Washington Attractions November 21, 2017
The Story Of The Serial Killer Who Terrorized This Washington Town Is Truly Frightening
Washington is an amazing state, but there’s no denying that we’ve had some bad luck with serial killers. And from 1996-1998, the people of Spokane were terrorized by a string of mysterious murders. The killer turned out to be Robert Lee Yates, Jr., a brutal killer who is still alive today.
Robert Yates grew up in Oak Harbor and had what appeared to be a normal childhood.
His family attended a local Seventh-day Adventist church, and he graduated from Oak Harbor High School in 1970. He was soon hired by the Washington State Department of Corrections to work as a prison guard in Walla Walla.
Yates eventually enlisted in the Army, earning several military awards in his 18-year career before he left the military and moved to Spokane with his wife and five children.
And that's when women started disappearing.
The women Yates targeted were all sex workers, many of whom did drugs.
Yates would solicit them for sex, sometimes do drugs with them, and then shoot them. In 1998, he picked up Christine Smith, who managed to escape despite being assaulted and shot.
Yates was finally arrested on April 18, 2000, for the murder of Jennifer Joseph.
Thanks to DNA evidence, he was tied to 12 other victims, and he pleaded guilty to avoid the death penalty. In 2001, he was charged for the murders of two other women in Pierce County. He was sentenced to death for those murders and remains on death row to this day, although numerous appeals and a 2008 stay of execution have delayed his demise.
Yates' horrific crimes will never be forgotten by the Spokane community.
As recently as 2015, the Washington Supreme Court once again rejected an effort by Yates to overturn his conviction and death sentence.
Now that you probably won’t be able to sleep tonight, you may as well read up on some of
Washington’s unsolved mysteries.