‘Baton Rouge Serial Killer’ Derrick Todd Lee Was An Unremorseful ‘Smooth Talker’
“He laughed, he didn't take it seriously,” the mother of one victim recalled after the murderer stood trial.
A convicted serial killer who murdered at least seven women over five years in Louisiana died from a medical condition before his death sentence could be carried out.
On Jan. 21, 2016, Derrick Todd Lee — a smooth-talking charmer who became known as “The Baton Rouge Serial Killer” — was awaiting execution when he passed away at age 47 in a hospital after receiving emergency medical care. His cause of death was determined to be heart disease.
Over 14 years earlier, in July 2002, Lee severely beat and attempted to rape Diane Alexander in her Breaux Bridge home. Alexander’s son interrupted the attack, and he was able to provide police with a description of the suspect.
Detectives were able to use the description to identify Lee because of a previous peeping Tom case. Authorities then investigated him further in connection with crimes in the Baton Rouge and Lafayette areas.
The serial killer’s DNA eventually tied him to seven unsolved murders: Randi Mebruer (April 1998); Gina Wilson Green (September 2001); Geralyn Barr DeSoto (January 2002); Charlotte Murray Pace (May 2002); Pam Kinamore (July 2002); Trineisha Dene Colomb (November 2002); and Carrie Lynn Yoder (March 2003).
Alexander was the only woman known to survive one of Lee’s attacks.
In May 2003, authorities obtained a warrant for Lee’s arrest and took him into custody in Atlanta, Georgia.
While Lee was tied to seven homicides, he stood trial for two.
On Jan. 14, 2002, LSU grad student Geralyn Barr DeSoto, 21, was found dead in her Addis home. According to prosecutors, DeSoto was cut “from ear to ear” but she fought back against her killer, and DNA collected from beneath her fingernails connected Lee to the murder.
On May 31, 2002, Lee stabbed Charlotte Murray Pace, a 21-year-old recent LSU graduate, over 80 times at her home in Baton Rouge in what prosecutors later said was a crime committed to satisfy “the sexual gratification he craved,” the Times-Picayune reported.
A jury convicted Lee in August 2004 for DeSoto’s second-degree murder, and he received a life sentence.
Two months later, a jury deliberated for an hour and 20 minutes before finding Lee guilty of first-degree murder in the Pace case, and he was sentenced to death.
“Derrick Todd Lee is a smooth talker, he's talked his way in and out of everything his whole life,” Lynne Marino, the mother of victim Pam Kinamore, told WAFB after Lee’s sentencing for the DeSoto murder. “And even his attitude in court…he laughed, he didn't take it seriously. Well now he who laughs last has the best laugh.”