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Execution date set for Texas serial killer

Tommy Lynn Sells, a convicted serial killer on Texas death row, has been set for execution for April 3, 2014. State District Court Judge Enrique Fernandez set the date on January 3, 2014 in Val Verde County.

Tommy Lynn Sells at time of arrest

Sells calls himself “Coast to Coast,” a reference to where the former drifter says he has committed murders.

In July 1985, when he was 21 years old, Sells was working at a carnival in Forsyth, Missouri. He met Ena Cordt, 28, who had brought her 4-year-old son to the carnival. Cordt invited sells back to his home that nigh, and according to Sells he had sex with her, but he said he awoke to find Cordt stealing from his backpack. Sells grabbed a baseball bat and beat her to death. He then murdered the boy because he was a potential witness. Sells left town before the bodies were found three days later.

On December 31, 1999, near Del Rio, Texas, Sells fatally stabbed 13-year-old Kaylene “Katy” Harris 16 times and slit the throat of 10-year-old Krystal Surles. Surles survived and received help from neighbors. Sells was eventually apprehended using a sketch from Surles description. This is the case for which Sells was sentenced to death.

Sells is also considered a suspect in the following crimes:

  • The murder of Suzanne Korcz in New York during May 1987.
  • The November 1987 murder of the Dardeen family in Illinois
  • The murder of 11-year-old Melissa Tremblay in Lawrence, Massachusetts in September 1988
  • Killing a co-worker in Texas during April 1998
  • The sexual assault and murder of a child, Haley McHone in Lexington, Kentucky.

According to an interview with Columbia University forensic psychiatrist Dr. Michael H. Stone, Sells claimed to have killed upwards of 70 people.

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