Tommy Lynn Sells

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Tommy Lynn Sells
Background information
Also known asThe Cross Country Killer
Born(1964-06-28) June 28, 1964 (age 48)
Kingsport, Tennessee
ConvictionFelony theft,
Grand Theft Auto,
Malicious wounding,
Murder,
Public intoxication,
Theft
SentenceDeath
Killings
CountryUnited States
State(s)Missouri, New York, Illinois, Texas (possibly others)
Date apprehendedJanuary 2, 2000
 
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Tommy Lynn Sells
Background information
Also known asThe Cross Country Killer
Born(1964-06-28) June 28, 1964 (age 48)
Kingsport, Tennessee
ConvictionFelony theft,
Grand Theft Auto,
Malicious wounding,
Murder,
Public intoxication,
Theft
SentenceDeath
Killings
CountryUnited States
State(s)Missouri, New York, Illinois, Texas (possibly others)
Date apprehendedJanuary 2, 2000

Tommy Lynn Sells (born June 28, 1964) is an American serial killer.

Contents

Early life

Sells and his twin sister, Tammy Jean, contracted meningitis[citation needed] when they turned 18 months old. While Sells suffered a high fever, he survived. His sister, however, died from the inflammation. Shortly thereafter, Sells was sent to live with his aunt Bonnie Woodall in Holcomb, Missouri. He lived with Woodall until he was five.[citation needed]

When Sells was eight he began spending time with a man named Willis Clark, a man from a neighboring city. Clark would later be suspected of child molestation.[1]:4

Sells started traveling in order to find work. Because he was homeless at the time, he hitched rides, hopped trains and at one point stole a vehicle. He held several different jobs, often doing menial labor.[citation needed]

Murders

Sells has claimed he committed his first murder at age 16, on a man who was performing oral sex on a young boy.[citation needed]

In July 1985, when he was 21 years old, Sells was working at a carnival in Forsyth, Missouri. There he met Ena Cordt, 35, who had brought her 4-year-old son to the carnival as a treat. Cordt found Sells attractive and invited him back to her home that same evening. According to Sells, he had sex with Cordt, but awoke during the night to find her stealing from his backpack. Seizing her son's baseball bat, he beat her to death. He also murdered her son in case he could be used as a witness. The two badly bludgeoned bodies were found three days later, by which time Tommy Lynn Sells had moved on.

In 1997, 10-year-old Joel Kirkpatrick, son of Julie Rea Harper, was murdered. His mother was convicted, but the conviction was overturned. Her family told police Sells had invaded their home and killed Kirkpatrick because the mother was rude to Sells earlier that night at a nearby convenience store.[2] Then, in 2002, author Diane Fanning corresponded with Sells. In a letter to Fanning, Sells confessed to murdering Kirkpatrick. Fanning's testimony before the prisoner review board, according to the Innocence Project, helped land Harper a new trial and, ultimately, an acquittal.[3] [4] Fanning's resulting book, Through the Window, details Sells' cross-country crime spree.[5]

Sells is also suspected to be the perpetrator in the following crimes[citation needed]:

Arrests and confessions

Allan B. Polunsky Unit, where Sells is located

Sells has recently claimed to have killed upwards of 70 people, according to an interview with Columbia University forensic psychiatrist and personality expert Dr. Michael H. Stone in Discovery Channel's Most Evil.[citation needed]

On December 31, 1999, in the Guajia Bay subdivision, west of Del Rio, Texas, Sells fatally stabbed 13-year-old Kaylene 'Katy' Harris 16 times and slit the throat of 10-year-old Krystal Surles. Surles survived and received help from the neighbors. Ultimately, Sells was apprehended using a sketch from the victim's description.[citation needed]

Tommy Lynn Sells is currently on death row in the Allan B. Polunsky Unit near Livingston, Texas. The TDCJ received him on November 8, 2000. Sells is classified as one of the most violent and dangerous offenders in Texas.[9]

References

External links