Murder of Lisa Taylor by Ronald Watters investigated on ID

Mugshot of Ronald Watters
Ronald Watters was ultimately sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Lisa Taylor. Pic credit: Wicomico County State Attorney’s Office

Dark Days of Summer on ID is investigating the disappearance and murder of Lisa Taylor by Ronald Watters in the small town of Salisbury, Maryland, in 1988.

Lisa had been a 19-year-old student at Salisbury State University when she was attacked and murdered by Watters as she walked home.

On the evening of June 7, 1988, Lisa stopped off at her parent’s house to pick up some checks for her college tuition and then promptly left to return to her Salisbury apartment. Unfortunately, two days later, Lisa’s family learned that she had never made it to her apartment, and she was never seen alive again.

Her family and friends hoped that Lisa had just embarked on an impromptu road trip; however, as the days turned into weeks and there was still no sign of the student, people became increasingly concerned for her welfare.

It was more than three months after Lisa was first reported missing that a badly decomposed body was found in a secluded wooded area not far from the university campus. A forensic analysis of the dental records revealed that the remains belonged to Lisa.

Lisa Taylor had been suffocated to death by Ronald Watters

An autopsy revealed that she had been suffocated through an obstruction of the airway; a smock had been violently forced down her throat.

Approximately six months later, Watters was in custody in the Wicomico County Detention Center on unrelated charges when he asked to speak to the police about the murder of Lisa. Over the course of several interviews, Watters implicated himself in the crime.

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The police believe that Watters and a couple of accomplices attacked and assaulted Lisa as she was walking home. They left her in the wood after suffocating her.

In 1994, Watters was found guilty of first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. He later filed a motion claiming that the sentence was illegal, and in 2018, a court agreed with him and reduced his sentence to life imprisonment, meaning he is now eligible for parole.

More from Investigation Discovery

Follow the links to read about more heinous crimes examined on ID.

Police Officer Jeffrey Dennis murdered his wife, Carli Bitterman, with a single shot to the head and tried to make it look like a detective. However, detectives learned that the controlling and abusive Dennis decided to kill his wife after learning of an affair.

A distressing murder in Dublin, Ireland, involved Graham Dwyer preying on the vulnerable Elaine O’Hara to satisfy his sick and twisted sexual fantasies. O’ Hara’s life ended when Dwyer dumped her remains in the mountains south of the city.

Dark Days of Summer airs at 9/8c on Investigation Discovery.

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