13 May 2005 – Michael Ross
Those were the thoughts belonging to Debbie Dupuis – a sister of one of the victims of serial killer Michael Ross, as she watched him being executed in 2005, following an 18-year stint on death row. Ivy-league educated Ross was put to death for raping and killing a raft of women spanning three gruesome years.
A farmer’s son, Ross seemed to love his early life. However there is evidence to suggest his mum was abusive and he may even have been sexually assaulted by an uncle who later committed suicide. After this episode Ross was tasked with killing defective or poorly chickens from the tender age of eight, which may have cultivated a dispassionate view on life and death which was to colour his actions in later life. But by all accounts he thrived down on the farm.
So it came as no surprise when he went off to Cornell Uni to study agriculture. But instead of making him, the experience was to break him.
He shacked up with a girl who fell pregnant, but she had an abortion and that is said to have sparked a real latent animosity in Ross. They split, but Ross was to acknowledge later that he began having depraved sexual thoughts around that time. He stalked women and despite being engaged, he was to commit his first rape while at Cornell.
This urge soon spiralled out of control and within months he was a fully fledged nutter, raping and strangling as he cruised his way round Connecticut. Indeed it was his blue Toyota that was to lead the police straight to him.
By the time the law caught up with him, he was selling insurance and the family farm had long been sold. Nevertheless, in the space of three years, he had already raped and strangled eight women, aged from a mere 14 to 25 years old.
Ross made no attempt to deny the charges although he was only ever convicted of four murders. But that was enough to earn him the death penalty.
After 17 years of opposition to his sentence from friends, relatives and anti-death penalty activists, Ross finally waived all right to appeal in his final year of life. But that didn’t stop a psychiatrist asserting that he wasn’t mentally able to take that decision. But it was Ross who had the final laugh – he’d taken control of his own destiny by choosing death. Three days after his execution, the psychiatrist got a letter in the post from Ross, which simply read: ‘Check and mate. You never had a chance!’.
Ross was put down by lethal injection in Connecticut aged 45. But for some it wasn’t enough – ‘it was too peaceful’ said another of his victims’ family members.