Juan Ignacio Blanco  


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Larry Bright



Larry Bright



Larry Bright



Larry Bright



Larry Bright



Larry Bright



The victims


Brenda Erving

DOB: December 23, 1962

  • Deputy Durand Huseman-PCSD

    On October 15, 2004, he was dispatched to 24000 block of West Taggert Road, Elmwood Township, in Peoria County, Illinois, on a report of a deceased black female  found on a farm entrance road near its 24000 block. Upon arrival the deputy found the body of Brenda Erving lying face up in the mud and he found it to be unclothed except that she was wearing socks.  The area was muddy and the only footprints found in the  mud were those of the person who had contacted the Peoria County Sheriff's Office to report the discovery of the body.

  • Dr. Violette Hnilica-MD Forensic Pathologist

    On October 16, 2004, Dr. Violette Hnilica performed the autopsy of Brenda Erving.  She would testify that she found injuries to Brenda Erving that were consistent with asphyxia as well as evidence of blunt force trauma to Ms. Erving's head. Medical tests showed that the body also contained a toxic level of cocaine product or its metabolite. In her medical opinion and within a reasonable degree of medical and forensic certainty, Dr. Hnilica would state that Ms. Erving died of asphyxia with blunt force injuries to her head with accompanying cocaine toxicity.

  • Det. Dave Hoyle-PCSD

  • Det. Cy Taylor-TCSD

    On January 26, 2005, the defendant spoke with detectives concerning the murder of Brenda Erving.  He stated he did not remember what she looked like but that he recalled the incident of killing her by where he dumped Ms. Erving's body. He said he did not recall exactly where he picked her up that night but that he was driving and that they went back to his residence and he and the victim spent about an hour smoking crack cocaine and having sex. The defendant said that while smoking the crack he knew that he was going to be killing this woman.  He stated that he began to choke her and that she put up a fierce resistance and struggled with him. He said that she put up the biggest fight of any of the girls he attacked and that, at one point, she almost got away but that he was able to grab her and keep her from getting out of the house. He struck her and strangled her as he did with the others.

    He then drove her body until he was near rural Elmwood.  He had intended to find a lake and throw the body in the lake but he had gotten lost and said that he panicked.  He then threw her body out onto a dirt road and continued driving into a large farm. There he turned around and drove himself back by the body.  He told detectives that after he had dumped the body at the edge of the dirt road he made sure to cover up any of his footprints.

    After questioning, the defendant directed detectives to the area that he had described when telling about Brenda Erving's murder.  He said that this was the last time he used his Blazer to transport a body after killing them.  When showing detectives the route he had taken he pointed to where he dumped the body and showed where he had turned around in the parking lot of a farm. This farm was found to be  Inman's Dairy.  Regarding the clothing of the victim that had been left behind at the defendant's residence, the defendant stated that he had burned these clothes and he remarked that he had a difficult time burning a red raincoat because it was leaving residue.  When last seen alive before her murder, Brenda Erving was reported wearing a red raincoat.

Brenda Erving was 41 years old.



Laura Lollar

DOB: January 1, 1971 

  • Ofcr. Katherine Handing-PPD

    On August 22, 2004, a friend of Laura Lollar reported that he was concerned for her as he had not seen her in three weeks.  He said that, typically, he would at least hear from Laura every three or four days. Her ex-husband was also concerned about her absence as he, too, had been checking for her at a few places but had not been able to find her nor anyone who had recently seen or heard from her.  Her ex-husband said that he would normally see Laura at least once a week as he has their three oldest children and she would see them regularly.  On August 26, 2004, a missing persons report was filed.

  • Det. Dave Hoyle-PCSD   Det. Cy Taylor-TCSD

    On January 26, 2005, the defendant spoke with detectives concerning missing women and the death of Laura Lollar.  Her picture was produced by police and shown to the defendant. He acknowledged that he remembered her and that she was one of those he had murdered and whose body he had burned.  He said that he picked her up on the north end of Peoria near Madison and Spring streets.  Bright told detectives that he particularly remembered killing Laura Lollar because she is the one he felt sorry about because, while he was killing her, she was struggling and telling him that she had kids as she was dying in front of him. He strangled her, he said, and then burned her body and dumped the remains at the sites he described.  He believed and said to police that she was the second to last woman he killed.

Laura Lollar was 33 years old.




Linda Neal

DOB: June 23, 1964

  •  Detective Hal Harper-TCSD

    On September 25, 2004, he was dispatched to the 2500 block of King Road off Wildlife Road, in rural Hopedale in Tazewell County, Illinois, on a report of a deceased black female who had been found at the end of King Road.  She was lying in a grassy area to the right side of a dirt road and within a few feet of a tree.  When he arrived the detective observed the lifeless body of a black female and she was later identified as Linda Neal.  She was unclothed and a corded ligature, apparently a shoelace, was found around the upper portion of her neck.

  • Dr. Jessica Bowman, M.D.-Forensic Pathologist

    On September 26, 2004, she performed the autopsy of Linda Neal which included the taking of vaginal swabs for to examine for sexual assault and for a rape kit. She would testify that she observed injuries to Ms. Neal's neck and that in her medical opinion the cause of death for Linda Neal was asphyxia due to strangulation with a ligature around her throat.  She also observed abrasions on other portions of Ms. Neal's body that would be consistent with her being dragged while dead. 

  • Det. Dave Wilson-PCSD

    On November 11, 2004, he spoke with the defendant at the Peoria County Sheriff's Department concerning a separate incident.  During the interview the defendant smoked two of his own cigarettes.  After the interview ended, the detective collected both cigarette butts and each were submitted  for scientific testing  for the presence of DNA.

  • Debra Minton-ISP Forensic Scientist

    From these cigarette butts, Debra Minton was able to obtain the defendant's DNA profile. The defendant's DNA profile was compared to the DNA profile from semen that had been lifted in the vaginal swabs taken during the autopsy of Linda Neal.  When examined, it was found that the two samples were a match.

  • Det. Cy Taylor-TCSD

    On January 26, 2005, the defendant spoke with the detective concerning the murder of Linda Neal.  The defendant stated that he picked up Linda Neal in the parking lot of a furniture store by Woody's Bar on the southern edge of Peoria.  He asked her if she wanted to party and he showed her the drugs which he had.  Eventually, he took her back to his house on Starr Court.  Once there, they consumed whiskey and cocaine and had sex.  As he had planned, he strangled her on the bed.  He said she did not struggle and he choked her throat until she was dead  The defendant said that his mother was home at the time so he was not able to burn this body in the backyard without raising suspicion so he, instead, carried the body to his vehicle, a Blazer SUV. 

    He remembered that Linda Neal was the one that had the shoestring on her and that he was pulling and dragging her body by this shoestring because her hands were slick and he couldn't get a grip of her in any other way.  After he placed her in the Blazer, he took the body to a place he referred as Pitzer's Cabin, but remarked that he doesn't recall ever seeing an actual cabin. When he got to this location he parked his vehicle on the top of a levy and he dragged the body and left it by a tree. 

    The defendant eventually directed detectives to this same area on King Road in Tazewell County and confirmed this as the placement location for the body of Linda Neal.

Linda Neal was 40 years old.




Sabrina Payne


DOB: February 4, 1967

  • Detective Sgt. Jeff Lower-Tazewell County Sheriff's Department

    On July 27, 2003, he was called to a cornfield south of Augustin Road at Mud Creek Bridge, Tremont Township in Tazewell County on the report of a body being found.  He responded to the scene and located the body of a black female, later identified as Sabrina Payne. His investigation found that Ms. Payne was last seen alive at her residence on July 25, 2003, at approximately 4:00pm.

  • Dr. Travis Hindman, M.D.-Pathologist

    On July 28, 2003, he performed the autopsy on Sabrina Payne.  He would testify that in his medical opinion the immediate cause of death could not be determined with certainty.

  • Detective Dave Hoyle-Peoria County Sheriff's Department

  • Detective Cy Taylor-Tazewell County Sheriff's Department

    On January 26, 2005, they came into contact with the defendant at the Tazewell County Jail in order to serve him with a search warrant for the yard and residence located at 3418 Starr Court in Peoria, Illinois. The defendant stated that the search would not be necessary and that he would tell police everything. He was Mirandized, waived his rights, and told the officers that he did it; that he killed eight girls, that he had strangled all eight girls, and that it started with the girl that was found in the cornfield by Tremont. (Sabrina Payne)


    The defendant stated that he picked her up on the south end of Peoria and took her back to where he then lived on McClure Street in Peoria. The defendant explained that he believed that she was ripping him off and he lost control and the next thing he knew she was dead.  He placed her body into the front seat of his Blazer and drove to the cornfield.  Once there he dragged her out into the field by her feet and threw some of her clothes into the creek. The defendant eventually directed the detectives to the location where he had left Ms. Payne's body, which was the same location where Ms. Payne's body had been found in July 2003 by Det. Lower.


Sabrina Payne was 36 years old.




Shaconda Thomas

DOB: November 23, 1971

  • Ofcr. Thane Hunt-PPD

    On October 7, 2004, the grandmother of Shaconda Thomas came to the Peoria Police Department to report that her granddaughter, who lived with her, was missing. It was determined that Shaconda Thomas had not been seen alive by others and had been missing since the last week of August, 2004.  No other valid leads or information would surface to assist family or police in the whereabouts of Shaconda Thomas.

  • Det. Dave Hoyle- PCSD Det. Cy Taylor-TCSD

    On January 26, 2005, the defendant spoke with detectives concerning the missing women and this list included Shaconda Thomas. During this interview the defendant stated that he had killed and then burned the bodies of all four of the missing women listed by police and had gathered up each of their burned remains and scattered them at various locations within Peoria County. Bright described how he had dug a hole in his backyard and in the hole he would start a fire which would serve as a pit for him to throw the dead bodies into so that only bones and ashes would be left.

    When asked how the four missing women had been killed, the defendant stated that he had strangled them. Detectives produced a photograph of Shaconda Thomas and showed it to the defendant who said that he remembered her as one of those he killed.

Shaconda Thomas was 32 years old.




Shirley Ann Trapp

DOB: June 6, 1959

  • Det. Katherine Baer-Peoria Police Department

    On August 28, 2004, the boyfriend of Shirley Trapp filed a missing persons report with Peoria Police, indicating that he had not seen Shirley Trapp for several days and that it was unlike her to remain out of contact with him. Her family had also not seen her in about three days, around August 25, 2004. They also reported that Ms. Trapp had diabetes and needed continual medication to control her condition.  St. Francis pharmacy in Peoria was contacted in order to learn whether or not Shirley had picked up her diabetic medication.  She had not.

  • Det. Dave Hoyle-PCSD   Det. Cy Taylor-TCSD

    On January 26, 2005, the defendant spoke with detectives concerning the murder of Shirley Ann Trapp. He indicated that he had picked her up on the north end of Peoria but could not recall the specific place.  He took her back to his residence at 3418 West Starr Court.  Once there, he said they smoked crack cocaine and that they had sex.  The defendant said that he could tell that Shirley Trapp sensed that something "was going to happen" and that she began to struggle.  He struck her hard in the head and then strangled her around the throat. He told detectives that it was after this incident when he had the idea to burn the bodies of the women he murdered.  He said he would build a fire and let it burn for hours until there would remain very hot coals.

    He said that he carried this body from the house out to the fire and left it burning for a day. The next day he shoveled the ashes into a bucket and disposed of them elsewhere. He said the shovel would have no evidence on it since he had cleaned it with water and a scrub brush. He said he must have missed some bones because detectives found some bone parts and remains in the yard.

    Bright told police that he dumped the remains of the women he burned in several different locations and that one of the places was in the backyard area of 630 South Anna Street in Bellevue.  This was the address of the defendant's grandmother.  He pointed out for detectives the area there where he had dumped remains.  Consistent with Bright's descriptions and locations, charred bones and related pieces could be seen at the places where he took detectives and these items were collected and analyzed.

  • CSI Matt Davis-ISP

     On March 1, 2005, and thereafter, he conducted examinations of the exhibits that were recovered during the processing of scenes located at 3418 West Starr Court, Peoria, 630 South Anna Street in Bellevue, and at 2317 North Willow in Norwood, all of these places in the County of Peoria and State of Illinois. His examination found numerous human skeletal remains and Mr. Davis was able to determine that the minimum number of human beings in the array of skeletal remains presented is three.  This is based on the presence of three separate fragments of the left maxilla found at the Bellevue location.  These 3 bone fragments had to come from three separate human craniums. All of the human remains that were submitted for analysis were specifically found to exhibit changes in their color and structure as a result of a prolonged exposure to intense fire.

Shirley Ann Trapp was 45 years old.




Tamara Walls

DOB: January 27, 1975

  • Officer Patrick Jordan-Peoria Police Department

    On September 22, 2004, a sister of Tamara Walls came to the Peoria Police Department and reported that Tamara had been missing for approximately three weeks. It was reported that Tamara had not been one to go that long without checking in, and no one in the family had heard from her for the previous three weeks.

  • Detective Dave Hoyle-PCSD      

  • Detective Cy Taylor-TCSD

    On January 26, 2005, the defendant spoke to them about the murder of Tamara Walls.  The defendant stated that he picked her up around the Harrison Homes area of Peoria, Illinois, and drove her to his residence on Starr Court.  There they smoked crack, drank whiskey and had sex. While having sex he began to strangle her and she struggled and scratched his face. He overpowered her and choked her until she was dead. Once she was dead he carried her body from the house into the back yard.  There, he set fire to the body  in a burn pile.

    Detectives produced a photograph of Tamara Walls and showed it to the defendant.  He identified her as the person he had murdered and burned.  He said he remembered her because when he returned to the burning body he found that it had not completely burned and so he had to light the fire again.  He remembered her name, he said, because Tamara Walls had her driver's license in her possession and he burned the license along with her body.

    The defendant then directed detectives to several dump sites, one being located behind 2317 N. Willow Road in Norwood, Illinois  The defendant told police that he would dump remains of burned human bodies here and at another location after returning home in the daylight and finding remains that he missed or dropped when he made the initial dumps.  Burnt remains were clearly visible at this location. The scene was secured and processed in painstaking detail by police and forensics teams with all pieces tagged and packaged and each location plotted.

  • CSI Matt Davis-Illinois State Police

  • Dr. Stephen Nawrocki-Crime Scene Services Command Anthropology Case Reviewer

    From 01/27/05-01/29/05, these men led the processing of several locations for the presence of human remains, including the location identified by the defendant at 2317 Willow Road in Norwood.  At this location were found human remains including a portion of a human mandible (or jawbone) with a 2.5 mm hole in the bone, indicating prior orthopedic intervention.

  • Dr. George Kottemann-DDS

  • Forensic Odontologist

    On August 2, 2005, he reviewed the antemortem dental records of Tamara Walls and made a forensic comparison with the human mandible bone recovered at the Willow Road dump site.  Dental records confirmed that Ms. Walls had undergone a previous surgical procedure of the jaw resulting in the attachment of a reconstruction bar to the left side of her mandible and that it contained a screw attachment and opening consistent with that made by a dental instrument.  After review, it is determined within a reasonable degree of dental and forensic certainty that the mandible bone segment found at the Willow Road site is that of Tamara Walls.

Tamara Walls was 29 years old.




Barbara Williams

DOB: January 30, 1968 (36)

  • Detective Dave Wilson-Peoria County Sheriff's Department

    On February 5, 2004, he was dispatched to the 4800 Block of North Valley View Road in Edwards, IL on the report of a female body lying on the side of the road.  He responded to the scene and found the body of Barbara Williams face down in the snow, partially clothed, with her feet still on the roadway. Marks on her clothing and on her arms indicated that she may have been dragged from one place to another.  However, no signs of drag marks at the scene indicated the death took place at a different location and the body of Ms. Williams was dumped at this location.  Ms. Williams was last seen alive the night before, February 4, 2004,  between 9:00 pm - 10:00 pm.

  • Dr. Violette Hnilica, M.D.-Forensic Pathologist

    On February 6, 2004, she performed the autopsy of Barbara Williams.  Dr. Hnilica would testify that she found several antemortem injuries including a contusion on the right side of her face by her eye, a contusion and abrasion on her left shoulder, and an abrasion on her left wrist.  She found several postmortem injuries including a dislocated left wrist, abrasions on her left arm, and lacerations and contusions to her left hand.  She further observed scrapes, likely drag marks, on her left arm, both heels, and on her clothing.

    In her medical opinion, Dr. Hnilica would state that Ms. Williams died of cocaine toxicity in that cocaine, its products and metabolites were found in her body at levels determined to be toxic. No signs of asphyxia or strangulation were evident.

  • Detective Dave Hoyle-PCSD

  • Detective Cy Taylor-TCSD

    On January 26, 2005, the defendant spoke with these detectives concerning the death of Barbara Williams.  Although he did not remember what she looked like he did remember the incident of killing Barbara Williams by the location where he dumped the body.

    The defendant stated that she was the second girl he killed.  He picked her up on the south end of Peoria, Illinois.  He took her back to his house at 3418 W. Starr Ct. in Peoria.  He stated that they were doing crack cocaine which he had provided.  He stated that he found her attempting to steal his money and that he punched her in the throat and she started choking. Then, in the defendant's words, he said he "just lost control.".  After she was dead, he then took her to the North Valley View Road location.  He said he did not know why he dumped her there but that he just wanted to get rid of the body.  He later directed detectives to this location. He stated that after this incident he knew he was going to kill the girls when he picked them up.  The defendant, in his words, said he "was hunting."

Barbara Williams was 36 years old.



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