Sunday, 3 May 2015

Benjamin Atkins - Detroit Serial Killer

Here is yet another story from the underbelly of the U.S. Motor City; Detroit.  This concerns a serial killer that I only came across through an episode of "Most Evil."  This killer was Benjamin Atkins, who claimed eleven victims, with one extremely lucky to survive.  He killed most of his victims in the Highland Park area of the city, whilst he killed three women on the same night in different rooms of a motel.  All his victims were prostitutes, they being throwaway victims for killers and that they were not truly missed.  His killing spree ran from December 1991 to August 1992.

    He first struck in October of 1991 when he raped, sodomised and attempted to strangle 35 year old Darlene Saunders in Highland Park, but she miraculously survived.  Most of his victims to follow were to suffer sodomy at his hands.  To me and many, a disgusting and deviant form of behaviour.  But 30 year old Debbie Friday, was not so fortunate on December 14th 1991 in Highland Park.  She was raped, sodomised and strangled.  Atkins was now on his way.  Two weeks later on 30th December, his next victim was Bertha Mason aged 26.  She was raped, sodomised and strangled in Detroit.  Atkins took a respite for a couple of days and struck again on 3rd January 1992.  Pat George, 36, was found in  Detroit, raped, sodomised and strangled.  The Police knew they had a serial killer on the loose.

    It was towards the end of January, 25th, that he claimed his next victim.  This time it was 39 year old Victoria Truelove.  She had endured the Atkins barbarity of rape, sodomy and strangulation.  Her body was dumped in an empty building, exactly the same as all his previous victims. February 17th brought a killing frenzy.  34 year old Valerie Chalk was raped, strangled and sodomised in a motel.  Later,Juanita Hardy, 23, was raped and strangled in another room.  Then a woman, who was never identified, was raped and strangled in yet another room.  By now, Atkins had killed eight women.

    Atkins now stayed below the radar until he struck again on April 9th.  His victim was 38 year old Brenda Mitchell.  She was raped and strangled in Highland Park.  Six days later, Atkins murdered 43 year old Victoria Beasley-Brown in Highland Park on April 15th.  Then it was 40 year old Joanna O`Rourke.  She fell victim to Atkins on June 15th in Highland Park.  She was raped and strangled.  The final known victim was 22 year old Ocinena Waymer.  She was found in Highland park, beaten, raped, sodomised and strangled, on August 21st 1992.  But this was his final act as he was finally apprehended by Police, and he was convicted and received eleven life sentences.  However, he died in prison on September 17th 1997 aged 29, from a HIV infection.  The blame for his rampage was put on the fact that he hated prostitutes because his mother was one and he frequently had to watch as she entertained clients.  There was the claim that he had been severely sexually abused at the age of ten.  But what was it that made him explode in 1991?  Plus, it raises the question; What else had he done before his known killing spree?  The only person who can answer is Atkins and he is dead.