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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Andrew Urdiales

A young Andrew Urdiales

As is usually the case with serial killers, Andrew Urdiales was described as a loner, and as someone "who had difficulty engaging in small talk". When he graduated from Thornbridge High School in Doloton, Ill., in 1982, he was given the graduating senior label of "social outcast." By all accounts, he had few friends, and joined the U.S. Marine Corps a short time after completing high school. Over the next eight years he was stationed at Camp Pendleton and other locales in southern California.

During his stint in the Marines, Urdiales claimed to have fallen in love with a 15-year-old girl whom he had gotten pregnant. He said that marriage had been out of the question because he had been fearful of the girl's parents and what the Marine Corps might have done to him, in a judicial or disciplinary sense because of the girl's age. As a result, they had both agreed that the girl would get an abortion.
"I loved her and still love her," Urdiales later told a psychiatry professor at Yale University. "But the law and the state of California and the righteous and the Marine Corps might not see it that way."
According to court records there was significant evidence of mental illness on both sides of Urdiales' family, that he had been sexually abused by relatives, and that he had been physically and emotionally abused by his parents.
Urdiales received several promotions while in the Marines but was later demoted when those under his leadership refused to obey his orders.  He received an honorable discharge in 1991 and moved back to Chicago to live with his parents. Urdiales would return to California in September 1992 for a short visit and again in March 1995.  Each visit would leave behind victims.
Robbin Brandley, 23
January 18, 1986 at approximately 10:30 p.m., a security guard making rounds at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, Calif., spotted a figure lying on one of the student parking lots.  As it was dark he thought perhaps it was a mannequin that a student may have left there as a prank. So he simply drove past.  Having second thoughts, he turned around and drove back to check it out.
Upon exiting his vehicle, the guard noticed that the figure lying on the pavement next to a Chevrolet Citation and lying in a pool of blood wasn't a mannequin at all. It was the dead body of a young woman.
Soon two students on the way to their cars happened upon the grisly scene and recognized the young woman as that of Robbin Brandley, 23, a communications major who had left a recital and after party in the fine-arts building just minutes earlier.  Brandley had been wearing a long print dress with flower designs, but it had been pulled up above her stomach, revealing bikini underwear and knee-high stockings. A purse, later determined to be Brandley's, lay on the pavement nearby. The asphalt around her body was wet with her blood.
Among the first law enforcement officials to arrive at the scene was Detective Michael Stephany of the Orange County Sheriff's Department. Stephany observed immediately that Brandley had been stabbed numerous times, mostly in her neck, chest and back. He also noted that she had sustained cuts to her hands, which he theorized were defensive wounds. It would later be determined that the victim was stabbed at least 41 times.  The killer left no evidence.  No DNA, fingerprints, hair, or clothing fibers were found at the crime scene. This murder would remain a mystery for the next 11 years.
(Andrew Urdiales tells his recollection of the events of that night.)
When Urdiales made his confession to the arresting detectives, and led them through significant details of each of the killings, he claimed that college student Robbin Brandley was his first murder victim. Urdiales remembers that while Stationed at Camp Pendleton near San Diego, he had become upset regarding relationships with some of the people on the base and decided that he wanted to rob someone. He had armed himself with a "big old hunting knife," about 11 inches long, and driven to Saddleback College where he had waited in a darkened parking lot for a victim. He explained that the victim "could have been anybody," and that the victim he had chosen had been "just a random female." The victim had turned out to be Robbin Brandley.
After he saw her, he crept up behind her and placed his hand over her mouth, demanding her purse. After she had given it to him, he had begun stabbing her in the back. When she had fallen to the pavement, Urdiales began stabbing her in the chest. At one point the knife had become stuck in her ribs, and, in order for him to remove it, he had had to place his foot on her body to brace it while he struggled to extract the knife. When he had finished, Urdiales said, he had left the young woman there to die.
With blood on his hands, jacket and jeans, Urdiales said, he had known he had to get back on the base undetected. He subsequently rubbed grease from his car's engine on his hands and clothes to conceal the blood, and told military police at the guard station at the base's entrance that his car had broken down and that he'd had to make repairs.
Urdiales told the detectives that he had later picked up a prostitute in Hollywood, with whom he'd had sex, and that he was carrying the same knife that he'd used to kill Brandley. That prostitute, he said, "was lucky."
Julie McGhee, 29
July 17, 1988Julie McGhee, 29 and a prostitute, disappeared after being picked up by an unknown male in the Cathedral City area of Riverside County. Her remains, stripped of identification, were later found in a remote desert area. Identifying her body was made more difficult by the mutilation of her body by coyotes and possibly other animals. Cartridge cases for a .45-caliber handgun were found near McGhee's body. McGhee's slaying was initially investigated as a single, isolated homicide.
(Andrew Urdiales tells his recollection of the events of that night.)
According to court records that detailed his confession, Urdiales said that he had killed Julie McGhee, in Cathedral City, Calif., near Palm Springs, and that she had been his second murder victim. He described how he had picked up McGhee in an area frequented by prostitutes, and had driven her to a remote construction site, out in the desert, where they had had sex. A short time later he had told McGhee to get out of his car, after which he had shot her in the head. He claimed that he had not felt anything after committing the murder. He commented about how "quiet and peaceful" it had been in the desert where he had shot McGhee. Afterward, he said, he had driven to a bar where he had drunk "some beers and watched the girls dance."
Mary Ann Wells, 31
September 25, 1988. Another prostitute, Mary Ann Wells, 31, was picked up by someone in nearby San Diego County and driven to a deserted industrial complex within the City of San Diego. Her body was found later, shot once in the head. As in McGhee's death, a cartridge case was left behind at the scene of Wells' murder. A condom found at the scene had Wells DNA on it, as well as DNA from another person—believed to be the killer's—but this discovery lead nowhere in the days prior to dependable DNA testing/matching. 
(Andrew Urdiales tells his recollection of the events of that night.)
Andrew Uridales stated to police, that he had picked up Mary Ann Wells and had driven her to an industrial area in San Diego where they had had sex. Afterward, he said, he had shot her in the head and taken back the $40 he had paid her.  He then dumped her body in an alley where it was later found, along with the condom he had left behind.
Tammie Erwin, 18
April 16, 1989, another prostitute, Tammie Erwin, 20, was picked up and driven to a remote area near Palm Springs where she was shot three times and her body dumped. Again investigators found cartridge cases near the body. At about this point  investigators were beginning to see a possible link between the deaths. 
(Andrew Urdiales tells his recollection of the events of that night.)
Andrew Urdiales said he had paid Tammie Erwin for sex on at least one prior occasion.  This particular day he picked up Tammie Erwin and had driven her to a vacant lot near Palm Springs where she performed oral sex on him. Urdiales said that he did not recall having argued with Erwin as he had argued with some of his other victims, but he did remember shooting her as she had stood outside his truck as he prepared to leave. He had been inside the pickup when he shot her, and, as she had stood there holding her head, he shot her a second time, which brought her to the ground. Before he had driven off, he said, he had shot her a third time.
Investigators from Riverside and San Diego counties began comparing notes. They realized that they had a serial killer on their hands: ballistics tests showed that the cartridge cases from the McGhee, Wells, and Erwin murders scenes all matched. Each of the women had been killed with the same gun, but they lacked, at this point, both the weapon and a suspect to whom they could link it.
Unlike the prostitute killings, there was no link between the prostitute shootings and the murder of Robbin Brandley. Brandley wasn't a prostitute; she was a college student. Brandley also had not been shot; she had been repeatedly stabbed. For the next three and a half years there were no additional murders that police could attribute to the same killer.  It appeared that as quickly as he had surfaced, so had he vanished.  Hope was slim to none of ever finding this killer.
Jennifer Asbenson, 19
September 27, 1992.  Jennifer Asbenson, 19, a nursing assistant in Palm Springs, worked the night shift at a home for disabled children. On this particular night before heading to the bus stop to catch the bus that would drop her off near her place of employment, she stopped into a store to make a quick purchase.  However, when she returned to the bus stop she was just in time to see the last bus that headed her direction, pull away from the bus stop without her. Now she had no way to get to work.  A few minutes later a man pulled up in a car and asked her if she needed a ride. As he didn't appear threatening she accepted the ride. She said that she "didn't feel any sense of fear," and thought that he "was so nice and so charming." He dropped her off for work in time for her shift, which ran from 10 p.m. until 6 a.m.
September 28, 1992. The next morning when Jennifer got off work, the man was waiting outside the children's home. She told police, as well as reporters, that she was not frightened by the man and accepted a ride home from him. She felt that if the man were dangerous, he had had every opportunity to have shown that the night before. 
However, this ride would turn out to be a much different ride than the one before. He almost immediately put a knife to her throat, tied her hands behind her back and then drove her into the desert. When they arrived at a remote location, Jennifer's nightmare truly began. 
He cut off her shorts and bra, and shoved her underwear into her mouth. He then forced her to perform sexual acts, and attempted to rape her but was unable to perform the task. He strangled her until she passed out and then he revived her. He kept screaming for her to say she loved him and when she complied with his request, he would hit her about the head screaming for her to "say it like you mean it" before again choking her into unconsciousness.  Eventually he opened the car door and told her to get out, but maintained a hold on her by yanking on her hair.  At one point, he yelled for her to walk ahead of him.  Jennifer saw an opportunity and bolted.  The next thing she knew he had grabbed her by the hair of her head and was dragging her, half naked, on the ground back to the car.  He then forced her into the car's trunk and drove away.
Jennifer was absolutely convinced that she was going to die.  She states that in her panic to live, she was able to miraculously get her hands free from their bonds.  She then desperately searched for the trunk's release mechanism. Working in the dark with her heart pounding, she popped the trunk open.  Then she felt the car slow down and knew that he must have seen the trunk pop open through his rear view mirror so she quickly grabbed it and pulled it shut again.  The car regained its original speed.  She then waited for a few more minutes, again popped the trunk open and jumped out onto the road. 
As she ran half naked down the road, she ventured a look behind her and saw Andrew running after her carrying a machete.  Just as she turned a small bend in the road, she saw a truck, stood in its path and frantically waved her hands for it to stop. The truck was carrying two Marines.  When her abductor saw the two Marines helping her, he fled. The Marines drove her to safety and she reported her terrifying ordeal to the police.
While physically, Jennifer was going to be just fine, emotionally this ordeal had taken a heavy toll on her.  For much of the next 6 years, Jennifer would opt to live in hospitals rather than face a world with Andrew Urdiales roaming free in it.  She stated that a hospital setting was the only place where she felt safe.
Thankfully today Jennifer Asbenson is thriving.  She works with victims of similar crimes.
However, Andrew wasn't going to stop just because one girl got away.....
(Andrew Urdiales tells his recollection of the events of that night.)
Andrew Urdiales said that after having offered Asbenson a ride to work that fateful September evening in 1992, he had asked her for her telephone number, and she had given him one. Problem was, he said, it had been a fake number and when he tried to call her but discovered the number she had given him was not the correct number, he grew angry.  He said that while waiting for her to get off work so he could offer to take her to breakfast and give her a ride home, he had begun "feeling upset about the number or something...something was just kind of building up, you know. Tension." He made his offer to give her a ride home and she accepted.
While they were driving, Urdiales said he had reached over and grabbed Asbenson by her hair and showed her a gun, after which she had become "pretty much submissive from that part forward." He forced her to turn around and tied her hands behind her back.
"I think," he said, "before we started moving after I tied her hands up, I reached over and I kissed her. I just put my lips on her mouth and then I just started, you know, I was trying to make out with her."
At some point, Urdiales said he forced Asbenson to perform oral sex on him. But Urdiales failed to attain an erection, both when he forced Asbenson—who feared for her life—to perform oral sex and when he attempted to rape her after cutting off her clothes and undergarments. Livid, Urdiales began to choke Asbenson.
"She kept kicking and...her saliva was coming out of her mouth...her face was turning blue and then red," Urdiales said. "It was just a battle for awhile."
After his hand had become tired from choking her, Urdiales said, he had forced Asbenson out of the car and threatened her so that she would make another oral sex attempt. Failing again in that regard, he said, he had forced Asbenson into the trunk of his car and had driven off. When Asbenson had escaped, he said, his first thought had been to shoot her, but he had driven away instead because of the presence of too many other vehicles on the roadway.
"So that was the last time I saw her," Urdiales told the detectives. "I don't know if somebody else picked her up and finished what I started."

Denise Maney, 32
March 11, 1995. A nearly three year gap had occurred after the kidnapping, rape and attempted murder of Jennifer Asbenson.  In March of 1995, Urdiales returned to Palm Springs for a vacation.  While there he picked up prostitute Denise Maney in the same area where he had previously picked up McGhee and Erwin. 
(Andrew Urdiales tells his recollection of the events of that night.)
Urdiales described how he had driven Maney into the desert, eventually turning off onto a deserted side road where he stopped and ordered her to take off her clothes and perform oral sex on him. He said that after getting "tired" of the oral sex, he had grabbed Maney by her hair and forced her to go to the front of his car and lie face down on the ground. He tied her hands behind her back and forced her to perform fellatio again. Because he "wasn't really feeling satisfied," he then forced her onto her knees and abused her anally with his fingers, causing her to scream from the pain.
"And that went on for awhile," he said. "I just kept doing that to her." Tired of abusing Maney, Urdiales forced her to walk toward the desert. At one point they stopped, she turned around, and he forced the gun into her mouth.
"And then it went off," he related. He said it blew off the back of Maney's head. "Then she fell and she was still...gurgling...making a lot of noises."
Urdiales recounts that he had gotten back in his car and started to drive away, but stopped and returned to where Maney lay dying.
"I didn't really think," he said. "I just kind of like wiped clean my hand...and I stopped, turned around and I went back to her."
He said that by this time, he had become "angry" and "very upset," and took out his knife. As he detailed what happened next, he began using both the singular pronoun "I" and the plural pronoun "we," prompting some people, including Robbin Brandley's relatives, to later question whether he may have been assisted by another person in carrying out his gruesome crimes.
"We took the knife out and we went back where she was lying...we just started stabbing for some reason," he told the cops, according to court records. "Just on the body several times, in the chest maybe, stomach...I remember I made a slashing motion by the throat...then we went back to the car. And I—we—we picked up her clothes. Then we were driving, we just started driving."
Laura Uylaki, 25
April 14, 1996.  A Cook County, Ill., prostitute was picked up off a street and driven to the Wolf Lake area straddling the Hammond, Ind., and Chicago border. At some point Laura Uylaki was shot twice in the head with a .38-caliber revolver.  Then her killer threw her nude body into Wolf Lake where it was later found on the Chicago side. Police theorized that the killer had taken the victim's clothing and other items to hamper their efforts in identifying her. 
(Andrew Urdiales tells his recollection of the events of that night.)
According to court records, he stated that he had met Laura Uylaki sometime during the winter of 1995, and that they had gone out on dates a few times. He said that they'd had sex on two occasions at Wolf Lake, using a sleeping bag Urdiales said he kept in the back of his truck. It had been in April 1996, he said, that he picked up Uylaki and they again went to Wolf Lake. Along the way, an argument broke out between them. When they arrived at Wolf Lake, Urdiales took his .38-caliber revolver, which was loaded, from beneath the driver's seat and was "showing it to Laura" when it went off and shot a hole in the roof of his pickup.
"Laura got mad and all hell broke loose," Urdiales told the detectives questioning him.
Urdiales said that Uylaki had attempted to grab his gun, and had broken his left index finger during the struggle. Unable to gain control of the situation, Uylaki had jumped out of the truck and had tried to run away. Following her, he had fired a couple of rounds in Uylaki's direction as he ran after her.  At some point, she fell to the ground.  Urdiales went over to her and discovered that she was dead. It was then that he had made the decision to toss her body into the lake.  He further stated that prior to throwing her body in the lake, he had undressed her and taken her clothes with him. On the drive back to Chicago, he said, he had thrown the clothes out of the truck from the passenger side.
Cassandra Corum, 21
July 14, 1996. The nude body of prostitute Cassandra "Cassie" Corum, 21, was found floating in the Vermillion River in Livingston County, Ill., near the town of Pontiac. Duct tape had been placed over her mouth, and she had shot been once in the head. An autopsy later showed that she had also been stabbed seven times in the chest and head. Her wrists had been handcuffed, and duct tape had also been used to bind her ankles. Corum had disappeared from a bar in Hammond, Ind., after having been seen talking with a man, and had left with him in his pickup truck.
(Andrew Urdiales tells his recollection of the events of that night.)
Urdiales said that he had known Cassandra Corum for about two years before killing her.  The night of her murder, Cassandra and Urdiales had met at a bar in Hammond, Ind.  At some point, the couple had driven to Wolf Lake to have sex. 
Urdiales remembers that Corum had said something that angered him—he couldn't remember what—resulting in him striking Corum in the face several times with his hand and fist. Urdiales' anger, the cops noted, seemed to be a recurring theme. Frightened by his violence, Corum panicked and had begun to fight back, which is what had prompted him to handcuff her hands behind her back. Urdiales had then removed her clothing, and described Corum as seeming "numb with anxiety and fear" and "passive and submissive." He had then bound her feet with duct tape and placed duct tape over her mouth. He said that as he drove south on Interstate 55 with a terrified, bound and naked woman lying on the front seat of his truck, he had been "still pissed off" about whatever Corum had said.
He decided to exit the interstate after driving for about two hours as he was beginning to get tired. Eventually he crossed a bridge that led to a small park where he finally stopped.  He said that he grabbed the gun from beneath his seat and then he and Corum had gotten out of the truck.  Once they had reached the back of the truck Corum had turned to face Urdiales, as if she had planned to say something.  Urdiales shot her.  Even after she had fallen to the ground, Urdiales said, he was still angry with her and so he took out his knife and stabbed her "a few times."   He then threw her body into the river from the nearby bridge.  On the drive home, he tossed her clothing out the truck windows.  He stated that he had not felt any sympathy for Cassandra Corum.
"She was just a whore," he said.
Lynn Huber, 22
August 2, 1996. Only a few yards from the location where Laura Uylaki's body had been found, the nude body of Lynn Huber, 22, of Chicago, was found floating in Wolf Lake. As with most of the other victims, Huber had been a prostitute, and the killer had left none of the victim's clothing or identification near the murder scene.
(Andrew Urdiales tells his recollection of the events of that night.)
Urdiales said he met Lynn Huber during the summer of 1996 in Chicago where she had been working as a prostitute. As with Uylaki, Urdiales said that he and Huber had had sex on two occasions. On an evening in late July or early August 1996, Urdiales said that he had seen Huber carrying a large garbage bag, and that he had stopped and offered her a ride which she accepted.  He said that he had driven into an alley so he could have sex with Huber. He claimed she had begun arguing with him and started "acting kind of ditzy" before trying to get out of the truck. Urdiales said that he had grabbed her and had shot her in the head with the gun he kept under the driver's seat.
Urdiales said that after he'd killed her, he placed her body in the bed of the truck and drove to Wolf Lake.  He remember that while he was removing Lynn Huber's clothing, he pricked his finger with a needle. He said that pricking his finger had made him angry, prompting him to take a knife and stab the body repeatedly. He said that he had stabbed Huber "a lot of times" in the back, and afterward had shot her again. He then took her nude body and threw it in the lake.  The garbage bag that Huber had been carrying was still in his truck so after he looked through the contents to discover it only contained clothing, he donated not only the bag of clothing but the clothes that Ms. Huber had been wearing to the Salvation Army because Huber "won't need them anymore."
November 14, 1996.  Officer Warren Fryer with the Hammond, Indiana police stopped a man driving a pickup truck after observing that the driver was parked outside a suspected crack house on the 800 block of Becker Street with a prostitute known to the police. Officer Fryer called for backup and waited for additional police to arrive before moving on the suspicious person. As the officers approached the pickup the driver, Andrew Urdiales, 31, was "cooperative." During their conversation Urdiales told the officer that he had served in the Marines.  At some point, Officer Fryer noticed a revolver inside the pickup and alerted his fellow officers.
The revolver was a snub-nosed, chrome-plated .38 special and was fully loaded. Since Urdiales did not have a permit for the gun, he was arrested for carrying a concealed weapon and the revolver was confiscated.
The police noticed that the vehicle  was "spotlessly clean" both inside and out. Rolls of duct tape were also found inside the vehicle.
Urdiales was soon released on the concealed weapon charge, but was later convicted of a misdemeanor for the unauthorized possession of a handgun.
April 1, 1997. On this date a call came into the Hammond Police Department and as luck would have it, the call was routed to Officer Fryer.  It was a disturbance call about a man and a woman fighting at a motel, then known as the American Inn, at 4000 Calumet Avenue in Hammond. According to police, Urdiales told an officer that the woman, a prostitute, had stolen something from him. The prostitute, however, also known to the police, told Fryer that Urdiales was "kind of kinky" and that the altercation arose because Urdiales had wanted to take the woman to Wolf Lake, handcuff her in the back of his pickup and have sex with her. Fryer told the prostitute, "Geez...don't do that. We're finding girls up there dead."
A police report about the incident was written and filed, but no one was arrested in this incident. Later, Officer Fryer ran a computer check on Urdiales.  The results included the November 1996 incident involving the unauthorized possession of a handgun. At that time, Officer Fryer wrote a supplemental report that included all of the information he knew about Urdiales to date and forwarded it to the detective division. Because Officer Fryer had made the Wolf Lake connection to the murdered prostitutes, copies of the reports were in turn forwarded to homicide detectives with the Chicago Police Department (CPD) with the hope that the information might be useful to them. Following their review of the documents, CPD Detective Don McGrath asked Hammond police for Urdiales' confiscated revolver.
Once Detective McGrath received the revolver he took it to a gun expert. The ballistics test results showed that it was the same gun that had been used to kill Laura Uylaki, Cassandra Corum, and Lynn Huber. McGrath now knew for certain that he had a serial killer on his hands.
April 22, 1997.  Detective McGrath and his partner, Detective Raymond Krakausky, began a stakeout in an alley near the home belonging to the parents of Andrew Urdiales which is where Urdiales had lived following his discharge from the Marine Corps years earlier. It was a working-class neighborhood where lined with bungalows.  Not long into their stakeout,  Urdiales came out out the house to go to his job as a security guard at a downtown Chicago Eddie Bauer store. The two detectives walked up to Urdiales and told him that they needed to speak with him about the incident in November 1996 in which his gun had been confiscated. Calmly Urdiales told them that it was his understanding that the matter had been resolved.  Detectives McGrath and Krakausky insisted there were still some outstanding issues pertaining to the .38-caliber revolver.  Finally, Urdiales agreed to accompany the two detectives to their offices.
Urdiales told the detectives that he had purchased the revolver about five years earlier in Calumet City for $300. When asked if it had ever been out of his possession, he said that it had not and stated that it had been under his exclusive control until it had been confiscated by Hammond police officers. 
The detectives informed Urdiales that they were investigating some murders involving a .38-caliber gun.  They showed Urdiales photos of Huber, Uylaki and Corum. Initially Urdiales denied ever seeing the three women, but when McGrath told him that the bullets used in their murders matched his gun, he paused for a moment and then responded that he guessed he would not be going to work that day. He took off his security badge, loosened his tie, and began untying his shoe laces. He then provided the detectives with details of his murders of Uylaki, Corum, and Huber. He then admitted that there were "some matters" that police in California "might be interested in." Until that moment, none of the police in any of the jurisdictions had connected the dots that would lead them to believe that the murders in Illinois and California were at all related.
 Urdiales went to trial in Cook County, Ill., in 2002 for the murders of Laura Uylaki and Lynn Huber and was convicted of first-degree murder in both cases. He was sentenced to death. However, Governor George Ryan commuted all Illinois death sentences prior to leaving office in 2003, resulting in Urdiales being resentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
In 2004, Urdiales was convicted of first-degree murder in the slaying of Cassandra Corum, and again received a death sentence. He is currently on death row in Illinois, but has appealed his death sentence. He will eventually be extradited to California to face charges in the murders of Robbin Brandley, Julie McGhee, Mary Ann Wells, Tammie Erwin, and Denise Maney after the evidentiary segment of his appeal in Illinois has concluded.
In July 2009, under a state law that allows for multiple murders connected to one another to be prosecuted together, prosecutors in California agreed to consolidate the five California murder cases into one, with Senior Deputy District Attorney Howard Gundy of the Orange County District Attorney's Office prosecuting the case.
Detective Don McGrath, testifying at Urdiales' sentencing for the murder of Corum, recalled that Urdiales had told him as he escorted Urdiales back to lock-up on one occasion that he was happy that he had been caught.
"'Well, you know, I'm kind of glad in a way that you caught me,'" McGrath quoted Urdiales. "'I was starting to get the urge again.'"
It's my personal opinion that serial killers are the same as wild animals.  Some wild animals can be taken in a babies and with the right amount of love, discipline and training can become the best pets in the world.  While others no matter how much you love them, discipline them or attempt to train them - they will always be wild.  Those are the animal equivalent of a serial killer.  A person who is a hunter by very nature and who kills for no other reason than to kill - not for food - not in self defense - not in defense of another - just for the thrill of killing.  
Nearly every serial killer has an excuse for their behavior.  Bad childhood. Sexually abused. Physically abused.  Or my personal favorite "no one ever loved me".  Maybe because serial killers are technically human, they have a need, or sense that they should have a need, to offer an explanation for their actions.   Or maybe they just want something to say that might spare them the death penalty when they come to trial.
However, there is absolutely no excuse in the world that when offered would make me think, "Oh!  Well, in that case, you should be immediately set free!"
But that's just me.
(I'd like to acknowledge the following resources which contributed to the making of this article.)
CBS News
The Capistrano Dispatch
Orange County Weekly
Orange County District Attorney's Office
Chicago Tribune
Los Angeles Times
State of Illinois Supreme Court
True TV