Police investigate slaying suspect

Published April 5, 1997|Updated Oct. 1, 2005

A 61-year-old man alternately described as a "perfect Southern gentleman" and "a mean man" will be charged in the slayings of seven Florida women since 1983, police said Friday.

Authorities are investigating whether William Darrell Lindsey is linked to other unsolved slayings in Florida, North Carolina and Virginia.

St. Petersburg police plan to look into whether he spent time in Pinellas County, homicide Sgt. Glen Moore said. Several women who were known to trade sex for drugs have been killed in St. Petersburg since 1990, and many of the cases are not solved.

"We're checking it to see if there is any connection," Moore said.

Lindsey, a former construction worker, will be charged within 10 days with the North Florida slayings, which began in 1983 and continued through 1995, state and St. Johns County authorities said at a news conference.

"We've been able to connect Mr. Lindsey with each of these women and have determined he was responsible for their murders," St. Johns County Sheriff Neil Perry said. "He intended to try to make an arrangement to have sex with these women."

They did not say how Lindsey knew the Florida women, but several of the women had a record of drug or prostitution arrests, police said.

Lindsey is jailed in Asheville, N.C., on charges he killed a prostitute in late December. His name came to the sheriff's attention when a former St. Johns County resident mailed a newspaper clipping to Perry about the Dec. 26 slaying.

"I dispatched detectives because facts in that case in North Carolina were similar to the facts in our cases," Perry said.

Lindsey first provided detectives with information on the October 1995 disappearance of Diana Richardson, 48, whose body is still missing, and the July 1995 slaying of Cheryl Denise Lucas, authorities said.

After Lindsey was brought to St. Johns County this week, he gave detectives information on the other five slayings, they said.

"He did express to me that he was very remorseful and after he was caught, he wanted to let the families know his remorse and also to clear all the cases he was involved in," Perry said. "His remorse was forcing him to do that.

"He indicated to me that he had something wrong with him that caused him to do these things from time to time."

Investigators have been searching a pond where Richardson's body may have been dumped.

The other victims and the dates they were last seen are Lisa Foley, 24, Oct. 14, 1983; Anita Louise Stevens, 27, Nov. 29, 1988; Constance Marie Terrell, 26, June 10, 1989; Lashawnna Streeter, 27, March 1, 1992; Donetha Laverne Snead, 32, April 21, 1993; and Lucy Raymer, 32, Dec. 26, 1995. All were reported missing from St. Augustine except Raymer, who was reported missing in Asheville.

Before Lindsey's admissions, detectives suspected some of the deaths and disappearances were linked.

"Up until recently, we weren't sure we had one killer or more than one killer," Perry said.

There are nine other unsolved murder cases in the county, but none of those were linked to Lindsey.

Authorities now are checking unsolved slayings in Marion and Putnam counties in Florida, as well as in North Carolina and Virginia, Perry said.

_ Times staff writer Tim Roche contributed to this report.