When A Serial Killer Gets Attacked In Court: The Shocking Crimes of Alfred Gaynor | Serial Killers of The 70s, 80s & 90s

(Alfred Gaynor: Picture credit: murderpedia)

*Please be aware that shocking details are shared in this post. I have tried to be as sensitive as possible without shying away from the facts of this case, The contents of this blog are not suitable for anyone under the age of 18*

 In this installment of my Serial Killers of The 70s, 80s and 90s Series, I will be focusing on a very disturbing and callous serial killer who is not that well known. The case of Alfred Gaynor was both shocking and horrific but for some reason not very much is known about him or documented about his crimes. I hate to say it but I think with this particular case we have come across a lot of judgemental attitudes because of how some of the victims lived their lives. 

This shocking case took place in the mid 1990s and from what little we know of Alfred's background I was able to uncover that he was born on the 10th of December 1966 in Springfield, Massachusetts. He had come from a big family who struggled financially so the focus was never on his schoolwork but finding ways to make money, even at a young age. He started doing odd jobs as a young boy and his education was basically non-existent. As the years went on things did take a more positive turn when he began to try and learn a trade as a mechanic and managed to get a job in a repair shop which he very much enjoyed. 

Somewhere along the way however, Alfred got in with the wrong crowd and began heavily drinking as well as taking drugs. They were habits that he struggled to shake and soon they were to take over his life. It wasn't long before he found himself unemployed and desperate for money. 

Alfred continued on this downward spiral and his addictions just got deeper and deeper. He was reported to have committed his first nightmarish murder in April of 1995. He managed to befriend a 45 year old woman by the name of Vera Hullums and spent the night at her house. Whilst Vera was asleep in her bed that night, Alfred savagely beat her to death before sexually molesting her deceased body. He then ransacked the apartment and made off with a few items. It was a horrendous and evil act and his motivation for this was to get money for drugs. 

This became a sickening theme for Alfred, he would stop at nothing to find the money to feed his addiction. He would arrange to meet unsuspecting women in the pretense that he would do a drugs binge with them. As soon as he was able to get the women alone, he would attack them, sexually assault either before or after strangling them. He would then empty out their pockets or purses and use whatever he found to score some drugs. 

Another frightening fact about this case is that Alfred, despite his lack of education he was quite good at conversating with people and could come across as quite charismatic, it was clear that he would say anything to his victims in order to gain their trust and get what he wanted out of them. His victims were all female, mostly dependent on drugs and he would tell them that he had some drugs that he wanted to share with them. He had no drugs and was looking for a way to make money. Instead of just robbing the women, he would brutally assault them and perform sexual acts on their bodies before or after strangling them. The way in which he left his victims was also appalling. One victim was found nude wearing just one sock on her foot whilst her other sock had been used as a gag and had been tightly wrapped around her head. She had also been bound with the laces of a boot she had been previously been wearing. He had no respect for his victims and no ounce of remorse. Another victim was found deceased on her bathroom floor by her 11 year old son. 

At first the police didn't take the investigation seriously because the majority of the victims (9 in total that we are aware of at present) had high levels of cocaine in their systems and had previous history of regular drug use. The cops put it down to either pimps, disgruntled customers (suspecting that some of the women may have been partaking in sex work) or drug deals gone wrong. They noticed a pattern with the victims and soon began to take things seriously. Alfred Gaynor was brought in for questioning and whilst in custody he provided a DNA sample which ended up matching the evidence found at the scene of the murders. He was found guilty and put on trial (he would later confess to all 9 murders that he was suspected of).

Alfred told investigators that he wanted to make a deal with them, he promised to reveal crucial details about his case in exchange for his nephew (who was also on the wrong side of the the law for murder) to be given a new trial. Alfred took his time with providing the cops with the exact details of the murders and the deaths he was responsible for, he later claimed that he couldn't bring himself to confess to all 9 murders originally whilst his mother was still alive. He claimed that with his mother now deceased, he felt that he could talk about his crimes. 

(Some of Alfred Gaynor's victims. Picture credit: murderpedia)

At his trial there was more drama when a son of one of the victims ran over to Alfred and was able to punch him whilst physically throwing him over a railing. The young man had to be restrained by police officers but he certainly had his moment with Alfred Gaynor and who could blame him. It's quite amazing that this young man was able to carry this out as we've seen from previous courtroom settings, how protected these murderers are. It is pathetic to note that the young man, along with two other relatives were actually charged with assault. Nothing major happened but they were warned that their behaviour towards the man who savagely murdered their mother/loved one would be monitored at future hearings. They were specifically told that they would have to report to authorities if they planned on attending court proceedings. It was all a bit ridiculous because the powers that be were concerned that Alfred Gaynor was at risk of another assault in the future. 

(The moment Alfred Gaynor was attacked in court. Picture credit: murderpedia)

At the conclusion of the trial, Alfred Gaynor was sentenced to life in prison without parole. When he finally did confess to the additional murders that he was suspected of (and claimed that he didn't admit to whilst his mother was still alive), he had five more life sentences added on. He is still alive and is currently 56 years old. His nephew was given the new trial that Alfred had requested as part of the deal and his nephew was sentenced to 20 years originally but he had already spent 14 years in prison so he still had to serve his remaining time, the new trial did nothing for him. 

(Alfred Gaynor. Picture credit: murderpedia)

I would like to take this moment just to remember the victims that we know about and thoughts as always to the possibility that there could be more women out there not yet identified as victims of Alfred Gaynor. RIP: Vera Hallums, Amy Smith (his nephew was also convicted of the murder of Amy and her daughter), Jill Ermellini, Robin Atkins, JoAnn Thomas, Yvette Torres, Loretta Daniels, Rosemary Downs and Joyce-Dickerson-Peay. 

Further Reading & Sources:

Alfred Gaynor | Court Documents

Alfred Gaynor: Article | Daily Mail

Alfred Gaynor: News Report | NBC News

Alfred Gaynor: Article | Unilad

Alfred Gaynor | Wikipedia

Alfred Gaynor | Murderpedia

Alfred Gaynor: News Report Footage | WWLP-22 News

Check out my previous posts in my Serial Killers of The 70s, 80s & 90s Series: 

The Dating Game Killer: Rodney Alcala

He Murdered Over 90 Women? Samuel Little

Did The Infamous Serial Killer, John Wayne Gacy Act Alone?

400 Victims? The Monster of The Andes: Pedro Lopez

The Many Faces of Ted Bundy

The Butcher of Rostov: Andrei Chikatilo

BTK: Bind, Torture, Kill: Dennis Rader

The Evil Child Killer: Robert Black

The Grim Sleeper: Lonnie Franklin Jr

Finally Caught! The Green river Killer: Gary Ridgway

Thank you as always for getting through another disturbing case with me, I really appreciate it and hope you will join me in the next post (I publish new true crime content every Sunday evening). In the meantime, as always, I hope to see you on my Social Media Platforms x 

1 comment:

  1. Hello Jo,

    I read your latest case on Alfred Gaynor. I wasn’t familiar with the case. After my read of your masterful work, I thought it was strange that this case wasn’t better known.

    It’s another shocking case about a manipulative violent troubling & sick individual. It’s beyond sad and disturbing in our society that somebody can be so violent; taking human lives for drugs and money.

    I thought that it was totally insane to charge the son and the two relatives of one of the victims with assault. They lost their mothers and nothing too major happened.

    That monster finally confessed his additional crimes after his mother passed away but he only did it to help his nephew. I was relief to read that he will spend the rest of his life in prison. I’m sure that these confessions bring some sort of closure for the family.

    RIP to all the innocent victims Xx

    My thoughts are with all the families of the victims.