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Richard Daniel STARRETT





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Serial rapist and sex offender
Number of victims: 1 +
Date of murder: December 26, 1988
Date of arrest: February 14, 1989
Date of birth: September 25, 1959
Victim profile: Jean Taylor McCrea, 15
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Irmo, South Carolina, USA
Status: Sentenced to five life sentences en prison without parole on February 5, 1990



Irmo, SC -- Jean Taylor McCrea, 15, who had been kidnapped in 1989, was believed to have been killed in Richard Daniel Starrett's Martinez home before her body was dumped in a creek in Newberry County, S.C. 

Mr. Starrett was 29, worked at Savannah River Site and preyed on young women when his wife and child flew to California. He would kidnap his victims, take them home to Martinez and hold them captive for a few days while sexually assaulting them.

Then he met Shari Dawn Teets. Just 17, the pretty, petite brunette was kidnapped in February 1989. Four days later - on a chilly Friday night - she escaped to a house across from Mr. Starrett's rented West Lynne Drive home.

That night, Maj. Adams said, Mr. Starrett was drinking and passed out, and Ms. Teets got away.

"She went and looked out one of the windows and saw she was in a subdivision,'' Maj. Adams said. "And basically said to herself, `If I'm going to get away, now is my chance.'''

Maj. Adams, now in charge of management services for the sheriff's department, was the county's lead investigator in 1989.

"We were just lucky that Shari was able to get away as soon as she did,'' he said.

In the end, Mr. Starrett killed only one person: He shot Jean Taylor McCrea, 15, because he was falling in love with her, he told investigators. He wrapped her body in a green blanket and trash bags before dumping her into a creek bed near her home in Irmo, S.C. He was arrested in Texas in February 1989 after Ms. Teets escaped. He is now serving life in prison in South Carolina with no possibility of parole.

But Maj. Adams says he believes Mr. Starrett planned to kill others. His trail of rapes led from Charleston, S.C., to Atlanta.

"They start off with just a rape or an assault, and it just grows from there,'' Maj. Adams said, comparing the killers to drug addicts who start with marijuana but move to more powerful drugs to sustain the high.

Mr. Starrett, a convicted serial rapist and sex offender, had already been sentenced to two consecutive life sentences for kidnapping Shari Dawn Teets, 17, of Lexington, S.C., and kidnapping a 12-year-old Irmo girl in June 1988. He had received a previous sentence of life plus 20 years in prison when he pleaded guilty but mentally ill to kidnapping and sodomizing a Columbia girl in December 1987. 

Mr. Starrett also faced charges in Charleston, S.C., in the kidnapping and sexual assault of a 22-year-old woman. 

He was captured in Texas after a manhunt and led police to Miss McCrea's body. He blamed his behavior on pornography. 

Investigators confiscated from his Martinez home more than 1,000 books and magazines depicting nudity, horror, sexual violence and posters depicting bondage.



MO: Rapist/slayer of girls and young women met through newspaper classified ads.

DISPOSITION: Five life terms in S.C., 1991; five life terms in Ga., 1993.



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