Crime History, March 24, 1995: ‘Happy Face Killer’ turns himself in to police

On this day, March 24, in 1995, the so-called “Happy Face Killer” Keith Jesperson, wrote a note to his two children and turned himself into police.

Keith Jesperson

Keith Jesperson

Jesperson was a truck driver who is known to have killed eight women across the country. He would strap a woman to the undercarriage of his truck and drag her on the road to grind off her face and prints.

He earned the nickname for the smiley faces he drew on the anonymous letters he mailed to media outlets.

Jesperson turned himself in after Washington state police questioned him about the strangulation death of his girlfriend. He confessed to killing women he picked up from Oregon to Florida.

His daughter, Melissa G. Moore, has gone public about the horrors of growing up with a serial killer and recalled seeing her father laugh after hanging stray kittens on a clothesline.

The former truck driver is serving a life sentence in an Oregon prison.

— Scott McCabe



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