Oklahoma serial killer on death row pleads guilty to three cold case murders in Texas including two girls, 12 and 17 and 20-year-old woman during five-month crime spree in 1997

  • William Reece admits three more murders, taking total known death toll to four
  • Killer, 62, faces death for killing 19-year-old Tiffany Johnston at carwash in 1997 
  • Laura Kate Smither, 12, Jessica Lee Cain, 17, and Kelli Ann Cox, 20 also his victims
  • Reece was given an extra life sentence for each of his three other 1997 murders

A convicted killer facing execution has confessed to three more murders, taking his total number of victims to four.

William Lewis Reece, 62, was sentenced to death last June for the 1997 kidnap, rape and murder of newlywed Tiffany Johnston, 19, at an Oklahoma City carwash.

Yesterday the death row inmate also confessed to the killings of Laura Kate Smither, 12, Jessica Lee Cain, 17, and Kelli Ann Cox, 20.

Reece was handed an additional life sentence for each of the murders. 

Reece (pictured in court two days ago) confessed to the murders as he tries to swerve death

Though he is on death row, Reece has cooperated with authorities in a bid for leniency

Though he is on death row, Reece has cooperated with authorities in a bid for leniency

He led authorities to the bodies of Cain and Cox in 2016, but had not pled guilty to murdering them.

Youngest victim Smither’s remains were found within two weeks of her disappearance while going for a run in April 1997.

Reece insisted her death had been an accident.

He claimed to have accidentally hit the girl with his truck while driving in the rain.

Reece allegedly told a Texas Ranger that he panicked and turned her neck until it popped. Reece allegedly told a local police officer that he then dumped her body in the pond.

Laura Smither, 12, vanished in 1997 after going for a run. Her body was found 17 days later

Laura Smither, 12, vanished in 1997 after going for a run. Her body was found 17 days later

Student Kelli Ann Cox was taken from an Oklahoma City carwash and never seen again

Student Kelli Ann Cox was taken from an Oklahoma City carwash and never seen again

Reece led police to the body of 17-year-old Cox in 2016, nearly 20 years after he disappearance

Reece led police to the body of 17-year-old Cox in 2016, nearly 20 years after he disappearance

Ms Johnston was kidnapped from a carwash in July 1997, sexually assaulted in a horse trailer, and dumped nearby.

Reece was convicted of first-degree murder and kidnapping.

College student Cox disappeared in July 1997 after forgetting her keys. She went to call her boyfriend, but was never seen again.

Cain was last seen leaving a dinner with friends in August 1997.

During his recent trial for Johnston’s slaying, it emerged that Reece confessed after the Texas Ranger told him he would be treated like a ‘rock star’ when the bodies were found.

Reece was sentenced to death last June for the murder of newlywed Tiffany Johnston, 19

Reece was sentenced to death last June for the murder of newlywed Tiffany Johnston, 19

Sandra Saupagh (right) was kidnapped by Reece in 1997, but got out alive. He was sentenced to 60 years in jail for the crime

Sandra Saupagh (right) was kidnapped by Reece in 1997, but got out alive. He was sentenced to 60 years in jail for the crime

As part of his plea deal, Reece wanted a guarantee that he would not be given the death penalty in Oklahoma.

Johnston and the three other females Reece is suspected of killing were all murdered within a five-month period in 1997.

At the time, Reece had only just been released from an Oklahoma prison for prior kidnapping and rape convictions.

Reece was arrested in 1997 for the aggravated kidnap of Sandra Sapaugh.

He was convicted in 1998 and sentenced to 60 years behind bars. Reece is accused by two more women of kidnap and rape. 

In 2015, DNA evidence tied him to Johnston’s killing.

While still in prison, he agreed to help find the bodies of Cain and Cox in return for leniency.  

Reece is currently being held at Friendswood City Jail, Texas.

A heavily bearded Reece is pictured at an Oklahoma City hearing in October 2017

A heavily bearded Reece is pictured at an Oklahoma City hearing in October 2017

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