Donna Perry was convicted by a jury in Washington today in the serial killings of three prostitutes, which took place nearly 30 years ago.
Perry, now 65, underwent a sex change operation nearly 17 years ago, and police now believe it was to throw suspicion off.
Perry used to be known as Douglass before the surgery in 2000. Perry will be sentenced next Tuesday by the judge.
The Daily Mail reports:
She was found guilty on Thursday of three counts of first-degree murder in the killings of 26-year-old Yolanda Sapp, 34-year-old Nickie Lowe, and 38-year-old Kathy Brisbois.
Their naked or partially exposed bodies were found dumped on the banks of the Spokane River.
Perry, with her long graying hair falling over her shoulders, displayed no emotion when Judge Michael Price read aloud the guilty verdicts. Before she was led away in handcuffs, the judge thanked the now-convicted murderer for showing ‘dignity’ throughout the proceedings, reported The Spokane Review.
The victims’ families embraced and cried in the court hallway at the conclusion of the trial, 27 years after the serial killings.
‘I’m so happy that it’s finally done and over with and we have some sort of closure for my aunt and these two other women. It’s amazing,’ Chilsea Patzer, Nickie Lowe’s niece, told KREM2.
All three victims were sex workers in Spokane and were all shot during a four-month span in 1990.
The cases went unsolved until 2012, when Perry was convicted in federal court for being a felon in possession of a firearm.
During that investigation, her DNA was entered into a national database and came back a match to evidence in the cold-case murders.
Prosecutors contended during this month’s two-and-a-half-week trial that Perry changed her gender to avoid suspicion in the serial killings.
One of Perry’s prison roommates told the court that Perry had admitted to killing prostitutes in the 1980’s, and told the roommate it was “because she couldn’t breed and the women had the ability to have children and they were wasting it being ‘pond scum.‘”