Don't Talk, Just Listen... | The Weepy Voiced Killer: Paul Michael Stephani

(Paul Michael Stephani aka The Weepy Voiced Killer) 

Anyone who has ever listened to the tapes of the calls made to 911 by the man dubbed ''The Weepy Voiced Killer'' would be forgiven for thinking that the whole thing was a prank placed by someone on the Internet but the tapes are 100% genuine. In the early 1980s there was a cold blooded killer stalking the streets of St Paul in Minnesota targeting young women and after he'd committed his horrendous crimes, he would call the police department and in a high pitched tone, he would give the location of the victim before cutting off the call.

Because of these strange phone calls he earned the nickname ''The Weepy Voiced Killer'. The killer's real name was Paul Michael Stephani, he was born on the 8th of September 1944 and was brought up in a very strict religious household in Austin, Minnesota. He never gave any reason for why he did these horrible things to these innocent women but some expert opinions believe that he wanted to get caught, that he just couldn't control himself and took no real pleasure in the murders.

His criminal career was said to have started in 1980 but like a lot of cases, we may never really know if he had killed anyone before this time.

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On New Years Eve 1980 in St Paul, Minnesota, a young university student by the name of Karen Potack was leaving a party when someone had beaten her and struck her violently over the head with a tire iron. It was a miracle that she had survived. Around 3 am a call was made to the police by someone with a high pitched voice giving the police the location and telling them ''There is a girl hurt here'' before hanging up the phone.

A short while after this, another young girl who was also a student, Kimberly Compton (18), was attacked and stabbed 61 times with an ice pick. A call was made to the police and it was that same high pitched voice telling them ''God damn, will you find me. I just stabbed somebody with an ice pick. I can't help myself. I keep killing somebody.'' 

A couple of days later this same unidentified individual contacted the police and told them that he was sorry for killing Kimberly Compton and that he was going to hand himself in which he didn't do.

On the 6th of June he contacted the police again to tell them that the newspaper reports about the murders were full of mistakes. He contacted them again on the 11th of June, he barely said a word except ''I'm sorry for what I did to Compton.''

Despite the phone calls telling them that he was sorry for what he had done to the two young students, he struck again, this time he murdered 33 year old Kathleen Greening by drowning her in her bathtub but didn't contact the police after he had committed the murder.

His last known victim was 40 year old nurse, Barbara Simons. After meeting Barbara in a bar, the pair struck up a conversation after she gave him a cigarette. They spent the rest of the night in the bar having drinks and getting to know one another. When Paul went to the restroom, Barbara excitedly told one of the waitresses ''He's cute. I hope he's nice, since he's giving me a ride home''. The pair left the bar that night, it was the last time anyone was to see Barbara alive as her body had been found the next day, she'd been stabbed to death.

Surprisingly, the killer contacted the police after Barbara''s death to tell them, ''Please don't talk, just listen...I'm sorry I killed that girl. I stabbed her 40 times. Kimberly Compton was the first one over on St Paul''. 

On the 21st of August 1982, Paul picked up a 19 year old sex worker by the name of Denise Williams. At first Denise didn't feel that anything was wrong but her senses soon kicked in, she was very streetwise and as he started to drive her towards a dead end road, she had a feeling that all was not well. Thinking quickly, she spotted an empty glass bottle and decided to herself that if he tried to harm her then she would try and protect herself with the bottle. Sure enough, Paul stopped the car and his evil streak was let loose, he picked up a screwdriver and stabbed Denise 15 times in a vicious attack. Denise grabbed the bottle and hit him as hard as she could, causing cuts to his head. A male passerby heard screaming and went over to see what was happening, he witnessed Paul trying to stab Denise and went over to help her. The man tried to get the screwdriver away from Paul and during the struggle Paul was able to get away and flee the scene.

The good Samaritan stayed with Denise and called for an ambulance and the police. He was able to help Denise give the authorities a physical description of Paul. Luckily, Denise recovered from her injuries but one can only imagine the emotional trauma that she must have gone through and probably still has some flashbacks to this day.

Paul managed to flee back to his apartment but was bleeding heavily as a result of the struggle with Denise. He tried to take care of it himself but had no choice but to get medical help. It was this phone call that helped identify him as the man the police were looking for. They were able to establish that he was the man involved in the attack on Denise, they swiftly arrested him and further investigation linked him to the other murders and attacks.

When he was on trial for the murder of Barbara Simons his ex wife, ex partner and sister had all told the court that they believed him to be The Weepy Voiced Killer but for some reason that still wasn't enough evidence to suggest that he was the killer. He was finally convicted for the murder of Barbara Simons and the attempted murder of Denise Williams. He was sentenced to 40 years imprisonment on one count of murder. He wasn't tried for the other murders but was highly suspected of being guilty. Because of the sentence of 40 years the authorities at that time probably thought that there would be no need to carry on with separate trials for each of the victims as he had already been sentenced to 40 years.

Paul Michael Stephani was led away to prison and not a word was heard from him until 1997, when he was diagnosed with cancer and given a short time to live. He told investigators that he wanted to come clean about everything, he wanted to apologise to the families of the victims and confessed to the murders of Kimberly Compton, Kathy Greening and Barbara Simons. He also confessed to an attack he carried out in 1980 and for the horrific assault on Denise Williams.

Paul Michael Stephani died in prison on the 12th of June 1998. He was 53 years old.

To listen to segments of the phone calls that Paul made to the police, check out this video from True Crime Magazine.

I've known about this case for a few years now and I remember when I first heard the tapes, I thought it was a joke but chillingly these horrible events took place. We may never know why Paul Michael Stephani carried out these horrible attacks on women or why he stayed silent all of those years until he was diagnosed with cancer. it goes to show that once he was faced with his own death, he feared what was on the other side for him after the pain and suffering he caused those poor women and their families. There will be people out there to this day who are still suffering because of what he did and in my opinion his apologies and confessions came a bit too late and are worthless, nothing can bring those women back or the years of pain that the families have endured.

I hope you enjoyed this post and found it interesting. There are quite a few articles and documentaries online about this case which I will list below along with my sources.

I have some special posts planned for December both here on my weekly true crime blog and on my Kofi page for my monthly subscribers.

RIP Kimberly Compton, Kathleen Greening and Barbara Simons (plus, any other unknown victims who may remain unidentified)

Further reading and sources:

See you in my next post x

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  2. I've heard these clips before, shocking the first time, kinda silly each time after. What a goof!