A New York double-murder suspect caught with another body in his bed this week got his start in Charleston, where he stabbed up to 10 women in a series of baffling attacks in the 1970s.
Former Union Heights resident Lucius Crawford, 60, is being held in a pair of cold case homicides in which two women were stabbed to death in 1993, New York police said. When investigators went to his apartment to question him Tuesday, they found a dead 41-year-old woman beneath a sheet. She had been stabbed nine times in the chest, police said.
Investigators said Crawford confessed to all three homicides following his arrest about three hours after the grisly discovery.
The serial stabber began his criminal career in the Charleston area nearly four decades ago.
In May 1973, police charged him with stabbing five women — all strangers — who he encountered on the streets of North Charleston. Investigators arrested Crawford, then 21, on May 19, 1973, after he approached a woman walking down Dorchester Road and stabbed her twice in each leg, police said. He pleaded guilty to two assault counts and went to prison for about three years, police said.
Less than a year after his release, the 24-year-old ex-con was back at it, attacking and stabbing five women over a five-day period in April 1977, police said. The victims ranged in age from 14 to 28. This time out, he stabbed his victims in the abdomen, the hip and the arm, police said.
In June 1977, Crawford pleaded guilty in four of the attacks and a judge handed him a 24-year prison sentence, court records show.
When investigators went to Crawford’s Mount Vernon apartment Tuesday, they found a woman stabbed to death in the parolee’s bed and his electronic monitoring bracelet removed and left behind, Browne said. Police located him in Mount Vernon a few hours later.
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