Derrick Todd Lee

The Baton Rouge Serial Killer

Confirmed Kills
Suspected Kills
Total Possible Kills
Years Active
November 5, 1968
Died in prison awaiting execution
Alive or Dead?
Died on Death Row
US States Operated
Info Box

Serial killer Derrick Todd Lee was born in 1968 in St. Francisville, Louisiana. He was responsible for seven murders between 1992 and 2003 in the Baton Rouge area of South Louisiana.

Before he was arrested for murder in Louisiana, Derrick Todd Lee had spent a large majority of the 90’s trailing women with whom he had become infatuated. Lee would watch them in their homes and even at times enter those very same homes to go through the women’s belongings. He was connected by DNA tests to the murders of seven women in Baton Rouge and Lafayette, Louisiana; however, due to his race, he was initially overlooked on investigators’ radar because it was believed that the killer must be white. After separate trials, Derrick Todd Lee was convicted of two murders of Gerelyn DeSoto and Charlotte Murray Pace in 2004. He was sentenced to death for both of those cases. 

The media had lots to say about Derrick Todd Lee, but not all of these theories were supported by evidence. It was widely speculated that Lee was connected to other unsolved murders in the area, however, police reports couldn’t confirm any of these connections due to a lack of DNA evidence. When Lee was caught it was revealed that another serial killer had been roaming the area at around the same time. The killer turned out to be Sean Vincent Gillis. 

Murders, Capture, and Trial of Derrick Todd Lee

Derrick Todd Lee’s murder method varied with nearly every case. Key similarities include the removal of cellular phones from the victim’s belongings and of no signs of forced entry. Todd Lee committed most of his murders in Louisiana, with two bodies being recovered from Whiskey Bay.

Public hysteria had created a lot of confusion and rumors in the area that resulted in many false reports being made to the police about the “South Louisiana Serial Killer”. Previously, the suspect was believed to be a white man seen driving a white Chevrolet Silverado. But new evidence points to an African-American man seen driving a gold Mitsubishi Mirage who is wanted in connection with attempted rape and other similar cases.

Derrick Todd Lee’s arrest, trial, and conviction

Derrick Todd Lee was arrested in Atlanta, Georgia in May 2003 and subsequently tried for the murder of Geralyn DeSoto in August of the same year. DeSoto was found dead inside her Louisiana home with numerous knife wounds scattered across her body. Her husband was originally suspected of murdering her, but police had gathered DNA evidence to link Lee with the murder. Although Derrick Todd Lee was eligible for a first-degree murder charge, prosecutors decided to try Lee on a second-degree murder charge instead – and he was later sentenced to life imprisonment without parole.

Mari Ann Fowler

According to several reports, police believe that the serial killer Derrick Todd Lee might have been behind the disappearance of a former Louisiana Elections Commissioner’s wife, who never returned to her home in West Baton Rouge Parish after running an errand on Christmas Eve 2002. Mari Ann Fowler – wife of former commissioner Jerry M. Fowler was declared legally dead in 2004.

Derrick Todd Lee’s death

Derrick Todd Lee died on January 21, 2016. He was 48 years old and had been incarcerated at Louisiana State Penitentiary while awaiting execution.