Guards: Suspect showed interest in serial killer memorabilia
Oct. 28, 2015
NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (AP) — Authorities searched the prison cell of a convicted killer charged with six more slayings and found notes referencing a serial killer memorabilia website and a newspaper article about Florida's death penalty, court records show.
The items were seized this year from William Devin Howell's cell at Garner Correctional Institution in Newtown, according to search warrant affidavits filed in court.
Prison guards found a notebook Howell kept that included references to a website that purports to sell items belonging to notorious killers, according to the affidavits. A watercolor painting attributed to Gary Gilmore and a John Dillinger death mask were among the items listed for sale this week. A search for Howell on the site turned up nothing.
Officers also found an old cellphone bill with a 2003 date circled and handwriting that said, "this just shows that the day after I killed," the affidavits say. Authorities say the people Howell is accused of killing were slain in 2003.
A brief hearing in Howell's case was held Wednesday in New Britain Superior Court. A judge continued the case to Dec. 10. Howell participated from prison via videoconference.
Howell is serving a 15-year sentence for manslaughter in the killing of 33-year-old Nilsa Arimendi, of Wethersfield. He was charged in September with multiple murder counts in the killings of five other women and a man. All seven victims' bodies were found behind a shopping plaza in New Britain; three were discovered in 2007, and the rest were found last April.
Howell has not entered pleas to the murder charges and continues to consider whether to invoke his right to a probable cause hearing, at which prosecutors would have to prove there's enough evidence to proceed to trial. His lawyer has urged the public to remember the charges are unproved allegations and he should be considered innocent.