''He Stabbed Her 83 Times With A Screwdriver'' | The Peeping Tom Serial Killer: Derrick Todd Lee.

 (Derrick Todd Lee: Picture credit: Washington Times)

You may remember me recently sharing the Sean Vincent Gillis case about the sadistic serial killer from Baton Rouge, Louisiana (USA) who murdered, sexually assaulted and mutilated women from the early 1990's up until 2004. Well, I also mentioned that Sean Vincent Gillis was carrying out his evil crimes at the same time as a well known serial killer, Derrick Todd Lee. For some reason Derrick is the one who is more notorious and the one out of the two that people seem to know more about. 

I asked my readers if they would like me to cover the Derrick Todd Lee case and they wanted me to so here we are. I would advise anyone who's just happened to stumble on this page to go and check out my Sean Vincent Gillis post first and then come back to this one. 

As we know (if you are a regular reader of true crime books or watch documentaries on the subject) Baton Rouge is no stranger to some very shocking and disturbing crimes, as I've mentioned before on this blog, it once had the unfortunate tag of having 5 active serial killers over a 10 year period. 

The cops sure had a job on their hands especially with this case that I am writing about here. Unbeknown to the police, they had two serial killers operating at the same time and a number of deceased women with no clue as to who could be responsible. Sean Vincent Gillis was eventually caught and so was Derrick Todd Lee but the story doesn't end there. As I always say, there are the victims that we know about and then there's the victims who's tragic and disturbing end is unknown and here we have quite a number of deceased women who's cases have still remained unsolved and sadly we may never know the truth and that is a heartbreaking tragedy for them and their families. 

I think what makes some of these serial killers even more disturbing to us is the fact that they can lead double lives, one of a hardworking, family orientated individual who is often seen as the pillar of the community and then on the other hand, a sick, depraved and murderous monster. They are capable of showing love and affection to those nearest and dearest to them but think nothing of destroying a stranger's life, torturing someone, killing someone, sexually assaulting someone and mutilating them in a final act of pure evil. They commit these evil atrocities and then walk away to continue their other life. Their ability to switch from one to the other has always frightened and disturbed all of us and I think that is why we study them, we read books about them and watch the documentaries. We are trying to understand and figure out how someone could be so evil but the truth is we may never know the answer, the human mind is a complicated puzzle and people themselves are hard to figure out. You could know someone (or think you know someone well) for 20 years and they could turn around and surprise you. It's human nature and it's scary. 

So now that I've waffled on a bit in this intro I think it's best we get into this horrendous case and fill you in (in case you didn't know) about Derrick Todd Lee. 

Derrick came into the world on the 5th of November (same date as me but obviously not the same year) 1968 in St. Francisville, Louisiana (USA). From the get-go, you probably won't be surprised to hear that there was troubles from day one in the family household. Derrick's father Samuel had long suffered mental illness and walked out on the family not long after Derrick was born. His mother, Florence was glad to see the back of his father who eventually ended up in a Psychiatric hospital due to his illness, behaviour and attempts at trying to murder her. Florence tried to do the best that she could for Derrick and didn't want Samuel around her son. 

It wasn't long before Florence met and fell in love with another man, Coleman Barrow. Coleman was a good man who took his responsibilities seriously and looked after the family. Florence and Coleman eventually got married and the marriage and the home life was said to have been a stable and happy one. 

Some people might make a connection with Samuel's mental illness and Derrick's strange behaviour in childhood as Derrick began harming small animals and had became fixated at peeping through windows to watch women in the neighbourhood. This compulsion to watch women in their private moments became a constant and very disturbing hobby for Derrick that would last all the way up until he was finally locked up for good. When he was just thirteen years old, he had another thing to add to this list of strange and criminal behaviour, burglary. Apparently all of this was well known to the police, Derrick had already made quite a name for himself at such a young age. He managed to get away with the Peeping Tom and burglary incidences as it was just cast aside as a phase and because he had not exhibited violent behaviour at that point his actions were not taken as serious as they should have been. 

As a result of constantly getting off the hook with the authorities, Derrick pushed his luck and did exhibit violent behaviour when he got into a disagreement with another boy and threatened him with a knife. He still continued on with his perverted hobby of spying through windows of the women in the neighbourhood and there was an incidence when he was arrested but this came to nothing and he was soon off Scot-free again without suffering the consequences of his actions. 

As Derrick got older, he was able to lead a double life, he met and fell in love with a woman called Jaqueline, it was a happy relationship and the pair were soon married and had two children together. Despite his happy marriage and lovely children, Derrick was never satisfied and could not let go of his old habits. He was unfaithful to his wife on more than one occasion and would go to late night bars to meet women.

Despite a happy marriage and children, Derrick's behaviour was spiralling out of control. He committed a ferocious attacked on a young couple whilst they were just sitting in their car. It was a horrendous and very frightening ordeal for the couple who were attacked with a six feet long harvesting tool. Thankfully the couple survived as Derrick spotted another car coming towards his direction so he ran off and the brave couple were able to identify him later. 

Jacqueline had inherited a large sum of money from her side of the family and Derrick, his wife and children were able to live quite comfortably for a while. Derrick even had the nerve to use that money to take other women out on dates behind Jaqueline's back. He even had a long-term mistress named Cassandra Green who ended up pregnant with his child. Derrick was very flash with the money and it was no surprise that after the endless nights out to dinner, the other women, the mistress, the shopping sprees etc, that the money was soon gone and Derrick seemed to be in more of a worse state than what he was in before both Psychologically and financially. 

His relationship with his long-term mistress was very toxic with the pair coming to heated arguments on a regular basis. Things went too far quite a few times but Cassandra had eventually had enough and contacted the authorities in an effort to keep some distance from herself and Derrick. Being the control freak that he was, he harassed Cassandra and physically assaulted her for which he spent some time in prison. Part of the conditions of his release from prison was that he must obey the rules and restrictions but Derrick being Derrick he cut corners again and managed to get away with it. 

According to investigators, Derrick began his murderous rampage in 1998 in Zachary, Louisiana with the murder of Randi Mebruer. We can never know for sure if this is the exact year that he had started killing because the incident with the two teenagers in the car happened in 1993 and knowing his temperament, that's a bit of a gap between the attempted murder of the teenage couple and the murder of Randi.  

Randi is often classed as Derrick's first official victim although her body was never found, the state of her house told investigators that something horrifically wrong had happened there. Blood was found all over the place but Randi was nowhere to be seen. 

There was another big jump in the timeline of reported events of Derrick's crimes, his second reported victim was said to have been Gina Wilson Green (no relation to Cassandra Green) who was sexually assaulted and murdered in her own home. One of the similarities in Derrick's crimes was that he was able to charm his victims and able to get into their homes, that's why there was never a sign of forced entry. One imagines that he must have been dressed in one of those designer suits that he had bought with the inheritance money and because of his charming, manipulating personality and smart suit, people felt they could trust him. 

It was no longer about spying on women that gave Derrick a cheap thrill, he had escalated from peeping through windows to murdering and raping women. More horrendous murders ensued with one victim being stabbed 83 times with a screwdriver and another was slashed so severely that she was almost decapitated. It was clear to the police that these murders were sexually motivated and they had no idea who was responsible. 

(The known victims of Derrick Todd Lee: From Top left: Charlotte Murray Pace, Geralyn DeSoto, Carrie Lynn Yoder, Trinesha Dene Colomb. Bottom left: Randi Mebruer, Pamela Kinamore, Gina Wilson Green. picture credit: theadvocate)

As I mentioned earlier, there was a lot of unsolved murders in the area at that time (and Serial Killer, Sean Vincent Gillis was on a crime spree of his own at that time) and as sad as it was, it wasn't unusual for a sex worker to have met a tragic end, in Baton Rouge there was always something going on. 

There were mistakes made earlier on in the investigation with the authorities believing that the killer responsible for these murders was a white man. As a result, a numerous amount of time and money was spent questioning/DNA testing various white men in the area. Eventually they got it right though and they realised after various tests had been done, that they were looking for an African-American male. 

Dianne Alexander, who is often dubbed 'the only known survivor' was brave enough to help the police. Dianne had been through a hellish ordeal with Derrick Todd Lee and was almost murdered but luckily her son came home at that crucial moment and Derrick ran off, otherwise she would have met the same horrible fate as many others had. 

(The Sketch of Derrick that was made public & on the right picture is Derrick in handcuffs. Picture credits: Washington Times)

Using a sketch of what Derrick could possibly look like together with Dianne's help and a criminal profile by a leading expert, the police were able to piece everything together and when the DNA was tested, the results proved that Derrick Todd Lee was one of the monsters that had been plaguing Baton Rouge. On the day that Derrick submitted his DNA sample he actually fled town with his family but was soon tracked down and faced 2 trials, he was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Geralyn DeSoto and then given the death penalty in his second trial for the murder of Charlotte Murray Pace. 

There's always a divide when it comes to the death penalty but in this case, a lot of people believed that the death penalty was a suited outcome because of everything Derrick had done. 

The story didn't end with his execution for he never got to see that day, to a lot of people's disappointment at not fully facing justice, Derrick passed away on the 21st of January 2016 from heart disease. 

There are currently a high number of unsolved murders in Baton Rouge and many of them are from the time period that both Derrick Todd Lee and Sean Vincent Gillis were operating and the victims fit the profile of the people that they targeted. Sadly we will never know but Derrick is suspected of being the killer of a further 17 women, some people believe it to be more and some believe that he started killing very early on than what is reported. It's one of those cases that leaves you with a lot of questions and not enough answers. 

Sadly it seems that the apple did not fall far from the tree in the case of Derrick's son Dedrick who has also fallen into a life of crime with burglary and he was even involved in a fatal shooting in recent years of a teenage boy for which he spent a short time in prison in 2019. 

As I usually do, I like to take a little moment in my posts to remember the victims that we know about and the many other victims who have never been identified. I also think about the survivors and their families. I pray for their strength and some sort of peace in their lives. 


Randi Mebruer 

Gina Wilson Green

Geralyn Barr DeSoto

Charlotte Murray Pace

Pamela Kinamore

Trinesha Dene Colomb

Carrie Lynn Yoder

And the possible unknown victims. 

Further Reading & Sources:

I've Been Watching You | Book by Susan Mustafa, Tony Clayton & Sue Israel

Derrick Todd Lee | Article: Nola

Derrick Todd Lee | Article: Seattle Times

Derrick Todd Lee | Wikipedia

The Big Book of Serial Killers | Book by Jack Rosewood

The Anatomy of Evil | Book by Michael H. Stone, MD

Dedrick Lee | Article: WBRZ

Thank you for joining me in this latest disturbing case, I hope you will join me again for my next one. Take care until next time & I hope to see you on Socials x


  1. I lived on Brightside Dr. during this time. I had just given birth in January 02 and was going through a ton of stress. Living in a townhome around college kids and was home solo during the school days. I was def going in and out a lot due to chain smoking. One day I’m back inside my townhouse and my newborn is sitting in his swing in the center of the room with me being further away from the door. A african American man just bum rushes into my apt. And we all just kind of freeze. He’s in my doorway but he had literally rushed in. He looked stunned and looks over at my son and mumbles something along the lines of “wrong apt my bad” and just ran out. It freaked me out and I told a few friends what had happend. The serial killer was on everyone’s mind but was a said to be a white man. It wasn’t until later we learned he was African American and his facial similarities. During the timeframe that this happened, Ms. Charlotte Pace was murdered by DTL. I had moved shortly thereafter and have thought about this a lot since learning about similarities. Not sure how far she lived from me.

    1. That's crazy! I'm glad you're ok, thank you for sharing x