A particularly cruel sociopath, Tommy Lynn Sells has confessed to over a dozen homicides, many of them children. Drifting throughout the country, only interrupted by the occasional jail term, Sells seemed to target small children and particularly enjoyed multiple murders.
Sells has already been convicted of a murder in Del Rio, Texas. The killer entered the Harris family home on December 31, 1999, and murdered 13-year-old Kaylene, sexually assaulting her before cutting her throat and attempting to do the same to friend Krystal Surles, 10. He was sentenced to death for the Harris murder on September 20, 2000. Among the other murders Sells is credited with are the killings of a nine-year-old child in Texas, the slaying of a mother and her five-year-old child in Forsyth, Missourri, the killings of another mother and child in West Virginia, and yet another similar crime in Tennessee.
Perhaps Sells most heinous crime, and that's saying a lot, was the quadruple murder of the Dardeen family in Ida, Illinois, on November 18, 1987. Befriended by the family and invited for a meal at their mobile home, Sells shot Russell Dardeen in the head in a nearby field and beat his wife and three-year-old son to death with a baseball bat. During the brutal attack Mrs. Dardeen gave birth to a girl, two months premature. Faced with the unique situation Sells simply turned the bat on the newborn and beat her to death also.
Sells currently faces charges in the Kentucky rape-murder of a thirteen-year-old girl and in Illinois for the Darden family slayings. More charges, and possibly many more confesions, are sure to come.
Since his conviction in September of 2000, Sells has since admitted to killing fellow carnival worker Thomas Brose, who was found shot to death in a motor home in San Antonio, Texas on April 15, 1998. Local authorities are looking into his claims. Sells is also under investigation in San Antonio for the murder of Marie Bea Perez, 9, who he has confessed to slaying after Perez was abducted from a market on April 18, 1998, just three days before Brose was killed. She was found dead one week later.
5/26/2002-Sells has claimed responsiblity in a horrible crime committed near Welch, Oklahoma, on December 30, 1999. On that night authorities responsing to a blaze at the Welch home found Danny and Kathy Freeman dead inside the mobile home. The Freeman's daughter Ashley and her friend Lauria Bible, both teens, were not in the home and have not been seen since. Sells claims to have committed the crime and to know where the two girl's bodies are located. Authorities are skeptical of the claim apparently because their timeline of Sells' movements would make it highly difficult for him to have been in that area at that time but they are nevertheless investigating the possibility.
7/3/2002-After leading investigators to a field in Marshall, Texas, and coming up empty, detectives seem prepared to write Sells off as suspect in the disappearance Ashley Freeman and Laura Bible. The field Sells eventually claimed he buried the girls bodies at evidently didn't even resemble the scene he described to authorities when interviewed earlier.
9/13/2003-Sells pled guilty on September 10 to killing Mary Bea Perez, the nine-year-old girl that was murdered after disappearing in San Antonio, Texas. Sells automatically recieved a sentence of life in prison for the Perez slaying. Sells claims that he awoke in a field and was sexually attacked by a mystery man named "Red" who Sells then injured during a fight. When "Red" fled, Sells says he saw Perez huddled nearby and eliminated her as a witness to the altercation with "Red" by choking her to death. Despite this ridiculous story, Sells did have unreleased information about Perez that have convinced authorities he is the man who killed her.
In another development, Sells has claimed responsibility in the murder of a ten-year-old boy in the pages of a recent book about him and his crimes. Joel Kirkpatrick was found stabbed to death in his Lawrenceville, Illinois, home In October of 1997. Five years later his mother Julie was convicted in the slaying despite her proclamations of innocence. Reportedly no intruder evidence was found in the home but Sells was known to be in that general area of the Midwest at the time.
4/5/2004-Tommy Sells is at it again. He has confessed to the Niagra Falls, New York, slaying of 27-year-old Suzanne Korcz in May of 1987. Korcz wandered away from a bar after an argument with her fiance and was never seen alive again. Her remains were discovered eight years later in a field two miles from the bar. Police involved in the case say they are interested in interviewing Sells.
9/9/2004-In early July, Julie Rea-Harper, who was convicted of killing her son Joel was released on a technicality unrelated to Sells' confession. She was promptly arrested again and re-charged with the murder of Joel. DNA tests on hairs found in Joel's hand after his death are being compared to Sells DNA.