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[00:00:00]

Due to the graphic nature of this killer's crimes, listener discretion is advised this episode includes discussions of stalking, murder and assault that some people may find offensive. We advise extreme caution for children under 13.

[00:00:16]

The sun was still far from rising in Galveston, Texas, on the morning of March 27th, 1982. The only ones awake were the birds and Glenda Kirby, a young student at the University of Texas Medical Branch. Glenda was enjoying her solitary morning routine. The YouTube campus was empty for spring break, but she was staying in town for her vacation.

[00:00:39]

Glenda was in her own world. She walked along the vacant sidewalks in the dark. She didn't even notice when a tan Pontiac Grand Prix slowed to a crawl behind her.

[00:00:50]

The car followed her for a block before it rolled to a stop behind Glenda, the large shadow of a man unfolded from the Pontiac. Something dark was dripping from his hands.

[00:01:03]

Glenda, still oblivious to the shadowy man behind her, never look back, not even when the dark form started to run.

[00:01:12]

At the last second, Glenda heard the heavy footsteps. She turned just in time to see 28 year old Coral Eugene Watts sprinting toward her. He was covered in blood and he had murder in his eyes. Hi, I'm Greg Polson.

[00:01:38]

This is Serial Killers, a podcast original. Every episode we dive into the minds and madness of serial killers.

[00:01:45]

Today, we're concluding our look at Coral Eugene Watts, the Sunday morning slasher. I'm here with my co-host, Vanessa Richardson. Hi, everyone.

[00:01:53]

You can find episodes of Serial Killers and all other cast originals for free on Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts to stream serial killers for free on Spotify. Just open the app and type serial killers in the search bar.

[00:02:08]

And our last episode, we delve into Corales early life and saw how a severe childhood illness and tumultuous mental health issues led to a quiet but powerful rage. Eventually, he began to express himself through violence and then murder.

[00:02:23]

Today, we'll look at how Coral became one of the most prolific serial killers in U.S. history, as well as a police manhunt across state lines.

[00:02:35]

We've got all that and more coming up. Stay with us.

[00:02:40]

By the age of 26, Coral Eugene Watts had claimed the lives of at least three women across the state of Michigan in all three stabbing murders. The attacks were marked by a barbaric rage and overwhelming force. After years of suppressed anger, Korrell only found relief in violence against women.

[00:03:01]

Corales weapons of choice were small woodcarving knives and sharpened screwdrivers. The tools were small, their blades only a few inches long. Not your typical murder weapon because they really weren't that effective for killing. But that's what Korrell liked about them. He could just keep stabbing, taking out his frustration until it melted away. Unfortunately, the release would never last for long. These highs and lows were evident in his behavior at home.

[00:03:30]

Corales wife Valaria was always on edge. Korrell ran through patterns of stress inducing behaviors that strained their relationship. The most troubling of these was his habit of disappearing at night, at night to Korrell would take off without saying a word.

[00:03:46]

These frequent, unexplained flights from home worried Valaria. It's unclear if she was aware, but they often coincided with attacks on women in the Detroit area.

[00:03:56]

In early 1980, less than a year into their marriage, Valaria was already at her breaking point with an increase in Corales unexplained nighttime wanderings. She felt more afraid and alone than ever, feeling like a stranger to her husband.

[00:04:12]

Valaria couldn't stand living with them anymore. In May of 1980, Valaria filed for divorce and moved out.

[00:04:19]

Valerius desertion left Korrell feeling out of control, and he became angrier than ever. His failed relationship likely served as yet another trigger for the emotional shame that motivated his aggression and violence.

[00:04:34]

Vanessa is going to take over and the psychology here and throughout the episode. Please note, Vanessa is not a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist, but she has done a lot of research for this show. Thanks, Greg.

[00:04:46]

In a collaborative study published in Aggression and Violent Behavior, researchers found that poorly adapted regulation of internalized shame was linked with violent outcomes in the context of adult couple relationships. These researchers concluded that breakup's trigger the emotional pain associated with childhood relational shame.

[00:05:08]

When Valaria divorced Korrell, he felt a loss of control and was reminded of the shame of unhealthy relational experiences. In his past, Corales chaotic family life deprived him of safe and secure ways to interact and feel in relationships, according to the study. A common response to this shame is to use anger and aggression through violent means to regain power and control. In short, the only thing Korrell knew to do with his shame was to get angry. So that's what he did.

[00:05:40]

On the night of July 12th, 1980, Korrell got worked up and just started driving. Spending time at his car seems to have been another outlet that Korrell used to calm himself. That night he left Detroit and headed in the direction of Ann Arbor.

[00:05:54]

There's no way of knowing if Coral set out with murderous intentions that night. But after hours spent roaming the quiet streets, he made up his mind he had to kill again.

[00:06:07]

Sometime around four a.m., 26 year old Glenda Richman dropped a friend off at home. We can't be sure, but it's likely around then that Coral first spotted her. Once she was alone, he began tailing her.

[00:06:20]

Coral prickled with anticipation as he followed Glenda's car into her apartment parking lot at four thirty, wanting to catch her by surprise, he hid. Near the path leading to the building, Glynda was a restaurant manager and it had likely been a long night for her. Unfortunately, in her tired state, she remained completely oblivious to her stalker as she came up the walkway. She even had her keys out and ready.

[00:06:46]

Korrell waited in silence until Glenda was just steps from making it inside. Then he sprang out and grabbed her.

[00:06:54]

Carl put her in a headlock and stabbed her violently in the chest. With each stab, he felt the anger of the past months fading away. Just moments later, he dropped Glenda's lifeless form and fled, feeling relief and euphoria spreading through him.

[00:07:11]

A short time later, Glenda's body was found just feet from her door. She'd been stabbed 28 times and her purse lay next to her untouched.

[00:07:22]

Both neighbors and police noticed that Glenda's brutal killing was reminiscent of Shirley Small's murder just months earlier. The striking similarities forced them to reconsider what they assumed was a random attack on Shirley. Perhaps the two murders were related. Suddenly, it seemed clear that the young women of Ann Arbor were being targeted by a serial killer, but just as the fears spread, the killing stopped. A couple of weeks went by without any new victims in Ann Arbor.

[00:07:54]

That's likely because Carol was busy expanding his hunting ground. Every time he got in his car, he felt compelled to drive farther, faster and for longer to find a sense of calm.

[00:08:05]

And when driving wasn't cutting it, there was always option two. In the early hours of July 31st, Carol got in his car and drove north. His Pontiac was tagged going across the border into Ontario, Canada. There he headed for the city of Windsor.

[00:08:23]

What happened next isn't clear, but it's likely that Coral looped the neighborhoods in Winsor's downtown area. At the same time, 22 year old Irene Kontorovich was walking home after a night out, barhopping.

[00:08:35]

A little before 4:00 a.m., Irene was attacked from behind by an unknown assailant who slashed her throat. She never saw her attacker, but miraculously lived to tell the terrifying story.

[00:08:49]

Around 30 minutes after Irene was attacked, Korrell was photographed at a checkpoint re-entering the U.S..

[00:08:55]

It's still unknown whether Korrell was the one who attacked Irene that night, but if he was, it did little to assuage his urges. Just over a month later, he returned to Ann Arbor with an appetite for murder.

[00:09:09]

Coral was passing through neighborhoods around the University of Michigan when he saw Rebecca Greer Huff getting into her car that night, 20 year old Rebecca had hung out with some friends at an apartment around 345 a.m.. Rebecca left her friends to make her way home. Just like Glenda Richman, Rebecca made it to her building's parking lot safely. It was in the 100 feet between her car and her apartment that coral attacked. He jumped her from behind and stabbed her repeatedly.

[00:09:42]

When Rebecca was dead, Coral fled the scene.

[00:09:45]

A resident in Rebecca's building heard her screams and called the police. They arrived around 4:00 a.m. to find her body. She had been stabbed a total of 54 times all along her torso.

[00:09:58]

The news of Rebecca's murder was a blow to police and locals alike. The especially brutal nature of her murder drew even more attention to the three serial killings.

[00:10:08]

Rebecca was popular and beloved. She was seen as a true pillar in many of her local and academic communities. So her death put pressure on the police to catch her killer fast. Alongside them, local media sought to make sense of the violence, but only fanned the flames of fear.

[00:10:27]

News of the latest stabbing murder sent women into a panic across the university campus and spread through the rest of the town. Women stopped walking home alone, terrified they'd be next. Police held town hall meetings, distributed pamphlets about nighttime safety and started a special task force. Meanwhile, the press recognized the urgency of the case and set out to help in whatever way they could in their reporting.

[00:10:54]

They started making useful connections between the killings based on details released by police, and our journalists identified the killer's pattern. The women were all attacked in front of their apartments around 4:00 a.m. on Sunday mornings. So they dubbed the killer the Sunday morning slasher.

[00:11:12]

Despite the heat coming from the Ann Arbor Papers and the new nickname, 26 year old Korrell was relaxed in Detroit, nearly 50 miles away from the frenzy. He was content to let the dust settle in Ann Arbor before returning.

[00:11:28]

But someone else was also watching the coverage of his murders closely.

[00:11:33]

Sergeant James Arthurs of the Detroit Police Department thought the stories of the Ann Arbor attacks were eerily familiar after the murder of Gloria Steel in 1974, Coral had never truly left Arthur's mind, and now it seemed the past was about to catch up to him.

[00:11:54]

Up next, Korrell becomes the hunted. Hi, it's Greg.

[00:12:01]

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[00:12:48]

These presidents may have run, but they most certainly can't hide. Bollo very presidential with Ashley flowers free on Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. Now back to the story. From May to September of 1980, 26 year old Coral Eugene Watts went on a killing spree. He stabbed three women to death in front of their homes on Sunday mornings after the butchering of 20 year old student Rebecca Hoff. The women of Ann Arbor were all on edge. The police and papers announced they had a serial killer on their hands who they dubbed the Sunday morning slasher.

[00:13:33]

But the Slasher's M.O. and spontaneous victim selection made it hard for him to identify. 50 miles away in Detroit, Korrell felt far enough to avoid suspicion, but he couldn't hide from his past. And though he'd escaped punishment for the murder of Gloria Steele in 1974, Sergeant James Arthurs remained sure it was him.

[00:13:54]

Arthur's investigation had stalled out, but he never forgot kural. And as the bodies of more murdered women turned up in the Detroit area, the wound patterns and victim profiles felt familiar with a good hunch.

[00:14:08]

Coral was the culprit in Arbor as well. Arthas reached out to the police department there. Initially, Detective Paul Buntin of the Ann Arbor PD dismissed Arthur's offer to share what he knew. But when leads dried up, he reconsidered.

[00:14:23]

But the police had no witnesses who could place coral in Ann Arbor. Hoping to build a case, Buntin instructed the department to report any sightings of coral within the city limits. They wouldn't have to wait long.

[00:14:37]

On the morning of November 15th, 1980, 27 year old Coral decided to go out hunting for his next victim. He got to Ann Arbor, where he cruised the downtown area.

[00:14:48]

He saw a young woman walking alone down Main Street at around 450 a.m. and began following her in his car.

[00:14:56]

After so much press coverage of the Sunday morning slasher, the woman was very alert. She noticed that Coral was watching her every move.

[00:15:05]

She ducked into doorways and alleys, trying to hide from his line of sight. But she couldn't get away. The cat and mouse chase went on for nine blocks until the woman managed to throw him off by turning a couple of corners in quick succession.

[00:15:19]

Coral was furious. He threw open his car door and ran through the streets, trying to find his lost prey.

[00:15:27]

Unbeknownst to coral, he was being watched to beat cops, spotted him stalking the woman and followed them the whole way.

[00:15:34]

Seeing him in his agitated state, they got out to confront him.

[00:15:38]

Korrell fled. He made it to his car before the officers got there and took off. But he couldn't outmaneuver them and they cut him off at the next block. Finding that he had a suspended license and expired tags, they arrested Korrell and brought him in a search of his car, turned up blood samples, woodcarving tools and a dictionary with the phrase Rebecca is a lover scratched in the cover, saying the book police officers were reminded of the Slasher's previous victim, Rebecca.

[00:16:11]

Perhaps it was hers.

[00:16:12]

Detective Buntin was alerted that they'd apprehended Korrell stalking a woman. He came in to interrogate his top suspect.

[00:16:21]

Buntin was surprised by Corales demeanor. He found him well-mannered, soft spoken and relatively calm. Not at all what he expected for a suspected serial killer.

[00:16:31]

But as soon as Buntin raised his suspicions about Corales involvement in the murders, Korrell asked for a lawyer. It forced Buntin to admit that he didn't have the evidence now to charge him, but he knew what Carol had done and would prove his guilt.

[00:16:46]

Eventually, without evidence of his crimes, the police were obliged to let Korrell go free. He left a free man, but Detective Buntin was determined that it wasn't the end of the story.

[00:16:58]

After that night, Buntin was obsessed with tracking Korrell down. He drove to Kalamazoo to find out what Sergeant Arthas knew. After looking at photos of Gloria Steeles injuries, Buntin agreed that the cases were uncannily alike. He said the wound pattern, the wound type was practically an overlay bunta that his partner also began digging into Corales past.

[00:17:24]

After learning about his previous convictions and his time spent in mental hospitals, Buntin was only more certain that Korrell was the Sunday morning slasher. One of Corales past psychiatrists even told Buntin that Korrell was likely the culprit between the two departments.

[00:17:40]

They coordinated a 24 hour watch on Korrell so that someone always had eyes on him.

[00:17:46]

For the first few nights of their surveillance, Korrell seemed unaware of their presence. But on the one night they lost track of him, a woman was murdered just across the border in Canada. So the police upped their presence.

[00:17:59]

But now Korrell knew the police were watching him. The tables were turned and it seems he didn't like being the one who was hunted, although driving enabled Corales killings.

[00:18:10]

It was also one of his few solaces with the frustrating presence of a constant police tail. Corale lost to one of his only non-violent coping outlets.

[00:18:20]

He didn't feel free to go anywhere or do anything. He quickly limited his activities to only work, necessary errands and time at home.

[00:18:31]

He was antsy and paranoid, sure, that everyone around him was involved in the police conspiracy. Sometimes the worry would bubble over. He'd get out of his car at a stoplight and yell at civilians that he thought were cops.

[00:18:44]

But it seemed that their efforts had a positive effect. During the two months the police stuck to Korrell, the stabbings in the Michigan area stopped. Unfortunately, the department only had its resources for a limited time.

[00:18:57]

So Buntin brought Korrell in for another interrogation on January 29th, 1981.

[00:19:05]

In the interview, Carl admitted to Buntin that he was suffering and had issues, but he wouldn't say anything about the murders. Buntin refused to back down, talking to him for hours on end.

[00:19:15]

Eventually, Korrell broke down, sobbing, asking to see his mother. This might have been related to what Freud termed a psychological regression. Freud theorized that during times of stress, adults revert to childlike behaviors and responses that they remember from childhood. Regressive behaviors can be unconscious attempts by adults to avoid difficult situations or stressors. It seems that Corales inability to cope with the threat of being caught and the pressure to maintain his innocence pushed him into a childlike reaction.

[00:19:49]

Unsure how to proceed, Buntin thought that if he allowed Korrell to see his mother, he might feel safe enough to finally confess. But his decision backfired.

[00:19:58]

After five hours of interrogation, Buntin led Korrell visit with his mother. But after having some contact with a stable figure from his childhood, Korrell shut down completely and refused to talk to Buntin anymore, with no physical evidence and no confession.

[00:20:15]

Their case against coral dried up, and with it their resources warrants expired. And without more murders motivating the investigation, the department couldn't justify the continued expense. Still, Buntin relentlessly pursued Coral on his own. He approached Korrell and grocery stores and around town, he thought if he continued to apply pressure with casual interviews in public places, Korrell would eventually crack.

[00:20:43]

And he did, but not the way he hoped. On March 10th, 1981, Buntin spotted Coral at a payphone while outside the courthouse and confronted him.

[00:20:54]

Coral lost his temper. He felt trapped and knew Buntin wouldn't stop stalking him.

[00:21:00]

He couldn't stay. Here is the only way out was to run.

[00:21:05]

27 year old Coral went from that payphone straight to the airport and jumped on a plane out of Michigan. He didn't even stop to tell his mother or friends he was leaving.

[00:21:16]

He stopped in Coalwood, West Virginia, to get some money from his grandmother. Then he hopped on another plane, this time to Houston, Texas. Back in Michigan, Buntin was in the dark. Coral was nowhere to be found and his family knew nothing. It seemed he had disappeared into thin air.

[00:21:34]

Finally, in April of 1981, Buntin found a forwarding address for Coral, directing his mail to an apartment in Houston.

[00:21:42]

Buntin didn't want Coral to slip away, so he contacted the Houston P.D. and sent over their entire case history on coral.

[00:21:51]

Detective Doug Bostock took up the mantle and continued to keep tabs on coral. But as far as he could tell, Coral was living a normal life.

[00:21:59]

For the first six months in Texas, Coral put down roots and kept his head down. He worked several mechanic jobs with trucking and vehicle companies over the summer and fall. Eventually, Coral ended up in Eagle Lake, a city just outside of Houston. While Detective Bostock watched him, Coral's behavior was unremarkable. He simply went to work and went home. But that was all about to change. After months of stress under the careful watch of police in both Michigan and Texas, Coral was ready to give in to his murderous impulses once more.

[00:22:36]

Lucky for him, in 1981, Houston was the perfect place for a serial killer to hide. It was one of the fastest growing cities, and violent crime was far outpacing the authorities. It was dubbed murder capital of the United States by the national press.

[00:22:51]

With over 700 homicides a year, Corales murders were sure to be a drop in the bucket. He was finally settled in and ready to roam the highways of a new city. The slasher was poised for a comeback. Up next, Coral's final murder spree begins now back to the story. Late in the summer of 1981, 27 year old Coral Eugene Watts was settled into his new home near Houston, Texas. After months with no incriminating or strange activities, the Texas P.D. relaxed their watch on him, which was convenient because Coral was ready to get back to killing.

[00:23:38]

This particular age had gone unscratched for the better part of a year. But he soon settled into a familiar pattern. He found a girlfriend to spend time with during the day and went out hunting victims at night. Coral met Sheila Williams at church. The two began dating shortly after and things got serious. But Coral didn't spend most nights with Sheila. Instead, he spent them canvassing the city with lots of road to drive and countless women out along coral picked up right where he left off.

[00:24:10]

On September 5th, 1981, Coral spotted 22 year old Linda Tilley alone in her car. He started to follow her, but had no idea how far she would take him.

[00:24:23]

Linda was driving home to Austin over 100 miles away. Coral tailed her for the entire journey, patiently waiting for his moment when she finally made it home. He pounced, calling Linda struggled briefly before he drowned her in the pool outside her apartment building.

[00:24:40]

And this was only the beginning of his spree. Starting in January of 1982, bodies of women began to pile up in the surrounding counties. Like his previous victims, they were often found exactly where he attacked them in front of their homes or in the bushes of neighborhood sidewalks.

[00:24:59]

Curiously, corals method of killing was evolving. Coral was using his knives less and less, finding new enjoyment in strangling and drowning.

[00:25:08]

Among his next victims, 27 year old Phyllis Tamme was strangled and hung by her tube top in a park, and 25 year old Margaret Fosi was found strangled in front of her apartment. Then 20 year old L.A.. Amandas strangled body was almost compacted by a garbage man when she was emptied into his truck from a dumpster.

[00:25:32]

At the time, the police didn't make the connection between any of the victims, so 28 year old Korrell continued to fly under the radar as spring bloomed in Texas. He moved in with his girlfriend, Sheila, and her daughter and began referring to them as his wife and child.

[00:25:48]

At last, Corales life had a sense of normalcy for him. His relationship with Sheila didn't seem to have the same issues his earlier marriages had. Sheila was infatuated. He continued to work regularly, and now he had his murderous outlet back.

[00:26:06]

Korrell relaxed into his new routine, but then he got careless, cocky. He was reckless with the crime scenes and even with his victims.

[00:26:16]

In the early morning of March 27th, 1982, Korrell stabbed a young woman named Anna, ladette to death, even covered in Anna's blood.

[00:26:26]

He still wasn't satisfied as he drove away from Anna's body, he noticed Glenda Kirby walking alone when she heard footsteps behind her. Glenda turned to see a bloody man running at her. Korrell tackled her to the ground.

[00:26:41]

Glenda struggled under Corales weight, trying to break free but slick as his arms and hands were with blood, he couldn't hold on. Glenda took advantage of the horrific gore and started to wriggle free with a little force.

[00:26:56]

She slipped right out of his wet hands. She crawled away on the sidewalk and limped off to safety with his thoughts. Racing and rage pulsing Coral returned to his car and drove home. However, this failure wouldn't slow him down. A couple of months later, at dawn on May 23, Coral waited in the bushes at the Hammersley Walk Apartments in Houston. He had seen Lori Lyster driving alone and followed her to the building before she could get out of her car.

[00:27:30]

Coral ran into the shadows in front of the complex and waited.

[00:27:34]

As Laurie came up the pathway to her unit, Coral jumped out of the darkness and put her in a stranglehold. He demanded to know which apartment was hers.

[00:27:44]

Laurie quickly assessed her options. She was afraid Coral would murder her if she didn't bring him up to the apartment. But she had a roommate, 18 year old Melinda Aguilar, and was fearful for her safety as well as her own. She was torn despite the early hour.

[00:28:01]

Melinda was already awake inside the apartment. Laurie directed Coral up to her unit, but as he squeezed her neck tighter, she fainted. Coral took her keys and rushed up to the door. The sun was coming up and he had to get her unconscious form out of sight quickly inside the apartment.

[00:28:18]

Melinda heard what she thought was Laurie trying to get in. So she went to open the door. She had no idea Coral was waiting on the other side.

[00:28:28]

Melinda opened the door, catching coral by surprise for a second. Then he burst through and put Melinda in a choke hold while holding a knife to her.

[00:28:37]

Coral pulled the teenager into a bedroom as he squeezed tighter on her throat. Melinda knew he would kill both her and Laurie if she didn't escape.

[00:28:47]

Thinking quickly, she decided her best chance was to pretend that she had passed out.

[00:28:54]

Melinda let her body go limp and closed her eyes as Coral threw her down in the room. He tied her hands together behind her back with a wire hanger, then left to go get Lori still unconscious downstairs from the bedroom.

[00:29:09]

Melinda could hear Lori's feet hitting every step as Coral dragged her body up the stairs, realizing that Lori was passed out. She knew that it was up to her to figure out an escape.

[00:29:21]

Melinda watched on in horror as Coral pulled Laurie into the bathroom and proceeded to fill up the bathtub.

[00:29:28]

Melinda could hear coral making sounds of excitement. He was giggling and hyping himself up to drown Laurie. He had not one but two victims now, and he was going to enjoy it.

[00:29:41]

Melinda knew time was running out for her to get help. She later said, I was thinking if he took me in there, there was no way we were going to get out of there alive.

[00:29:51]

As the water noisily filled the tub, Melinda got up and quietly closed and locked the bedroom door without Korrell noticing. Then she turned towards the bedrooms balcony. They were on the second story, but she figured she could make the jump with her hands still tied.

[00:30:08]

She opened the sliding door and got out onto the porch.

[00:30:12]

Melinda could hear Coral beginning to drown Laurie in the tub. She knew time was running out.

[00:30:18]

Melinda jumped over the railing. She stood up hastily and ran toward the first person. She saw a woman drinking her morning coffee and a neighboring balcony.

[00:30:27]

Melinda yelled to call the police. Her roommate was being drowned by an attacker in their apartment.

[00:30:34]

Hearing the commotion outside, Coral went to check on Melinda. He left Lori half drowned in the bathtub and rageful. He kicked down the locked door.

[00:30:44]

He was horrified and angry to see Melinda was gone, but he was even more panicked when he looked out the sliding door to see two cop cars pull up.

[00:30:55]

The police were already downstairs and questioning the occupants of the unit below. Carl ran out from the upstairs apartment, jumped half the stairs and sprinted away.

[00:31:05]

The cops gave chase as Coral tried to make it to his car, but he was parked right by the police vehicles.

[00:31:12]

He kept changing directions, trying to throw them off, but a cop was right on his tail. Finally, Coral ran into a dead end in the complex. It was all over.

[00:31:23]

Coral put his hands up and dropped to the ground. He didn't resist. As he was cuffed and led to the police car.

[00:31:30]

Carl was arrested for burglary with intent to murder.

[00:31:34]

Back in the apartment, Lori's neighbor ran upstairs to find her unconscious in the bathtub. She pulled her out of the water and hit her a couple of times on the back to try to revive her.

[00:31:45]

After a few ten seconds, Lori woke coughing up water and blood outside.

[00:31:52]

Lori's attacker was spirited away from the scene to answer for his actions and perhaps shed some light on his other brutal attacks in the Houston area. After Corales arrest, police hope to search his home for evidence that may be helpful in other convictions. But his wife, Sheila, wouldn't let them in without a warrant when they returned with one. The next day, Sheila had completely cleared out the house back at square one. The judge in charge of Corales case ordered a mandatory psychological evaluation.

[00:32:23]

Coral was carted off to the maximum security unit of the Rusk State Hospital.

[00:32:27]

Psychiatric wing Corales evaluation included a clinical interview, staff observations and an IQ test. The clinical director of the unit, Dr. James A. Hunter, found that something wasn't adding up with Corales IQ test. In his observations, he assessed Korrell to be of normal adult intelligence. But Corales full scale IQ had been measured at just 68. The score legally qualified him as mentally handicapped in the state of Texas.

[00:32:58]

However, it's possible that Korrell had falsified his IQ test to appear incompetent to avoid standing trial. A study performed by the University of New Orleans Department of Psychology found that the IQ test was not consistently capable of identifying false exaggerations by patients known as malingering. Another psychologist, Korrell, saw Dr. Jerome and Sherman identified a wealth of Corales issues. He said that Korrell harbored a great deal of internalized hostility, which was directed solely at women who he attached an evil quality to, since the police had caught Korrell red handed for attempted murder.

[00:33:39]

They now focused on pinning other murders on him. Given his reputation in Michigan, they wanted a chance to question him about some of the other unsolved homicides.

[00:33:49]

So after Korrell was deemed fit to stand trial, he was offered a plea deal from the Harris County assistant district attorney. He would be granted immunity for his other crimes if he pleaded guilty to burglary with intent to murder and confessed to his additional murders. In exchange, he would receive the maximum sentence of 60 years. Korrell took the deal.

[00:34:13]

He sat down in a room with detectives and confessed to 14 other murders, some of which were still missing persons cases over the course of 28 hours. Carol described the methods of killing in detail and later took investigators to find some of the undiscovered burials.

[00:34:29]

At some point during his confession, Korrell boasted that he had killed more people than there were on the fingers and toes of the people in the room. If there was any truth to Corales Tot's, he had only revealed the names of a mere handful of his many victims. For years, the authorities in Texas and Michigan continued to question if their cold cases were unidentified victims of Corales. Coral initially agreed to confess to the Michigan murders for a similar immunity deal, but Detective Buntin and his department weren't having a bar of it.

[00:35:07]

They denied the offer. They refused to grant immunity to a confessed murderer.

[00:35:12]

Following his confession on September 3rd, 1982, 28 year old Coral Eugene Watts was sentenced to 60 years in prison. Korrell story should end here, but even after admitting to as many as 80 murders, Korrell found a loophole in his conviction when he originally entered his guilty plea, Carl had not been legally notified that the water he tried to drown Lori Lyster in was recorded as a deadly weapon. This overside opened the door for Korrell to appeal his conviction on a technicality.

[00:35:47]

The appeal was successful, and Corales charge was reduced to merely burglary. Thanks to his immunity deal, Korrell now qualified for mandatory early release.

[00:35:58]

In 2006, the citizens of Houston and the families of Corales victims protested the release of a petition to change the law or to make Corales case a legal exception. But there was nothing that could be done in a last ditch effort.

[00:36:13]

Officials in Houston reached out to the Michigan district attorney's office to see if they held any open cases that could be tied to Korrell. The office had a wealth of cold cases, but none with sufficient evidence to prove Corales involvement.

[00:36:29]

So the office aired a PSA asking anyone with more information on the cold cases to come forward. The very next day, they received a call from a man named Joseph Foy.

[00:36:40]

In 1979, Foy witnessed the murder of Helen Dutcher in an alley outside his Detroit apartment. At the time, he got a good look at the man as he fled and help the police with a sketch that looked a lot like Korrell.

[00:36:54]

Foy never forgot the case and in fact had badgered police for years about finding the guilty party. When the chance finally came for justice 25 years later, Foy was only too happy to help with the case.

[00:37:09]

In 2004, 51 year old Korrell was finally charged for the murder of Helen Dutcher.

[00:37:16]

With Joseph Foy's testimony and unequivocal identification, Korrell was found guilty of murder in the first degree.

[00:37:25]

Carroll was then charged with the murder of his first victim, Gloria Steel, who he stabbed to death in 1974. A jury returned their guilty verdict in less than a day.

[00:37:36]

Korrell spent the rest of his life in prison. In 2007, he died behind bars.

[00:37:44]

The fall victim count of Coral Eugene Watts may never be truly known. His legacy is an arbour's Sunday morning slasher proved to be only a small piece of his horrific history.

[00:37:57]

It's hard to tell where fact and fiction converge in this story. Even in Corales confession, there's no telling just how many families were affected by his brand of brutal violence. But it's safe to say that few were sorry when he died. It might have felt like a wave of calm and a long relief. Thanks again for tuning into serial killers.

[00:38:28]

We'll be back on Monday with a new episode for more information on Coral Eugene Watts. Amongst the many sources we used, we found Evil Eyes by Corey Mitchell, extremely helpful to our research.

[00:38:40]

You can find more episodes of Serial Killers and all of the podcast originals for free on Spotify, not only to Spotify, already have all of your favorite music, but now Spotify is making it easy for you to enjoy all of your favorite podcast originals like Serial Killers for free from your phone desktop or smart speaker to stream serial killers on Spotify. Just open the app and type serial killers in the search bar. We'll see you next time. Have a killer week.

[00:39:08]

Serial Killers was created by Max Cuddler and is a podcast studio's original. Executive producers include Max and Ron Cuddler Sound Design by Nick Johnson with production assistance by Ron Shapiro, Carly Madden and Joshua Kern. This episode of Serial Killers was written by Isabella Minichiello with writing assistants by Abigail Canon and stars Greg Polson and Vanessa Richardson.

[00:39:39]

Hi again, it's Greg. Before I go, I wanted to remind you to check out the news, Spotify original from podcast, very presidential with Ashleigh Flowers.

[00:39:49]

Every Tuesday through the 2020 election, host Ashleigh Flowers shines a light on the darker side of the American presidency, exposing wildly true stories about history's most high profile leaders. There's torrid love affairs, shocking blackmail schemes and even murder.

[00:40:06]

I can't recommend this show enough to hear more of follow. Very presidential with Ashleigh flowers free on Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.