An unemployed construction worker, 30-year-old Louis Craine was arrested by Los Angeles police on May 29, 1987, charged with strangling and sexually assaulting prostitute Carolyn Barney the same day.
Evidence collected after Craine's arrest linked him with the murders of Loretta Perry, found on January 25, and Vivian Collins, discovered on March 18. With multiple murders and rapes involved, prosecutors announced their intention of seeking the death penalty. In custody, Craine named his brother Roger as a participant in the Perry and Collins murders, but no further homicide charges were filed.
Roger Craine was charged with assaulting prostitute Cheryl Williams, a case in which brother Louis faced additional counts of oral copulation and forced sodomy. Louis was further charged in the beating of a family friend, Yolanda Parker, and detectives named him as a suspect in the death of a black "John Doe" discovered behind his apartment complex in 1986.
Things went from bad to worse for Craine in January 1988, with the addition of two more homicide counts to his growing rap sheet. Sheila Burton and Gail Ficklin had been slain in November 1984 and August 1985, respectively, listed as victims of the elusive "Southside slayer" until Craine's arrest brought new evidence to light.
On January 15, authorities added Carolyn Barney's name to the "Southside" roster, noting that Craine had been definitely cleared in fourteen other deaths attributed to the anonymous killer. Brought to trial in July 1988, Craine was rescued from conviction by a mistrial, after jurors were exposed to "inadvertent evidence."
The panel had begun deliberations, and had voted unanimously for conviction on one murder count, when juror Kathy Hurada began reading aloud from a statement by Craine's younger brother, Shatay. As it turned out, the statement had not been admitted into evidence, but was accidentally sent to the jury room through a clerical error.
In order to protect Craine's rights, the judge declared a mistrial, throwing out the single-count conviction. A new trial was scheduled for January 1989.
Newton - An Encyclopedia of Modern Serial Killers - Hunting Humans
M RACE: B TYPE: T MOTIVE: Sex.
Rape-slayer of black prostitutas.
died of natural causes on death row in 1989 after being convicted of
strangling four prostitutes.