Wayne Adam Ford (born December 3, 1961) is an American serial killer. Ford, a former long-haul truck driver, murdered three sex workers and a hitchhiker from 1997 to 1998. He strangled them during sex, then cut off their body parts. He turned himself in with a woman’s breast in a bag in his coat pocket.
Ford was born in Petaluma, California, the second son of an American father and a German immigrant mother. His parents divorced when he was 10. He dropped out of high school and enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, where he served six years before being honorably discharged in 1985.
In November 1980, he was hit by a drunk driver, leaving him nine days in coma and causing a head injury. According to relatives his personality drastically changed after that.
Beginning in 1983, he had escalating problems at work with psychological decline, necessitating several hospitalizations.
He had two marriages, both of which ended in divorce. He had a series of scrapes with the law, including allegations of beating and robbing a sex worker and animal cruelty, for which he served a brief jail sentence. He was working as a long-haul truck driver at the time of his arrest.
Between 1997 and 1998, he murdered at least four women while working as a truck driver. At time of the murders he lived in a trailer park in Arcata, California.
- Humboldt County Jane Doe – Between the age of 18–25; Killed on October 17, 1997. Her identity remains unknown.
- Tina Renee Gibbs (26) – Killed on May 16, 1998, near Las Vegas. Her body was found on June 2 near Buttonwillow, California.
- Lanette Deyon White (25) – Killed on September 25, 1998, in Ontario, California, then dumped her body near Lodi, California.
- Patricia Anne Tamez (29) – Killed in Hesperia, California. Her body was found on October 23, 1998 in an aqueduct in San Bernardino, California.
Ford turned himself in; he walked into the Humboldt County Sheriff Department in Eureka, California on November 2, 1998, with his brother and had a woman’s severed breast in his pocket. He confessed to having killed four women and is thought to have killed others.
The defense is expected to focus on the mental state of a man who says he was so distressed after the break-up of his second marriage that he killed four women, mutilated two and kept body parts in his freezer.
Humboldt County Coroner Frank Jager said Ford came unhinged when questioned about his mother. Her estrangement during Ford’s childhood proved to be a source of enduring pain, family members said.
Ford told Jager that mental health problems prompted his discharge from the Marine Corps in 1985. And in the weeks leading up to his surrender, Ford said he couldn’t keep times, dates and details straight for his trucking logs.
Ford told investigators they were just some of the women he picked up during his travels as a long-haul trucker and subjected to rough sex and bondage before abandoning them on various highways.
Among the others was a Santa Rosa Avenue prostitute who survived a savage beating and rape Aug. 23, 1998. Evidence in that case could be presented during Ford’s trial.
Mazurek said it’s possible there were more women killed. “Do I have any evidence of that?” he said. “No.”
He was found guilty of four counts of first-degree murder on June 27, 2006, and was sentenced to death in August 2006. Currently, he resides on death row at San Quentin State Prison in California.
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