Kentucky True Crime

Serial killers in Kentucky are very rare yet there are frequent cases that can be documented of serial killers from or outside the state committing murder in the state. Kentucky serial killers are rare, leading to a low record for most murders by a serial killer in the state, but frequent. Serial killers in Kentucky are rare but some famous serial killers such as the Railroad Killer and the Angel of Death came through Kentucky to commit their crimes.

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Michael Andrew Abner

Serial Killers Kentucky

Michael Andrew Abner is believed to have killed at least three different people in Somerset, Kentucky. Abner is believed to have killed Jack Roerink, Mamie Mercer and Mae Stringer. Authorities discovered he’d broken into the home of Jack Roerink, an elderly man at the time of his death.

Authorities reportedly discovered Roerink’s body in his home in Eubank. Abner, who reportedly knew Roerink, was found later after officers found Roerink’s missing truck at the location of Abner’s ex-wife’s home. Investigators believe that Abner stabbed Roerink multiple times with a kitchen knife during the incident before taking several items and fleeing with some of Roerink’s property, including his truck.

Mamie Mercer’s body was discovered in her South Hart Road in the Saline community of Somerset on October 12, 1983 in her bed. She was a victim of strangulation, and Abner was questioned during the proceeding investigation by the Kentucky State Police. Although he was never arrested, the case remained open and unsolved throughout the years until Abner was arrested in 2010.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Eddy F. Montgomery, reading from evidence received from authorities outlining Abner’s confessions, said Abner entered Mamie Mercer’s home while another woman, who lived with Mercer, was in the shower and strangled Mercer, unbeknownst to the other female.

Abner strangled 83-year-old Mae Stringer in 1988, when he was 25 years old.
Stringer’s family and investigators believed she had perished in a house fire on Dec. 2, 1988. Investigators said Abner stated he strangled the 83-year-old woman to death in her home on Ringgold Road before setting the house on fire. He was subsequently sentenced to the death penalty for his role in the three murders.

The Angel of Death

kentucky Serial Killers

Donald Harvey was an American serial killer who claimed to have murdered 87 people, though official estimates and historical recounts believe the number falls between 37 and 57 victims. When he began killing patients, Harvey claimed to be “easing the pain” for them. However, as time bean to progress, he admitted to liking killing more and more. He considered himself a “angel of death” by his own description. Many of Harvey’s murders took place in the Marymount Hospital in London, Kentucky. Harvey was serving 28 life sentences at the Toledo Correctional Institution in Toledo, Ohio, as he plead guilty to murder charges to avoid a death penalty.

Harvey, however, did not limit his victims to those that were helpless in the care of a hospital. When he suspected that his lover Carl Hoeweler was cheating on him, Harvey decided to poison Hoeweler’s food with arsenic so that he was too sick to ever leave the apartment. Harvey would later kill Hoeweler’s father with arsenic. Furthermore, Harvey poisoned two o his neighbors with hepatitis serum int heir drinks and putting arsenic in another neighbor’s pie.

Harvey was found  badly beaten in his prison cell on March 28, 2017. He died a few days later from the injuries he suffered.

Edward Edwards

Serial Killers in Kentucky

The Louisville man was sentenced to death after he admitted killing his 25-year-old foster son in 1996  for $250,000 in life insurance. He told the AP in a prison interview last year that he confessed to killing Dannie Boy Edwards outside Burton, east of Cleveland, because he wanted the death penalty. Edwards had already been serving life sentences for his other crimes. He had pleaded guilty to killing Bill Lavaco, 21, of Doylestown, and Judith Straub, 18, of Sterling, in 1977. They were shot in the neck at close range.

In Wisconsin, he admitted to killing 19-year-old sweethearts Tim Hack and Kelly Drew, who disappeared from a wedding reception in Jefferson County in August 1980. Their bodies were found weeks later in the woods.

The investigation into their deaths languished until 2007, when state analysts developed a DNA profile from semen found on Drew’s pants. Investigators gathered DNA from more than 75 potential suspects in hopes of a match. One of Edwards’ children saw stories about the murders in 2009 and called authorities to say Edwards might have been the killer.

The child remembered starting school in Watertown in 1980 but then abruptly leaving Wisconsin, and said Edwards was working at the reception hall where Hack and Drew were last seen. The child remembered Edwards saying the bodies would turn up in a field. Detectives traveled to Louisville, got DNA from Edwards and matched it to the profile. They arrested him in 2009.

Born in Akron in 1933, Edwards wrote in his 1972 autobiography Metamorphosis of a Criminal that he spent his early years being beaten by nuns in an orphanage. When a nun asked him what he wanted to be, he told her, “Sister, I’m gonna be a crook, and I’m gonna be a good one.”

According to his book, he escaped from jail in Akron in 1955 by pushing past a guard and fled across the country, holding up gas stations for money. He never wore a mask because he wanted to be famous.

Robert Carl Foley

Killers in Kentucky

On Aug. 18, 1991, Lynn Vaughn, 30, and Rodney Vaughn, 39, both of Somerset, were reported missing by their mother after they didn’t return from visiting Foley at his home on White Oak Road. The brothers’ bodies were found in a pool of water 200 yards down a hill off of White Oak Road. Then-coroner Ed Bowling said they were shot to death. Foley killed the brothers during an argument at his home.

He was sentenced to death. Ten days after the Vaughns’ bodies were found, police searched a pond for Bowersock, Contino, McMillen and Reynolds, who had been missing since 1989. The search was unsuccessful. Their bodies were ultimately found in a septic tank in Bald Rock, covered with lime and cement.

On April 27, 1994, Foley was given a second death sentence for their slayings. Court proceedings revealed he shot them because he thought one of them had reported him to his parole officer. Foley is on death row for killing more people than any other inmate.

*Images taken from Kentucky Online Offender Lookup, Fox News, Press4Truth, and Murderpedia.

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Scott Heltsley

Check out kevin Fitzgerald. He did 20 years for killing an elderly couple in Carrol County, Ky.
He got out and his roommate goes missing, still is.
Around the same time he convinces an elderly man in Evansville, Indiana to put his name on home deed. The homeowner died a short time later. Fitzgerald is out and living in Evansville, Indiana.
L.E. Knows what he is but cannot prove it…..yet.

Roger Allen Hall

I was raised up with Foley, He is capable of killing anyone. And the truth was not told about the Gross boy on being self defense.

Jessica Barney

Personally the death penalty is a joke. The reason I say this is it isn’t fair to waste tax payers money on stupid appeals. Once a killer is convicted and sentenced to death and evidence proofs beyond a reasonable doubt that they did it and their punishment is death then why does the justice system do away with them the next day. We as a Society have to push for quick swift action. Stop housing and feeding these blights on society and go ahead and be done with it all. There’s no reason why my hard earned money should be given to these scum bags seriously.😒😒😒😒

Amanda Gross

Well personally I must say Mr Foley ought to of already been injected or however the process goes these days hell he’s been on death row for many years n just as my sister mentioned in the comment she had left on here they left out our brother David Gross which he also shot in London KY. as a matter of fact the 4 bodies mentioned that were found in the septic tank was on my uncle’s property which connected to my brothers property n the 4 victims were shot n killed in my brothers home n removed by him n Foley which is wrong but shortly after Foley shot David n killed him n it’s mentions in some detail in the stories told on the websites about Foley and for what reason was there in not being convicted in Davids murder is a mystery to me but it’s known n still nothing!! Wow!! Is about all ya can say but as I was saying I feel like he should be done just the way he did his victims … Shoot his ass n drag him to a hole n bury him with a smile … But no see he’s gonna get to just simply die like anyone of us that’s not even thought of doing shit like that!! Yeah I’m pretty angry to this day n this all happened when I was just a small child but wrong is wrong n I’d say the same for all the other sob’s that’s done things like that!!🤬


I searched some persons comment about a killer in there family and turns out there right!!!!!!!

Courtney Scott

So perhaps Foley became a “scapegoat” or a “pazzi” for law enforcement…guess we’ll never know…Lord knows this world is rarely what it appears to be in the media. Hope Foley finds peace, if in fact, this is the case…

Courtney Scott

After re-reading the Foley story..I am guessing he may have been falsely accused of murdering the other 4 other people found. Perhaps to protect someone or someones…unfortunately this is more common than you think. Im thinking this because of the Attorney’s comment..Cops have people missing no leads..Foley becomes a perfect candidate to blame..gets the public off law enforcement’s back to find out what happened..he’s already going to prison can’t really be executed twice. Great…some crazy who puts bodies in septic tanks has probably never been caught. And who knows? Foley may have acted in self defense and then freaked out after he shot the other 2 men…we’ll never fully know.


this stuff is so messed up. im sitting here thinking , what if one day that could be us?

Hannah skaggs

I don’t personally know any of these people but I have a murder in my family named trey Skaggs he murderd Two people one at a gas station execution style and the other stopped him to death and threw him in the Ohio river he get out of prison it 2 years I’m so scared 😦 Go search him up

Jimmy Rogers

You forgot The Harpe Brothers. They are known as Americas first serial killers. The ranged all over the frontier but did most of their killings in Kentucky. Killed in Muhlenberg County, Ky.

Johnny D

Hmmm Glen Rogers from Lee County.

Tommy Miller

Donald Harvey was a no good sob ,that hurt alot of ppl that he killed and their familys.i think they should have gave him a medal for killing from East

Mary Gross

They left out David Gross who was my brother and also murdered by Robert Foley.


this shit is so fucked up. if only we could stop ppl like them.

Attorney defending OUR constitution.

Things are not always as a very political prosecutor would have them appear. Robert Foley is not a monster. If you met him, you might agree. I’m not excusing any alleged wrong doing, but there are significant facts that never came before the jury. Unfortunately, I’m ethically bound to not break privilege and explain.

Kayla Barnes

My great grandfather, James Tyree, was murdered by Donald Harvey, at Marymount Hospital in London, Ky. Harvey apparently used either the wrong size catheter or inserted something into my grandfather’s catheter and caused him to start vomiting blood and die. He was a evil twisted man…

Sean Frederick

The Vaughn brothers were apparently killed because they were caught cheating in a game of cards..

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