Disturbing Details Found In The Bodies Of The Toolbox Killer's Victims

The so-called "Toolbox Killers," Roy Norris and Lawrence Bittaker, were two of the most sadistic and brutal serial killers in recent memory. The men, who met while in a California State prison in the mid-1970s, tortured and killed five teenaged girls over five months in the Los Angeles area, according to court documents posted on Justia. Four of the girls were sexually brutalized.

While serving their time — Bittaker for assault with a deadly weapon and Norris for rape — the two hashed out ideas for kidnapping and sexually assaulting women when they were both out of prison. In 1979 they saw their sinister plans through, ending the young lives of Lucinda Schaefer, 16, Andrea Hall, 18, Jacqueline Gilliam, 15, and her friend, Jacqueline Lamp, 13, and Shirley Ledford, 16, per court records. Norris and Bittaker are called the toolbox killers because they used standard tools to torture and kill the teens, including things like vice grips, pliers, hammers, sledgehammers, and an ice pick.

When the men were caught, police found a small sledgehammer in Bittaker's murder van, or the van the duo used to abduct and torture the young women. They also found seven types of acid in his apartment which Norris told investigators Bittaker was going to try out on their next victim, court records show. Fortunately, the savage killers were caught before they could inflict more horrors on any other girls they found walking down the road, as their previous victims' bodies told terrible tales.

One skull contained part of an ice pick

Only three of Norris and Bittaker's victims' bodies were ever found, according to court documents posted on Justia. Lucinda Shaefer and Andrea Hall's bodies were never found, but Norris confessed to the crimes and shared the details. He told investigators they threw Shaefer and Hall's bodies into some bushes in the San Gabriel Mountains, where the Toolbox killers did their crimes and dumped most of their victims, Crime Reads reported.

The skulls of 15-year-old Jacqueline Gilliam and 13-year-old Jacqueline Lamp were found with Norris's help. Gilliam's skull had part of an ice pick lodged inside, and Lamp's skull showed evidence of hammer strikes. According to court documents, after an entire night of enduring the depravities inflicted by the killers, the terrorized young girls were killed the next morning when Bittaker shoved an ice pick into Gilliam's ear and into her brain and strangled her. They hit Lamp — the only victim that was not sexually assaulted — with a sledgehammer, and Bittaker strangled her while Norris beat her with a hammer until she died.

The last young woman Norris and Bittaker killed was Shirley Ledford. The macabre murderers made audio recordings of themselves raping and torturing the 16-year-old before they strangled her to death with a coat hanger. In that case, they decided to leave Ledford's body in a suburban neighborhood "so they could see the reaction in the newspaper," according to court records. A jogger found the girl's brutalized body, with the wire hanger still around her neck.