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Frank R. DAVIS





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Homosexual - Rape
Number of victims: 2
Date of murders: June 16/18, 1983
Date of arrest: June 22, 1983
Date of birth: January 29, 1953
Victims profile: Darrin Reed, 14 / Jeff Lopez, 15
Method of murder: Manual strangulation / Strangulation with wire
Location: La Porte County, Indiana, USA
Status: Sentenced to death on January 25, 1984. Resentenced after new Sentencing Hearing to 220 years imprisonment on July 7, 1996



DOB: 01-29-1953
1181 White Male

Marshall County Circuit Court
Judge Michael D. Cook

Venued from LaPorte County

Prosecutor: Craig V. Braje

Defense: Gregory H. Hofer

Date of Murder: June 16 & 18, 1983

Victim(s): D.R. W/M/14; J.L. W/M/15 (No relationship to Davis)

Method of Murder: Manual strangulation (D.R.); Strangulation with wire (J.L.)

Summary: Charges arose from 3 separate incidents.

On January 10, 15 year old J.S. was confronted by Davis at gunpoint in a cornfield in LaPorte on the way back to his home. Davis put a wire around his neck and performed oral sex on him. Davis later pistol-whipped him until he thought he was unconscious. J.S. recovered from the attack and later identified Davis.

On June 16, 14 year old D.R. was confronted by Davis with a knife after he and Davis drank a beer provided by Davis. Davis tied a wire around his neck, performed oral sex on him, then strangled him to death with his hands.

On June 18, two 15 year old boys, J.L. and E.F. were camping out when they came across Davis in the woods. Davis was smoking pot and shared it with the teenagers. Davis left while the boys returned to the campsite. Davis watched and waited until the boys went to sleep, then went into the tent, woke up J.L., and escorted him into the woods at knifepoint. Davis tied J.L. up with wire, then performed oral sex on him, then strangled him with the wire. Davis returned and got E.F., tied him up with wire, and performed oral sex on him. Davis then struck him in the head with the axe and left. Davis had used his own name and was identified by the survivors. He gave a complete confession.

Conviction: Pled guilty to Murder (2 counts) and Attempted Murder (A Felony) pursuant to Plea Agreement, which called for dismissal of CDC (A Felony) (4 counts) and Felony-Murder (2 counts), but allowed the State to seek a Death Sentence.

Sentencing: January 25, 1984 (Death Sentence, Death Sentence, 50 years, 50 years)

Aggravating Circumstances: b(1) Child Molesting; Lying in Wait

Mitigating Circumstances: emotional pressure, antisocial character disorder, sexually abused as a prisoner in Boy's School

07-10-96 Resentenced after new Sentencing Hearing to 220 years imprisonment.


Davis, Frank

On June 3, 1971, 13-year-old Duane Bush was reported missing from his home in Union Mills, Indiana. Suspected as a runaway, in light of recent confrontations with the local juvenile authorities, Duane had actually been kidnapped, sodomized, and strangled. Three months elapsed before a hunter found his scattered skeletal remains on wooded ground, five miles northeast of town. 

The dead boy was identified from dental charts. The terror had begun, but it was quickly interrupted. Shortly after Duane Bush died, Frank Davis was convicted on a charge of burglary and sentenced to a term of one to ten years in the penitentiary. Three months after his release, he joined a friend in sticking up a grocery store for forty dollars. Once again, the sentence bore a ten-year maximum. 

Davis escaped briefly, in 1975, but was swiftly recaptured. Parole put him back on the street in 1982, and he was hunting even as the prison gates swung shut behind him. On January 10, 1983, a 15-year-old victim was assaulted in Laporte, Indiana, ten miles northeast of Union Mills. 

Choked semi-conscious and clubbed with a pistol, the boy survived his injuries and staggered to the police station, where he filed a report of the incident. On June 16, young Darrin Reed, 14, abruptly vanished on the short walk to his girlfriend's house. His body, sodomized and strangled, was recovered three days later, in the afternoon. By that time, other victims had been added to the list. 

On June 18, Jeff Lopez, age 15, had set up camp with friends at Kingsbury Fish and Wildlife Park, between LaPorte and Union Mills. That afternoon, a man who called himself Frank Davis offered Lopez and another boy free motorcycle rides. A friend recalled that Jeff had briefly bogged the cycle down in mud, but Davis did not seem to mind. He was a friendly sort, all smiles. 

At 3:00 a.m. on June 19, the "friendly" man abducted Lopez from his camp and dragged him through the woods until they reached a clearing where the boy was sodomized, then murdered in an ax-and knife assault which left him nearly headless. 

Doubling back, the killer seized a sleeping friend of Jeff's, repeating the assault and leaving victim number two for dead. The boy was still alive, however, when a team of searchers found him in the afternoon and rushed him to a local hospital. Upon regaining consciousness, he offered homicide detectives a description of the killer -- and he offered them a name, as well. 

The body of Jeff Lopez was recovered on June 21, and officers arrested Davis later in the day. The murder weapon was an ax belonging to the dead boy's father, picked up at the camp site at the time of the abduction. 

Tests revealed no fingerprints, but they would not be necessary. From his cell, Frank Davis made a full confession in the deaths of Lopez, Reed, and Bush, along with two counts of attempted murder for the victims who survived. Scheduled for trial in January 1984, Davis opted for a guilty plea on two counts of felony murder (Reed and Lopez) and two counts of attempted murder. 

The latter charges earned him prison terms of fifty years apiece; on the murder charges, Davis was condemned to die.

Michael Newton - An Encyclopedia of Modern Serial Killers


Frank R. Davis



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