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tv   Eight Times a Killer  MSNBC  November 13, 2011 10:00pm-11:00pm PST

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> at the center of any criminal investigation is a dark heart and the iron hand of justice. >> i was on my way home. she was walking alongside the road. i just stopped the car, got out of the car and went and raped her and killed her. >> we hear the confessions of a madman. >> there's nothing they could have said or done. it was me. it wasn't them. they were dead as soon as i saw them, i think. >> how does a mind become this twisted? >> killing was built into his upbringing. 5-year-old, 6-year-old kid, that was his job. >> seems to be a combination of both -- of something
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biologically wrong with my head and being the way i was raised. >> are there lessons to be learned from this serial killer? >> there are other michael rosses out there. and i think we've got to try to prevent that. >> we'll take you inside the cell, inside the mind of this death row inmate on this "dark heart, iron hand: eight times a killer." what you're about to hear is both rare and astonishing. a prison interview with a condemned killer. from inside the prison where michael ross lived on death row for about 18 years, this serial killer detailed for us how and why he murdered eight women. it's disturbing to watch this ivy league educated man talk matter of factly about his crimes. did he commit such crimes because of the way he was raised or it is something biological? and by listening carefully to what he has to say, can we prevent future tragedies?
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>> well, i'm a serial killer. i've killed eight women, six in this state and two in new york. >> this is michael ross, a serial killer interviewed in connecticut's summers prison for a british documentary 11 years after his capture. >> i'm on death row for four of those women. >> he may look and sound like the guy next door, but between 1982 and 1984, ross stunned rural connecticut where he raped at least five out of the six women he killed, strangling them with his bare hands and discarding their bodies in cornfields and wooded areas near major roadways. >> after they were dead, i remember the very first feeling i had was my heart was really pounding. i mean it was really pounding. the second feeling i had was that my hands hurt from where i had strangled them. i always manually strangled them. and then the third feeling i had was fear.
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>> he talks about murder as if he were describing a day at the office. this ivy league graduate of cornell university, an affable life insurance salesman, came off cool, calm and collected enabling him to move undetected through an unsuspecting society. >> for some reason with me sexuality and violence have fused together. >> but his dark core would remain hidden and unexplained until after his capture. his two-year connecticut rampage started in january of 1982 driving along busy route 6 in danielson, connecticut. ross spotted a 17-year-old teenage girl walking to her boyfriend's house. michael malchik was a homicide detective with the connecticut state police. >> tammy williams was the first connecticut victim. >> i saw her walking along the side of the road. i followed her. i grabbed her and dragged her to the side of the pond. i raped her, and then i
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strangled her and put her -- threw her into the pond when i was done. >> debra taylor, his second victim, met her demise in the danielson town green. >> around midnight, debbie taylor had had a fight with her husband concerning a broken down vehicle they were in. and she was sitting here in the park, and michael was driving around, and he saw her apparently distraught, and he offered her a ride home. instead of giving her a ride home, instead he drove her to a cornfield in canterbury where he sexually assaulted her, murdered her and threw her in a river bed and left her. >> remarkably, ross continued hiding behind a mask of normality. underneath it all, he is in some ways still a mystery to himself, unable to truly understand why he did what he did. it seems he killed as easily as he talks about it. >> he was polite. he was affable. he was not argumentative.
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>> psychiatrist fred berlin met and evaluated ross before his trial. he says michael ross is a sexual sadist. >> sexual sadism is like alcoholism, a craving disorder that people are having intense cravings and feeling very tempted to give in to those cravings. >> i used them. i degraded them for my own personal pleasure. had to end. >> but it didn't. after tammy williams and debra taylor, ross continued his silent connecticut killing spree, murdering four more including 19-year-old state javelin champion robin stavinsky and teenage friends april brunais and leslie shelley. the two girls both 14 were thought to have run away. ross apparently spotted the two girls hitchhiking along the border of rhode island and connecticut. >> i picked them up. they wanted me to drop them off at a gas station. i drove right by the gas
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station. one of them pulled a knife on me, like a kitchen knife type thing. and i almost drove off the road, i was so surprised. and i don't know what i said, but i said something and she gave the knife to me. obviously scared her. anyway, took them to a place, tied them up with some cloth that i had in the back seat. >> and he admitted that while he was sexually assaulting the first one, they were talking to each other. and all he said was that they were -- one was telling the other to cooperate and hopefully he'll let us go. >> i put the younger girl leslie shelley into the trunk of the car, and i took the other girl, april brunais out and i raped her and killed her and i put her in the front seat. >> then he went to the car and he took out leslie shelley who was 14 years old i believe at the time. a very tiny girl. and he said to me that he was
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already in so far he didn't know what to do. he didn't want it then. made some comment like that. apologized to leslie shelley that he was going to have to kill her, and he said he was sorry, put her on her stomach and strangled her to death. >> well, the smallest one, leslie shelley has always bothered me more than the others. and i think it was because she was so small and she was so cooperative and i think it was because of the way she was killed was so close to the fantasies. that was the one that was -- it was like it was fantasy. >> how can michael ross kill so easily? and how can he speak so matter of factly when recounting it all? the answer can be found at the center of his twisted fantasies, and it would take years for police and psychiatrists to unravel it all. but in 1983, police only knew
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about the deaths of debra taylor and robin stavinsky. the bodies of his other victims had yet to be found. they didn't suspect a serial killer until they found the body of ross' last victim, wendy baribeault. when we come back -- >> he thought he was going to get caught. he told me he was thinking of turning himself in. >> i was dressed in a three-piece suit like it was in broad daylight. there were about a dozen people who saw me well enough, cars driving by to draw a composite drawing. toid arthritis... could mean living with joint damage. help stop the damage before it stops you with humira. for many adults with moderate to severe ra, humira's proven to help relieve pain and stop joint damage. humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal events can occur, such as infections,
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michael ross easily blended into society as a likable, friendly life insurance salesman, but in discovering the body of wendy baribeault, his sixth connecticut victim, police found important clues that would
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help them catch this unlikely killer. >> she had been missing for approximately two days, and we launched a search that involved a number of policemen and local firemen, which is a common occurrence for us. her unclothed body was found approximately a quarter of a mile from her home on a busy highway known as route 12 in the town of lisbon. >> i was on my way home. she was walking alongside the road. >> as gruesome as it was, wendy baribeault's murder gave detectives their first big break. >> michael ross grabbed wendy baribeault and pulled her across the stone wall adjacent to this highway. pulled her along this other stone wall through the woods and dragged her up across this stone wall where he assaulted her, strangled her to death and then rolled her body into a stone wall and covered it with stones. >> because the killer took his time to hide the body, malchik
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developed a theory. >> it's been my experience that somebody that's committed a homicide, all they want to do is flee the area. and this person who had committed this homicide took the extra time to put wendy baribeault inside the stone wall, the stones rearranged to make it look like the original stone wall and left in that condition. we developed this profile in which we thought the person had some connection locally. >> because of the victims' similarities, young and petite, malchik thought the murders were related and that connecticut had its first serial killer, but at the time, his theory was unpopular. >> there was resistance, and i was just told there wasn't enough information to indicate that there was, and we didn't want to alarm the public. >> but hoping to learn more about the killer, police began to publicize some of the information they had. >> there was a husband and wife who said that they saw a small blue car and a second witness
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who was riding a motorcycle who said that he saw a blue car, fairly new, small, parked right off the side of the road right where wendy baribeault was seen and eventually we narrowed it down to the fact that it was a toyota. we had some witnesses come forward saying to us that it was a tall, thin white male with short dark hair. and one or two of the witnesses said that he was dressed in dress clothes. >> for the first time, ross was afraid of getting caught. police were now closer to piecing together their killer. but far from unlocking his twisted mind. >> michael ross read that newspaper article. >> i was dressed in a three-piece suit. like it said, it was in broad daylight. there were about a dozen people who saw me well enough, cars driving by, to draw a composite drawing. >> he thought he was going to get caught, and he told me he was thinking of turning himself in.
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>> but he didn't. instead, he continued working and living a double life. and now with the description of the car, police began to search the surrounding areas for a blue toyota and an owner fitting the description of the man eyewitnesses say they saw the day wendy baribeault disappeared. when we come back -- >> i just knocked on his door at 8:00 in the morning. an he fit the description of the person that we were looking for. >> there's nothing they could have said or done. it was me. they were dead as soon as i saw them, i think. wanna know the difference between a trader and an elite trader? it's this... the etrade pro platform. fast. beautiful. totally customizable. finds top performing stocks -- in three clicks. quickly scans the market for new trading ideas. it can even
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salesman. >> i raped her, and i killed her. it wasn't pleasant. it wasn't a nice rape. there is no such thing as a nice rape. >> but understanding the motives of this cold-blooded killer would come later. first he would have to be caught and the detective who was haunted by the killings was now on the hunt. >> we got a computer printout from the motor vehicle department, and we started to look for that type of a person with that type of a car, and we started where the body was found and we moved outward. i took the first four, which were the closest to the -- where the body was located. >> detective malchik chose michael ross because he lived closest to the scene of the murder. he went to ross' house. >> i just knocked on his door at 8:00 in the morning. and he fit the description of the person that we were looking for. the basic description, tall, thin white male.
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the only thing unusual was that he wasn't wearing any -- he was wearing glasses, and none of the witnesses saw any glasses when they saw him walking behind wendy baribeault on route 12 on the day of the murder. we would later find out he took them off for two reasons. he knew there was going to be a struggle or he thought it made him look better. then he invited me in and actually said that he was expecting me, if i recall. because there had been publicity about a small blue car possibly being involved. and he invited me in and we sat down and we spoke. >> but malchik wasn't yet sure he was talking to a murderer. >> i was always wondering am i looking in the face of a serial killer or is this just mr. everybody, mr. nobody, mr. average joe? >> but something about ross puzzled malchik. >> so i would ask him, where did he live before he moved to jewett city?
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and he told me that he lived in the town of brooklyn, and that's where i knew that two other murders in that area had occurred. >> malchik asked ross what he remembered about the day wendy baribeault disappeared and discovered a surprising lapse in his recollection. >> he said who he had breakfast with, where he went, who he saw at lunch, who he saw at work, who he spoke to at work, then he was supposed to meet some friends of his on route 12, pick up some paper supplies and have coffee. and this is at 4:00. i said, well, what happened after 4:00, and all of a sudden his mind went blank, and we knew that's when wendy baribeault had last been seen was about 4:30 on that day, on route 12. he placed himself going right by there by his own time frame, plus, he couldn't describe, really remember, he had a loss of memory at that point, which i thought was unusual. and at that point, we were probably maybe an hour into a
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conversation, and i asked him if he would come with us down to our command post. >> although he was not under arrest, ross agreed to speak to detectives at their headquarters. >> we actually spoke probably for four or five hours. we just talked about things in general. school, his life, his family. and then he said to me, do you think i killed wendy baribeault? and i looked at him, and i said, yeah, i do. and i really didn't know. but i looked at him in the eye and i said, yeah, i do, and i don't think you want to hurt anybody anymore. and he said, you're right. i did it. >> i was supposed to be working with a colleague that day. he called in sick in the afternoon. we were going to go do cold calls knocking on apartments, sales, and he called in, he didn't want to do it. so i stopped at the printing shop, picked up some printing stuff, and i was on my way home. she was walking along the side
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of the road. and i just stopped the car, got out of the car, went raped her and killed her. >> malchik had the confession he had been waiting for, but he still was not sure about other missing or dead girls. >> we went out, and he show us where he had dragged her off the highway, where he had put her clothes, where he had committed the assault, where he had parked his car, at what angle, and this all had to do with wendy baribeault. and then after we were done with that, i asked him if he would want to talk about other murders of young girls because i believed he had been involved in others. >> ross agreed. and on june 28th, 1984 at police headquarters, michael bruce ross began to unravel the mystery that plagued connecticut for two years. >> and i said, why don't you start at the beginning. and he said okay. well, you know, i killed wendy
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baribeault. i killed tammy williams. i killed robin stavinsky. i killed april brunais. i killed leslie shelley and i killed debra taylor. i've gotten murder confessions before, but that's when it kind of struck me at that point, the way he rattled all those names within five seconds. i was kind of stunned at that point. >> for hours ross confessed to the murders giving detectives all of the details they were lacking. >> there's nothing they could have said or done. it was me. it wasn't them. they were dead as soon as i saw them, i think. >> it was as if the mere sight of a young woman triggered a deadly chain of events. >> it's as though the wiring in the brain has been crossed and in sexual sadism, the individual gets more and more aroused and sexually aggressive. >> aggressive enough to overpower even his toughest victims.
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>> we were standing at the scene of robin stavinsky. he said to me that she was exceptionally strong. and, in fact, she had been a state javelin champion is my understanding, and he mentioned that with her and another one of the victims, that they were stronger than most. >> a normal strangulation because your hands cramp, you don't strangle as quickly as they do on tv. they do it on tv and 15 seconds later the guy's dead. most strangulations there's multiple where you move your hands around. >> he says with those two girls, "i had to keep squeezing and squeezing and i couldn't kill them and my fingers cramped up. and i had to unleash my grasp and uncramp my fingers and then reapply my grip while they were still moving around and gurgling." >> the medical examiner found bruises on the neck, and in this
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case, i think it was on the stavinsky girl, there were like three bruises on each side from the fingers, and he made a comment that he had never seen that before and it was like an insane -- i'm pretty sure that was the word he used -- an insane strength or something because i got a kick out of it because the prosecutor, i knew, had no idea that was coming. >> the killer who haunted connecticut was finally in custody, but the journey into the mind of the killer and the quest for answers was about to begin. when we come back -- >> when i was younger, i started out with fantasies that were very -- well, they weren't violent. mainly, i guess, the earliest ones i could remember were i would kidnap women and take them to my safe place and then they would fall in love with me and not want to leave. james bond, superman type thing. president bush says the this is $100,000. we asked total strangers to watch it for us.
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? at the center of any criminal investigation is a dark heart and the iron hand of justice. >> finally in police custody, michael ross spends hours detailing the murders of six young women in connecticut. he admits to raping five of them.
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he later admits to two earlier murders in new york state. with ross' confessions, police have the key to finding the victims' bodies, but unlocking the mysteries of the serial killer's mind is quite another challenge. what drove this insurance salesman with an ivy league degree to commit such horrific crimes? can the secrets of his childhood help us understand his actions? and what can we learn from this serial killer that might help police and profilers prevent similar crimes in the future? ross is currently on death row in connecticut's northern correctional institute where he is appealing his sentence. >> i'm in here 23 hours a day. i get out an hour a day for rec monday through friday. we get an hour at night to take a shower, use the phone. we have a law library just back there. we get to use that. and clean our cells. >> in 1995 this cold-blooded serial killer cheerily gave a
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tour of the cell that has been his home for the past seven years. >> i do tons of letters. i get mail coming out of everywhere. just nothing but mail, mail, mail, mail all over the place. when i'm not writing or not typing or anything, i tend to lie back there. i got an old pillow case i just cover up my eyes with and put my headphones on and put my music on and then i'm gone. i just leave. that's how i cope here. just put the headphones on, blocks off the rest of it here and i'm gone. you know, just in some fantasy world somewhere. >> while the murders had finally ended, the journey into the mind of this killer was just beginning, a mind where sex and violence were fused. >> my biggest thrill sexually is from thoughts of actually strangling a woman. when i first came up here, i would relive the murders, the
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young girls that i killed, i would relive them multiple times a day. you know, at least two, three, and on bad times, just kind of a cyclical thing, i would relive it many times a day. >> it seems easy to demonize this seemingly unremorseful monster, but for some, ross' life is an unlikely answer to a complicated question -- what makes a serial killer? >> he was obsessed with two issues, sex and death, and in his mind, these were fused. >> dr. walter borden spent over a year interviewing ross and his family. he told the court and crime files that ross' parents painted a clear portrait of a family riddled with dysfunction. michael ross had a troubled family from the start. >> he was conceived in rape. his mother was 16. his father was somewhat older,
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just got out of the marines. they met. they dated. was it a rape that would hold up in a court of law? i don't know. but she felt raped, which is the important point. she termed it she felt she was zapped. it was coerced. she felt violated. and then once she knew she was pregnant and told her mother, she was shamed and basically forced into marrying dan ross. that set the stage for a long relationship with this child michael. she felt trapped in a marriage she did not want and which she grew to hate. and he was the cause of that trap. >> borden says during their marriage, they had an unhealthy relationship, especially when it came to sex. >> the sex wasn't loving. held down, felt violated, felt
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overpowered. and then on the other hand, sex might be withheld or used as a weapon by her as best she could. >> and although they didn't know it, according to borden, their son michael was a casualty of their conjugal war. >> his bedroom was right adjoining their bedroom. young michael ross being a kind of witness to a form of rape, ongoing basis gets integrated into part of his development. >> no little boy sits down and says to themself, gee, when i grow up, do i want to be turned on by consenting behavior or do i want to be turned on by coercive and sadistic behaviors? >> psychiatrist fred berlin also studied ross for the defense team. he believes ross was born with an abnormal sexual psyche. >> michael ross in growing up discovered he was afflicted with a horrible aberration of sexual makeup that was a danger to
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others and that destroyed his life, as well. >> and as he testified in trial, borden says while growing up on his family's egg farm, ross was emotionally and physically abused. >> there were beatings by the father. the beatings were in the wood shed. if you cried, you showed any weakness, you were beaten further. so you learned to keep it in. but the worst abuse was the humiliation. this was on the part of the mother. one of the ways he was toilet trained was to wrap a dirty diaper around his head and have him go out and people would laugh at him. >> but young michael suppressed his emotions and any semblance of normal adolescence was not to be had. >> friends were discouraged. and his whole life was either school and working on the family farm. when michael was 5 to 6 years old, his job became the killing of the chicks.
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any weak or crippled chick had to be killed. so michael was the designated chicken killer. and how? >> my hands hurt from where i had strangled them. i always manually strangled them. >> he would wring their necks. if you look at his killing the women, young women, who incidentally he called chicks, their necks were wrung. they were all strangled. >> according to experts, abusing animals is common to many serial killers, but ross is a special case. >> killing was built into his upbringing. this is a 5-year-old, 6-year-old kid, that was his job. so it was institutionalized in his fantasy.
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so what happens? you become numb, numbing. and death becomes part of his life and then death, death and life are all mixed up in his mind. >> and in his mind, ross' method of killing made him feel more alive. >> serial killers like to strangle their victims. and that is i guess the most common form of killing because there's more of a connection there. it's more real, and it's not as quick. i don't think i would have got anywhere near the amount of, damn it, i don't know how to describe it. i want to say pleasure or excitement. i don't know really how to describe what i was feeling at the time, but i don't think i would have got the same thing out of it if i had like shot someone or if i just stabbed them. when i was younger, i started out with fantasies that were very, well, they weren't violent. i don't know how normal they were, but they weren't violent-type fantasies. mainly, i guess the earliest ones i can remember is i would kidnap women and take them to my
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safe place, and then they would fall in love with me and not want to leave. james bond, superman type things. >> but the fantasy was he would go out and find women and bring them back to the barn, and they became a kind of harem for him. >> then when i got to college, somehow started the degrading going into more violent fantasies. that's when my rape fantasies first started was when i was in college. >> in my opinion, these eight women that he killed were his harem. >> once captured, ross admitted not only to the six murders in connecticut but the two earlier murders in new york state while attending cornell university. the same michael ross was a member of a fraternity and had girlfriends whom he didn't harm, but his sadistic sexual fantasies were becoming more intense, and he would soon satisfy his hunger to kill.
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when we come back -- >> i started following women home, and i would get a thrill by them knowing that i was following them, that they would be scared and, you know, that gave me a thrill. challenges right now. two of the most important are energy security and economic growth. north america actually has one of the largest oil reserves in the world. a large part of that is oil sands. this resource has the ability to create hundreds of thousands of jobs. at our kearl project in canada we'll be able to produce these oil sands with the same emissions as many other oils and that's a huge breakthrough. that's good for our country's energy security and our economy. who wants some holiday tunage? ew i do! ew i do! let's see what they pull up here. oh, this is a good one. ♪ grandma got run over by a reindeer ♪ really? ken? ♪ walking home from our house christmas eve ♪ ♪ you can say... ♪ i had the right of way. oh, man. i... turning off
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??oçoog before killing six connecticut women, michael ross was an ivy league student and planned to graduate and run his family's egg farm, but while in college, his parents divorced and were selling the farm. according to psychiatrist walter borden, ross began spinning into a downward spiral. >> his dream and his assumption of what he was going to be in life was to get his degree from cornell agricultural school and come back and run that farm.
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he was going to replace his father. he was going to be the honcho. well, what he learns in his senior year is that's not going to be. >> borden says that for the first time, ross' painful past began to affect his college relationships. >> he's beginning to develop relationships, close relationships with females, and the closer he gets in a relationship, all this old stuff comes up, and there are problems. >> problems in my personal relationships were something that fueled -- i guess the best way to describe it is i would blow up, and so i would have to be under pressure, and then there would have to be something to trigger it. if you have an explosive, it has to be ready to go and something has to trigger that. >> and then unfortunately, he met not a laid-back
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accommodating soft woman, but he met another woman. and the mix was destructive, was explosive. >> my relationship with women when i was having problems with women, that would build up, the pressure, so to speak. and then when i saw a woman in a vulnerable situation, that was a trigger, and that's when i killed. >> according to borden, the real trigger was turmoil in his relationship with his college girlfriend. >> there were two incidents. the first was in cornell. it was after their fight. they had a huge battle. he raped a woman. that's the first of his acting out his fantasies. and it's like getting a taste. it's like unleashing. there was another big battle between the two of them, and he went out that night and raped and killed a cornell coed.
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>> ross confessed to this murder and one other in new york state after he was caught. >> i started following women home, and i would get a thrill by them knowing that i was following them, that they would be scared and, you know, that gave me a thrill. and then it got to the point where i actually raped someone at cornell, and then the next person i actually raped and killed. >> but surprisingly, ross never seriously injured any of the women he knew. >> if he knew somebody, he might fantasize killing them and he might be rough. but they were relatively safe. >> they say what it is is that i can't hurt the person that i'm with. it's called splitting. >> underneath it all, he's very dependent, needy and attached. >> i love that person. i need that person for my emotional well-being. so i take the anger that i feel toward that person and i inflict
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it on someone unknown, someone that i don't know at all that i have no emotional ties to at all, and someone who i can make as a nonperson. >> and he said that one of the reasons why he grabbed them from behind and each body was found lying on their abdomen was because he didn't want to see their face. he didn't want them to be a person. he was turning them into objects. he had to dehumanize. that was part of the ritual was to turn them into a little chick i guess. >> that's how i killed them because they're not people anymore. when i was with one woman in particular, i killed four people. then i had a relationship with another woman, and i didn't kill anyone. i did rape a person, but i didn't kill her. then when i went with another woman, i killed four people. so there is a direct connection between who i'm with when i actually kill people. >> after college and his first two murders, he worked for a
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grain company in north carolina when his girlfriend came to visit. >> my fiancee come down to north carolina to visit me, and i had just dropped her off at the airport. she was going home. and again, that's another one of the cases where i think we didn't have a very good visit. and i think built things up. i saw this woman walking along the road with a stroller. i pulled off the side of the road. she came into the driveway, walked up the driveway. i was behind the house. she saw me, and i grabbed her. i told her that if she didn't do what i wanted, that i would smash the baby's head against the wall of the house. i raped her, strangled her, i left her for dead. the only reason she's not dead has nothing to do with me.
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that's strictly an act of god. >> although he was never caught for that incident, ross was charged for unlawful restraint after allegedly trying to rape and kill a girl in illinois, and later he was fined and sentenced to six months in jail for assaulting a woman in ohio. >> i've always said that i never understood why the women never really resisted me. i never -- i'm not a big, strong guy. nobody ever seemed to fight. and i've always attributed it to i must say something similar like that to the other victims. >> he got satisfaction out of rape. the domination and degradation. but it was in the killing where he experienced orgasm. >> when we come back -- >> i think michael ross is very calculating, and he's arrogant, and i think he knows exactly what he's doing. >> if the situation was right or
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in her case, absolutely wrong, yes, i could kill her very, very easily. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ when the things that you need ♪ ♪ come at just the right speed, that's logistics. ♪ ♪ medicine that can't wait legal briefs there by eight, ♪ ♪ that's logistics. ♪ ♪ freight for you, box for me box that keeps you healthy, ♪ ♪ that's logistics. ♪ ♪ saving time, cutting stress when you use ups ♪ ♪ that's logistics. ♪
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as gruesome as michael ross' crimes were, doctors and lawyers testifying for the defense twice attempted to claim that he was suffering from a mental disease with uncontrollable urges to rape and kill. >> i'm suffering from a paraphyllic disorder called sexual sadism. and i guess from all i've learned over the years, it seems to be a combination of both of something biologically wrong with my head and being the way i was raised. >> one could say that michael ross does this because he's evil. how do you know he's evil? because he does it. in a sense, it's a label masquerading as an explanation. but maybe michael ross is a
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broken mind in need of repair. maybe through no fault of his own, he experiences intense overpowering abnormal sexual cravings and urges. >> but that's a pressure cooker. and what's inside the pressure cooker is rage and rage at women. and that's what's unleashed. >> neither jury bought these arguments, and both sentenced ross to die. >> i think he enjoyed the crimes that he did, the raping and the killing. >> as his death row counselor, ann canoer's job was to listen to ross, and she believes he was totally in control of his mind and his actions when he raped and killed. >> i think michael ross is very calculating, and he's arrogant, and i think he knows exactly what he's doing. >> but even behind bars, ross had his fantasies about her. >> she is the exact type of woman that i would attack, small, vulnerable. >> but she says ross didn't show that side to her when she worked
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on death row. >> not that i didn't take it seriously, but i just never felt that threat prior to him saying it, and i didn't feel it after him saying it. it certainly didn't deter me from going down and touring that housing unit like i think he was almost hoping. >> if the situation was right or in her case, absolutely wrong, yes, i could kill her very, very easily. >> i think he probably would have taken pleasure out of the fact that he was putting fear in me, too, which he didn't. >> she also says ross has no remorse for the things he did. >> he talks about them so matter of factly. i mean, he could be talking about -- just about anything. he just happens to be talking about, you know, the raping and the killing. >> i think to have remorse, to have true remorse, you have to have some empathy. i think his human feelings or his feelings of empathy, connecting to people in that
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way, to know what they're feeling, to feel what they're feeling, was beaten out of him and was humiliated out of him. >> i don't see them as they were when i killed them, and if you had stopped me like right afterwards and gave me like a composite drawing of like 12 pictures, you know, some blondes, brunettes, whatever, i wouldn't have been able to pick them out even immediately after i killed them. >> but the man who caught him strongly disagrees. >> he knew them by name. he followed his exploits in the newspaper. when he rattled off within that five seconds the names of these victims, he named them. he didn't just say this girl and this town or that girl in that town. >> but when he talks about killing wendy baribeault, ross still maintains he was out of control. >> when i attacked her, i don't believe i was in control. i don't think i could have stopped. the reason i say that is because there's a very clear point to me after she was dead when i was feeling -- well, i didn't really
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feel anything. i mean, i knew what was going on. and i saw what was going on. but it was more like watching an old film that we used to see as kids in the high school. i mean in elementary school, they've been played so many times, they're all spliced, and it would be going along and then jump. i'm not saying i wasn't there, i was a multipersonality or any of that kind of crap. i was there and i did it, but i wasn't 100% there. >> he waited till there was no cars coming, just wendy alone, waited till there were no cars, pulled her into the woods. dragged her far enough away where nobody could hear her. after he killed her, he hid her body in a stone wall. he took her clothes. then he went to the road, waited till there were no cars, ran across the road to the other side, jumped in his car with the clothes, drove up, wrapped them around a rock and threw them into a river. i mean, this guy is thinking. he's in control. his confessions are tape recorded. they're over and over again where he says that he killed
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these girls to avoid getting caught. >> but for all of his apparent cold-bloodedness, there are those who believe killers like michael ross can be useful. >> the michael rosses of the world are not just trying to beat the rap. they really are ill and we need to treat them not only from the criminal justice perspective but perspective, as well. this is a question of using him to understand more about serial killers so that it can be prevented. >> so i look for other michael rosses and i look for abuse where other michael rosses are out there and i think we've got to try to prevent them. >> i don't care he wet his bed when he was nine years old or his father had to take him out to the wood shed. this guy murdered eight women with no remorse. >> and in this brief telephone interview with crime trial, michael ross says no matter what
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his fate is, it won't compare to that of his victims. >> no matter what they do to me, obviously it's nowhere near the severity to what happened to these girls. >> convicted murderer michael >> convicted murderer michael ross sent nearly 18 years on death row. before his originally scheduled execution, ross said he hoped his death would help end his victims' family's pain. when he was put to death, it marked the first execution to take place in the state of connecticut and all of new england in more than 40 years. that's our report. thanks for watching.


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