American serial killer and rapist Roy Allan Melanson was born on February 13, 1937, in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana. He was linked to three murders and numerous rapes across three states and remains the prime suspect in at least two other murders. Melanson received two life sentences for two murders in 1974, and died in May 2020 at the Colorado Territorial Correctional Facility, in Cañon City, Colorado.
Early life and crimes
Roy Melanson was a drifter who committed crimes and spent more time behind bars. In one of his earliest offenses, he was given 12 years in prison for rape, which he served half of before being extradited to Texas in 1975 for another sentence which led to a life sentence. But this was reduced as well, and he got out in March 1988, a few months before another victim’s body was found. It is alleged that he killed an inmate while imprisoned in Texas.
Anita Andrews(July 10, 1974)
Anita Andrews was last seen alive on the night of July 10, 1974, tending to the bar, which was close to closing hours. The body of 51 year old was found the following morning by her sister, Muriel, after being raped, stabbed thirteen times with a screwdriver, and her throat slit. Her attacker may have used a cigarette as a cigarette butt was found in an ashtray after the murder indicating his presence, as well as leaving several clues behind – partial fingerprints at the rear staircase, fingerprints on a beer bottle, and an open cash register. It took decades for her case to be resolved despite the clues left.
Michele Wallace (August 1974)
Charles Matthews and Roy Melanson were hitchhiking back to the bar after their car had broken down. Michele Wallace was returning from a hiking trip, and picked up both men in her truck, dropping off Matthews first, before continuing on the journey with Melanson. Wallace was never seen alive again; Wallace’s disappearance became a cold case and remained as such until it was reexamined by one county sheriff in the 1990s. A short while later, Wallace’s remains were found alongside an abandoned road deep in the woods near some tall mountains. It could not be determined exactly how she had died.
Pauline Klumpp (1988)
Suspected victim of serial killer Roy Melanson, Pauline Klumpp was renting a home to Melanson in 1988. One day, Klumpp asked Melanson for help with her air conditioner and help her carry a TV. The two were seen together shortly thereafter, but Klumpp mysteriously vanished after that. Investigators believe that her killer most likely decapitated her and disposed of her head like garbage by tossing it in a grassy area nearby.
Charlotte Sauerwin (1988)
Roy Melanson was in Walker, Louisiana a month later. One day he overheard a young woman named Charlotte Sauerwin at the laundromat who had been waiting for her fiancé to buy land on which they could start a family home. Melanson pretended to be a land developer with more than reasonable offers for not much money and when other people left the laundromat, he viciously raped and tortured Sauerwin before eventually strangling and cutting her throat. He dragged the woman’s body and dumped it near the couple’s shed.
Trial and imprisonment
Roy Melanson was arrested in January 1992, convicted, and sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Michele Wallace. Her car was found in his possession.
Melanson wasn’t convicted for the murder of Andrews or Sauerwin until 2000 when it was made mandatory by a federal law that all inmates submit their DNA to a national database. In 2011 he was given a life sentence again for murdering Andrew.