Terry Blair (born
September 16, 1961) is an American serial killer, who raped and
killed at least seven women in Kansas City, Missouri.
Terry Blair was born into a family which would have
many encounters with the criminal justice system. He was the fourth
eldest of 10 siblings, born to a mother who had only finished the 9th
grade and suffered from mental illness.
While in jail for a separate incident, brother
Walter Blair Jr met a man who offered to pay him $6,000 to kill
Katherine Jo Allen so she could not testify at his rape trial. Blair
confessed to abducting Allen from her apartment before taking her to a
vacant lot and shooting her. He was convicted of murder and was
executed in 1993.
Half brother Clifford Miller was convicted in the
1992 abduction of a woman from a bar. He shot the woman in the arm and
drove her to an abandoned house before raping her repeatedly and
beating her until she passed out. She suffered a gunshot wound,
fractured skull, broken jaw and broken cheek bones. She spent two
months in the hospital, recovering. Clifford Miller was sentenced to
two life sentences plus 240 years for charges including kidnapping and
Mother Janice Blair fatally shot Elton E. Gray, but
was sentenced to probation after entering an Alford plea.
Terry Blair had already spent 21 years incarcerated
for murdering Angela Monroe, the pregnant mother of his two children,
prior to being charged with these additional six murders. According to
court records he was angry with her for performing acts of
prostitution. Incidentally, Blair was released from prison for two
months committing his second murder after Monroe before heading back
to prison for a parole violation.
Below is the list of victims Terry Blair was
convicted of killing:
Anna Ewing, 42, died on or before July 14, 2004,
due to strangulation and a broken neck.
Patricia Wilson Butler, 58, died on or before
September 2, 2004, due to strangulation
Sheliah McKinzie, 38, died on or before September
2, 2004, due to strangulation and a broken neck
Darci I. Williams, 25, died on or before
September 4, 2004, due to strangulation and a broken neck
Carmen Hunt, 40, died on or before September 4,
2004, due to strangulation
Claudette Juniel, 31, died on or before September
4, 2004, due to strangulation and a broken neck
Blair was also accused in two other murders (Sandra
Reed and Nellia Harris), an assault, and three rapes.
Trial and imprisonment
On October 15, 2004, Terry Blair was charged with
eight counts of first-degree murder, one count of first-degree assault,
and three counts of forcible rape.
Blair avoided the death penalty by agreeing to
waive his right to a jury trial. He was sentenced to 25 years
imprisonment for the murder of his first known victim, Angela Monroe.
After being released early (after 21 years) he was convicted of
killing six more women. For these additional six murders he was
sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole.
Blair is currently housed in the Potosi
Correctional Center in Mineral Point, Missouri.
The case of the seven homicides
he was convicted of is featured in the episode "A Serial Killer
Calls" of the TV show The First 48. The episode follows
detectives as they receive information of the death of the first
woman all the way up until his capture.
Terry Blair guilty in deaths
of six women
By Joe Lambe - The Kansas
Mar. 27, 2008
A judge today found Terry
Blair guilty in the deaths of six women whose
bodies were found in the Prospect Avenue
corridor in 2003 and 2004.
Jackson County Circuit Judge
John O’Malley found Blair, 46, guilty of first-degree
murder in the deaths of Sheliah McKinzie, 38;
Anna Ewing, 42; Patricia Wilson Butler, 45;
Darci I. Williams, 25; Carmen Hunt, 40; and
Claudette Juniel, 31.
The only possible sentence is
life without parole on each charge.
The verdicts in the non-jury
trial end a case that began with 911 cell phone
calls to police on Sept. 3 and Sept. 4, 2004.
The caller told police he killed two women whose
bodies had just been found and four others.
He told them where to find
three of the bodies and had some details only
the killer would know.
The man who called himself
Scott said he did it because they were
prostitutes, “scum, a disgrace.”
Police arrested Blair within
weeks of the calls after his DNA matched semen
in and on victim Sheliah McKinzie. In more than
seven hours of interrogation, Blair denied
knowing McKinzie or having sex with her and
confessed to nothing.
At trial this month, defense
lawyers contended his DNA proved nothing because
hairs, saliva or semen from other men were on
McKinzie or other victims.
But in closing arguments last
week, assistant prosecutor Michael Hunt reminded
the judge that a former prostitute told police
before the 911 calls that Blair said he was
killing all the prostitutes one by one.
And the mother of one victim,
he said, last saw her alive when she dropped her
daughter off to meet with Blair and two other
men. And a teen witness, Hunt said, testified
that Blair told her that whoever was killing the
women probably had a good reason.
Hunt also noted that even a
defense expert said the voice on the 911 calls
was that of an African-American man raised in
the United States.
With all the evidence, he
said, “the finger points to Terry Blair.”
Defense lawyer Cynthia Dryden
attacked the evidence as too unreliable and too
little to convict. She noted that authorities
never proved Blair made the 911 calls and said
prosecutors had to do that.
“If they can’t,” she said,
“they cannot convict.”
Before trial, prosecutors
made a deal with Blair to drop charges for two
other murders, three rapes and an assault. In
exchange for that and for prosecutors dropping
the death penalty, Blair agreed to trial before
O’Malley without a jury.
Blair Found Guilty On All
Judge Criticizes Police
For Media Coverage
March 27, 2008
CITY, Mo. -- A judge convicted a man
Thursday of killing six women whose bodies were
dumped along the Prospect Corridor, an area
frequented by prostitutes and drug dealers.
Terry Blair, 46, was found
guilty of six counts of first-degree murder in
the 2004 slayings. But Jackson County Circuit
Judge John R. O'Malley acknowledged the case was
full of conflicting expert testimony and "small
pieces of circumstantial evidence."
Blair had agreed to be tried
before a judge instead of jury in return for
prosecutors agreeing not to pursue the death
penalty. He is to be sentenced to life in prison
at an April 24 hearing.
Prosecutors described Blair
as calculating and determined to kill as many
prostitutes as he could. At least one women had
been strangled, but the causes of death of the
other women could not be determined because
their bodies had decomposed so badly.
Upon hearing the verdict,
Blair lowered his eyes to the table while family
members of his victims hugged and cried in the
gallery behind him. Blair's attorneys left
without speaking to reporters.
"I knew from the beginning
that it would come out this way because the
truth will always survive over lies and evil,"
said Irene Williams, mother of victim Darci
Williams. "You could look in his eyes, and it's
a blankness. But when he looks at a woman, it's
an evil look. It's just like hatred."
Williams, who has cancer,
said she feels at peace with the case.
"What time I have now, I know
that justice has been served. Even here on earth
he may not get all he deserves, but he will get
it in the hereafter," Williams said.
Relatives of other victims
said Williams became known as a kind of grandma
to the families. The relatives grew close during
this long ordeal, which included constant
reminders of their loved one's high-risk
"I'm her daughter. She was
somebody's mother. They weren't prostitutes,
drug addicts -- they were somebody's mother.
They were women," said Trish Davis, daughter of
victim Patricia Wilson Butler.
Prosecutors showed that
Blair's semen was found on the body of victim
Sheliah McKinzie and presented evidence they
said showed Blair may have been the one who
called 911 to tell police where to find the
bodies of victims.
Blair has denied involvement
in the killings and his defense attorneys said
the evidence against him was weak and
circumstantial. For example, they said the semen
found on McKinzie proves Blair had sex with her,
not that he killed her.
But O'Malley said the
placement of semen indicated McKinzie hadn't
moved or attempted to clean herself after having
"Since we know this semen
belonged to Mr. Blair we must conclude he was
present as Ms. McKinzie expired, her throat
crushed by his hands and by his irrational, evil
hatred of women," he said.
In addition to McKinzie, 38,
Williams, 25, and Butler, 45, the victims were:
Anna Ewing, 42; Carmen Hunt, 40; and Claudette
Charges against Blair in two
other slayings -- those of Nellia Harris, 33,
and Sandra Reed, 47 -- were dismissed in October.
Harris, unlike the other victims, was killed in
Blair also had been charged
in three rapes and an assault that involved four
victims who survived their attacks. Those
charges also were dropped.
Blair was arrested in September 2004 when he was
on parole for the 1982 murder of his pregnant
ex-girlfriend, Angela Monroe, who was the mother
of two of his children. He had served 21 years
KMBC's Peggy Breit reported
that before announcing the verdict, the judge
criticized the Kansas City Police Department for
its media coverage of the case. The Blair
investigation was featured on the cable program
"The First 48" on A&E.
The show followed Kansas City
detectives as they discovered the women's bodies.
A clip of the 7 1/2-hour interrogation appeared
on the show. Defense attorneys fought to throw
out the interrogation, but the judge decided it
did not violate Blair's constitutional rights to
a fair trial.
The judge said the police
officers should be more concerned about solving
crimes rather than television.
"I respectfully suggest, if
you don't want problems, you need to pursue the
criminals instead of the cameras," O'Malley said.
He also said mistakes were
caused by the presence of the cameras, and the
sometimes shoddy policework allowed the defense
to effectively dispute evidence.
Closing arguments made in
Terry Blair trial
Jenn Strathman -
March 21, 2008
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The fate
of accused serial killer Terry Blair now lies in
the hands of a Jackson County judge.
Closing arguments were held
in the trial Friday.
Blair is charged with killing
six women who worked as prostitutes. Their
bodies were found along the Prospect Corridor in
Charges against Blair in two
other slayings were dismissed by Jackson County
Circuit Judge John R. O'Malley in October.
Blair agreed to a non-jury
trial in exchange for prosecutors not seeking
the death penalty. Prosecutors also earlier
agreed to dismiss charges against Blair in the
two other killings, three rapes and an assault.
The prosecution alleged Blair
killed the six women because he thought all
prostitutes were scum, showing pictures of the
six women killed and describing how each one was
Earlier in the trial, a
former prostitute testified that Blair once told
her he wanted to "kill all prostitutes."
Jackson County Prosecutor
Michael Hunt said Blair's DNA was found on the
women and is the link to the killer.
But the defense argued that
hairs and DNA also left links to others. "Some
of this DNA is not [Blair's]," defense attorney
Cynthia Dryden said. "When you start pulling out
part and considering only some…you can make it
fit whatever you want."
The defense also questioned
the Kansas City Police Department's
investigation, specifically how they pinpointed
where 911 calls were made. Those calls played a
large role in the case.
The prosecution said Blair
made the calls that described in detail where
the bodies of the women were hidden.
A voice analysis expert
testified for the defense that the voice on the
calls did not match Blair's voice patterns.
The defense said the
prosecution did not prove beyond a reasonable
doubt that Blair committed the murders.
Expert: Anonymous caller
likely not Blair
March 13, 2008
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - The
clipped, matter-of-fact voice on two 911 calls
telling police where to find the bodies of five
women the caller claimed to have killed is not
likely the voice of the man charged in the
deaths, a linguistics expert testified Thursday.
Thomas Purnell, an assistant
professor of linguistics at the University of
Wisconsin-Madison, testified for the defense in
the fourth day of the trial for accused serial
killer Terry Blair.
Blair faces first-degree
murder charges in the deaths of six women whose
bodies were found after an anonymous 911 caller
told police in September 2004 about the bodies
and where the caller said he had put them.
"It's unlikely that the two
speakers, the 911 call speaker and Mr. Blair,
are the same person," Purnell said.
In his testimony, Purnell
described the complex analysis he performed on
the 911 calls and telephone conversations
between Blair and his grandmother and Blair and
a television reporter that were made while Blair
was in jail awaiting trial.
Purnell said Blair and the
caller shared some voice characteristics, such
as being male, African-American and urban. But
he said among other things, their pitch and
pacing were different.
Blair, 46, is charged with
six counts of first-degree murder in the 2004
deaths of six Kansas City women: Ewing and
McKinzie; Patricia Wilson Butler, 45; Darci I.
Williams, 25; Carmen Hunt, 40; and Claudette
Charges against Blair in two
other slayings - those of Nellia Harris, 33, and
Sandra Reed, 47 - were dismissed in October.
Harris, unlike the other victims, was killed in
Blair agreed to a nonjury
trial before Jackson County Judge Circuit John
R. O'Malley in exchange for prosecutors not
seeking the death penalty. Prosecutors also
earlier agreed to dismiss charges against Blair
in two other killings, three rapes and an
Blair has denied involvement
in the killings.
In the 911 calls, which were
played by the defense in the courtroom Thursday,
the caller, who seems to have a slight accent,
tells the dispatcher immediately in the first
call that he wants to report a dead body. He
tells precisely where the body can be found,
down to the color of the house.
"How do you know a dead body
is there?" the dispatcher asks.
"I put it there," the caller
When asked to give his name,
the caller, says, "Oh, no," and then repeats
where the body is.
"Look up under the branches
under the bushes by the alley," he says. "It's
an abandoned house. It's red." He says the body
has been there for two months.
When asked if he knows the
victim's name, he says he doesn't.
"She's a prostitute."
So were the other two, he
"You killed them also?"
The dispatcher asks how he
killed them. "You strangled her?"
The caller hangs up.
On the second call, which
came in the next day, the caller says he wants
to report two more bodies of prostitutes. He
calls them "scum."
"It's a disgrace," he says.
He says one of the bodies has been there a week
and is starting to stink. He refuses to give his
name, but says he can be referred to as "Scott,"
and that he will call the next day. He says
there are six more bodies to be found.
Assistant Prosecutor Michael Hunt asked Purnell
if the caller could have been disguising his
voice because "he's talking to police and
telling them about six people he's killed."
"When he's talking to his
grandma, the consequences are a whole lot
different than when he's talking to the police
about six murders he committed," Hunt said.
Purnell said the caller could
have been disguising his voice, and acknowledged
that he had never performed such an analysis
before for court proceedings. He had only done
them in the classroom.
Terry Blair avoids death penalty
by agreeing to trial without jury
By Joe Lambe, The Kansas City Star
February 2, 2008
Jackson County prosecutors agreed
today to no longer seek the death penalty against a man charged with
murdering six women whose bodies were found along the Prospect Corridor.
As part of the deal, prosecutors
also permanently dismissed charges for two other murders, three rapes
and an assault.
In exchange, Terry A. Blair, 46,
agreed to a non-jury trial before a judge.
At a hearing this morning, Jackson
County judge John O’Malley approved the agreement, which is similar to
that given last year to serial killer Lorenzo Gilyard.
Gilyard, also tried before O’Malley,
was convicted last year of strangling six women in 1986 and 1987 and
sentenced to life without parole.
Based on DNA evidence, Gilyard was
originally charged with murdering 13 women but prosecutors elected to
try only seven cases. O’Malley found there was not enough evidence in
one of those to convict.
Blair’s trial is scheduled to start
March 10 on the six murders. All those cases were connected by 911 calls
to police that helped them locate the bodies in the corridor between
July and September of 2004.
Suspect in slayings agrees
to non-jury trial to avoid
February 1, 2008
County prosecutors again are
making a deal with a
suspected serial killer.
time, the suspect is Terry
Blair, who is being allowed
to avoid the death penalty
in exchange for him agreeing
to be tried by a judge
instead of a jury, The
Kansas City Star reported on
its Web site Friday.
46, is charged with the 2004
slayings of six women, whose
bodies were dumped in Kansas
frequented by drug addicts
and prostitutes. His trial
is scheduled to start March
County Circuit Judge John
O'Malley approved the
agreement between Blair and
prosecutors at a hearing.
The agreement is similar to
one allowed last year for
Lorenzo Gilyard, who went on
to be sentenced to life
without parole for
strangling six women in 1986
spokesman for the Jackson
County prosecutor's office
did not immediately return
an e-mail or phone message
from The Associated Press on
attorneys had asked the
judge to dismiss the murder
charges or forbid the death
penalty in the case, saying
investigators' handling of
the evidence had kept the
defense from being able to
do its job.
example, they said videotape
footage showing someone
dumping one of the bodies
sat for three years at FBI
headquarters in Washington,
D.C., before they were able
to look at it.
denied the attorneys'
requests at a hearing in
September but scolded
slayings that Blair is
accused of committing were
connected by 911 calls to
police that helped them
locate the bodies in 2004.
charged with the deaths of
Sheliah McKinzie, 38;
Patricia Wilson Butler, 45;
Darci I. Williams, 25; Anna
Ewing, 42; Carmen Hunt, 40;
and Claudette Juniel, 31.
The women were all strangled.
against Blair in two other
slayings — those of victims
Nellia Harris, 33, and
Sandra Reed, 47 — were
dismissed by O'Malley in
October. Harris, unlike the
other victims, was killed in
charged in McKinzie's death
in September 2004 after
semen left on the victim's
body led investigators to
link him to the crime. Three
months later, charges were
added in the other women's
time of his arrest, Blair
was on parole after serving
21 years for the 1982 murder
of Angela Monroe, his
pregnant ex-girlfriend and
the mother of two of his
Prosecutors seek death for accused Kansas City serial killer
accused serial killer charged with eight women's deaths will face the
death penalty if convicted, it was announced Tuesday.
Jackson County Prosecutor Michael Sanders filed papers
outlining aggravating circumstances in each woman's killing that qualify
Terry Blair for capital punishment.
"This decision not just represents the desire of the
prosecutor's office but also the desire of the family members standing
here today," Sanders said.
Blair, 43, has been charged in the deaths of eight women
whose bodies were found last year in Kansas City neighborhoods
frequented by drug addicts and prostitutes.
Sanders said two factors qualify Blair for the death
penalty. First, his prior record of murder; he spent 21 years behind
bars for killing his pregnant ex-girlfriend. And second, the alleged
killings were "outrageously or wantonly vile, horrible or inhuman."
Blair is charged with killing Sheliah McKinzie, 38;
Patricia Wilson Butler, 45; Darci I. Williams, 25; Anna Ewing, 42;
Carmen Hunt, 40; Claudette Juniel, 31; Nellia Harris, 33; and Sandra
Blair is also accused of raping three other women.
He comes from a family with a long record of violent
Blair's mother killed a man but received probation. One
of his brothers was executed for another killing and a half brother was
sentenced to life in prison for kidnapping and other charges.
Some family members of victims wiped away tears as they
stood at Sanders' side for the announcement.
The prosecutor said there was no dissent among the
families of victims.
"Ever since our loved ones were found murdered, that's
all we've wanted," said Trish Davis, a daughter of Patricia Wilson
"We've wanted justice."
KANSAS CITY, Mo.
-- A Kansas City man accused of killing eight women pleaded not
guilty Monday to all charges in the case.