The name Coral Eugene Watts sounds vaguely familiar from the many books I've read about serial killers, but I'm not very familiar with his case. From what I gathered from the article, he's a woman-hating killer in the vein of Ted Bundy, with, according to his latest confession, almost as high a body count. Prosecutors in a 30-year-old murder case that has been tied to Watts are worried that his confession will be prejudicial, establishing him as a violent offender. That he's already in prison on a similar offense should be evidence enough that he has the inclination toward violence. But like I said, I'm not familiar with the case or Watts' history, but I'm intrigued, and will have more when I find out more.
A trial is under way for a suspect in the "Baseline" crime spree, but on shaky evidence. Prosecutors have implied they have the defendant's DNA from the body of a rape victim, but the defense disputes this. Also, the two rape victims failed to pick the defendant out of a lineup months ago, and only now identify him as their attacker, exactly the type of inconsistent eyewitness testimony that any good defense attorney enjoys ripping to shreds. The story doesn't say anything about the many other offenses for which the suspect is on trial, only that he has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
I was watching a show about Ed Gein, the inspiration for Psycho, a few nights back. He is one of very few murderers who has successfully pleaded insanity. Under the thumb of his religious fanatic mother, Gein had an isolated existence, dropping out of school at 14 to work on his family's farm. His mother drove away his few friends because she didn't approve of their less devout families, and he spent his life worshipping her, fearing her and loathing her. The two women he killed were middle-aged businesswomen, like his dead mother. The bodies he dug up from the local cemetery were middle-aged women. Gein was a classic necrophile. He killed his victims with a long-range shotgun, and his energies were devoted to desecrating their corpses. As psychologists have suggested, he probably hated his mother on some level for her domineering nature, but due to his fear and childlike idolation of her, he wouldn't admit it, even to himself. Instead, his hatred was taken out on female corpses. Gein was judged incompetent to stand trial, seemingly unaware of his actions and their consequences. At one point during his hearing, a journalist recalls him saying, "What are they going to do to me?" He was kept in a childlike state his entire life, due to his overbearing mother who wouldn't let him out into the world, and after she died, he was left alone with his twisted fantasy life, unaware of how to cope without his mother's guidance. Left on his own, he descended into madness unabated by contact with the real world.