FLORENCE, S.C. (WBTW) – They’re the subjects of true crime podcasts, television shows and documentaries.
But their true impact on the state goes deeper than entertainment.
Numerous people have killed in South Carolina, including mass murderer Dylann Roof, a white supremacist who gunned down nine Black worshippers at a Charleston church. However, few murderers have been accused of reaching the level of a serial killer.
The FBI defines a serial murderer as someone who has killed at least three people. The killings must share a common characteristic and happen at different times.
We’ve rounded up a list of some of the most prolific serial killers with connections to South Carolina. Mass shooters were not counted, and this list is not conclusive. For some, the true extent of their crimes remains unknown.
Quincy Jason Allen
Active: July-Aug. 2002
Allen is currently on death row in North Carolina after killing four people during a spree in 2002. Allen’s first shot a homeless man in Columbia, who survived, before going on to kill two people during a gas station robbery in North Carolina. He also killed an employee’s friend at a Texas Roadhouse, and then a fourth person while robbing a gas station. After shooting his victims, he either set their bodies, cars or homes on fire. After being imprisoned, he went on to try to kill a correctional officer during an escape attempt. He was originally set to be executed in 2010.
Dallen Forrest Bounds
Active: June-Dec. 1999
Bounds tied a Radio Shack employee to a chair and stabbed him, killed a flower shop clerk by slitting her throat, and then shot and killed an acquaintance and her ex-husband. He died after killing himself in Easley.
Patrick Tracy Burris
Active: June-July 2009
Burris is accused of killing five people within six days in Cherokee County, including a peach farmer, a woman and her mother, and a furniture store owner and the man’s teenage daughter. Authorities said that Burris had a long history of criminal activity and had recently been released after serving several years in prison. He was shot and killed by police after they responded to a burglary call.
Donald Harry “Pee Wee” Gaskins Jr.
South Carolina’s most prolific serial killer is from Florence County. Gaskins started his criminal patterns young – burglarizing homes, committing insurance fraud and sexually assaulting children. His first murder was in prison. He went on to years torture and murder people along Carolina highways. Victims included both her friends and strangers. He’s claimed 100 murders, adding numbers to his tally as he confessed to avoid death sentences, although it’s unknown how many he actually did. He was executed in 1991 after killing another prisoner.
Lee Roy Martin
The “Gaffney Stranger” kidnapped and killed four women, including a 14-year-old girl. He sexually assaulted his victims and was later killed in prison while serving a life sentence.
William Pierce Jr.
Pierce started his crime streak after killing a woman in North Augusta while burglarizing her home. He went on to beat and suffocate a teen, shoot a gas station employee, kill a woman he kidnapped and shoot and kill two employees during separate robberies. He admitted to six murders, although authorities said there may be more. His killings also took place in Gastonia and Sumter.
Reinaldo Javier Rivera
Victims: Potentially four, convicted of one
Rivera has been convicted for one murder and has been suspected of four in total. The deaths included those in Georgia and South Carolina. He has been sentenced to death and remains imprisoned in Georgia.
Lesley Eugene Warren
It’s unclear how many people Warren killed. His known victims include women from Travelers Rest, Asheville, High Point and New York state.