Four Pennsylvania cold cases solved after inmate in Florida confesses

Wess Haubrich

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Edward A. SurrattLehigh Valley Live

The inmate in question fits the definition of “serial killer.”

“Serial killer” as a term has a tendency to be thrown around with reckless abandon in popular culture. Most “sources”, especially in popular media and culture, really don’t have much of an actual working definition of “serial killer” or even the vaguest clue as to what one really looks like – no, your typical serial killer does not wear a hockey mask or a cheaply-altered William Shatner Captain Kirk mask from Star Trek (yes, this was how director John Carpenter came up with Michael Myers signature mask in the Halloween series) and run around with a machete slaughtering amorous teenagers.

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Captain Kirk versus Michael MyersStarTrek.com

“Serial killer” actually has a very specific definition. It is a killer who commits at least three murders with a “cooling off period” in between each murder. They often look like you and me and can at times be pillars of their communities, just look at BTK Killer Dennis Rader who was president of his church or Herb Baumeister who was a very successful businessman in Indiana who had a double life slaughtering men he met for sexual dalliances.

Often, however, they are caught mid-stream in their series of murders or only confess after being caught for some other offense. Such was the case with Edward A. Surratt, aged 79.

Pennsylvania investigators began talking with the man in 2018 in Florida where he is incarcerated on murder charges. This cross-state serial killer was also found guilty of murder in South Carolina.

Pennsylvania investigators interviewed Surratt in March. It was then that he implicated himself in the following four Pennsylvania cold cases:

I- William (killed by a shotgun blast) and Nancy Adams of Beaver – killed November 19, 1977

II- Guy and Laura Mills of McConnellsburg – killed December 31, 1977

III- Joel Krueger of Bedford – killed December 31, 1977

IV- John Shelkons of Beaver – killed January 7, 1978

District Attorneys in all jurisdictions agreed not to prosecute Surratt because of the life sentences he is currently under.

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Former editor, now dogged-maverick journalist and researcher covering the crime beat. I examine the weird, absurd, and downright infamous in American crime both here and at Real Monsters podcast. Contact: wess@realmonsters.live

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