Arthur John Shawcross – An American Serial Killer
Arthur Shawcross was born, two months premature, on June 6th, 1945. His father, Arthur Roy Shawcross, was a corporal in the army.
While her husband completed his military service, Arthur Shawcross’ mother decided to take the tiny infant to her sister-in-law’s in Watertown, New York.
While growing up in Watertown, Arthur did not fair well. To gain attention he talked like a baby all the time and chronically wet the bed, even to the age of six. He also soon began to run away from home for the attention he received.
Arthur Shawcross and School
At school things weren’t any better. He maintained average grades but he was always a loner. The other children would tease him and nicknamed him “Oddy.” Arthur was mean and would bully the younger children until they cried. He would often fly into a rage at others in class and was in the habit of carrying an iron bar to school.
As time passed, Arthur became increasingly withdrawn and by the eighth grade, he had fallen behind by two years. He often fleed to his grandmother’s house to avoid conflict at home.
Arthur Shawcross and a Mind Filled With Sex
Arthur Shawcross can never remember a time when he was not preoccupied with sex. Even from as early as eight he frequently masturbated and progressed onto oral sex with both male and female friends. And his sexual escapades were not limited to just humans. Arthur Shawcross also had sex with animals, in particular cows, sheep, a horse and a chicken, that ultimately died while Arthur was having intercourse with it.
His initiation into sex was by his “Aunt” Tina, who made him perform oral sex on her. This would become his favorite type of sexual intimacy. By the time he was fourteen, Arthur claims that he was regularly having oral sex with his sister Jeannie and his cousin Linda. He also claims that he had another relationship with a young girl who lived nearby and was caught by her brother while performing oral sex on the girl. The brother supposedly threatened to tell their parents unless Arthur performed oral sex on him as well. It was at this time that Arthur’s craving for sex became insatiable and he continued to have oral sex whenever the opportunity presented itself. However any penetration would be short-lived, as Arthur would quickly lose his erection.
Sex Turns Violent for Arthur Shawcross
One afternoon, while on his way home from school, Arthur was picked up by a man in a car. The man held a knife to Arthur’s throat as he performed fellatio on him. In his fear, Arthur was unable to reach an orgasm. The man became so angry that he turned Arthur over and brutally sodomized him. Later, Arthur was set free and he went home. But, from that point on, Arthur Shawcross was incapable of reaching an orgasm without pain being involved.
For the next few years Arthur went from job to job, mingled with petty thefts and arrests. In 1964 Arthur married and the couple had a son. The marriage lasted only four years.
Arthur Shawcross Learns To Kill
The real turning point in Arthur Shawcross’ life came in 1968. Arthur was drafted. After a whirlwind romance, Arthur married again and then left to begin a tour of duty in Vietnam. It was also were he began to learn how to kill.
While in Vietnam, Arthur was a dispatch clerk, responsible for flying out to the various war-zones with the ammunition via a helicopter. At first he was horrified with the savagery of war. But he was soon itching to be out among his fellow soldiers. He enjoyed hunting the enemy. He like being a predator.
Arthur Shawcross Tells About His Horrible Atrocities
Once in the thick of war, Shawcross began a campaign of murder. On one occasion he found two Vietnamese women hiding in the shrub. First he shot one of the women in the head and tied the other to a tree. Though the first woman was still breathing, he cut off her head and put it on a pole for the enemy to find. He then took a slice from her thigh, cooked it and ate it.
The other terrified woman he made her perform oral sex on him, before raping her at gunpoint and then shooting her in the head.
A Living Fantasy of Horror and Gore for Arthur Shawcross
Vietnam became a wonderful, living fantasy of horror and gore for Arthur Shawcross. He not only would shoot at the enemy, he also savaged Asian prostitutes. One of them was only eleven years old, but that didn’t stop Shawcross. He raped, tortured and butchered her anyway. He said later that Vietnam brought out his animal instincts and all of his violence was justified by the horrors of the conflict.
Arthur later said “The VC put razor blades up whores’ vaginas. Shoved them inside a cup deep in where you’d never know until it was too late. When the GI’s would fuck ’em they would slit their penises to shreds or cut ’em clean off. I was once with some guys, ROK Koreans, who took a whore and put a fire hose inside her and turned on the water. She died almost instantly. Her neck jumped about a foot from her body.
Another time we took another whore and tied her to two small trees, legs to the trees, bent down. She had a razor blade inside her vagina. She was cut from her anus to her chin. Then the trees were let go. She slit in half. Left her there hanging between the trees. This may be why I did what I did to those girls.”
Arthur Shawcross Leaves Vietnam
When Arthur Shawcross returned home from Vietnam, he was highly agitated and found it difficult to relax. He began to beat his wife and was incredibly aggressive. A psychiatrist told Linda, Arthur’s wife, that he needed to be committed for treatment and rest. Linda, however, being a Christian Scientist, did not believe what the doctors had to say and refused to sign the papers for his committal.
Without the therapy he desperately needed, Arthur’s mental state continued it’s rapid decline and he became increasingly irritated with Linda and her family, usually over their adherence to their religion, which he saw as nothing more than witchcraft.
A Thirteenth Century Cannibal
Arthur Shawcross believed that the spirit of a thirteenth-century cannibal called “Ariemes,” possessed his body and drove him to rape, murder and cannibalism.
While living in Watertown, in May of 1972, Shawcross murdered 10-year-old Jake Blake. He lured the boy to some woods where he assaulted and strangled him. Four months later, he raped and killed an eight-year-old girl named Karen Ann Hill.
Arrested for these crimes, Shawcross confessed to both murders but was later able to obtain a plea bargain with the prosecutors. He would plead guilty to killing just Karen Ann Hill on a charge of manslaughter, instead of first-degree murder, and the charge of killing Jake Blake would be dropped. With little evidence to go on, prosecutors went along with this, and the self-confessed double child killer was given a 25-year sentence.
Shawcross served 15 years before he was released on parole in March 1987. He had difficulty settling down as he was chased out of homes and fired from workplaces as soon as neighbors and employers found out about his criminal record. Eventually he settled in Rochester, New York, and lived with a woman named Clara.
The Second Murderous Spree of Arthur Shawcross
Starting in March of 1988, Shawcross began murdering prostitutes in the area, claiming 11 victims before his capture less than two years later.
They were usually strangled and battered to death, and were often mutilated as well. Most of them were found near the Genesee River.
After the last victim’s body was found in January 1990, the police decided not to remove it and instead keep surveillance on the area, based on a psychological profile that suggested the killer would return to the scene.
Sure enough, Arthur Shawcross was spotted masturbating as he sat in his car on a bridge over the creek in which the body of his final victim was floating. He was arrested and eventually confessed while in custody.
Arthur Shawcross detailed his cannibalistic deeds, explaining that he was possessed by his shrewish mother’s spirit (as well as Ariemes). Arthur’s mother, who he esteemed and resented simultaneously, enjoyed sodomizing him with a broomstick when he was young.
No Mercy For Arthur Shawcross
Receiving no mercy from the jury, Arthur Shawcross was sent to the Sullivan Correctional Institute in Fallsburg, NY, to serve a 250-year sentence.
On July 10, 1997, Arthur married his long time sweetheart, Clara Neal in a simple ceremony in the prison’s visiting room. The two started dating before his conviction. However, at the time, Shawcross was married to another woman. After his wife Rose died, the two were able to marry. Under the state Department of Correctional Services policy, Shawcross and Neal will be eligible for conjugal visits.
Clara Neal stated she loves Arthur Shawcross and stands by her cannibal “no matter what”. Shawcross, of course, used Neal’s car to pick up, have sex with, and then kill his victims.
Arthur Shawcross died in prison on November 10, 2008
credit – murderpedia