Wendell Willis Lightbourne


Wendell Willis Lightbourne

no pictures on this one either post em if ya got any.....

Classification: Serial killer
Characteristics: Rape - Bite marks on bodies
Number of victims: 3
Date of murders: March-September 1959
Date of arrest: October 1959
Date of birth: 1940
Victims profile: Gertrude Robinson, 72 / Dorothy Pearse, 59 / Dorothy Rawlinson, 29
Method of murder: Beating with fists
Location: Bermuda
Status: Sentenced to death. Commuted to life in prison

On March 7, 1959, Gertrude Robinson, age 72, was found raped and murdered at Southlands Beach, Bermuda.

Two months later, on May 9, 59-year-old Dorothy Pearse was raped and beaten to death in the same vicinity, her body found covered with bite marks and scratches. Both victims had lived alone, in beach cottages, and there was no evidence of robbery in either case. Because Bermuda is a British crown colony, CID detectives were dispatched from Scotland Yard, in London, to take charge of the investigation.

On September 28, Dorothy Rawlinson, a 29-year-old secretary, was found floating in the surf off Bermuda's southern shore. Although her body had been mauled by sharks, investigators soon discovered that the cause of death had been a savage beating. Some days later, a local merchant informed police that a black man had entered his shop on the day of the murder, wearing wet clothes and paying his bill with wet currency.

The suspect, 19-year-old Wendell Lightbourne, confessed to the crimes under questioning and was later sentenced to die. His sentence was commuted to a term of life imprisonment, now being served in England.

Michael Newton - An Encyclopedia of Modern Serial Killers - Hunting Humans

Need to be in control - Wendell Willis Lightbourne

Wendell Willis Lightbourne was employed as a golf caddie on the sunny island of Bermuda. He was prone to violent outbursts and it was these that sealed the fate of three women. His first victim was a 72 year old lady who lived alone and was found murdered on the 7 March 1959. Post mortem tests revealed that she had also been raped. This was followed two months later by another murder. The victim had been beaten to death and like the first has also been raped. These two attacks were not isolated as the residents on the island had been subject to a number of assaults over the last year but none had resulted in death before. The small police force in Bermuda were not used to this sort of investigation and so officers from Scotland Yard were flown in to help.

His third victim was a 29 year old secretary called Dorothy Rawlinson. She was first reported missing and as she was a keen swimmer a search of the beach area was carried out. They did not find her but did find her clothes which had been partially hidden and was covered in blood. Her body was found later on a coral reef. It had been attacked by sharks and badly eaten but this had been after she was dead.

Witnesses were found who said they had seen a young Negro on the beach at the time of the girl's disapearance. The description they gave led police to 19 year old Lightbourne and he was arrested. He soon broke down under questioning and admitted all.

Lightbourne was tried in Hamilton and duly found guilty of the murder of Dorothy Rawlinson. He was sentenced to death but this was later changed to life imprisonment. This later sentence was to be served in Britain. It was thought that perhaps it was a feeling of inferiority that made him commit murder. He told police that sometimes 'I just get nasty'.


MO: Rape-slayer of female tourists; bite marks on bodies.

DISPOSITION: Death sentence commuted to life imprisonment.