Serial Killer Ex-Cop Dies on Death Row

Anthony Sully was on death row for nearly 40 years
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 12, 2023 7:37 PM CDT
Serial Killer Ex-Cop Dies on Death Row
This June 22, 2018 photo provided by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation shows Anthony Sully.   (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation via AP)

A former California police officer turned serial killer who was on death row after being convicted of murdering six people in the 1980s has died of natural causes, authorities said. Anthony Sully, 79, died Friday at a medical facility outside the San Quentin Rehabilitation Center, where he had been housed for decades, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. The Marin County Coroner's Office will determine Sully's official cause of death. Sully was sentenced to death in June 1986 for the slayings of Kathryn Barrett, 24; Barbara Searcy, 22; Gloria Jean Fravel, 24; Brendan Oakden, 19; Michael Thomas, 24; and Phyllis Melendez, 20, the AP reports.

The victims were beaten, stabbed, and shot inside an electrical supply warehouse in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1983. Three of the bodies were found stuffed into barrels dumped at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, the San Jose Mercury News reports. Detectives found Sully's fingerprints on some of the bodies. He was a Bay Area police officer from 1966 to 1974. He maintained at his sentencing that he did not get a fair trial, telling the judge, "I am not a monster, not a maniac, not subhuman," per the Mercury News.

Another death row inmate, 71-year-old Ronald L. Sanders, died Tuesday of natural causes at California Medical Facility in Vacaville, corrections officials said. Sanders was sentenced to death in March 1982 for the murder of Janice Dishroon Allen, 29. (More serial killer stories.)

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