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Handyman Sentenced to Death in Retiree Slayings

March 1, 1995

BROOKSVILLE, Fla. (AP) _ A handyman who once told police he was sick and wanted to pay with his life for killing five retirees was sentenced to death Tuesday.

Edwin Kaprat III, 30, was convicted earlier this year of first-degree murder in the 1993 rape and slaying of Lydia Riddell, 79, and Lorraine Dawe, 87.

The other three cases never came to trial and prosecutors dropped them Tuesday.

Kaprat told detectives an uncontrollable urge drove him on a two-month killing spree in the nearby retirement community of Spring Hill. He said he was sick and wanted to ``fry like Ted Bundy.″

His victims ranged in age from 72 to 87. Police said he admitted targeting them by doing odd jobs for them, then returning at night to kill and torching their homes to destroy the evidence.

He told police he did not completely destroy the house of his last victim, Dawe, because he wanted detectives to track him down.

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