Samuel Legg III, a former long-haul Midwest truck driver from Chandler, Arizona has recently been indicted for the murder of a 27-year-old woman in Lake Township in 1996. Legg, who was already serving time for the rape of a teenage girl near interstate-71 in Medina County in 1997, has been linked to two other murders committed in the 1990s in both Mahoning County and Lake County, Illinois. He was linked to the unsolved murders with the help of public genetic genealogy databases and familial DNA.
The DNA he left at the scene of the 1997 rape was found to match that of the DNA found on a woman who had been discovered brutally beaten and strangled to death in Austintown, Ohio near interstate-80. Her fully clothed body was discovered on April 9, 1992, near a parking lot by the Universal Truck Mall. The woman’s death was ruled a homicide by blunt force trauma to the head and chest. She was later identified as Sharon Lynn Kedzerski who had been missing from Florida since 1989.
On December 20, 1996, the frozen and naked body of an exotic dancer, Victoria Jane Collins, was discovered behind the Union 76 truck stop in Stony Ridge. Initially her death was ruled as cardiac arrest due to the drugs and alcohol found in her system but was later ruled a rape and homicide. Collins had been arrested several times and was easily identified, this was not, however, the case for her killer who did not appear to be entered into any system. Her case remained unsolved for over two decades before Legg was linked to the crime scene with the help of familial DNA.
The suspects DNA had been entered into CODIS but did not appear to be on the system, however when later entered into a public genealogy database, contact was made with the killers brother, leading police to Legg.
Samuel Leg III was indicted last month in August on charges of one count of murder, two counts of aggravated murder and one count of rape and kidnapping.
A month earlier in July 2020, the suspected serial killer was charged with the murder of Julie A. Konkol, a 39-year-old woman whose body was found behind the old Senter's truck stop in Lake County in 1997. Konkol had been living out of her van, washing and waxing vehicles at truck stops for money when she was preyed on and murdered by Samuel Legg. Strangulation, again, was the modus operandi.
Due to mental health issues Samuel Legg was deemed unable to stand trial for his crimes and currently resides at Twin Valley Behavioral Health Center in Columbus, Ohio, a maximum-security facility where he has been involuntarily committed and is not permitted to leave. In 2019 a judge gave prosecutors a one-year deadline in which they are expected to “restore (Legg) to competency” so he can answer to his crimes.
The suspect had been arrested in 2015 for trespassing but neglected to show up for his hearing. Each time the police located him they would find him disorientated and wandering in campgrounds or rural areas, walking aimlessly in a state of confusion.
Oftentimes he would be speaking at a fast pace and switching up topics mid-sentence and ended up residing in group-homes for individuals with complex health needs. Police considered him a danger to himself due to his delusional behaviour and the fact that he heard voices in his head, instructing him on what to do. Police had witnessed and recorded these encounters on several occasions. Legg escaped from the facilities multiple times and would always be found wandering alone. On one occasion police stopped him and instructed him to contact his family. In response the man held up his right hand to his head and began holding a conversation with it as if it were a phone, seemingly convinced that he was talking to another person.
It was determined that he was suffering from neurosyphilis, a bacterial infection of the brain caused by untreated cases of syphilis, as well as schizophrenia and delusions.
Some speculate that Samuel Legg could be the man behind “Dr.No”, an unidentified and suspected American serial killer who some theorize could be responsible for the murders of multiple sex workers across Ohio, Illinois, New York and Pennsylvania. Although several truck drivers with a history of raping and murdering women throughout the eighties and nineties have been suspects, most have denied the allegations or have been cleared.
Samuel Legg became a suspect in the Dr.No murders in 2019 and although police do not believe the murders are the work of just one individual they believe Legg is responsible for more murders than he has been accused of.