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:Woman Found after Missing for Nine Days
Downtown Salem Business Owners Call for Improvements
Top Republican Fundraiser Backtracks on Statement about Illinois Senator
Veterans Receive Preference for Hiring in Illinois
Central Illinois County Closer to Keeping Ban on Employee Use of Marijuana; Including for Medicinal Purposes