I have to admit, I have never heard of this guy. However, he deserves a spot on this list because he was an atrocious serial killer. He was by many means a fairly unintelligent man and a far cry from the sociable sociopath that usually gains attention as a serial killer. This guy was actually in prison for murder before being released early for good behavior. He then killed again and was sentenced to death. Below is the TV series ‘Cold Case Files’ airing of its take on Faryion Wardrip and his murders.
Active: (1984-1986) – 3 years
Country: United States
Proven Victims: 5
Unproven Suspected: 5
Faryion Edward Wardrip (born March 6, 1959) is an American rapist and serial killer who assaulted and murdered a total of five women. Four of the women were killed in Wichita Falls, Texas and the surrounding counties. One woman was murdered in Fort Worth, approximately a two-hour drive southeast of Wichita Falls. Wardrip’s killing spree began at the end of 1984 and lasted until the middle of 1986. All of his female victims were white, were between the ages of 20 and 25, weighed less than 120 lbs. and were under five and a half feet tall.
With the killings occurring across multiple jurisdictions, officials from three law enforcement agencies – the Wichita Falls Police Department, the Wichita County Sheriff’s Department and the Archer County Sheriff’s Department – initially led isolated murder investigations. These investigations were for three of the murders that occurred within a five-mile radius of each other.
This separation led to multiple news agencies reporting that the isolated investigations delayed Wardrip’s capture.
Within 72 hours of the May 6, 1986 murder of Tina Kimbrew, Wardrip called authorities and confessed to her murder. He was convicted and sentenced to thirty-five years in prison. After serving less than one-third of his sentence, Wardrip was released on parole in December 1997. He was required to wear an ankle monitor allowing authorities to constantly track his location; he was restricted to movements for work, home and church.
In 1999, the Wichita County District Attorney’s Office re-opened the murder cases of the victims that occurred in their jurisdiction. DNA evidence found at the scene of two murders were linked to the same killer. Due to Wardrip’s murder of Kimbrew occurring in 1986, the lead detective became suspicious that he may have been behind the unsolved murder cases. With Wardrip being out on parole and the absence, at the time, of a national database of DNA profiles for violent offenders, authorities immediately launched surveillance of Wardrip and managed to secure a sample of his DNA, which was linked to two victims. He later confessed to the murders of the third and fourth victims. In 1999, at 40 years old, Wardrip was sentenced to death by lethal injection for the first murder, and three life terms for the other three killings.
Faryion Edward Wardrip was born on March 6, 1959 in Salem, Indiana to George and Diana Wardrip; he was his parents’ first born child and has one brother. There are no news articles or television reports of Wardrip experiencing any type of mental or physical abuse during his childhood. He dropped out of high school in the twelfth grade.
In 1978, at the age of 19, Wardrip joined the United States National Guard. After six years of service, Wardrip was released from the National Guard under a less-than-honorable discharge. The discharge was due to smoking marijuana, disorderly conduct and multiple absences without leave (AWOL). During his military service he was not deployed into combat duty.
In March 1983, at 24 years old, he married his first wife, 20-year-old Johnna D. Jackson; the couple had two children together. The marriage was tarnished by Wardrip’s drug and alcohol abuse. This same year he worked as a janitor at the Wichita Falls General Hospital and within twelve months he was promoted from janitor to orderly. But due to his addictions he was unable to maintain employment and was bouncing between jobs. Johnna’s parents helped the couple financially by paying their rent and buying their groceries. Tired of Wardrip’s lack of responsibility and addictions in December 1985, Johnna separated from Wardrip taking the children with her. She soon filed for divorce which was granted in October 1986.
In 1999, a Wichita Falls detective, John Little, began a cold case investigation of the unsolved cases of Terry Sims, Toni Gibbs, and Ellen Blau. Samples of DNA from the scenes where Sims and Gibbs were found, were later matched, indicating that both victims had been killed by the same person. Little had known Gibbs personally, as had his wife, and he had also participated in the search for her body. He began to believe that the murders of these women were linked, but such a linkage had not yet been investigated because the murders had occurred in different jurisdictions and therefore different police departments had investigated each case. Little’s investigation revealed a previously unknown link between Wardrip and Blau. One of Little’s fellow officers had stated that Wardrip had admitted to knowing Blau while he was on trial for Tina Kimbrew’s murder. This lead had not been investigated at the time it emerged. Wardrip himself stated that the agency would have been able to find a suspect much sooner if they had “paid a little bit more attention.”
Little then found additional evidence linking Wardrip to the three unsolved murders: Blau had lived one block away from Sims, and Wardrip had been employed as an orderly at the same hospital where Gibbs had worked as a nurse.
At the time, police had no DNA sample from Wardrip, so Little used a simple ploy to obtain one: Wardrip had been convicted for the murder of Tina Kimbrew, but in 1997 he was paroled and was working at a factory. During Wardrip’s work break, Little approached Wardrip and asked him for the paper cup from which Wardrip had been drinking, in order to spit out the tobacco that Little had been chewing. An analysis of Wardrip’s DNA from the cup matched the suspect’s DNA in the cases of Terry Sims and Toni Gibbs. Wardrip was arrested, and while he was in custody, he confessed to the murders of Sims, Gibbs, Blau, and one additional murder in Fort Worth of Debra Taylor, 25.
In 1999, Wardrip was sentenced to death for the murder of Sims, and three life terms for the other killings. In 2008, a federal magistrate recommended that the death penalty be overturned because Wardrip received ineffective defense in his trial. On June 14, 2011, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower court ruling that ordered the State of Texas to either give Wardrip a new sentencing trial, or agree to giving him a life sentence. The case will be sent back to the U.S. District Court for reconsideration. Wardrip remains on death row at Polunsky Unit near Livingston.