|Mack Ray Edwards|
Mugshot of Mack Ray Edwards, 1970
Arkansas, United States
|Died:||October 30, 1971
|Cause of death:||Suicide by hanging|
|Number of victims:||6|
|Span of killings:||1953–1970|
|Date apprehended:||March, 1970|
Mack Ray Edwards was born in Arkansas. He moved to Los Angeles County in 1941. As a heavy equipment operator contracted by Caltrans, he worked on freeways. The body of one of his victims was found underneath the Santa Ana Freeway, and he claimed to have disposed another of his victims under the Ventura Freeway.
Edwards killed three children from 1953 to 1956, and three more in 1968 and 1969. In 1970, Edwards and a teenage male accomplice kidnapped three girls from their home in Sylmar. When the girls escaped, Edwards surrendered to police and confessed to molesting and murdering six children.
Edwards was convicted of the murders of three children:
Edwards confessed to three additional killings. Because the bodies of the victims were not recovered, he was never officially charged with these murders:
Edwards may have committed other murders, but his own account was inconsistent: while in prison he claimed to have killed 18 children, but in an interview with the Los Angeles Times he said the number was only six. The 12-year span between Baker's and Howell's disappearances and Rochet's shooting has led investigators to suspect Edwards may have claimed more victims in between.
As of March 2007, the Los Angeles Police Department is investigating the possibility of Edwards' involvement in the disappearance of Tommy Bowman, 8, of Redondo Beach, who disappeared in Pasadena on March 23, 1957. Author Weston DeWalt was researching the Bowman disappearance when he noticed the similarity between a photo of Edwards and a sketch of Bowman's abductor. DeWalt was later shown a letter from Edwards to his wife in which Edwards states that he "left out" Tommy Bowman from his confession to police.
Edwards is also considered a suspect in the disappearances of Bruce Kremen of Granada Hills and Karen Lynn Tompkins and Dorothy Gale Brown of Torrance. Kremen, 6, disappeared from a YMCA camp in Angeles National Forest on July 12, 1960. Tompkins, 11, disappeared on August 18, 1961. Dorothy Gale Brown, also 11, disappeared on July 3, 1962. She had been molested and drowned. Her body was recovered from the ocean off of Corona del Mar.
In the final episode of The Shield airing November 25, 2008, Dutch Wagenbach, a detective on the show, refers to Edwards while interrogating a teenager he believes is an up and coming serial killer, making the point that serial killers without a catchy nickname are easily forgotten by the general public.