The Meanest & Most Evil Serial Killer in America? Donald Henry Gaskins (Pee Wee Gaskins)

 (Donald Henry ''Pee Wee' Gaskins. Picture credit: The Sate)

*Please be aware that I will be sharing disturbing details in this post. I have tried to be as sensitive as I can without shying away from the facts of the case*

I've read a lot of books about various serial killers over the years and have written about them on this blog but now and then there is a case which tends to haunt me and the story of Pee Wee Gaskins is such a case. I found a book about him in an old bookstore when I was about 15, I think it was called 'The Autobiography of A Serial Killer' and to say it was very graphic and disturbing, is an understatement. 

The book detailed Pee Wee's crimes and a no holds barred interview on death row had been transcribed. Without a shred of remorse or human decency, Pee Wee went into details about what he did to his victims and it was horrific, there was a part where he was talking about the sexual assault and murder of a child and how he had enjoyed that sexually and I just couldn't cope with that. At the age of 15 I was just learning about the world myself and couldn't even bring myself to accept that such horrific things and evil individuals like Pee Wee Gaskins could even exist. 

I threw the book away and it took weeks for me to get those horrible thoughts out of my head and forget the things he said. Whenever I see his face pop up in a book or a documentary, I remember how truly sick and evil this man was. I've read a lot of books and written a lot of blogs on serial killers but that book is one of the most spine-chilling, gut wrenching things that I have ever read. 

I didn't want to write about him in all honesty but I keep getting requests to do so and thought I would just get it over with and add his story to the huge list of serial killers that I have already written about. I will be covering more serial killer cases in 2024 but I thought I would end this year with a readers request. 

So let's get into the case.... 

Donald Henry Gaskins was born on the 13th of March 1933 in Florence County, South Carolina. His original full name at birth was Donald Henry Parrott Jr. He was called ''Pee Wee' because he was known to be a small and weak child and he came into a home life that was no where near comfortable. There was no love from his single mother, who had a string of children from different fathers and the level of neglect to all children was appalling. 

Different men would come and go from the house and Pee Wee often found himself being physically assaulted by the men his mother was acquainted with. There was no love or protection, just pure neglect in a very unsafe environment. Pee Wee was known to suffer from seizures during the early part of his childhood and this was believed to have stemmed from an incident when he was one years old where he drank a bottle of kerosene. 

With no love and a home life in turmoil it was only a matter of time before Pee Wee went off the rails but it was worse than anyone could have expected.  Sometimes an abused and neglected child will take part in various thefts, petty crime but not Pee Wee, he was a monster from the get-go. He had been a member of a gang of other kids that did some petty crimes but had also partaken in a horrendous gang r*** of a sister of one of the boys. Pee Wee had enjoyed the sickening act. Other assaults and thefts had occurred and he soon found himself being sent to a reform school because he was too young at that point to go to an adult prison. 

Before he had even turned 18 he claimed that he had been sexual assaulted on a number of occasions by the other boys at the school and he ran away. He returned to continue the rest of his time there and was soon released. It was all supposed to be a fresh start for him and he'd manged to get a job but it wasn't to last. He was found guilty of assaulting girls and ended up again behind bars to serve 6 years. 

Pee Wee was always seen as weak and a pathetic type of character but when he found himself being sexually assaulted again, he took matters into his own hands and fought back with a knife. He cut his attacker's throat and soon earned a level of respect. He also found a new level of confidence that he had never had before. He'd always hurt people who were smaller than him but he was now able to fight grown men and he enjoyed that. 

His time in prison was not without drama and over that incident, he did have some time added on to his sentence but he managed to escape again. He was soon returned and like before, he completed his sentence and was deemed fit to be released. As soon as he walked out of the prison gates he was back into a life of crime. 

Robberies and sexual assaults were back on the cards again and more sentences followed but he managed to escape once again and he was in and out of prison. The fact that they continued to release him and he'd be back in trouble in a short period afterwards, should have demonstrated that he should never have been released. 

Getting a slap on the wrist for his sexual assaults and robberies must have made Pee Wee feel that he could pretty much get away with anything. He was no longer satisfied with the horrible things he had been doing, he wanted to take it a step further and commit murder. 

When it came to his killings, nobody was safe, he targeted men, women and children. Most of the victims (who he nicknamed 'coastal kills') were reportedly hitchhikers and we may never truly know how many people he actually killed. His methods of killing were horrendous and there was no set way in which he did things. Some victims had been sexually assaulted and stabbed, some were smothered, tortured, butchered and reportedly had some of their flesh eaten by him. 

His niece and her friend had fallen victim to him, both girls who were just 15 and 17 had been sexually assaulted and beaten to death. 

All of the murders were horrendous and too much to stomach but the sexual assault and murder of his neighbour and her little girl who was just a toddler, was something that really disturbed me and something that I will never be able to not be horrified by or forget as I read the details all those years ago. 

I won't go into the horrific details of the murders I just mentioned because it is just too horrendous to bare but I'm sure you understand and know it is a line that none of us want to go over and think about. Murders of anyone, no matter their age, is horrific but when it is the sexual assault and murder of a child by someone so evil and twisted that they would say that it was the most excited that they had gotten sexually, is just too much. His words (and I will say them as it is a fact of the case so please skip a few lines if you must) about the murder were ''It was the most overpowering come I had ever felt.'' 

His murder spree came to an end when a former crime associate of his had ratted him out to the cops. The man had claimed that he had seen Pee Wee murder two men. In November of 1975 he had given up and told the police some of what he had done and where he had buried the remains of his victims. After a short trial he was found guilty of just murders based on the remains that authorities were able to recover. He was given a death sentence which was reduced to a life sentence due to changes in state but as always he found himself in more trouble behind bars and murdered a fellow inmate who he was shockingly, paid to murder by a relative by one of his own murder victims, that was a lot to get one's head around in this horrible case too. 

His reduced life sentence was soon changed back to death row and the night before he faced the electric chair he tried to call the shots himself by cutting his wrists. I've heard of this happening quite a few times with inmates who are due to face their final punishment. It doesn't phase the prison guards, they will just wipe up the blood, stitch up your wounds and go ahead as scheduled. That's exactly what they did with Pee Wee Gaskins. He was a coward and it didn't matter what he did this time, there was no way of escaping, it was time to face the music. 

Donald Henry ''Pee Wee'' Gaskins was executed by electric chair on the 6th of September 1991 at the age of 58. 

His murder spree reportedly took place between 1953 and 1982 and shockingly he was only confirmed to have murdered 15 people but suspected of killing 110. He said himself that there were more victims. He once told authorities ''There are quite a few bodies that have never been mentioned but you've got enough for now.''

His last words before he was executed were ''I'll let my lawyers talk for me, I'm ready to go.''

This was a difficult post to get through and I appreciate if you have made it this far. What are your thoughts on this case? Pee Wee Gaskins was clearly a dangerous individual from day one, having committed such a horrendous crime from a young age. He should have been dealt with properly and never been released. He demonstrated that he was dangerous both inside and outside of prison walls. A frightening individual who targeted anyone, anywhere at any time and not a shred of remorse or feeling of guilt for what he had done. I watched a documentary about him a few years ago and his daughter was talking about him. The grown up daughter came across as having severe psychological issues, she kept saying ''My Daddy was sick, my Daddy this and Daddy that''  like what he had done could be easily forgiven. I'm sure I'm not alone in thinking that if I had a father or relative that was exactly like Pee Wee Gaskins, I would run a mile and never have his name mentioned in my presence ever again. 

It's interesting the behaviour of some of these parents and relatives of serial killers or child killers. They are totally devoted to their sons or daughters even though they have committed the most horrendous pain and suffering to other people and their families. For example, Chris Watts who murdered his heavily pregnant wife then buried her in a shallow grave, came back for his two young daughters and smothered them before dumping their tiny bodies down two oil tanks. All the while he was texting the woman he had been having an affair with at work. He stood before the TV cameras playing the part of the worried and concerned husband and father. 

He didn't confess to what he had done, oh no, he decided to claim at first that his wife went to stay with friends and when he could feel the net closing in he changed that to accusing his wife of abusing their daughters. It had all come out in the courtroom how he had been looking at jewelry for his mistress (who claimed to be completely innocent in everything even though she knew he had been married with kids and had stalked his wife on facebook etc then deleted tons of text messages. People have different opinions on that but the police say that she didn't have any part in what took place and didn't push him to make any rash decisions. We know she wasn't there at the crime scene but what some people believe is that she pressured him to choose between his family and her. What are your thoughts on that?), making arrangements to sell the house and had spoken to the girl's school and told them that the girls would not be coming back. 

I mention Chris Watts because his parents think that the sun shines out of his backside even though they sat there and listened in detail to what he had done. The parents were never fans of his wife but that's no excuse, he's a monster and they think he's an angel. I think it says a lot when you look at the parents. I know the parents are not always to blame for how their children turn out but Chris Watts family are very strange people to say the least. 

RIP to the known victims of Pee Wee Gaskins and we can but hope that one day the families of the unknown victims will have some sort of closure and be able to know the truth about what happened to their loved ones. RIP to the victims of Chris Watts, Shanann, baby Nico, Bella and Celeste. 

Once again, thank you for getting through the post and also, thank you for all of your support this year. I will be taking a little break for the Christmas holidays but I will be back in January so keep your eyes peeled!

If you would like to help support my content by buying me a cheeky Christmas coffee, that would be amazing, you can either make a small payment Here on my ko-fi page where you will also find pictures and regular updates! or simply make a payment to My PayPal or CashApp: £CaledonianKitty

Further Reading & Sources:

Autobiography of A Serial Killer | Book by Pee Wee Gaskins

Donald Gaskins | Book by Jack Rosewood

The Big Book of Serial Killers | Book by Jack Rosewood

The Encyclopedia of Serial Killers | Book by Michael Newton

Famous Serial Killers Wordsearch | Book by Crook Crook

Donald Henry Gaskins | Wikipedia

Pee Wee Gaskins | Crime Museum

Pee Wee Gaskins: Documentary: Real Crime

I wish you all of the best for Christmas and New Year and I hope to see you in January with some fresh new content x

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