Carl Watts was a serial killer active for nine years and reportedly killed 22 women between 1974 and 1982. He began his killings at the age of 20 and continued until his capture in 1982. He suffered from antisocial behavioral disorder and was said to start his fantasizing of killing at the age of 12.
Watts, who was African-American, almost always killed young white women. Watts killed females between the ages of 14 and 44 using methods such as strangulation, stabbing, bludgeoning, and drowning. Watts had murdered dozens of women between 1974 and 1982, and despite the many women he killed, Watts was not discovered as a serial killer for almost eight years.
There were several reasons for this. He attacked in several different jurisdictions and even different states. Even with the advent of DNA testing, it was still nearly impossible because he rarely performed sexual acts on his victims, unlike most serial killers of women and girls, and his crimes were not thought to be sexually motivated. Watts was also not suspected to be involved with any of the murders by the people who knew him and was not a police suspect in any of the deaths until his arrest in 1982.
Below is a short documentary on Watts and his career as a serial killer.
Active for 9 years (1974-1982) in United States
Born: Sat November 7, 1953
Born in: Killeen, Texas, United States
State(s): Michigan, Texas
Country: United States
AKA(s): The Sunday Morning Slasher
Alias: Coral, Carl Eugene “Coral” Watts
Birth Name: Carl Eugene Watts
Carl Eugene Watts is also known as The Sunday Morning Slasher, and his nickname was Coral. Carl Eugene Watts was an American serial killer who was born on November 7, 1953 in Killeen, Texas. His father, Richard Eugene Watts was a private first class in the Army and his mother Dorothy Mae Young was a kindergarten art teacher. Dorothy raised Carl from the age of two after she and Richard separated. They moved to Inkster, Michigan where Dorothy married mechanic Norman Caesar in 1962. Norman and Dorothy have two daughters together.
Carl said that he started fantasizing about torturing and killing young females when he was 12 years old and soon began stalking girls. It is believed that he murdered his first victim before he was 15 years old. He was held back in eighth grade after having meningitis at the age of 13 and had a terrible time keeping up with other students when he returned to school. He was reading at a third-grade level when he was 16 years old and received several failing grades. He was also being bullied severely at school.
Carl was arrested on June 29, 1969 for sexually assaulting Joan Gave, who was 26 years old. He was sentenced to a mental hospital, Lafayette Clinic in Detroit. After being evaluated, it showed that he was suffering from mild mental retardation with a full-scale I.Q. of 75. It also showed that he had a delusional thought process although police officers claim that he is “very, very intelligent” with an “excellent memory” after interrogating him. Carl was released on November 9, 1969 from the Lafayette Clinic. He received a football scholarship to Lane College in Jackson, Tennessee when he graduated high school in 1973. He was expelled from school after three months of enrollment because he was accused of stalking and assaulting women. Carl was also suspected of brutally murdering a female student, but there was not enough evidence to put him on trial. He then moved to Houston, Texas after being expelled from college.
Carl kidnapped, tortured and murdered Gloria Steele (20) on October 30, 1974 when he was 20 years old. He killed females who are 14 to 44 years old by strangling them, stabbing them, bludgeoning them, and drowning the females. It was hard to catch Carl because he did not sexually assault his victims, and he committed his crimes in different states.
Carl was arrested on May 23, 1982 for breaking into a home in Houston with two young women in it. Carl was linked to other murders while in custody. There was no evidence to keep him in prison for the other suspected crimes. Prosecutors in Texas offered a plea bargain in 1982 with Carl because they did not have the evidence needed. They told him that he will receive full immunity from the crimes if he confessed to the crimes and gave full details, they told him that he would only be charged with burglary and intent to murder which was a 60-year sentence. Carl agreed and confessed to 12 murders in Texas.
Carl claimed that he has killed 40 women and has implied that he has harmed more than 80. He did not confess to committing these murders because he did not want to be known as a “mass murderer”. Carl is still a suspect in 90 unsolved murders.
Carl was convicted on November 17, 2004 in Michigan for stabbing Helen Dutcher twelves time to death in 1979 when she was 36 years old. He was sentenced to life in prison on December 7, 2004. Carl was on trial again in Kalamazoo, Michigan on July 25, 2007 for Gloria Steele, who was stabbed to death in 1974. He was found guilty on July 26, 2007 and was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole on September 13, 2007. He was sent to a maximum security prison in Ionia, Michigan and shortly after died of prostate cancer on September 21 in a Jackson, Michigan hospital.
– Carl was married twice, and both marriages ended in divorce.
– Carl was diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder.
– Carl”s case is featured in episodes of: Cold Case Files and The Investigators