“Evil around the Campus”
Serial crimes are thought of as some of the worse that exist. Fear is inevitable in the area that the crimes are occurring and people seek ways to make themselves feel safer, sometimes taking extreme measures. This was the case when Derrick Todd Lee was playing his game around the Louisiana State University campus in Baton Rouge.
Derrick Todd Lee grew up in small-town St. Francisville, Louisiana with his mother, father, and siblings. Shortly after his birth, Lee’s father, Samuel Ruth, left the family. His mother thought this to be a good thing due to the fact that Ruth suffered from mental illness and was eventually hospitalized after the attempted murder of his ex-wife. Lee’s mother remarried and Coleman Barrow raised Lee and his siblings as if they were his own. Barrow raised the kids with an iron hand and it is reported that Lee was harshly punished as a child. Children that went to school with Lee found him to be odd. He was often picked on by his classmates. He sucked his thumb well up into his older years and called his teacher “momma.” Before he made it in to junior high, he was put into special education classes, which gave more room for his classmates to pick on him. (Layman, Gumm, and Henriques & Hodges) Lee started his criminal escapades at a young age. He had a low IQ and found that school was difficult. Lee found interest in other things. He was caught peeping into the windows of his neighbors. It was reported that he tortured neighborhood animals, was fascinated with fire, and wet his bed; these are all characteristics of a serial killer (Layman, Gumm, and Henriques & Hodges). At thirteen, Lee was arrested for simple burglary, but it was not until he was sixteen that he really found trouble. Lee pulled a knife during a fight and was charged with attempted second-degree murder. At seventeen he was arrested for his voyeurism, which was something that would extend well into his adult life. Somehow he managed to keep himself out of juvenile detention centers. His rap sheet would continue to grow and the police would always know his name. At the age of twenty, Lee married Jacqueline Sims and the couple had two children, a son and a daughter. The couple’s marriage was full of turmoil. Lee has numerous girlfriends and led a second life when not with his family. At one point Lee even moved one of his mistresses into the family home. She subsequently had a son by Lee while living in the home. During this time Lee was in and out of prison. Tension lessened in the home while he was incarcerated. While Sims loved Lee and was overly committed to him, he causer he caused her much grief. (Montaldo)
It is unknown when Lee’s first murder and rape occurred, but it is known that his murder spree lasted over ten years. Lee was thought to have attacked several victims in the early years. However, only some came forward and picked him as their attacker. In 1993, Lee attacked a couple in a secluded area with a harvesting tool. Both victims lived and later the female picked Todd out of a lineup. (Montaldo) The exact number of murders that Lee committed is also unknown, but the Baton Rouge Police Department along with a special task force that was created in order to hunt down the killer linked Lee to seven murders, while he had at least one other victim that he attempted to murder. On April 18, 1998 Randi Merrier, a divorced mother was raped, beaten and stabbed to death. She lived in Oak Shadows subdivision in Zachary, Louisiana. Her three-year old son was found wandering in the front yard of her home the day after she was murdered. Her body has never been found, but evidence found at her home has been connected to Derrick Todd Lee. Randi lived next door to Connie Warner who was murdered in 1992. Gina Wilson Green worked as a nurse and an office manager for Home Infusion Network. She was found murdered in her home on September 24, 2001 on Stanford Avenue near Louisiana State University....
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