William Suff

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William Suff
Born Bill Lee Suff
(1950-08-20) August 20, 1950 (age 66)
Torrance, California
Other names William Lester Suff, the Riverside Prostitute Killer, the Lake Elsinore Killer
Criminal penalty Death
Conviction(s) Attempted murder
Victims 12–22
Span of killings
Country U.S.
State(s) California
Date apprehended
January 9, 1992

William Lester Suff (born August 20, 1950, as Bill Lee Suff), also known as the Riverside Prostitute Killer and the Lake Elsinore Killer, is an American serial killer.

Early crimes[edit]

In 1974, a Texas jury convicted Suff and his then-wife, Teryl, of beating their two-month-old daughter to death. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals later reversed Teryl’s conviction but upheld Suff's in Suff v. State (Tex. 1976) 531 S.W.2d 814, finding insufficient evidence to convict her as either the primary actor or a principal in their baby's murder. Though Suff was sentenced to 70 years in a Texas prison, he served only 10 years before his 1984 release on parole.


Suff subsequently raped, tortured, stabbed, strangled, and sometimes mutilated 12 or more prostitutes in Riverside County, beginning in 1986. On January 9, 1992, Suff was arrested after a routine traffic stop.

Described as a mild-mannered loner, Suff worked as a county stock clerk who allegedly delivered supplies to the task force investigating his killing spree. He liked to impersonate police officers and cooked chili at office picnics.[1] It was alleged that he used the breast of one of his victims in his chili,[2] which won the "Riverside County Employee Chili Cookoff."[citation needed] He was also working on a book about wild, lethal dogs.


On July 19, 1995, a Riverside County jury found Suff guilty of killing 12 women and attempting to kill another, though police suspected him responsible for as many as 22 deaths. During the penalty phase that followed, the prosecutor presented evidence linking Suff to the 1988 murder of a San Bernardino prostitute, as well as evidence that despite his prior Texas prison term for murdering his first daughter, he abused and violently shook his three-month-old daughter by his second wife. On August 17, 1995, after deliberating for only 10 minutes, the jury returned verdicts of guilty on all 12 murder counts.[3] On October 26, 1995, the trial court followed the jury's recommendations and ordered Suff condemned to death.[4] Suff resides on death row at San Quentin State Prison.


"The Riverside Killer" by Christine Keers and Dennis St Pierre was published in 1996 by Pinnacle True Crime. In 1997 "Cat and Mouse - Mind Games With A Serial Killer" was published by Dove Books. Suff met with author Brian Alan Lane and told his story. The book includes short stories and poems written by Suff and photos of several of his victims.


  1. ^ http://www.skcentral.com/infusions/articles/readarticle.php?article_id=470[unreliable source?]
  2. ^ Lohr, David. "The Riverside Prostitute Killer". Crime Library. truTV. Retrieved 28 April 2013. 
  3. ^ "Jury Asks for Death Penalty for Convicted Killer of 12 Women," New York Times, August 20, 1995.
  4. ^ "Killer of Prostitutes Gets Death Sentence," New York Times, October 29, 1995.

External links[edit]