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Famous Serial Killers , Robert Lee Yates

Updated on July 29, 2012
Robert Lee Yates killed prostitutes mostly from Spokane Washington.
Robert Lee Yates killed prostitutes mostly from Spokane Washington.

Famous Serial Killer , Robert Lee Yates

Robert Lee Yates Jr. was born on May 27th 1952 and he is currently in Washington State Prison on Death Row. Yates is known to have murdered at least 13 women from 1996 - 1998. All of Yates victims were prostitutes who were working Spokane's Skid Row area.

Yates grew up in Oak Harbor Washington in a middle class family and he and his family attended the Seventh Day Adventist Church. Early on Yates worked for the Washington State Department of Corrections and then after only six months with the D.O.C. he enlisted in the US Army where he had a very successful 19 year military career.

Sometime in early 1996 for no apparent reason Yates just started to hunt and kill prostitutes in Spokane's Skid Row area. He had used the services of prostitutes in the area before he had just never killed them before. He stated at his trial when he was asked why he killed prostitutes that it was just something that needed doing.

Yates would pick up prostitutes in his van and take them to remote areas. There he would have sex with them and then he usually killed them with a single gun shot to the head and he would dump their nude bodies in remote locations often posing the women in strange suggestive sexual poses. In almost every case he made calls from pay phones to local authorities telling the police where to find a particular woman.

However in the case of one of his early victims Melody Murfin he buried her just outside his bedroom window. In fact just outside the bedroom window of the bedroom he shared with his wife.

It was on August 1 , 1998 that Yates picked up Spokane Prostitute Christine Smith. He shot her in the head , had sex with her and robbed her but Smith managed to escape and made her way to the local police. Yates was not arrested until April 18th 1999.He was asked in September of 1998 to give a DNA sample but he had refused on the grounds that he was a happily married man.

Police used DNA found in a white corvette Yates had previously owned to tie him to 12 of his victims. In 2000 Yates was convicted of 13 murders and as part of a deal he had made to avoid the death penalty he was sentenced to 408 years. Yates plead guilty to the murders to avoid the death penalty.

However Pierce County Washington in 2001 convicted Yates of the murders of Melinda L Mercer and Connie Ellis and Yates received the death penalty for these two murders. And Yates is currently on death row in Washington State waiting for the day when he will die by lethal injection.

It is interesting to note here that Yates was sexually abused by an older neighborhood boy when he was six years old. It was also reported that Yates abused neighborhood animals as a child. It was also reported at around age 11 he was suspected of setting a fire in an empty house but it could never be proved.

After Yates was arrested his wife came forward and told of a morning Yates came home after being out all night with a huge amount of blood in the back of his van. He got cleaning supplies from the house and cleaned up the blood after telling his wife he had hit a dog and took it to a local veterinarian where the dog died. Its also interesting to note that Yates wife had no knowledge of him owning a handgun even though he owned several.

Please post your comments about Robert Lee Yates now. Sorry but deragatory or negative comments will not be approved.

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    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 6 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Crazyhorseghost....I am a new hubber and just ran across this story of yours. Good read....& am wondering, have you written anything about the dude from New York..."Joel Rifkin?" He was another serial killer of prostitutes....but I don't think he had as normal a history as Yates....Voted up and interesting.

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      Royd  7 years ago

      I have always believed people who does such kind of acts as people who are self indoctrinated being people who does such from an intentional point. I suggest one of the ways they could be helped is to explain off their mindsets to give them new grounds off their envy, anger, wrath and all such emotions as led them to such an 'addiction'.

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      Setay 7 years ago

      I really hope you find a publisher for that book, Ron Lewis.

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      Ron Lewis 7 years ago

      I knew Bob when he was a young child. I have written an unpublished book about him. I was a very close friend of Anna Mae.

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      Setay 7 years ago

      This individual is obviously mentally ill. However, because he poses a danger to society, execution is warranted.

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 7 years ago from Upstate New York

      The guy looks very spooky; I really wondered that his wife didn't know what was going on.