Grim Serial Killer War Room Shut

Under a plea bargain to avoid the death penalty, Yates pleaded guilty in October to 13 murders and one attempted murder. He also confessed to killing three other people and was sentenced to 408 years in prison. Ten of the victims were women in the Spokane area in eastern Washington, killed from 1996-98. In each case, the victims were involved with drugs or prostitution or both. All were shot in the head and most had their heads covered with plastic grocery bags. Their bodies were dumped in remote areas. Yates has never offered a motive, but sex appears to be the key reason. The only known survivor, Christine L. Smith, told officers Yates shot her only after he failed to become sexually aroused while she performed oral sex. Law enforcement officers, fearing the victims' families would be upset, have played down the sexual motives. The task force likely will go out of business at the end of the year. "There are other problems out there," Walker said. "We will put this stuff away and use this room for another function."

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