Conn. Man Gets 60
Years For Strangling Three Women
June 24, 2008
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — A
former security guard has been sentenced to 60 years in prison for the
strangling deaths of three women in Bridgeport, crimes that sparked
fears of a serial killer on the loose in Connecticut's largest city in
Emanuel Lovell Webb, 42, a former
Bridgeport resident, was charged with the killings two years ago after
authorities in a cold case investigation linked him to the deaths using
Webb pleaded no contest last month
to murder charges in the stranglings of Sharon Cunningham, 39, Minnie
Sutton, 37 and Elizabeth Gandy, 34. Investigators also said DNA tests
linked him to the killing of a fourth woman, 29-year-old Sheila
Etheridge, but charges in that case were dropped.
Three of the women were mutilated or
disfigured, including one who was stabbed in the neck, chest, forehead
and stomach, police said. Each of the crimes had a sexual aspect,
The victims' families applauded
Monday after Bridgeport Superior Court Judge George Thim announced the
"Justice may have been delayed, but
it was never denied," Gandy's daughter, Tequea Gandy, exclaimed as she
left the courthouse.
Webb's arrest two years ago came
when he was already in jail in Georgia for violating his parole for the
death of a young woman there in 1994. Police said Webb worked for a
Fairfield security company before moving to Mount Vernon, Ga., in 1993.
Webb told the judge on Monday that
he didn't want to cause the victims' families more distress by
continuing to maintain his innocence.
"My heart goes out to all of you,"
he told the families. "There are lots of things I don't agree with."
Senior Assistant State's Attorney
Joseph Corradino said Webb was a predator.
"He was motivated by his lust for
killing," he told the judge. "This case shouts for the maximum sentence."
The victims' relatives agreed.
"I was robbed of a mother, my son
was robbed of a grandmother and if he is released from prison no one
will be safe from this sick man," Tequea Gandy said.
Suspect pleads no contest to 3 murder charges
May 31, 2008
A former Fairfield security guard pleaded no contest to murder charges
Thursday in the strangling deaths of three women in Bridgeport and plans
to challenge a judge's order that consolidated all three cases.
Emanuel Lovell Webb, 42, was charged two years ago with killing three
women in the 1990s after authorities say DNA in a cold case
investigation linked him to the crimes.
A no contest plea means the defendant doesn't contest the charges, but
the state will make a finding of guilty.
The former Bridgeport resident was already in custody at the D. Ray
James Correctional Facility in Folkston, Ga., when he was charged in
2006 with strangling 34-year-old Elizabeth "Maxine" Gandy to death in
Bridgeport in 1993. Detectives said they also used DNA to link him to
the deaths of Sharon Cunningham, 39, Minnie Sutton, 37, and Sheila
Earlier this month, a state judge ruled that prosecutors presented
enough evidence to consolidate the cases of Cunningham, Sutton and Gandy
into one trial. Charges were dropped in the Etheridge case.
Three of the women were mutilated or disfigured, including one who was
stabbed in the neck, chest, forehead and stomach, police said. Each of
the crimes had a sexual aspect.
The crimes sparked fears of a serial killer on the loose in
Connecticut's largest city. They went unsolved until 2006, when
detectives said they linked Webb to the killings with DNA evidence. The
evidence included a cigarette butt found at one of the crime scenes.
Webb, who was being held in jail in Georgia for violating his parole for
the death of a young woman in 1994, frequented the same clubs as the
victims, police said.
Police said that before moving to Mount Vernon, Ga., in August 1993,
Webb worked for a Fairfield security company and a construction company.
His public defender Miles Gerety said the no contest plea will allow
Webb to appeal the consolidation order, which Gerety called "well-reasoned"
"I just don't see how you can get a fair trial," Gerety said.
Gerety said the DNA evidence did not prove Webb committed the crimes. He
said another unidentified person's DNA also was found on the cigarette
Joseph Corradino, senior assistant state's attorney, said blood found at
one of the crime scenes and fingernail scrappings from the victim
matched Webb's DNA. He said the crimes were committed near Webb's home
and bore strong similarities.
Webb faces up to 60 years in prison for the crimes.
Tequea Gandy, whose mother, Elizabeth, was strangled in 1993, attended
the hearing Thursday. She said she wants to see Webb spend the rest of
his life in jail.
"It destroyed my life," she said. "I want him to suffer...so he can
think about all the pain he caused people."
Webb did not face capital felony, which would have made him eligible for
the death penalty or life without the possibility of parole, because his
crimes did not fit the definition under the law, Corradino said. That
charge applies when there are additional elements to a killing, such as
rape or kidnapping, authorities said.
Corradino said there should be a provision under the law for serial
"It's a gap in the capital felony statute," Corradino said. "There's not
even the possibility of life without release."
A telephone message was left for Rep. Michael Lawlor, D-East Haven, co-chairman
of the legislature's Judiciary Committee.
Judge consolidates 3 strangulation cases
May 12, 2008
A Superior Court judge ruled Tuesday the state can consolidate into one
trial charges that former Fairfield security guard Emanuel Lovell Webb
fatally strangled three women here in the early 1990s.
Judge Robert Devlin Jr., in a 16-page decision, said Senior Assistant
State's Attorney Joseph Corradino and Assistant State's Attorney Marc
Durso had presented sufficient evidence that the murders of Sharon
Cunningham, 39; Minnie Sutton, 37; and Elizabeth Gandy, 34, have enough
in common to try Webb in a single court case.
The judge ruled, however, that prosecutors had not proved sufficiently
that a fourth woman, Sheila Etheridge, 29, died at Webb's hands or that
her death could be linked to the three other cases.
The judge granted Webb's lawyers a continuance until June 2 for jury
selection in the case. The trial is set to begin July 17.
If convicted of all charges in the three cases, Webb would face multiple
life prison terms.
During a hearing last week, retired FBI Special Agent Gregg McCrary,
formerly with the FBI's Behavior Analysis Unit, testified he believes
the four murders were committed by the same person.
McCrary, who said he investigated a number of serial killings as a
member of the FBI unit, which was depicted in the popular television
program "Criminal Minds," said he found shared characteristics in the
He said all the victims were drug users; they were in the same social
group in the city's East Side; there were "sexual components" in each of
the crimes; each victim was disfigured by her killer and Webb's DNA was
found at each crime scene.
McCrary said there were also "striking similarities" between the murders
of the four women and the July 10, 1994, murder of 37-year-old Evelyn
Charity, found strangled and stabbed in her Vidalia, Ga., home.
Webb was arrested for that crime and convicted of involuntary
manslaughter after he contended Charity died during "wild sex."
On Monday, Webb's lawyers, Assistant Public Defenders Miles Gerety and
Susan Coccia, brought to court Associate State Medical Examiner Dr.
Edward McDonough. While McDonough testified he found there was a pattern
to the murders of Gandy, Sutton and Cunningham, he said he believes that
the cause of Etheridge's death remains undetermined and could not be
considered a homicide.
Cunningham's body was found shortly after noon April 1, 1990, in a
burning car at Crescent and Bunnell streets.
Sutton was found lying partially clothed on the floor of her Webster
Avenue home on March 28, 1992. Gandy's partially clothed body was found
April 19, 1993, in an abandoned building at Stratford Avenue and Fifth
Etheridge was found dead in her Bishop Avenue apartment on June 28,
The judge also ruled that the prosecutors could present to the jury
information about Charity's killing during Webb's trial on the
Georgia man to Bridgeport killings in early 1990s
New DNA testing has linked a Georgia man to the killings
of four Connecticut women in the early 1990s, and investigators believe
he may have been involved in up to six other slayings here.
Emanuel Lovell Webb was charged recently with murder in
the killing of Elizabeth Gandy, 34, on April 19, 1993, prosecutor
Jonathan Benedict said.
Webb, 40, is in prison in Georgia on a parole violation.
Benedict said authorities were discussing his extradition to
Webb was linked to Gandy's slaying after cold-case
detectives began reinvestigating the killings of about 15 Bridgeport
women in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Benedict said.
During that time, young women were found dead in vacant
buildings and lots in the city's seedy East End.
Webb knew some of the women. Others he met through work,
friends or at bars.
"One of the commonalities was him," Bridgeport police Lt.
James Viadero said. "He happened to know them or had met him or was the
last person to have see them. He just kept on popping up."
Detectives discovered that 10 homicides from that period
had similar characteristics, and sent evidence from four of the cases to
the FBI to compare evidence with DNA profiles of convicted felons
nationwide. Such profiles were not available in the early 1990s.
The identification system recorded DNA "hits" for Webb in
the killings of Gandy and three other Bridgeport women: Sharon
Cunningham, Minnie Sutton and Sheila Etheridge.
Police are continuing to look into the homicides of
Cunningham, Sutton, Etheridge and other women killed around the same
time, Benedict said.
Webb lived with his sister, Bernice Snead, and a
girlfriend in the East End from 1987 through 1993, the Connecticut Post
In August 1993, Webb moved back to Mount Vernon, Ga.,
where his family had lived previously. He was charged there in July 1994
with the killing of Evelyn Charity, who was sexually assaulted and
strangled, according to Georgia court records.
Webb later pleaded guilty to reduced charges and received
a prison sentence of 20 years.
He was released on
parole in late 2001.
Georgia man may be linked to Connecticut killings
Police in Bridgeport, Connecticut, say new D-N-A testing has linked a
Georgia man to the killings of four women in Bridgeport in the early
1990s, and investigators believe he may have been involved in up to six
other homicides in the city.
told the Connecticut Post that detectives recently went to the D. Ray
James Correctional Facility in Folkston, Georgia, and charged
40-year-old Emanuel Lovell Webb with murder in the killing of
34-year-old Elizabeth "Maxine" Gandy on April 19, 1993.
being held at the Georgia prison on a parole violation. Bridgeport
State's Attorney Jonathan Benedict says authorities have been talking
with Georgia officials about extraditing Webb to Connecticut.
credited the Bridgeport police Cold Case Unit with being persistent in
its review of the killings of about 15 Bridgeport women in the late
1908s and early 1990s. The unit began taking a second look at the
homicides in 2000.
members of the Cold Case Unit, Detectives Heitor Teixeira and Robert
Sherback, found that ten of the killings had some similarities.
detectives sent evidence from four homicide cases to the F-B-I, so that
federal authorities could compare the samples with D-N-A profiles of
convicted felons nationwide stored in the Combined D-N-A Identification
System. The DNA technology and nationwide profiles were not available in
the early 1990s.
say the identification system recorded D-N-A "hits" for Webb in all four
cases. The cases included the killings of Gandy, Sharon Cunningham,
Minnie Sutton and Sheila Etheridge.
'East End Killer' found
man suspected in up to 10 Bridgeport murders
BRIDGEPORT — Police said Tuesday they have arrested a Georgia man they
believe is responsible for at least four murders of young women in the
city in the early 1990s.
Lovell Webb, 40, was charged with one count of murder by Bridgeport
Police detectives at the D. Ray James Correctional Facility in Folkston,
Ga., where he was being held on a parole violation.
said they have traced Webb through DNA to four murders here, but they
said he could be responsible for as many as 10.
been charged with the April 19, 1993, murder of 34-year-old Elizabeth
Attorney Jonathan Benedict said the arrest was the result of the
persistence of the Bridgeport Police Department's Cold Case Unit, which
in 2000 began to reinvestigate a series of homicides of Bridgeport women
in the early 1990s.
the Cold Case Unit is continuing to investigate the murders of Sharon
Cunningham, Minnie Sutton and Sheila Etheridge, "as well other unsolved
homicides of females around that general time frame."
said members of the unit have been in contact with Georgia officials to
arrange Webb's extradition to Connecticut.
1994, then-State's Attorney Donald A. Browne established a special
Homicide Task Force to investigate the murders of a number of young
women found dead in vacant buildings and lots in the city's East End. At
that time, police dubbed the unknown suspect the "East End Killer."
force later disbanded, having uncovered few leads.
Detectives Heitor Teixeira and Robert Sherback, the sole members of the
department's Cold Case Unit, picked up the cases. They reinvestigated
about 15 murders of young women between the late 1980s and early 1990s
and selected 10 that had similar characteristics.
Evidence from four
cases — involving Gandy, Sutton, Cunningham and Etheridge — were sent to
the FBI for comparison in its Combined DNA Identification System, which
maintains DNA profiles collected from convicted felons nationwide. The
DNA technology and nationwide profiles were not available in the early
said sperm had been located at the murder scenes of Cunningham and
Etheridge, a cigarette butt was found at Sutton's murder scene, and
Gandy had skin under her fingernails from scratching her killer.
case, CODIS recorded DNA "hits" for Webb, police said.
1987 and August 1993, Webb lived with his sister, Bernice Snead, and a
girlfriend in the East End of Bridgeport.
said a hunch made the investigators check old records at Bridgeport
Hospital that showed that the day after Gandy's murder, Webb had gone to
the hospital to be treated for a laceration to his right middle finger.
"Detectives Teixeira and Sherback did a great work on this
investigation," said Police Lt. James Viadero. "I know they feel
satisfaction to be able to close a case this old and to bring closure to
at her Bridgeport home, Bernice Snead expressed shock that her brother
was a suspect in the killings.
mother is 80 years old and lives with him in Georgia; get the hell off
my phone," she said.
born in Vidalia, Ga., on April 9, 1966. His family later moved to Mount
Vernon, Ga., where in 1969 his father, Shade Webb, a disabled Navy
veteran, died of pneumonia.
graduating from high school, Webb moved to Bridgeport, where he lived
with his sister. While here, Webb held jobs with Bur-Don Security of
Fairfield and J&B Construction of Bridgeport. In 1986, he started a
relationship with Jadee Hanson; they had two children. They lived on
Smith Street and later Carroll Avenue.
1993, Webb and his family moved back to Mount Vernon, Ga. According to
Georgia court records, he was arrested there in July 1994 for the murder
of Evelyn Charity, who was sexually assaulted and strangled. Webb
subsequently pleaded guilty to the lesser charges of involuntary
manslaughter, robbery and theft of a motor vehicle and was sentenced to
20 years in prison.
He was released on parole on Dec. 18, 2001.
Emanuel Lovell Webb