Death-Row Serial Killer Claims Illinois KillingCARLYLE, Ill. (AP) - A serial killer nearing execution in Texas for fatally stabbing a girl in 1999 has been linked to 22 killings while claiming dozens more in various states. But Tommy Lynn Sells' taking credit for a killing in Illinois may have helped spared that victim's mother from prison.
In southern Illinois' Lawrence County, prosecutors accused Julie Rea-Harper in the October 1997 stabbing death of her only child, 10-year-old Joel Kirkpatrick.
During her 2006 trial in Clinton County on a venue change, Rea-Harper's attorneys pointed the finger at Sells after he confessed to killing Joel two days before slaying a 13-year-old girl in Springfield, Mo. Sells was charged in that Missouri killing but was never tried.
After Rea-Harper was acquitted, Lawrence County prosecutors painted Sells as an attention-seeker.
See other LocalNews news:Abducted Infant Safely Located on I-57 Near Marion-Jefferson County Line
Tests Show Child in Chicago Does not have Ebola
Illinois Man Charged with Dumping Body in Alley
Police Beat for Friday, October 24th, 2014
State's Trade Programs Help Companies Increase Global Sales