Indiana serial killer suspect’s ex-wife shocked by murder spree: ‘I never knew him to be violent, never’
A suspected serial killer’s ex-wife was shocked to learn of her former flame’s alleged violence.
Darren Deon Vann, 43, told local law enforcement where they could find the bodies of six dead women in of Gary, Ind., after he was arrested in the murder of a woman he met through a classified ads website, authorities said.
He told investigators that his crime spree dates back two decades, officials said at a press conference Monday.
Vann’s ex-wife, who did not want to be named, said she knew a much different man while they were together, reported WLS.
“This is all unbelievable to me,” she told the local station. “A total shocker. I never knew him to be violent, never.”
She last spoke with Vann in 2009 shortly before he went to prison in the sexual assault of a woman at an apartment complex in Austin, Texas.
Authorities say he strangled a 25-year-old woman until her body went limp and raped her.
But his ex-wife apparently never saw this darker, violent side.
“He was so protective of those around him,” she told the ABC affiliate. “He was a real friendly person, that’s why all this is a shock to me. He had a job all the time; if he lost one, he would quickly get another one.”
Vann returned to his home state of Indiana in July 2013 after being released from prison.
A police investigation revealed that Vann used Backpage.com, a website popular with call girls, to arrange a meeting with his first identified victim, 19-year-old Afrikka Hardy, at a Motel 6 in Hammond.
Authorities say her dead body was found at the motel after her partners in a prostitution scheme grew suspicious that her encounter with Vann was running too long.
He allegedly strangled her to death with an extension cord.
“He admitted his involvement in the Hammond incident,” John D. Dought, chief of police for Hammond, said at a news conference. “And expressed interest in notifying police of other incidents he was involved with.”
Vann helped police locate the bodies of six more victims in Gary over the weekend, bringing the number of victims to seven, Dought said.
Authorities say more victims might be discovered as the investigation continues.