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“The Trash Can Killer”

Who was Patrick Kearney

By Amanda SeatonPublished 2 years ago 3 min read
Patrick Kearney (Photo Credit from

Who is Patrick Wayne Kearney?

Patrick Wayne Kearney, born in East Los Angeles, CA September 24, 1939 is an 81-year-old American serial killer, serial rapist, cannibal, and necrophile who had killed between 20 and 41 young men across the state of California from 1962 to 1977. Kearney, the youngest of three siblings, all boys. He was said to have been raised in a family with stability. Kearney did suffer from child-hood trauma, a common finding amongst serial killers. Kearney was described as a thin and sickly young man, leaving him open for school-yard bullies. By the time Kearney reached his teenage years he had become withdrawn from society and often fantasied about killing people.

Kearney would marry who was described as the love of his life shortly after high-school, and a move from California to Texas to start a life with his new bride. This marriage was described as a brief one, which would end in an admirable divorce. When the divorce was finalized, Kearney packed up and made the move from Texas to back California taking a job with Hughes Aircraft as an Electrical Engineer.

Patrick Kearney was dissatisfied with his love life.

In 1967 Kearney, 28-years-old, moved to Redondo Beach, Los Angeles with a man who was younger than he named David Hill. Hill became Kearney’s live-in lover, and the two argued frequently, ending in Kearney going out on long drives by himself, presumably to cool down. It was during these drives that Kearney would pick up male hitchhikers or frequent gay bars. Unfortunately for his victims, Kearney would take them out into isolated areas shoot them in the back of the head, sodomize them, and then dismember them. Kearney would then take their remains and place them within trash-bags before leaving them along the sides of the freeway, then heading home to his lover.

Patrick Kearney was finally caught and sentenced to 21-life sentences.

On May 13, 1977 Kearney, now 38-years-old was home alone when a young man named John LaMay came knocking on the door looking for David Hill who was not home at the time. Kearney invited the young man in and invited him to sit on the couch and watch television with him. It was at this time that Kearney grabbed a gun and shot the young man in the back of the head, later to dispose of his body in the middle of the desert. LaMay’s remains were found on May 18 because LaMay was smart enough to tell someone where he was going on the day that he went missing. Authorities eventually ended up at the home of Kearney and Hill where they were questioned regarding LaMay, and even though they had cooperated with police they felt it necessary to flea as soon as the police left. It would not take long before they were found, July 1 Kearney and Hill would turn themselves in, by this time it was July 1.

While 34-year-old David Hill was cleared of involvement in the grisly murders, Kearney made a full-confession to authorities about the crimes he had committed. Kearney had admitted to 28 murders, pleading guilty to spare himself from the death penalty. Kearney had been formally charged with 21 of the 28 murders and pled guilty to all 21 of them in return for 21 life sentences. Total Kearney confessed to 31 murders of young boys and young men, but the prosecution was satisfied with his sentence that they decided not to pursue the case any further.

Kearney is still alive today, living out the rest of his life at Mule Creek State Prison. At 81-years of age, Kearney doesn’t seem to have many years left. It can be said that he has lived many more years than he awarded his victims, they received the death penalty, but his confessions spared his life.


About the Creator

Amanda Seaton

Amanda Seaton is a 38 year old Content Creator from Wisconsin. She obtained her BS in Criminal Justice and Homeland Security from Herzing University in 2013 and her MS in Criminal Justice and Forensics from Capella University in 2014.

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