Have you ever wanted to have a murderer as a penpal? If your answer to that question is, “yes,” then you’re in luck. Several websites have been set up in order to connect people on the outside with convicted felons inside prison walls. Here are five real convicted murderers who are seeking out new friends.
DeMarcus Sears, along with accomplice Phillip Williams, had been experiencing car trouble and walked to a Georgia Waffle House. The men told patrons that their car had broken down and they needed money to get back home to Ohio. DeMarcus opened a black briefcase he had been carrying and attempted to sell a set of brass knuckles, a set of handcuffs and knives to customers. A few people gave the men a little money to catch a bus and sent them on their way. The men were last spotted loitering outside of a Kroger grocery store nearby.
Also at the grocery store that evening was Gloria Wilbur. Wilbur had been placing her groceries into the trunk of her car when Sears and Williams approached her. She was beaten with brass knuckles and forced into her backseat where she was handcuffed.
As Williams drove the car through Tennessee, Gloria was raped in the backseat. Once they reached the Kentucky boarder, it was Gloria’s last stop. Williams pulled the car over and the men forced the woman out. She was dragged into the bushes and stabbed to death. Sears plead guilty to all of his charges, which included kidnapping, rape and murder. Williams testified against Sears and is serving two life sentences for his involvement in the crime.
Over a three-day period, Jeff Sheldon went on a crime spree. His first stop was to a pizza restaurant where he robbed employees at gunpoint and kidnapped the restaurant’s owner. The owner was released later that evening, unharmed. The following day, Sheldon asked his wife if she knew of any wealthy individuals. The only person who came to mind was Norris Neblett.
The couple drove to Neblett’s home. There, Sheldon robbed the 60-year-old man at gunpoint. Neblett was forced into the car and the couple took him to a hotel where all three spent the night. The next morning Sheldon drove Neblett to his bank and forced him to withdraw $10,000. Sheldon also forced Neblett to give checks to an associate of his totaling $11,000.
Firefighters were called to Neblett’s residence after Sheldon’s associate was unable to cash some of the checks stolen from Neblett. His 1980 BMW was on fire in his driveway. Inside of the vehicle, Neblett’s body was recovered.
Sheldon and his wife fled to Michigan, taking along Neblett’s camera and stamp collection. While in Michigan the couple went on a spending spree before being apprehended. Sheldon is now on San Quentin’s death row awaiting execution.
On the morning of June 13, 2000, a liquor store clerk was found dead in a store room. $415 was found to be missing from two safes within the store. Investigators offered a $10,000 reward for information related to the case. McCoy’s girlfriend spoke with police and told them that she believed the perpetrator to be her boyfriend, Richard McCoy A/K/A Jamil Rashid.
Fingerprints found on the store’s deposit pouch. Other prints left in areas of the store inaccessible to customers matched McCoy. McCoy also had features similar to the suspect caught on store surveillance. McCoy was found guilty of per-meditated murder and sentenced to death.
On the morning of July 22, 2002, the brothers Phelps went to volunteer at The Mountaintop Boys’ Home – a home for trouble youth who have been involved in the criminal justice system. After they brothers completed their work at the home for the day, the men headed towards the post office, when they encountered a disabled motorist by the side of the road.
The car had been a white Chevy Cavalier, the same model that had been stolen the weekend prior to the driver’s encounter with the Phelps brothers. Along with the car, the driver had been under investigation for jewelry and a high-powered rifle taken from the same residence.
The men saw Hulett on the side of the road and pulled over. Approximately 20-30 minutes later, the assistant director and other employees of the boys home passed by a nearby construction site and noticed the Phelps’ red pickup truck pulling out of the area, but neither of the brothers were driving it. Later, some of the men drove into the construction site and located both the Phelps brothers dead from apparent gunshot wounds.
Hulett was identified as the driver of the Phelps brothers’ truck by witnesses and he was sentenced to two life sentences for their murder.
According to investigators, on October 9, 2003, Refugio “Cisco” Cardenas was visiting family when he suspected a rival gang member had spotted him. Cardenas produced a sawed-off shotgun and shot at the man, Gerardo Cortez. Cortez was struck in the head and died instantly. Another man was also wounded in the incident.
Cardenas is now serving a death sentence at San Quentin, but there are some who maintain that Cardenas’ case was a setup. Another man, Luis Rebolledo, had initially been arrested in connection to the shooting, but was released on grounds of insufficient evidence. Some believe that since Cardenas was also in the area at the time he was forced to take the rap in the case.