Patrick Kearney

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Patrick Kearney
Patrick Kearney.png
Full Name: Patrick Wayne Kearney
Alias: The Freeway Killer
The Trash Bag Killer
Origin: Los Angeles, California, United States
Occupation: Hughes aircraft engineer (former)
Crimes: Serial murder
Cruelty to animals
Type of Villain: Serial Killer

Patrick Wayne Kearney (September 24th, 1939 - ) is an American serial killer, necrophile, zoophile, and cannibal who was convicted of 21 murders and is serving life imprisonment in Mule Creek State Prison. He is believed to have killed 44 people.

He is one of three separate American serial killers to be known as the Freeway Killer (the other two being Randy Kraft and William Bonin.) And he was the only one to plead guilty for his crimes to avoid the death penalty.


He was the youngest of three sons and was raised in a reasonably stable family, at least in comparison to those of many other serial killers. His early life was not without some trauma, however; a thin and sickly child, he became a target for bullies at school. In his teens, he became withdrawn and fantasized about killing people.

Originally from Texas, Kearney moved to California after a brief marriage ended in divorce, and eventually worked as an engineer for Hughes Aircraft. He claimed to have killed his first victim around 1965, a hitch-hiker he picked up and murdered in Orange, California. He claimed several more victims before moving to Redondo Beach, Los Angeles, in 1967 with a younger man named David Hill, who became his lover.

The pair would frequently argue, and Kearney would go out for long drives on his own. It was then that he would pick up young male hitch-hikers or young men from gay bars and kill them. He was primarily a necrophile, shooting his victims without warning then taking the bodies off to dismember and mutilate. Eventually, Kearney would dump the victim along the freeway or in the desert, usually wrapped in garbage bags.

Kearney's final victim was a young man named John LaMay, whom he killed on March 13, 1977. LaMay came to Kearney's house looking for Hill, who wasn't home, and Kearney invited him to watch television. Without provocation, Kearney then shot LaMay in the back of the head and later dumped the remains in the desert.

They were found on May 18. Because LaMay had told someone he was going to see Hill, police soon turned up at Kearney and Hill's home and questioned them. Although they co-operated, the two fled as soon as the detectives left. After a few weeks on the run, they gave themselves up on July 1.

Hill, 34 years old at the time, was eventually cleared of any involvement in his partner's crimes and was released.

Kearney, on the other hand, made a full confession to his crimes, admitting to a total of twenty-eight murders. In order to avoid the death penalty, he agreed to plead guilty. Kearney was charged with 21 counts of murder, and as agreed, he pleaded guilty and was given twenty-one life sentences. Police are certain that Kearney was responsible for the other seven murders he had admitted, but they did not have the physical evidence to charge him, and furthermore, they were satisfied that he would be in prison for the rest of his life.