The murder of eight women in Baton Rouge by Sean Gillis: Girlfriend Terri Lemoine was oblivious: The Graveyard Shift investigates on ID

Mugshot of Sean Vincent Gillis
Sean Vincent Gillis is known to have murdered at least eight women. Pic credit: Baton Rouge Police Dept.

Sean Vincent Gillis Aka “the Other Baton Rouge Killer” went on a ten-year killing spree in the southern city between 1994 and 2004. Gillis stalked, raped, murdered, and engaged in cannibalism and necrophilia with some of his victims. He is known to have killed at least eight women.

His victims were Ann Bryan, 81, in 1994; then Katherine Hall, 29; Hardee Schmidt, 52; Joyce Williams, 36 in 1999; followed by Lillian Robinson, 52, and  Marilyn Nevils, 38, in 2000. In 2003 he strangled and severed the head of Johnnie Mae Williams, 45; finally, and finally, in 2004, he murdered and severely mutilated Donna Bennett Johnston, 43.

He was referred to as the “Other Killer” to distinguish him from Derrick Todd Lee, who murdered seven people in the city during a similar timespan. When Gillis was finally arrested, he was found to have newspaper clippings of Lee’s murders. He told police that he had feared Lee would “outdo him.”

Gillis’s first victim in 1994 was 81-year-old Ann Bryan. Bryan had left the door to her home unlocked to allow a nurse to gain access. On entering her home Gillis attempted to rape the pensioner; however, when she screamed, he immediately slashed her throat and fled.

His victims generally were chosen at random; he often went for prostitutes later claiming in a police interview that the prostitutes “loved” him because he treated them like ladies.

Hardee Schmidt was chosen simply because he spotted her jogging. After stalking her for some time, he then hit her with his car. He sexually assaulted her before strangling her with some wire.

Throughout the period of the murders, Gillis was living with his partner of ten years, Terri Lemoine. Lemoine, who would later testify at her boyfriend’s trial, did not know about his crimes. She was aware of his obsession with watching violent pornography but hadn’t thought he would try to enact scenes from it.

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Police finally got a breakthrough in the case when tire marks that matched Gillis’s vehicle were found at the scene of his final victim, Donna Johnston. They also found DNA evidence that linked him to Johnston, Hall, and Williams.

Police knew they had him on DNA evidence, but they were determined to extract a confession; put under intense interrogation, Gillis confessed to committing the majority of the murders.

Investigators finally charged him for the murders of Katherine Hall, Johnnie Williams, and Donna Johnston, which he stood trial for in July 2008. He was found guilty of all charges and sentenced to life in prison.

The Graveyard Shift is on at 8/7c on Investigation Discovery.

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