Milwaukee North Side Strangler

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Walter E. Ellis
Background information
Also known asThe Milwaukee North Side Strangler
SentenceSeven consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole
Killings
Number of victims7
CountryUnited States
State(s)Wisconsin
Date apprehendedSeptember 7, 2009
 
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Walter E. Ellis
Background information
Also known asThe Milwaukee North Side Strangler
SentenceSeven consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole
Killings
Number of victims7
CountryUnited States
State(s)Wisconsin
Date apprehendedSeptember 7, 2009

The Milwaukee North Side Strangler is the name given to serial killer Walter E. Ellis who raped and strangled seven women in the city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States between 1986 and 2007.[1]

Contents

Investigation

The North Side Strangler victims were black women[2] who ranged in age from 19 to 41.[3][4] Milwaukee Police Department Homicide Detective Steven Spingola authored an e-magazine article, The Killer in Our Midst: the Case of Milwaukee's North Side Strangler, which chronicled his investigation of the homicides of Sheila Farrior and Florence McCormick.[5]

Trained in criminal background analysis, Spingola also provided a detailed profile of the killer, which Milwaukee talk-radio host and former Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeff Wagner described as "eerily accurate."[6] Spingola, however, retired before Detectives Gilbert Hernandez and Kathy Hein, of the Milwaukee Police Department's cold case homicide unit, reexamined DNA evidence that linked a suspect to the homicides.[7][8]

On September 7, 2009 Walter E. Ellis, 49, was arrested on suspicion of being the notorious serial killer. Ellis had been arrested 12 times between 1981 and 1998, when he was sentenced to five years for reckless endangerment.[9] Ellis was initially charged with two counts of first degree intentional homicide and held on $1 million bail. The Milwaukee County district attorney's office later filed five new murder charges against him: three of intentional homicide and two under the previous statute of first degree murder.[10][11]

Initially represented by Attorney Russell Jones in defense of these claims, Ellis plead not guilty, and stood prepared to defend himself. Jones was withdrawn from the case, and then on February 18, 2011, Ellis pleaded no contest to the seven murder charges and was therefore convicted despite not admitting his guilt.[12] On February 24, 2011, Ellis was given seven life sentences, to be served consecutively, without the possibility of parole.[13] After he was convicted, he was initially held at the Dodge Correctional Institution in Waupun, Wisconsin, for Assessment and Evaluation in accordance with the Wisconsin Administrative Code, from where he was transferred to the Wisconsin Secure Program Facility in Boscobel, Wisconsin. In November 2011, Walter Ellis was transferred to the maximum custody unit at the South Dakota State Penitentiary[14]

Name

The use of the name "North Side Strangler" in reference to the case has been limited to one local news organization, WTMJ, Channel 4, which is believed to have coined the nickname,[15] although it has been picked up by some bloggers and by British media as well. Use of the nickname, however, has also been a subject of criticism in other Milwaukee media.,[16][17]

Victims

NumberNameAgeDate of DiscoveryCharge
1Deborah Harris31October 10, 1986Murder
2Tanya Miller19October 11, 1986Murder
3Irene Smith25November 28, 1992Intentional homicide
4Florence McCormick28April 24, 1995Intentional homicide
5Sheila Farrior37June 27, 1995Intentional homicide
6Joyce Mims41June 20, 1997Intentional homicide
7Quithreaun Stokes28April 27, 2007Intentional homicide

References

  1. ^ [1][dead link]
  2. ^ Melanie, By. "Search for North Side Strangler - 620 WTMJ - Milwaukee's Source for Local News and Weather". 620 WTMJ. http://www.620wtmj.com/news/local/48080922.html. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
  3. ^ [2][dead link]
  4. ^ [3][dead link]
  5. ^ "BWS Books". Badger Wordsmith. 2001-09-11. http://badgerwordsmith.com/books.html#killer. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
  6. ^ Wagner, Jeff. "Portrait Of A Milwaukee Serial Killer - 620 WTMJ - Milwaukee's Source for Local News and Weather". 620 WTMJ. http://www.620wtmj.com/shows/jeffwagner/57750552.html. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
  7. ^ http://media.trb.com/media/acrobat/2009-09/49185745.pdf
  8. ^ "Five New Charges Filed in North Side Strangler Case - TODAY'S TMJ4". Todaystmj4.com. 2012-07-27. http://www.todaystmj4.com/news/local/58314652.html. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
  9. ^ Leamanczyk, Lauren (1986-10-10). "Relief For Families of Strangler Victims - TODAY'S TMJ4". Todaystmj4.com. http://www.todaystmj4.com/news/local/57658317.html?ref=jsonline. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
  10. ^ [4][dead link]
  11. ^ [5][dead link]
  12. ^ [6][dead link]
  13. ^ Vielmetti, Bruce (2011-02-24). "Ellis gets life - 7 times over". JSOnline. http://www.jsonline.com/news/crime/116824883.html. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
  14. ^ Vielmetti, Bruce (2011-11-28). "Serial killer Walter Ellis staying connected in South Dakota". JSOnline. http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/news/134628628.html?page=1#!page=1&pageSize=10&sort=newestfirst. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
  15. ^ Milwaukee Magazine, Pressroom column, August 2009
  16. ^ "Nickname aggravates family grief". JSOnline. http://www.jsonline.com/news/milwaukee/58275382.html. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
  17. ^ "The Chief: So We're Calling Him the "North Side Strangler" Now?". Foxtrot-echo.blogspot.com. 2009-05-19. http://foxtrot-echo.blogspot.com/2009/05/so-were-calling-him-north-side-strangle.html. Retrieved 2012-08-08.