The Trash Bag Killer – Patrick Kearney

patrick kearneyPatrick Kearney is an American serial killer who, in the 1970’s, preyed on young, gay men in California. He became known as the Trash Bag Killer, because he packaged the dead, mutilated bodies of his victims in garbage bags before tossing them along the highways.

Patrick was born the youngest of three sons and his early life was not without it’s share of trauma. He was a thin and sickly child that made him an easy target for bullies and creeps that relentlessly made his life difficult. In his teens, he became withdrawn and spent most of his time fantasized about killing people.

Patrick married but it didn’t last long. He then moved to California and started working as an engineer for Hughes Aircraft and, according to him,  he started killing. He claimed that he killed his first victim, hitch-hiker, in 1967. He also claimed several more victims, stating he murdered them in 1967 with his lover, David Hill.

But Patrick would confess that he and David argued a lot and that he (Patrick) would take long drives to distance himself from the fights. It was on those drives that he would pick up young, male hitch-hikers (who were abundant in those days) or young men from gay bars. He was primarily a necrophiliac so he would shoot his victims quickly then have sex with the dead body. Afterwards he would take them to a secluded area, dismember them and stuff the body parts in trash bags. He would then dump the bags along the highway or in the desert. 

On March 13th in 1977, Patrick received a visitor, a young man named John LaMay, who came looking for David Hill. David wasn’t home at the time so Patrick invited him in to wait. Patrick shot John in the back of the head and later dumped his mutilated remains in the desert.

When John was reported missing, just a few days later, the first place the authorities headed was to Patrick and Johns, as John himself had told somewhere that’s where he would be. The law left after questioning the men and they both decided it was time to skip town and lay low for a while. 

But, for what ever reason, three weeks later, the men decided to turn themselves in and confess to their crimes. So, on July 1st, both men walked into the Redondo Beach police station and gave their selves up.

David Hill was cleared on participating in any part of the murders and was set free.


Patrick, on the other hand, admitted to a total of thirty five murders, and the authorities believed him! Howver, they could only nail him for twenty-eight of them. In order to avoid the death penalty, he agreed to plead guilty. He was given twenty-one life sentences with no chance of parole.