Ronnie L. Bowling, then and now.
Male/White, 20 years old at the time
Victims: Marvin Hensley & Ronald Smith
In Laurel County in 1989, this killer, Ronnie L. Bowling, executed two service station attendants in separate robberies. He shot and killed a service station attendant during the early morning hours of January 20, 1989, shooting the victim six times in the head, chest and back. In the early morning hours of February 22, 1989, Bowling shot and killed a service station owner in the head and hand. Bowling was arrested after attempting to rob a third service station on February 25, 1989. Bowling entered the station and had a brief conversation with the owner. As he turned to leave, he pulled out a revolver and began shooting at the owner, who was able to avoid the gunfire. The Kentucky State Police were notified and they followed Bowling for some thirty miles before he finally stopped and was arrested.
Additional facts about the case: Aggravating circumstances which made this case eligible for the Death Penalty: multiple murders and murders which occurred during the commission of a robbery.
Ronnie Lee Bowling was sentenced to death December 9, 1992.
Ralph Baze, then and now.
Male/White, 36-years-old at the time
Victims: Sheriff Steve Bennett & Deputy Arthur Briscoe
Ralph Baze resided in Powell County, Kentucky. He had been convicted twice of felonies and was wanted in Ohio for Assault of a Police Officer, Bail Jumping, Receiving Stolen Property, and Flagrant Nonsupport. On January 15, 1992, the Lucas County Sheriff’s Office in Toledo, Ohio, notified the Powell County authorities that they wished to extradite Baze on the felony counts. When Deputy Sheriff Arthur Briscoe arrived at Baze’s cabin to arrest him, Baze escaped through a trapdoor, retrieved his SKS assault rifle from behind the cabin, and fled into the woods. Deputy Briscoe left to recruit additional officers to assist in the arrest. He came back, followed by Sheriff Steve Bennett.
Robert Keith Woodall Then and Now
Male/White 24 years old at the time
Victim: Sarah Hansen
On January 25, 1997 Robert Keith Woodall abducted a popular 16-year-old, Sarah Hansen, from a local convenient store as she returned a rented movie in Muhlenburg County in 1997. Woodall took the victim from the parking lot to a wooded area where he raped her, beat her, and used a box-cutter knife to slash her throat. Woodall then dragged and discarded her body in the icy Luzerne Lake. Results of an autopsy revealed that water was found in Sarah Hansen’s lungs and reports that she died as a result of drowning.
Robert Keith Woodall was sentenced to death September 4, 1998 in Caldwell County for Capital Murder, Capital Kidnapping and First Degree Rape.
Gregory L. Wilson Then and Now
Male/Black 31 years old at the time
Victim: Deborah Pooley
On May 29, 1987 Gregory L. Wilson kidnapped, robbed, raped and executed Deborah Pooley in Kenton County. After raping her, he strangled her to death despite her begging him not to kill her. The defendant went on a shopping spree with the victim’s credit cards. Her body was found weeks later near the Indiana-Illinois border. The date of her death had to be established by the extent of blowfly maggot development on her body.
Gregory L. Wilson previously served a prison sentence in Ohio on two counts of rape. He was sentenced to death October 31, 1988 in Kenton County for the kidnapping and murder of Deborah Pooley.
Mitchell Willoughby Then and Now
Male/White 25 years old at the time
Victims: Jacqueline Greene, Joe Norman, Joey Durham
In Fayette County on January 13, 1983 Mitchell Willoughby, along with Leif Halvorsen, executed a teenage female,Jacqueline Greene, and two male victims, Joe Norman, and Joey Durham, inside a home they were remodeling. These killers shot the female eight times in the back of the head. They shot the younger male five times– in the back, the testicles, the right arm, the left leg, and the right temple. They shot the other male three times– in the back, the chest, and in the back of his neck. That night the killers attempted to dispose of the bodies by throwing them from the Brooklyn Bridge in Jessamine County, Kentucky.
Mitchell Willoughby was sentenced to death September 15, 1983 in Fayette County.
Karu Gene White Then and Now
Male/White 21 years old at the time
Victims: Charles Gross, Lula Gross, Sam Chaney
On February 12, 1979 Karu Gene White and two accomplices entered a Haddix, Kentucky store operated by two elderly men and an elderly woman. This killer beat Charles Gross, Lula Gross, and Sam Chaney, to death in the course of a robbery in Breathitt County. They were ages 74, 75, and 79. White and his accomplices took a billfold containing $7,000, coins, and a handgun. Due to the brutal nature of the fatal beatings, the victims had to be buried in body bags.
Karu Gene White was arrested on July 27, 1979. He was sentenced to death March 29, 1980 in Powell County for the murder of three Breathitt County residents.
Roger Wheeler Then and Now
Male/Black 36 years old at the time
Victims: Nigel Malone, Nairobi Warfield
In Jefferson County, in 1997, while on parole for 10 counts of Robbery, Roger Wheeler stabbed the victim Nigel Malonenine times and left him to bleed to death. This killer strangled and stabbed the victim Nairobi Warfield, who was three months pregnant, with scissors which he left embedded in her neck.
William Eugene Thompson Then and Now
Male/White 35 years old at the time
Victim: Fred Cash
William Eugene Thompson was serving a life sentence for a murder for hire in Pike County. While serving that sentence in 1986 at the Western Kentucky Farm Center in Graves County, he reported for prisoner work detail. While on work detail on May 9, 1986, he took a hammer and hit a Fred Cash, a prison guard, 12 times in the head, killing him. After killing the guard, he took the victim’s body to a nearby barn where he took the victim’s wallet, keys, and knife. He then drove the prison van to a bus station to try and escape.
Police arrested Thompson in a bus station on his way to Indiana. Thompson was convicted and sentenced to death in October 1986 in Lyon County, but seven years later the state Supreme Court threw out the conviction and ordered a new trial. Thompson also won a change of venue from Lyon County to Graves County. Thompson entered a plea of guilty on January 12, 1995 to the following charges: Capital Murder, Robbery in the First Degree, and Escape in the First Degree. Thompson was sentenced to death March 18, 1998.
Victor D. Taylor Then and Now
Male/Black 24 years old at the time
Victims: Scott Nelson, Richard Stephenson
On September 29, 1984 Victor D. Taylor kidnapped, robbed, bound, gagged and executed Scott Nelson and Richard Stephenson,two high school students who became lost on their way to a football game, in Lousiville, Kentucky. The killer sodomized one of the victims before executing him. Taylor told four people he had killed the victims. The personal property of the victims was found in his possession.
Victor D. Taylor was arrested on October 4, 1984 and was sentenced to death May 23, 1986.
Vincent Stopher Then and Now
Male/White 24 years old at the time
Victim: Deputy Gregory Hans
On March 10, 1997 Vincent Stopher was assaulting a man in Jefferson County when Deputy Gregory Hans pulled over to assist the assault victim. While Hans was exiting his vehicle, Stopher struggled with the deputy, taking his gun. Stopher then used the deputy’s gun to shoot him in the face, killing him.
Vincent Stopher was sentenced to death March 23, 1998 in Jefferson County.