Arthur Shawcross

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Arthur John Shawcross was an American serial killer, also known as The Genesee River Killer in Rochester, New York. His IQ was tested to be "low-normal" (between 86 and 92) when he was in the fifth grade. Shawcross was prone to behaviors such as bullying, chronic bed wetting until at least the age of twelve, and physical violence. He dropped out of high school in 1960, and when he was 21 he was drafted by the Army, in April 1967. At this time he divorced his first wife and gave up the rights to their eighteen-month-old son, whom he never saw again. After his tour of duty in Vietnam ended in September 1968, Shawcross was assigned to Fort Sill, Oklahoma as an armorer. His second wife Linda experienced several aspects of his disturbing behavior, especially a penchant for starting fires; an Army psychiatrist told her that Art gained "sexual enjoyment" from the act. In May 1972, Shawcross sexually assaulted and murdered 10-year-old Jack Owen Blake after luring the boy into some woods. Four months later, he raped and killed eight-year-old Karen Ann Hill, who was visiting Watertown with her mother for the Labor Day weekend. Arrested for these crimes, Shawcross confessed to both murders. Under a plea bargain he was to reveal where he laid Jack's body. He plead guilty to killing Hill on a charge of manslaughter and the charges relating to Jack Blake were dropped. He was found guilty and sentenced to 25 years' imprisonment. Shawcross served 14 years in prison before he was released on parole in April 1987. He had difficulty settling down as he was chased out of homes and fired from workplaces as soon as neighbors and employers found out about his criminal record. His parole officer had him relocated to Rochester, New York in late June 1987. In November 1990, Shawcross was tried by Monroe County First Assistant District Attorney Charles J. Siragusa for the 10 murders in Monroe County. Shawcross pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, with testimony from psychiatrist Dorothy Lewis that he suffered from multiple personality disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and possible child abuse. FBI criminal profiler Robert K. Ressler reviewed the PTSD claim on behalf of the prosecution before the trial. Ressler wrote that "his claim of having witnessed wartime atrocities was patently outrageous and untrue." Shawcross was found guilty of 10 counts of second degree murder, and was sentenced to 250 years to life in prison for the Monroe County killings. In 2006, he was interviewed by Columbia University forensic psychiatrist Dr. Michael Stone for the Discovery Channel series Most Evil. In the interview, Arthur Shawcross claimed to have been sexually abused as a child by his mother, and also admitted sexually abusing his younger sister as a child. He also claimed to murder the prostitutes in revenge for supposedly having sex with an HIV-positive prostitute, and to eat the body parts in order to speed up the process of death (he had assumed he was infected). Officials said Shawcross complained of a pain in his leg on the afternoon of November 10, 2008, his date of death. He was taken to the Albany Medical Center, where he went into cardiac arrest and died at 9:50 p.m. Arthur Shawcross was privately cremated and his ashes are in the care of his daughter. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]





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