Man Claiming to be Serial Killer Says He Killed 11 Women in Five States

Charles Krauss confessed, then recanted; police skeptical.

ByABC News
August 12, 2011, 1:48 PM

Aug. 12, 2011— -- A Tennessee man has confessed to killing 11 women in five states and then recanted, and cops said today they plan to give him a lie detector test to determine which of his statements may be a lie.

According to Pearl, Miss., police spokesman Butch Townsend, Charles Krauss told these "grandiose tales" shortly after being arrested for a traffic violation, around 6 p.m. last Saturday.

The 49-year-old had been driving a truck he allegedly stole in Knoxville, where police say Krauss used to live. Krauss said he was passing through Pearl on his way to Florida, where he was planning to see his relatives.

During the chilling confession he claimed to have abducted prostitutes, raped and strangled them, and dug their graves. He provided names of his alleged victims and locations. The alleged murders supposedly happened in Tulsa, Okla., Knoxville, Tenn., Indianapolis, Ind., Dallas, Texas and two cities in Georgia.

"He appeared to be a lucid individual," Townsend said. "Shortly thereafter he recanted, but his stories were good enough that we felt an obligation to [check] with the jurisdictional agencies involved and see what would match up with his stories. And that's where we're at today."

Pearl police now plan to give him a polygraph test.

Man's Murder 'Confession' Launches Investigation

Krauss' "confession" spurred police to examine his claims in each of the five states he mentioned.

In Knoxville, ground searches continued through Wednesday until police were finally able to track down the three individuals Krauss claimed to have murdered.

"They were alive and well," said Knoxville police spokesman Darrell DeBusk, adding there was "absolutely no evidence to support any of his claims." Two of the women had a history of prostitution, DeBusk said.

In Tulsa, Krauss claimed to have strangled a woman on Aug. 2 after meeting her at a convenience store.

"There's enough there to make us think it could have been true." said Tulsa homicide Sgt. Dave Walker.

Police have confirmed Krauss visited Tulsa during late July and early August and that he visited three different pawn shops and a gym.

Police have not yet confirmed if he bought the lye, garbage bags and rope he claimed to have purchased at a convenience store. Police are now obtaining video of the store.

Krauss told Mississippi police he had killed a Tulsa woman named "Nikki" but Walker said there aren't any missing women named "Nikki" that they know of.

"We are still tracking his movements in Tulsa during that time frame," Walker said. "The description [of the location] where he says he killed this person, he describes that pretty exact."

Krauss also described a Tulsa cold case murder from the 1980s, but that information is available on the Tulsa police website, Walker pointed out.

Krauss told Mississippi police he had killed a "girl" in Perry, Ga., and buried her body in the woods.

"I don't want you to think we're taking the allegations lightly, because we're not," said Perry police Capt. James Heath Dykes.

But Dykes told they haven't confirmed anybody has been killed. In fact, police have no record of anyone missing during that time frame.