Murder victim's daughter speaks out

May 20, 2009 5:41:13 AM PDT
Police are working to identify a serial killer believed to be responsible for at least six deaths in Milwaukee.One victim was originally from Chicago. Her daughter still lives here and she's upset this investigation has taken so long.

The words serial killer and Milwaukee instantly bring to mind the name Jeffrey Dahmer. Milwaukee police were able to track him down, which only makes Shannon Farrior wonder why they haven't caught her mother's killer, now considered a serial killer because of new DNA evidence.

And that announcement, as Farrior told ABC7 on Monday, has reopened old wounds.

"I never know that it hurt this much until now, you know, because it was kind of like buried," said Shannon Farrior, murder victim's daughter.

The feelings of having her mother murdered 14 years ago all came rushing back for Shannon Farrior when Milwaukee police announced that a string of unsolved murders now appears to be the work of a serial killer.

Sheila Farrior was found strangled in 1995, and police say advancements in DNA testing have linked the deaths of Farrior and six other women to one person.

"In the past we might have linked some of these homicide through their method of operation. But theory has given way to technology. In the last couple of weeks, we have been able to confirm a link," said Chief Ed Flynn, Milwaukee police.

Police say all of the victims but one were prostitutes, including Sheila Farrior. But Shannon Farrior, who was 17 when her mother was killed, says police are wrong about that.

"And it's wrong for them to have put my mother in the public and media as a prostitute when she wasn't," said Shannon Farrior.

She admits her mother was arrested once for solicitation, but says she held down steady jobs as a single mom to five children, until the last year of her life when she was unemployed.

In a city where Jeffrey Dahmer once cruised for victims in gay bars -- and was eventually caught -- Farrior wonders how it's possible this serial killer has eluded police for more than 21 years.

She thinks it's a combination of racism and incompetence.

"If they were more dedicated to my mom's case like they were with Jeffrey Dahmer's case, he probably would be found now," said Farrior.

Milwaukee police say they never stopped investigating the cases, but couldn't make a link until recently.

There are 24 other unsolved murders of prostitutes in Milwaukee. Police say they're looking now to see if there's a DNA match with any of those cases so the number may very well go up.


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