ADAM LEROY LANE
Opportunistic crimes are arguably one of the most chilling crimes of all. The victims are picked completely at random. It usually happens when the victim is doing something they always do, in a place that’s familiar to them. It’s not something you can prepare for, there are no signs to look out for. It’s just another example of the kind of evil that exists. The only thing we can do is to learn how to self-protect as much as we can and learn to trust our instincts. Kevin and Jeannie McDonough listened to their instincts and saved their daughter Shea from becoming another victim of the serial killer Adam Leroy Lane.
Shea McDonough was a fifteen year old girl from Massachusetts. She lived with her parents and brother. In July 2007 she got home from a night out just before midnight and left the back door unlocked thinking that her brother would be home shortly afterwards. Her parents were asleep and Shea went straight to bed. Her parents Kevin and Jeannie heard a very slight noise, almost like a muffle and normally it was Jeannie who would go to check on the children. That night though Kevin instinctively knew something was not right. In his daughter’s bedroom a big burly man wearing a mask was leaning over his daughter holding a fifteen inch knife up to her neck. Kevin and Jeannie tackled him and Shea called the police.
In the aftermath of his arrest, chilling details started to emerge. The man who attacked Shea was called Adam Lane, he was a trucker who was married and had three daughters. Police searched his truck and found a collection of knives and weapons and horror DVDs. In his DVD player was a film called “Hunting Humans”.
DNA found on one of his knives connected him to a murder that happened less than 24 hours before Shea’s attack. Monica Massaro had been brutally murdered in her home in New Jersey. She was a vibrant young woman who lived alone. Similarly to the McDonough house, the door had been unlocked.
Initially he wouldn’t co-operate with police but eventually he confessed to the murder of Monica Massaro. He was adamant that sexual attraction or gratification was not the motive and claimed he loved his wife very much.He slashed her throat and inflicted knife wounds all over her body.
Police began to look at him as a person of interest in the Darlene Ewalt murder. Darlene had married her childhood sweetheart and had two children. One night in July she stayed up late on the patio talking to a friend on the phone and her husband went to bed. The friend she was speaking to heard a muffled sound and the line went dead. When he and his wife drove to her house, they discovered her bludgeoned body on the patio. Initially her husband and son were arrested and in particular her husband was treated as a suspect. DNA later showed that Adam Lane had murdered Darlene.
Four days after Darlene’s murder, Patricia Brooks was attacked as she slept on her couch. She survived but was badly injured from the attack.
Adam Lane was given 25 years for attacking Shea McDonough, 10-20 years for the attack of Patricia Brooks,50 years for the murder of Monica Massaro and in a plea bargain he got 48 years to life for the murder of Darlene Ewalt. The FBI are looking into the possibility that he may have been involved in other murders.
The most frightening aspect of these attacks and murders is the randomness of them all. Lane was a coward. He waited until dark and attacked women at a vulnerable time of the night when they were alone. Normally a crime like this would have some sort of sexual motive but Lane seemed to do it for the ‘sport’ of it. He saw it as a game. It remains to be seen if he’ll be charged with other murders or if his crime spree was confined to July 2007. There is one thing I am sure of though-I’ll be double checking that all my doors are firmly locked tonight.
Read about another case Dr David Stephens here