BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — The state of Louisiana is home to food, culture, music, and celebrities, but it’s not all bon temps.
Louisiana is seventh on a list of states producing the most serial killers in the United States. Starting in 1989 until 2014, the state averaged almost 14 murders per 100,000 residents.
In December, Oxygen aired a two-part special about the men who terrorized the Baton Rouge area. From 1992 to 2004, Baton Rouge was terrorized by Derrick Todd Lee, Sean Vincent Gillis and Jeffery Lee Guillory. Combined, the men were responsible for the deaths of at least 36 women.
We’ve put together a list of some of Louisiana’s most infamous killers.
Shreveport native spurs ‘Scream’ franchise
Danny Rolling, better known as the Gainesville Ripper, is from Shreveport, Louisiana. In 1990, Rolling terrorized the campus of the University of Florida. He murdered at least five students and scared the nation.
Rolling had a rough life growing up in Shreveport, including regular abuse at home. A counselor described him as having “aggressive tendencies and poor impulse control.” Rolling turned his traumatic experiences into anger.
He was tied to crimes in Louisiana, Alabama and Georgia and spent time in prison. After attempting to kill his father, he moved to Sarasota, Florida. Then he started breaking into students’ homes, murdering them and mutilating the bodies.
Rolling was arrested for unrelated robberies in 1990. Evidence tied him to the Gainesville murders and another three Shreveport homicides while he was behind bars. He was sentenced to death in 1994 and died by lethal injection in 2006.
Rolling’s terror trail left a lasting impression on screenwriter Kevin Williamson. He based Ghostface, the infamous ‘Scream’ character, on Rolling.
Louisiana serial killer bound victims, slashed throats
Nathaniel Code, the Shreveport Serial Killer, murdered eight people, including his own grandfather in the 1980’s.
Code was born in Shreveport in 1956. At the age of 20, he went to prison for aggravated rape. After his release, he started killing people. His signature was binding victims and slashing their throats.
Police caught Code after finding fingerprints on one of his victims. He is still on Death Row.
Baton Rouge killer gripped the region in terror
The Baton Rouge Serial Killer, Derrick Todd Lee, was born in St. Francisville in 1968. Lee’s family reportedly had mental health concerns. He was in special education classes and dropped out of school in the 11th grade. Lee reportedly had an IQ of 65.
Lee was convicted of killing at least seven victims, but there could be more. In 2002, Lee attempted to rape a victim who was home alone but failed when her son arrived. Lee fled the home. The victim was able to identify him by using a sketch artist with the police department.
Lee’s DNA was consistent with the deaths of five women. He was sentenced to the death penalty in 2004 but died in prison before it was carried out.
D.C. Sniper was born in NOLA
John Allen Muhammad, or the D.C. Sniper, was born in New Orleans in 1960. After Muhammad graduated, he joined the National Guard, got married, converted to Islam, and joined the U.S. Army around 1985. He was stationed in Washington after being in trouble many times.
In 1999, Muhammad’s wife filed for divorce. She had a restraining order issued and said he made threats against her. Muhammad moved to Antigua with his three children and later returned to the states. Police found Muhammad and returned the children to their mother.
Muhammad and his accomplice Lee Malvo shot people along the beltway in October 2002. They fired from the trunk of a car and taunted police, according to reports. Those incidents account for 10 deaths and multiple injuries. The two are accused of a long chain of crimes and credited with 17 total deaths.
In 2002, authorities surrounded a vehicle containing Muhammad and Malvo. Muhammad was sentenced to death in 2003 and was executed in 2009.
Bayou Strangler targeted men for a decade
Ronald Dominique, better known as the Bayou Strangler, was born in Houma in 1964. He raped and murdered at least 23 men over a 10-year period. He admitted in his confession to targeting those who he thought would have sex with him for money.
Dominique murdered his victims and hid their bodies in sugarcane fields and ditches across different parishes in Louisiana. He says he killed them to avoid returning to jail. He endured a brief stint in jail when he was accused of rape in the mid-90s.
After a tip, Dominique was arrested and charged with rape. In 2008, he pleaded guilty to avoid the death penalty and was sentenced to eight life sentences in Angola.
Tire marks help police track Baton Rouge killer
Sean Vincent Gillis, known as The Other Baton Rouge Killer, was born in Baton Rouge in 1963.
Gillis confessed to eight slayings, but the evidence couldn’t be used in court. In 2004, he was arrested and booked on three counts of murder.
Gillis’ method consisted of strangling women and mutilating their bodies. He preyed on victims he assumed wouldn’t be missed.
His 10-year spree came to an end when tire tracks near the discovery point of a body led to Gillis’ car. Law enforcement then matched his DNA to victims.
He was sentenced to life in prison.
New Orleans killer hunted prostitutes
Russell Ellwood was born in Ohio in 1951. He served time for drug offenses in Ohio and Florida. He later moved to New Orleans, where Ellwood got a job as a freelance photographer and then as a taxi driver.
He drugged his first victim and drowned them in a canal. Then he dumped the body on a highway in Hahnville.
The majority of Ellwood’s victims were women he believed were prostitutes.
Ellwood was convicted of one murder, and authorities believe the Storyville Slayer is responsible for at least 25 more — or two killers had similar styles. He was sentenced to life without parole in 1999.
New Orleans socialite tortured slaves
Delphine LaLaurie was a wealthy woman in New Orleans who was famous for the torture and murder of slaves. She was born in 1775 in Ireland before moving to New Orleans.
LaLaurie was cruel to her slaves. One reportedly fell from the mansion after hurting LaLaurie while brushing her hair. After a house fire in 1834, police found the cook chained to the stove.
Police then searched LaLaurie’s attic and found a group of slaves mutilated, hanging by their necks.
The community attacked the mansion, and LaLaurie escaped and was never seen again.
“American Horror Story: Coven” popularized LaLaurie along with the Axeman of New Orleans.