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Clifton L. RAY Jr.





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Rape
Number of victims: 3 +
Date of murders: 1987 / 1990 / 1992
Date of birth: 1959
Victims profile: Deborah Taylor / Joycie Flowers / His neighbor
Method of murder: Strangulation
Location: Kansas City, Missouri, USA
Status: Sentenced to life in prison in 2007

Conviction in 1990 murder for man called serial killer

May 2007

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Prosecutors say the conviction of a man in a 1990 strangling case ends a serial killer's career.

A Jackson County jury convicted Clifton Ray on Friday of strangling Joycie Flowers 17 years ago. His only possible sentence for first-degree murder is life without parole.

Ray was about to be paroled three years ago after a 1995 murder conviction for strangling his neighbor but prosecutors used DNA evidence to charge him with the 1987 murder of Deborah Taylor and the 1990 murder of Flowers.

In both cases, the women were strangled and semen with DNA matching Ray's was found in or on them. The Taylor murder case is pending.

Ray is a suspect in about six other murders. After the verdict Friday, a prosecutor told jurors that Ray's DNA matched that on Taylor and another victim, but charges could not be filed in that case because samples mistakenly were destroyed.

Prosecutors said Ray killed Flowers about May 24, 1990. Her body was found in a homeless camp. After the verdict, Flowers' daughter, Janel Flowers of Kansas City, cried on the shoulder of assistant prosecutor Dan Miller. “She can rest in peace now,” she said of her mother. “Praise God.”

Miller said: “It's about time. I don't know what else to say.” Defense attorney David Bell said he would appeal and declined to comment further.

Prosecutors had argued unsuccessfully before trial that the Flowers and Taylor homicides were linked by DNA and should be tried together.

But Judge Charles Atwell ruled that Missouri case law does not allow the use of DNA as a sole reason to try cases together.

The defense argued that Flowers and Ray may have had sex, but that did not prove Ray killed her. Bell argued that another man may have killed Flowers after Ray had sex with her. An earlier trial had ended in a hung jury when two jurors agreed with the defense argument.

Miller said he would try Ray for Taylor's homicide. And he predicted that Missouri law soon would allow cases to be linked on such DNA evidence, which some states already allow.


Clifton L. Ray Jr.


Clifton L. Ray Jr.



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