Michelle Starrett would make regular trips with her young son to see her parents in California, leaving her husband, Richard, at home in Martinez, Georgia. Michelle had no idea that her husband was using this time alone to commit dreadful acts of depravity.
Richard Starrett preyed on young women while his wife was out of town. He abducted them from their homes and kept them captive in his house while sexually assaulting them. One of his victims, 15-year-old Jeanie McCrea he shot dead with a .38 caliber gun.
When Starrett was eventually caught, he was charged with kidnapping four girls. Two victims, a 17 and a 12-year-old, he returned to their homes, whereas 17-year-old Shari Teets managed to escape on her fourth day of captivity while Starrett was suffering from an alcohol-induced stupor. It was thanks to Teets that Starrett was finally apprehended.
In a rented storage room, police discovered that Starrett possessed approximately 1000 pornographic books and magazines that portrayed violent bondage and horror scenes. Starrett would later blame his behavior on his pornography obsession. His choice of literature appeared to show he also took a keen interest in the activities of Ted Bundy.
He went to great lengths to keep this side of his life separate from his family. When he abducted the girls, he rented a car under an alias and drove across the border into Lexington County in South Carolina to avoid detection.
He chose his victims through classified ads in newspapers. Lexington County Sheriff James Metts said he worked hard to make the abductions look like look missing person cases.
Starrett was arrested in Texas while trying to evade capture after Teets had managed to escape. Police in North Carolina, California, Texas, Alabama, and Tennessee, all suspect he may have been involved in abductions and sexual assaults in these states.
He is currently in prison serving in South Carolina, serving five life sentences.
Catch the details of the case on Evil Lives Here at 9/8c on Investigation Discovery.