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Through recorded phone calls from death row, one of the infamous "Toolbox Killers" gives insight into his sadistic mind in an upcoming original documentary airing first on Peacock and then on Oxygen.
The two-hour special, appropriately titled "The Toolbox Killer," will feature serial killer Lawrence Bittaker talking about his brutal crime spree “in his own words,” according to Peacock.
For five months in 1979, Bittaker, along with Roy Norris, drove around California in an enhanced van they nicknamed "Murder Mac" looking for victims. The sadistic duo was armed with a toolbox full of pliers, ice picks, and sledgehammers that they used on the teen girls they abducted. They raped, tortured, and then killed five in all: Lucinda "Cindy" Schaefer, 16; Andrea Hall, 18; Jacqueline Gilliam, 15; Jacqueline Leah Lamp, 13, and Shirley Lynette Ledford, 16.
Norris' inability to keep his mouth shut, as well as some women who managed to escaped the pair's abduction attempts, eventually led to the pair's arrest.
Before Bittaker, described by Peacock as "America's most sadistic serial killer," died in 2019 on death row awaiting his execution, he developed a friendship with criminologist Laura Brand.
“Over the course of five years, Brand recorded her many conversations with Bittaker as he spoke from death row about his methods and motives, providing unique insights into the mind of a criminal sadist,” Peacock states.
Many of these conversations are included in the documentary. Commentary from survivors and the relatives of victims, including those of the still missing Andrea Hall, are also included.
“He once said to me, ‘Do you understand what it feels like to actually put an ice pick through somebody’s ear and not feel anything?” Brand recalls of Bittaker in a trailer for the upcoming documentary.
She notes that for a period of time she spoke with Bittaker every single day.
Brand started corresponding with both Bittaker and Norris in 2014. Four years later, she traveled to San Quentin Prison, where Bittaker was being held on death row, to speak with him in person. During her visit, he drew her a map of where he put two of his victims’ bodies and told her where she could find a tape that captured one victim’s torture.
The two-hour special, produced by Mike Mathis Productions, will drop on Thursday, Sept. 23 on Peacock. It will air on Oxygen on Sunday, Oct. 3.
For more on Bittaker and Norris, including how they were caught, check out Oxygen's digital evidence kit on The Toolbox Killers.
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