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Serial killer Alexander Wayne Watson discovered through DNA evidence: Evil Lives Here investigates

Mugshot of Alexander Wayne Watson
Alexander Wayne Watson was convicted of three past murders by DNA evidence. Pic credit: Maryland Dept. of Corrections

Evil Lives Here: Shadow of Death is investigating the crimes of Alexander Wayne Watson, who brutally murdered three women and one girl over eight years in Anne Arundel County, Maryland.

Watson murdered 34-year-old Boontem Anderson at her home in 1986 and then followed that with the murder of jogger 37-year-old Mary Elaine Shereika in 1988. The vicious killer then lay low for five years before killing 14-year-old Lisa Kathleen Haenel in 1993. And a year later, he killed 37-year-old Debra Cobb in a robbery that finally led to his capture.

On June 13, 1994, Alexander Watson murdered office manager Debra Cobb during a robbery at her workplace in Forestville, MD. At the time, Watson was easily collared by the cops as he had been working in the same office plaza.

Watson admitted to the robbery and murder and blamed his addiction to crack cocaine for the crime. He pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison.

Alexander Watson had killed many times before

However, advancements in DNA forensic technology later revealed that Cobb wasn’t Watson’s only victim.

On October 8, 1986, the body of Boontem Anderson was found in a bathtub in her home by her fiance’s young son. She had been sexually assaulted, stabbed, and strangled to death. At the time, Watson had lived nearby and had known the family through friends. He was a minor and wasn’t considered a suspect.

On May 23, 1988, Mary Shereika had been out jogging when Watson attacked her. Again, he sexually assaulted his victim before strangling her with a sock. He also stabbed her. It later transpired that the killer had been doing drugs when Shereika jogged past him, and he decided to attack her.

On January 15, 1993, teenager Lisa Haenel disappeared as she walked to school. A search uncovered her body abandoned in a ravine. She had been burned, stabbed, and strangled.

Watson was implicated in all three crimes because his DNA was found on the bodies of Anderson and Shereika through vaginal swabs. He had not sexually assaulted Haenel, but his DNA was found on a cigarette butt that he’d left behind at the crime scene.

Watson confessed to all three murders, and in 2007 a judge added another four life terms onto his sentence.

More from Evil Lives Here

Follow the links to read about more murders profiled on Evil Lives Here.

John Meehan was a conman, a pathological liar, and an abuser of up to fifty women. When he attempted to target one of the daughters of one of his ex-partners, Terra Newell fought back and stabbed him to death in self-defense.

Paul Keller is believed to have started up to 107 fires in the Seattle area within a six-month period. Tragically, one of those fires was started at a funeral home where three elderly residents were killed.

Evil Lives Here: Shadow of Death airs at 9/8c on Investigation Discovery.

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