A man linked to the killings of three people—two in Florida and one in Tennessee—allegedly told one surviving victim he liked killing people and had killed as many as eight people before he was apprehended by authorities.
Stanley Mossburg, 35, is facing two counts of first-degree murder, three counts of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer and two counts of armed burglary with assault in Florida after authorities said he broke into a Winter Haven home, brutally killed two of its occupants and then terrorized a third, eventually leaving him unharmed.
Mossburg, who also goes by the nickname “Woo Woo,” has also been charged with first-degree murder in Tennessee after authorities say he killed a man at a laundromat; he has allegedly claimed to have taken the lives of even more victims, ABC News reports.
While allegedly holding his surviving Winter Haven victim hostage, he said he had killed as many eight people—but investigators have not yet determined whether Mossburg’s disturbing claim is true.
“We have no way to verify that,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said, according to Tampa station WFTS. “Only that Stanley Mossburg said that the two he murdered in the Winter Haven area were number seven and eight.”
Judd said that, based on what authorities currently know, the “spree killer” is believed to have killed a man doing laundry at a laundromat in Greenville, Tennessee on Oct.1, according to the Tampa Bay Times. Video surveillance allegedly showed Mossburg entering the laundromat, pulling a gun, binding the man and taking him out of the store at gunpoint.
The man’s wife later told authorities she tried to text her husband around 2 a.m. early the next morning but got a “vile, nasty, ugly text” back and called police. Her husband’s body was discovered behind the laundromat later that morning.
Investigators said Mossburg fled the area in the man’s car, which he drove back to his own home in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
He then reportedly headed to Florida after his sister bought him a bus ticket, where his alleged killing spree continued.
Mossburg was chased away from a home in Winter Haven around 4 p.m. Sunday but somehow must have found a way to enter another home nearby, authorities said.
When a man who lived at the home returned from work at around 10:30 p.m., he found his female roommate tied to a chair, the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Mossburg was in the home and approached the man, allegedly telling him, “I have guns and knives, and I’ll kill you if you resist me."
Mossburg tied the man to a chair and allegedly admitted that he had killed another male roommate who lived at the home, telling the man he made his roommate suffer because he had resisted.
He also later told the man later that night that he had killed the woman as well but did it quickly because “she was cooperative,” Judd said.
“He has slashed and murdered both of these victims,” Judd said. “He slashed and murdered the victim in Tennessee, with knives.”
Judd told reporters that Mossburg told the surviving victim he would not kill him because “God told me not to,” WFTS reports.
Mossburg remained in the house overnight and had a chilling conversation with his surviving victim telling the man he “wants to be a serial killer,” authorities said.
“I like killing people,” he said, according to Judd.
The next morning he continued to load up valuables from the home until about noon when he told the surviving man he was leaving but would be back later for the bodies, authorities said. He told the man not to call police or he would kill him.
The victim eventually fled the house six hours later, seeking help from his neighbor, Bob Strouse.
“He was frantic,” Strouse told KPAX. “We didn’t believe what he was telling us right off because it sounded so far-fetched, you don’t want to believe it, but we did.”
After the man called 911, authorities were able to track Mossburg to a house in the area after finding the female roommate's car, which he had stolen, abandoned nearby. When they tried to enter the residence, they were met with gunfire leading to a standoff with law enforcement.
Authorities used a SWAT team, chemicals and K-9s to apprehend Mossburg, who was found underneath a pool table, the local paper reports.
As Mossburg was being transported from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office to be booked into the jail he told reporters he had killed the three victims because God “needs them for war,” KPAX reports.
“I’m a prophet, not a serial killer,” he said. “I’m doing what God tells me to do. Y’all will see God, and there’s gonna be angels and demons fight from God. There’s a war, everybody will see.”
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