Nathaniel Code


"Christ , Kid , you're a weirdo!"
Nathaniel Code, Jr., was born on March 12, 1956, in Shreveport, Louisiana. At the age of twenty he was already in serious trouble with the law and was sent to prison on an aggravated rape conviction where he stayed until 1984. He returned to Shreveport upon his release, got married, and lived the role of a reformed con. Unknown to anyone, however, he had begun to kill soon after his release.

On August 31, 1984, 25-year-old Debra Ford was found murdered inside her home. During the previous evening an intruder had entered the house through a bathroom window, bound Ford with an electrical cord, gagged her, stabbed her eighteen times, and cut her throat so severely that she was nearly decapitated. Code lived nearby and was one of many people crowded outside police crime scene tape the day Ford's body was discovered.

Only a few blocks from Ford's home on July 19, 1985, an even more atrocious crime was committed. This time the killer gained entrance by forcing open the back door. Four people were found dead the next morning. Vivian Chaney, her boyfrind Billy Joe Harris, her brother Jerry Culbert, and her fifteen-year-old daughter Carlitha Culbert. Harris had been shot twice in the head, twice in the chest, and his throat had been slashed. He had been bound by shoelaces and telephone cords. Jerry Culbert was not bound but had been fatally shot at close range in the head while sleeping. Vivian Chaney was found bound with electrical cord and draped over the edge of the bathtub where she had been drowned. She also had been strangled and beaten. Young Carlitha Culbert was found in the living room also bound with electrical cord and like Ford had been viciously slashed in the throat area. The killer had spared the lives of Chaney's youngest girls, ages ten and seven. Everyone in the home was either mentally retarded or visually impared except for Harris. A jogger that knew Code later recalled that he had seen Code on the night of the murders covered with blood.

Code soon made an even more damning mistake, however. He broke the greatest Serial Killer rule and murdered somebody close to him. Code's grandfather William was found dead in his home on August 5, 1987, along with Eric Williams, eight, and Joe Robinson, 12, two grandsons of a friend who often stayed with him. William Code was bound with electrical cord and gagged. He had died as a result of thirteen stab wounds and a vicious beating. Williams was discovered in a guest bedroom strangled to death and Robinson was beaten and strangled before being left dead in the home's living room. Both boys were clad only in their underpants and had also been bound and gagged. Bruising on the top of Robinson's shoulders and collarbones suggested a forced sexual assault had been at least attempted by Nathaniel Code.

A neighbor of William Code witnessed Nathaniel Code leaving his grandfather's residence on the evening of the murders even though it was well known that William Code did not welcome his grandson Nathaniel at the home. Code himself admitted being at the home late that night. When the suspected killer's fingerprints matched those lifted from the Chaney murder scene, Code's luck had officially run out and he was arrested for multiple homicides. Code was tried and convicted in the four Chaney slayings and sentenced to death. He was also eventually convicted in Ford's murder but was never put to trial for the murders of his grandfather, Joe Robinson, and Eric Williams. Code's death sentence is still being appealed at the time of this writing.