Our coronavirus coverage is free for the first 24 hours. Find the latest information at Please consider subscribing or donating.

  1. Archive

Man indicted in slaying of couple

William James Deparvine, the 51-year-old St. Petersburg man authorities suspect may be a serial killer, was indicted Wednesday on charges he murdered a Tierra Verde couple in November.

A Hillsborough County grand jury indicted Deparvine, who is described by police as a laborer and a loner, on two counts each of first-degree murder and armed kidnapping, plus one count of armed carjacking.

The charges stem from the slayings of Richard and Karla Van Dusen, whose bodies were found Nov. 26 lying face down in a dirt driveway off Old Memorial Highway in Tampa. Richard Van Dusen, 58, was shot and his wife, Karla, 49, was shot and stabbed.

The bodies were found the day after Deparvine met with the Van Dusens to purchase of their truck, according to authorities. Deparvine had contacted Richard Van Dusen about a 1971 Chevrolet Cheyenne truck Van Dusen had listed for sale in the St. Petersburg Times, according to authorities.

Detectives found blood splattered on the steering wheel of the Van Dusens' abandoned Jeep Cherokee. A St. Petersburg detective assigned to follow Deparvine retrieved an ice cream spoon he saw Deparvine throw into a trash can at Tyrone Square Mall. DNA from saliva on the spoon matched blood on the Cherokee's steering wheel, according to court records.

Deparvine, who lived at the Park Plaza Apartments at 425 Second St. N in St. Petersburg, was arrested Jan. 13.

The arrest launched new investigations into six unsolved killings in the 1980s in St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Sarasota and Texas. Deparvine had previously been a suspect in some of those cases, but detectives lacked the evidence to charge him.

The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office has said investigators are proceeding on the "very strong" theory that Deparvine may be a serial killer.

Interviewed by detectives, Deparvine denied that he had killed the Van Dusens. He has since invoked his right to remain silent. He was held without bail Wednesday in the Hillsborough County Jail.