How The Sunday Morning Slasher Was Eventually Caught

Carl Eugene Watts, also called Coral Watts, has the rare distinction of being a serial killer who got a plea deal to get him out of any murder charges if he confessed to 12 murders that police believed he was responsible for, yet didn't have enough evidence to prosecute him with. Watts confessed to those killings in 1982 in exchange for the charge of burglary with intent to murder, and was sentenced to 60 years in prison, according to The New York Times

But Watts, who was known as the Sunday Morning Slasher, may have killed many more women than he originally confessed to — and in addition to those he was subsequently charged for. This includes in 2004, when a court found him guilty of a 1979 murder, and then again in 2007 when he was convicted of the 1974 killing of a female college student. 

According to the Los Angeles Times, Watts told police he had murdered more than 80 women before he was finally caught when a would-be victim escaped.

Watts had a type, but wasn't picky about how he murdered them. According to Murderpedia, Watts killed white girls and women between the ages of 14 and 44 by stabbing, strangling, bludgeoning, or drowning them. One victim was even discovered hanging from a tree, NBC News reported. Watts said he chose females who had "evil eyes." 

One of those women, though, would finally be the one to stop Watts' eight-year-long rampage of murder.  

Carl Eugene Watts was caught red-handed

CBS News reported in 2004 that the Sunday Morning Slasher had already killed several women in Houston after moving there in 1981 from Michigan, where he was suspected of multiple murders. The problem was that police did not have enough evidence to charge Watts with the killings in the Great Lakes State. 

Watts killed at least 11 women in Texas from 1981 to 1982 until May 23 when, during a one-night murder spree, a woman got away. That fateful night, Watts followed 20-year-old Michelle Maday home from a nightclub. He killed her and left her body in a bathtub, according to CBS News. Not satisfied, he went to a second apartment complex and attacked two roommates. 

One roommate named Melinda Aguilar told CBS News, "He came in and grabbed me and started choking me. And he told me if I screamed, he would kill me." Watts tied up both Aguilar and her roommate and started running the bathtub faucet. 

Aguilar said, "He was excited and hyper and clappin' and just making noises like he was excited, that this was gonna be fun. He clapped and jumped at one time ... and that's when I knew that I had to do something." While Watts tried to drown the roommate, Aguilar threw herself off her second-story balcony and neighbors called the police. According to CBS News, the roommate was saved and Watts was arrested as he tried to escape.