|“||He was the bad boy from Rosebud. Always has been.||„|
|~ Judge Ellen Roberts describes McDuff.|
Kenneth Allen McDuff (March 21st, 1946 – November 17th, 1998) was an American serial killer. He was convicted in 1966 of murdering 16-year-old Edna Sullivan; her boyfriend, 17-year-old Robert Brand; and Brand's cousin, 15-year-old Mark Dunnam, who was visiting from California. They were all strangers whom McDuff abducted after noticing Sullivan; she was repeatedly raped before having her neck broken with a broomstick; for this reason, McDuff gained the moniker The Broomstick Killer. McDuff was given three death sentences that were reduced to life imprisonment consequently to the 1972 U.S. Supreme Court ruling Furman v. Georgia. He was paroled in 1989.
McDuff was given a new death sentence and executed for a murder committed after his release, and is suspected to have been responsible for many other killings.
Kenneth Allen McDuff was born at 201 Linden Street in the central Texas town of Rosebud, the fifth of six children born to John and Addie McDuff. His father ran a successful concrete business during the Texas construction boom of the 1960s. McDuff was indulged by his family, particularly his mother Addie, nicknamed the "pistol packing momma" because she threatened a school bus driver with a gun after the driver kicked off Kenneth's older brother Lonnie. Kenneth got the reputation of being a bully who was careful to pick only on the weak, after the large but not strong McDuff lost a fight he had picked with an athletic and popular boy. As a result, he quit school and worked for his father's business doing manual labor. He would often brag in later interviews that the old ladies loved the way he mowed their lawns, making others jealous. McDuff was convicted of a series of burglaries and put in prison.
McDuff's criminal record began two years before his first murder conviction. In 1964, at age 18, McDuff was convicted of 12 counts of burglary and attempted burglary in three Texas counties: Bell, Milam, and Falls. He was sentenced to 12 four-year prison terms, to be served concurrently; however, he made parole in December 1965. McDuff briefly returned to prison after becoming involved in a fight, but was soon released. While he had not been convicted of any murders at this time, his accomplice in the 1966 triple murder, Roy Dale Green, said that McDuff bragged openly about his criminal record and claimed to have raped and killed two young women.
On August 6, 1966, McDuff and Green, whom he had met around a month earlier through a mutual acquaintance, spent the day pouring concrete for McDuff's father. They then drove around, as McDuff said he was looking for a girl. At 10 pm, Robert Brand (aged 17), his girlfriend Edna Louise Sullivan (aged 16), and Brand's 15-year-old cousin Mark Dunman were standing beside their parked car on a baseball field in Everman, Texas.
While cruising around, McDuff noticed Sullivan and parked around 150 yards away from the soon-to-be victims. He threatened the trio with his .38 Colt revolver and ordered them to get into the trunk of their car. With Green following in McDuff's car, McDuff drove the victims' Ford along a highway and then into a field, where he ordered Sullivan out of the trunk of the Ford and instructed Green to put her into the trunk of his Dodge Coronet. At this point, according to Green's statement, McDuff said he would have to "knock 'em off"; he proceeded to fire six shots into the trunk of the Ford in spite of Dunman and Brand's pleas not to. McDuff then instructed Green to wipe the fingerprints off the Ford.
After driving to another location, McDuff and Green, the latter allegedly under duress, raped Sullivan. After she was raped repeatedly, McDuff asked Green for something with which to strangle her. Green gave him his belt. However, in the end, McDuff opted to use a 3-foot-long (0.91 m) piece of broomstick from his car. He choked Sullivan, and then Green and he dumped her body in some bushes. They purchased Coca-Cola from a Hillsboro gas station before driving to Green's house to spend the night. The following day, McDuff buried his revolver beside Green's garage, and their mutual acquaintance Richard Boyd allowed McDuff to wash his car at his house. The next day, Green confessed to Boyd's parents, who told Green's mother, who convinced him to turn himself in.
McDuff received three death sentences in Texas's electric chair; Green was released after 11 years. McDuff's death sentences were commuted to a life sentence, and he hired a lawyer, who amassed a dossier of various evidence that claimed to show that Green was the real killer. Some members of the parole board were impressed by the dossier. During a one-on-one interview with a board member, McDuff offered him a bribe to secure a favorable decision on the parole application. He was given a two-year sentence for trying to bribe the official. It proved meaningless, as board members thought McDuff could still "contribute to society" and decided to grant him a parole. He was released in 1989.
After being released, he got a job at a gas station making $4 an hour while taking a class at Texas State Technical College in Waco. Within three days of his release, he is widely believed to have begun killing again. The body of 31-year-old Sarafia Parker was discovered on October 14, 1989, in Temple, a town 48 miles south of Waco along the I-35 corridor. McDuff was not charged with this crime. However, he was soon returned to prison on a parole violation for making death threats to an African American youth in Rosebud.
McDuff was indicted on one count of capital murder for Northrup's murder in McLennan County, Texas, on June 26, 1992. He was found guilty. In Texas, juries determine whether or not an individual convicted of capital murder receives life imprisonment or the death penalty. Journalist Gary Cartwright expressed the hope he would be executed, saying: "If there has ever been a good argument for the death penalty, it's Kenneth McDuff."
On February 18, 1993, the jury, in a special punishment hearing, opted to sentence him to death. Following a number of delays while appeals were heard, the Western District Court denied habeas corpus relief and rescheduled the execution date for November 17, 1998. As he was denied authorization for another, he gave up Reed's burial location a few weeks before his execution.