A lethal drifter, Goodin was first connected with homicide in the death of Marlin Carpenter, a schoolteacher found with his throat slashed in Valdosta, Georgia, on April 29, 1987.
Police were still seeking him three months later, when Goodin was picked up in Columbus, Indiana, on charges of assaulting and trying to rob his live-in girlfriend. Preliminary charges of battery were filed in Columbus, along with an earlier trespassing count, resulting from an incident in which the woman's seven-year-old son was also beaten. Living on the road since 1984, Goodin had left tracks in Alabama, Florida, and Georgia before trying his luck in the Midwest.
Indicted for the Carpenter slaying on December 11, 1987, Goodin was suspected of slaying additional victims -- gay men -- in Florence, Alabama, and in Lowndes County, Georgia. Florida officials had an open case on file that seemed to fit the drifter's modus operandi, and officers in Oklahoma suspect his involvement with Tuan Nguyen, a burglar convicted of a 1982 triple murder. Waiving extradition proceedings, Goodin declared that "To me, death is better than serving time in Indiana."
On June 11, 1988, he was convicted of first-degree murder in Valdosta and sentenced to a term of life imprisonment. Investigation into other homicides continues at this writing.
Michael Newton - An Encyclopedia of Modern Serial
Killers - Hunting Humans
SEX: M RACE: W TYPE: N MOTIVE: CE
MO: Drifter linked to random
murders; three identified victims were male, inciuding two gays
DISPOSITION: Life sentence on one
count in Ga., 1988