At this point, my nightmares can barely keep up with all the serial killers Mindhunter covers in season 2—Ed Kemper, Charles Manson, Son of Sam...the list goes on. And while most of the dudes (because, yeah, they’re all dudes) Holden Ford talks to are pretty infamous, chances are, you’re unfamiliar with the character of William “Junior” Pierce. The thing is, guys, he’s not a character!!! Even though Junior doesn’t have a basic Wikipedia page, he’s 100 percent based on a real man whose crimes were absolutely awful.
Not too much is known about Junior, but we did some creepy homework so you don’t have to. ’Cause what is sleep?
He was a serial killer and rapist
According to Murderpedia, a website that is exactly what it sounds like, Junior was, er, criminally active in the ’70s. In 1970, he was serving time in Georgia for burglary and released on parole after just seven months—even though, according to a 1971 New York Times article, prison psychologists said “he may be dangerous to himself or others.”
After being released, Junior killed nine people, including 13-year-old Margaret “Peg” Cuttino, the daughter of South Carolina state representative James Cuttino.
In an article for Lawyers Mutual, Inc., attorney Jay Reeves remembers attending Junior’s trial as a child: “[Peg’s] alleged killer was a drifter with an IQ of 70 who was already behind bars in Georgia on nine separate murder charges,” he said. “The trial had been moved from Sumter County because of the press buildup.”
According to AJC, Junior “ultimately confessed to three murders in Georgia but was also implicated in the murders of victims in South Carolina and North Carolina,” including a 51-year-old county store owner, a 60-year-old storekeeper, a 17-year-old waitress, a 50-year-old gas station attendant, a 60-year-old gas station operator, a 20-year-old housekeeper, a 32-year-old storekeeper, and an 18-year-old college student. Truly abhorrent.
He tried to get a retrial
Junior confessed to his crimes, but a 1977 article in the Sumter Daily Item reported that he repeatedly tried to claim he wasn’t read his Miranda rights and therefore, his confession shouldn’t count.
He’s still in jail
Junior was sentenced to life in prison in 1971 and is still there today, although he’s living completely under the radar. According to the Georgia Department of Corrections, he’s 88 years old and incarcerated in the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison.
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