A man charged in three hit-and-runs in Michigan might just be the first serial killer to use his car as his weapon of choice. Lawrence Paul Mills III of Garden City, MI, was charged with another hit-and-run attack on four Detroit woman. At least two of the attacks Mills is charged with were fatal.
It took Detroit police three years to zero in on Mills, according to ClickonDetroit. More information came out during Mills arraignment Friday afternoon for assault with intent to murder and knowingly assault/assault and battery of a pregnant individual, however more charges may be forthcoming. Detroit police Chief James Craig described Mills’ suspected crimes for ClickonDetroit:
“Investigation determined he would approach his victims for a paid sexual encounter, engaging the sexual act inside of his vehicle and following the act after the victims would leave the vehicle, and they were on foot,” Craig said. ‘”He (Mills) would use his vehicle as a weapon, striking the victims in each of the four and possibly a fifth case.”
Craig believes there may be additional victims, and he is urging them to come forward.
Wayne County Prosecutor’s office says Mills is suspected of assaulting a pregnant woman in the early hours of December 22, 2017 in Detroit. She was hit several times with a car, but managed to get back to her home and call for help. One of the victims who died from her injuries was also pregnant. The Detroit Free Press reports that the murder weapon was mainly a 2006 golden tan Chevy Trailblazer, but also may have used a dark-colored Chevy Cobalt.
While Mills’ suspected body count isn’t exactly “impressive” in the annals of true crime, he does indeed qualify as a serial killer. FBI agent Robert Ressler is credited for coining the term “serial killer” in 1974 as a way to describe a series of crimes committed by the same person with the same motive. The current agreed upon definition of a serial murder, according to the FBI, is “The unlawful killing of two or more victims by the same offender(s), in separate events.” Should Mills prove guilty of these charges, he certainly fits the bill.
Off the top of my head, the serial killer I most identify as using a car as a tool for his crimes would be Ed Kemper, the Co-Ed Killer, who treated his Ford Galaxie as lure, torture chamber and storage for the bodies of his young victims. Or maybe “Son of Sam” David Berkowitz, who hunted for people parked in cars and would only kill if he could find a suitable parking space. But while these killers certainly used cars in their killings, they weren’t killing with cars. I’m probably missing some, so let me know in the comments if there’s a serial killer more deserving of the title First Car Serial Killer.