Midwestern Civil War Buff May Be Serial Killer Connected To Dozens Of Females’ Deaths
Larry DeWayne Hall was identified as a suspect in a kidnapping after a witness took down his van’s license plate number.
A Civil War buff who traveled throughout the Midwest taking part in reenactments was convicted of kidnapping a girl found dead almost 30 years ago, but authorities believe he may be a serial killer connected to the cold case disappearances and murders of dozens of other victims.
In September 1993, Jessica Roach was abducted not far from her Illinois home, raped, strangled to death, and dumped in an Indiana cornfield. Almost a year later, police connected Larry DeWayne Hall to the 15-year-old victim’s murder after other young girls told their parents about a man driving a Dodge van and someone managed to get the vehicle’s license plate number.
“That plate came back to Larry Hall, who we had never heard of at the time,” said Gary Miller, then the chief investigator for the Vermilion County Sheriff's Office in Illinois, CNN reported.
When investigators in Indiana interrogated the former janitor about Roach, he reportedly admitted to raping and strangling multiple victims, including Tricia Reitler, 19, around six months earlier, in March 1993.
"All of the girls looked alike. I cannot remember all of them. I picked up several girls in other areas, but I can't remember which ones I hurt," he allegedly told detectives.
The following day, however, Hall recanted the alleged confession. Reitler’s body remains missing.
In 1995, Hall was found guilty of kidnapping Roach and a judge sentenced him to life behind bars without the possibility of parole, the mandatory federal sentence when a kidnapping results in death, prosecutor Larry Beaumont said, according to CNN.
CBS reported Hall was not charged with murder in the case because authorities could not determine if the victim was killed in Indiana or Illinois.
According to The Buffalo News, Hall eventually allegedly admitted to murdering over 15 girls and women — including 20-year-old Laurie Depies in 2010 — after convicted drug dealer Jimmy Keene was offered his freedom in exchange for coaxing a confession out of Hall.
Hall remains behind bars serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole. He has not been formally charged in the cases.
Authorities believe the suspected serial killer could be involved in dozens of other unsolved disappearances and slayings throughout the Midwest.
Hall, 59, is currently incarcerated in North Carolina.