Serial Killer Profile: Coral Eugene Watts
Coral Eugene Watts was arrested in 1982 when he broke into the home of two women in Houston, Texas and tried to kill them. After he was arrested police started to link him to a variety of murders. The police in Michigan, where he had lived in the past had previously questioned for murder, suspected him of being involved with murder of at least ten girls and women.
The authorities in Texas didn't have enough evidence to get a conviction of Coral Eugene Watts so they negotiated a plea bargain with him which would require him to confess to his crimes in exchange for immunity from prosecution for those crimes. Instead, in return for Coral Eugene Watts confessing to his crimes he would just be charged with burglary with intent to murder. Coral Eugene Watts agreed to the plea bargain and confessed to twelve murders in Texas and Michigan and he was sentence to the 60 years that went along with the plea bargain charges.
Whilst being held in prison Coral Eugene Watts later claimed that he killed over forty women and suggested that number might be closer to eighty. The pattern of his crimes broke the typical serial killer mold in that there wasn't a particular similarity in the characteristics of the women Coral Eugene Watts was said to have killed. They were a wide range of ages and races whereas a typical serial killer usually kills within their own race and has a particular age group of preferred victims.
With all of these crimes confessed it then came to light that those that originally negotiated the plea bargain didn't fully take into account the rules for early release in the Texas prison system. Since Coral Eugene Watts had been a model prisoner whilst inside it means that he sentence had been automatically reduced to the point where he would have been available for release in April of 2006.
Coral Eugene Watts made is clear that he would kill again if he was released, so in 2004 officials made appeals for anyone who may have witnessed a crime that Watts committed that wasn't covered under the plea bargain. Somebody did come forward and in 2004 Coral Eugene Watts was convicted of the murder of Helen Dutcher who had been stabbed to death in 1979. For this crime which he hadn't previously confessed he was sentenced to life in prison. The murder of Helen Dutcher is just one of a number of cases thought to be connected to Coral Eugene Watts that are currently being reopened.
Just a few of Coral Eugene Watts's victims are:
* Peggy Pochmara, 22, strangled,Detroit,October 8,1979
* Jeanne Clyne, 44, stabbed,Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan,October 31,1979
* Hazel Connof, 23, strangled,Detroit,March 11,1980
* Denise Dunmore, 23, strangled,Detroit,March 31,1980
* Shirley Small, 17, Ann Arbor,April 20,1980
* Linda Monteiro, 27, strangled,Detroit,May 31,1980
* Glenda Richmond, 26, stabbed,Ann Arbor,July,1980
* Rebecca Huff, 20, stabbed,Ann Arbor,September 14,1980