francisco, Morin attacked a 14-year-old girl, abducting and then raping her. After this crime, he was put on a federal wanted list. During this period, he committed a series of murders against young women and girls in different states. In January 1980, he abducted 19-year-old Susan Bilot in Las Vegas, Nevada. Four months later, her body was found in Utah.
In June 1980, he abducted 20-year-old Cheryl Ann Daniel from Las Vegas, whose corpse was also found in Utah six months later. Like Bilot, she had been shot dead. Near Daniel's body, a credit card belonging to Morin was found, which allowed the investigators to connect these killings back to him. At the end of 1981, he found himself in Colorado, where in the fall of 1981, he killed 23-year-old Sheila Whalen in Golden. After Whalen's murder, Morin moved to Texas, attacking 21-year-old Janna Bruce in Corpus Christi, whose strangled body was found on December 2nd.
On December 11, 1981, Morin attempted to abduct 21-year-old Carrie Ann Scott while attempting to steal her car. Initially, he had no intentions to kill her, but claimed to have been overcome with something, and subsequently shot her in the parking lot of Maggie's Restaurant in San Antonio. After that, he abducted 14-year-old Margy Mayfield and held her hostage for 10 hours in a car.
Following Scott's murder, the hotel in San Antonio, where Morin was living, was surrounded and searched, during which 32-year-old Sarah Clark, his accomplice, was arrested, and 23-year-old Pamela Jackson, another victim abducted on November 30th, was rescued. During the search of the apartment, several false IDs, credit cards and social security cards were located, which would lead to suspicions that Morin committed other murders in a multitude of states.
On the afternoon of December 12th, Stephen Morin was arrested at a bus station in Austin, while planning to catch a bus to Fort Worth in order to meet famous televangelist and preacher Kenneth Copeland. At the time of his arrest, he surrendered without resistance. Upon arrival in Austin, Morin had released Mayfield, who had read Copeland's preachings to Stephen while in his car. Despite his peaceful surrender, Morin refused to cooperate with investigators and claimed to be innocent.
Morin was charged with the murders of Carrie Ann Scott and Janna Bruce, since there was a lot of evidence supporting his guilt in those cases. After withdrawing his appeals and pleading guilty, he was convicted and sentenced to death in February 1984. Later on, he was additionally convicted of killing Daniel, before being extradited to Colorado on charges of killing Sheila Whalen, for whose killing he was also sentenced to death at the end of 1984. Morin was also supposed to be later extradited to Utah to stand trial for other killings he supposedly committed there, but for reasons unknown, this never occurred. In total, Stephen Morin was investigated for 48 violent murders committed in the states of Utah, Colorado, Nevada, Washington, Idaho, Indiana, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Texas, New York and California. In Nevada alone, Morin was tested for involvement in 8 murders.
After his conviction, Morin converted to Christianity, becoming a devout follower of Kenneth Copeland, with whose members he began to cooperate with. His execution date was scheduled for March 1985. Shortly before this, the convicted stated that he did not want to appeal for a new trial or postpone the execution, which conflicted with his lawyer David Goldstein, whom filed a petition for a forensic examination on his client, since he showed signs of mental retardation. The application, however, was rejected.
Morin was executed by lethal injection on the afternoon of March 13, 1985, at the Huntsville Unit in Texas, in the presence of his victims' relatives and his girlfriend. On the day of his execution, for his last meal, Stephen ordered steak, baked potatoes, butter, green pea salad, banana pudding and coffee. His final words were the following:
"Father, forgive these people for they know not what they do. Forgive them as you have forgiven me and I have forgiven them. Lord Jesus, I commit my soul to you."
Before his execution, Morin was described as being in a happy mood. Due to his history of drug abuse, the execution technicians were forced to probe both of Morin's arms and legs with needles for nearly 45 minutes before they found a suitable vein, a first-time occurrence at that time. He was pronounced dead at 12:55 AM, becoming the sixth man to be executed by lethal injection in Texas since the method was introduced in 1982.
- "Signs of a Serial Killer" by Crystal Clary (ISBN 9781491861387)
- The Eyes of a Stranger by Carrie Frederickson (ISBN 1481729799)
- Sarah's Story: Target of a Serial Killer by Sarah Lea Pisan (ISBN 1481729799)
- Obsession: Dark Desires: "Paging Sarah"
- Serial Thriller: "The Chameleon" on Investigation Discovery
- "Jury being picked for trial of suspected serial killer". The Deseret News. Associated Press. July 11, 1984. Retrieved 3 April 2014.
- "Stephen Peter Morin, a Christian convert three times condemned..." UPI. Retrieved 2017-01-28.
- "Suspect identified in local murder cases". The Daily Spectrum. June 18, 1981.
- "Jury being picked for trial of suspected serial slayer". Deseret News. July 11, 1984.
- Sid Roth's It's Supernatural! (2017-01-18), Margy Palm Was Abducted by a Serial Killer. Then God Intervened! | It's Supernatural! Classics, retrieved 2017-01-28
- Teresa H. Anderson (December 12, 1981). "Stephan Peter Morin, a transient wanted in at least..." API.
- "Defendant's guilty plea shocks courtroom". TimesDaily. April 7, 1982.
- "Man's murder confession stuns courtroom in Texas". The Bulletin. April 7, 1982.
- Clarke, Chris (April 14, 2005). "Stephen Morin: How I unwittingly helped a serial killer". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 April 2014.
- Richard Luna (March 13, 1985). "Thrice-condemned killer Stephen Morin, who said his final..." API.
- "'Born-again' killer awaits lethal needle". Lodi Sentinel-News. March 11, 1985.
- "Morin's final meal order".
- "MURDERER OF THREE WOMEN IS EXECUTED IN TEXAS". The New York Times. Associated Press. March 14, 1985. Retrieved 3 April 2014.
- "TEXAS EXECUTES DRIFTER WHO KILLED THREE WOMEN". The New York Times. United Press International. March 13, 1985. Retrieved 3 April 2014.
- Offender Information from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice
- Last Statement from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice
- Final Meal Requests at the Wayback Machine (archived December 2, 2003). Texas Department of Criminal Justice (2003-09-12). Archived from the original on 2003-12-02. Retrieved on 2007-08-17.