A Florida inmate dubbed the “ninja killer” for having dressed all in black when attacking random couples is set to be executed next month, according to reports.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a death warrant Monday for Louis Bernard Gaskin, who will be the second person executed in the state this year if put to death as scheduled April 12, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
Gaskin, now 56, carried out a series of heinous attacks on couples in December 1989, including one that ended in the deaths of a husband and wife. Gaskin, dressed all in black, went randomly searching for victims on the night of Dec. 20, according to The Daytona Beach News-Journal.
He first encountered the home of Robert and Georgette Sturmfels, who were lounging in the living room of their secluded Palm Coast home at the time, the News-Journal reported.
Gaskin, who lived in Bunnell about 20 minutes away, stood outside the house, pointed his .22-caliber rifle at it and opened fire, according to multiple reports.
Gaskin ended up shooting 56-year-old Robert Sturmfels multiple times, then struck 55-year-old Georgett Sturmfel as she fled from the room, reports and court records said.
Gaskin followed up the carnage by entering the home, where he executed each victim at point-blank range, according to filings.
“Mrs. Sturmfels crawled into the hallway, and Gaskin pursued her around the house until he saw her through the door and shot her again,” said records filed in Florida Supreme Court state. “Gaskin then pulled out a screen, broke the window, and entered the home.”
“He fired one more bullet into each of the Sturmfels’ heads and covered the bodies with blankets,” the documents said.
Before he left, Gaskin grabbed jewelry, cash, video recorders, a clock and lamps — some of them Christmas gifts that would eventually help doom him, the reports said.
Flagler County Sheriff’s Sr. Cmdr. Mark Carman told the News-Journal that Gaskin later compared his victims’ gasps to the sound of a dying hog.
“He called it the death gurgle,” Carman recalled.
But Gaskin’s night of violence was not yet over.
After murdering the Sturmfels, Gaskin made his way to the home of Joseph and Mary Rector. According to the News-Journal, Gaskin cut the couple’s phone line and threw items onto their roof in an apparent attempt to get them out from their home.
The pair emerged, and Gaskin shot Joseph Rector once. But the couple was able to make it to their nearby car and escape, driving to a hospital — even as Gaskin shot at their car, according to reports. Joseph Rector narrowly survived the attack. His wife was unhurt.
Gaskin was nabbed after an informant stepped forward and told authorities he had the rifle used in the shootings.
The man, whose sister was dating Gaskin at the time, added that the killer had all but confessed to him.
The man told authorities that Gaskin “had saved some of that stuff to give to [his girlfriend] for Christmas” after having “jacked” the gifts and had left the victims “stiff.”
Gaskin was eventually convicted of murder and attempted murder in the shootings.
According to the News-Journal, Gaskin told a psychologist, “The guilt was always there.
“The devil had more of a hold than God did,” he said. “I knew that I was wrong. I wasn’t insane.”
Gaskin appealed his death sentence several times, but the state and US Supreme courts shot down the attempts.