Anthony Joe LaRette, who is scheduled to die early today for
the slashing death of a young St. Charles woman, had confessed to
more than a dozen grisly slayings while on death row and gave
authorities unsolicited details about other murders.
Authorities said he gave "phenomenally accurate" details of
some 30 murders and rapes across 10 states. "This is a man who has
crossed the line many times in many places," said Missouri Attorney
General Jay Nixon.
But LaRette stood trial only for the killing in St. Charles on
July 25, 1980, of Mary Fleming, 18.
LaRette was also charged with murders during the 1970s in
Marathon, Fla., and Manhattan, Kan., after calling a Missouri
investigator from prison in October 1988 and beginning a series of
"Tony was a serial murderer-rapist who basically traveled all
over the U.S. by bus and killed and raped women," said the
investigator, Richard Lee of the Cole County prosecutor's office.
"He'd just get right back on the bus and leave town," Lee said
Lee said LaRette usually raped his young female victims before,
and sometimes after, he killed them.
"He said he would cooperate in clearing up these cases so long
as he remained on death row in Missouri," Lee said. "He had an
amazing, simply phenomenally accurate recollection."
For example, Lee said LaRette once described in great detail
the floor plan of a Kansas City residence he visited once to commit
Lee said LaRette provided details about nine slayings during
the 1970s in Kansas and six murders during the same period in
A Florida investigator who spoke on condition of anonymity said
Tuesday that LaRette had closed the books on at least three
unsolved murders in that state and was interviewed about other
cases just three weeks ago.
LaRette also offered details about slayings in Texas, Illinois,
Colorado, Nebraska, Virginia, Louisiana and a rape and near-fatal
beating in Arkansas, Lee said.
In cases with adequate detail, local law enforcement agencies
were notified. But most cases "were just cold, and there was
nothing they could do to investigate," Lee said.
LaRette talked less in recent years after investigators he
didn't know began contacting him, Lee said.
Lee said LaRette first called him from Jefferson City
Correctional Center, former home of Missouri's death row, "to say
he wanted to confess to a murder" in Manhattan, Kan.
The confession led to LaRette being charged with rape and
murder in Riley County, Kan., for the stabbing death of Tracey
Miller, 26, wife of a local judge. …