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A convicted killer serving two life sentences for a string of crimes in Florida has confessed to six unsolved Pennsylvania murders dating back to the 1970s, state police said.
Edward Surratt, who is currently imprisoned in Florida, where he was convicted in 1978 of burglary and sexual battery, is suspected in up to 18 murders, mostly in Pennsylvania and Ohio, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. He's already been convicted of killing a man South Carolina.
Investigators from the Pennsylvania State Police traveled to Florida to hear Surratt’s confessions, in which they say he admitted to murdering two couples and two individuals.
William Adams Jr., 31, was killed in his Beaver County home on Nov. 1, 1977. His young children discovered his body. His wife, Nancy Adams, is also named one of the victims, though her body has never been found.
Guy and Laura Mills, both 64, were killed in their Bedford County home on Dec. 31, 1977. Only three hours later, the body of Joel Krueger, 36, was found in a parked car on the side of the road in neighboring Fulton County.
John Shelkons, 56, was killed in his Bedford County home, while his wife survived the attack.
Edward Surratt confessed to killing all six people with a shotgun, Pennsylvania State Police say.
“PSP investigators never stopped seeking justice for the victims of these terrible crimes and their families,” Lt. Col. Scott Pride, deputy commissioner of operations for the Pennsylvania State Police, said in a press release Wednesday. “We hope that the confessions announced today will help bring some semblance of closure to victims’ loved ones.”
District attorneys from each county involved declined to prosecute because of his current life sentences outside their jurisdiction.
In 2007, Surratt allegedly confessed to six other homicides while in prison, but authorities said the admissions were vague. Two of the victims were teenagers.
“He didn’t sit down and say, ‘I went in this door, and I shot him when he said this,’” said Beaver Township Police Chief Carl Frost in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “He didn’t give us the full admissions.”
Surratt remains in the Union Correctional Institution in Raiford, Florida.
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