Carl Eugene Watts was born in Killeen, Texas to Richard Eugene Watts and Dorothy Mae Young. His father was a private first class in the Army, and his mother was a kindergarten art teacher. When Watts was less than two years of age, his parents separated and he was raised by his mother. Watts and his mother moved to Inkster, Michigan, and in 1962, Dorothy Mae married a mechanic named Norman Caesar with whom she had two daughters.
As a child, Watts was described as being strange. Around the age of twelve, Watts claimed that this was when he started to fantasize about torturing and killing girls and young women. During adolescence, Watts began to stalk girls and is believed to have killed his first victim before the age of 15. When Watts was 13, he was infected with meningitis which caused him to be held back in the eighth grade. Upon his return to school, Watts had difficulty keeping up with other students. At school, he would often receive failing grades, and was reading at a third grade level by age 16. He also suffered severe bullying at school.
On June 29, 1969, Watts was arrested for sexually assaulting 26-year-old Joan Gave. When Watts was tried, he was sentenced to the Lafayette Clinic, a mental hospital in Detroit. According to a psychiatric assessment, Watts was revealed to suffer from mild mental retardation, with a full scale I.Q. of 68, and to have a delusional thought process, though a police officer interrogating Watts after his arrest later stated that he appeared to be "very, very intelligent" with an "excellent memory". He was released from the Lafayette Clinic on November 9, 1969.
Despite his poor grades, Watts graduated from high school in 1973, and received a football scholarship to Lane College in Jackson, Tennessee. However, he was expelled after only three months after being accused of stalking and assaulting women. He was also implicated in the brutal murder of a female student; however, there was not enough...