Vaughn Greenwood

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Vaughn Greenwood
Born Vaughn Orrin Greenwood
1944 (age 72–73)
Other names the Skid Row Slasher
Criminal penalty Life imprisonment
Victims 11 murdered, 1 survivor
Span of killings
Country United States
State(s) California
Date apprehended
February 3, 1975

Vaughn Orrin Greenwood (born 1944) is an American serial killer known by the nickname the "Skid Row Slasher."


The first attacks occurred when Greenwood killed two transients in November 1964. A ten-year gap period between murders occurred due to Greenwood being convicted and sentenced to a knifing assault in Chicago in 1966. He spent five and a half years in jail for this conviction before returning to California. Greenwood continued his murder spree in December 1974 and killed nine victims between December 1974 and February 1975.

Greenwood was convicted of nine counts of murder, including eight of the "Skid Row Slasher" killings in Southern California.[1] The "Slasher" victims had their throats cut from ear to ear.[2] There was evidence that the killer drank the blood of the victims.[1] Greenwood left cups of blood and rings of salt around the corpses.[2] [1] The items left around the bodies have caused some to believe the murders to be linked to Satanism. This is disputed by K.V. Lanning.[3]

On 19 January 1977, Greenwood was sentenced to life imprisonment.[4] He is serving his sentence in the California Los Angeles County Jail.[5]


These are the Skid Row Slasher's known victims in chronological order of attack:[4]

Number Name Sex Age Body found
1 Martinez, JesseJesse Martinez M 50 October 23, 1978
2 Hornberg, BenjaminBenjamin Hornberg M 67 November 14, 1964
3 Jackson, CharlesCharles Jackson M 46 December 1, 1974
4 Yakanac, MosesMoses Yakanac M 47 December 8, 1974
5 Dahlstedt, ArthurArthur Dahlstedt M 54 December 11, 1974
6 Perez, DavidDavid Perez M 42 December 22, 1974
7 Strawinski, CasimirCasimir Strawinski M 58 January 9, 1975
8 Shannahan, RobertRobert Shannahan M 46 January 17, 1975
9 Suarez, SamuelSamuel Suarez M 49 January 1975
10 Frias, GeorgeGeorge Frias M 45 January 29, 1975
11 Hays, ClydeClyde Hays M 34 January 31, 1975
12 Graham, WilliamWilliam Graham M N/A Survived


  1. ^ a b c "'Slasher' jury finds man guilty", The Spokesman Review, December 29, 1976,5899411
  2. ^ a b "Suspect Booked in L.A. Stabbings". Spokane Daily Chronicle. 8 December 1978. p. 1. 
  3. ^ Lester, David, PhD (1995). Serial Killers. Philadelphia: The Charles Press, Publishers. p. 167. ISBN 0-914783-77-7. 
  4. ^ a b Newton, Michael (1990). Hunting Humans: An Encyclopedia of Modern Serial Killers. Loompanics Unlimited. ISBN 9781559500265. 
  5. ^ California Inmate Locator