Shattered on ID is examing the case of serial killer Faryion Wardrip who murdered at least five women in the 1980s, mostly in Witchita Falls, Texas, and the surrounding areas.
Wardrip had a specific modus operandi where he only targeted small light women under the age of 25. Some of them were targeted at random, while others he had previously known.
Wardrip himself stood at over 6 feet tall, and he used his height and weight to intimidate and murder these women.
Wardrip managed to get away with his heinous crimes for so long because he killed in different police jurisdictions, and the investigators failed to make a connection between the five murders.
In December 1984, 20-year-old Terry Sims had decided to spend the night at her friend’s home in Witchita Falls, but her friend was unexpectedly called into work.
Simms was left alone, and when she went to check on a disturbance outside the apartment, she was confronted by Wardrip, who forced himself into the property and raped and stabbed her to death.
Less than a month later, Wardrip attacked 23-year-old Toni Gibbs after she offered him a ride home. Gibbs was known to Wardrip as they had worked together at the Witchita General hospital.
He forced the nurse to drive him to a secluded spot, where he raped and stabbed her to death.
A couple of months later, Wardrip had moved to Forth Worth, Texas, in the hope of finding employment. In March 1985, he met 25-year-old Debra Taylor at a bar, where they hung out for a few hours.
On the ride home, Debra rejected his sexual advances, to which Wardrip responded by killing her and dumping her at a construction site. For a long time, the police and family of Debra suspected that her husband, Ken Taylor, was responsible for the murder.
In September 1985, Wardrip was back in Witchita Falls, and he had turned his attentions to 21-year-old Ellen Blau, who he randomly attacked as she went to get in her car. He abducted Ellen and strangled her in an isolated spot.
Wardrip’s final victim was on May 6, 1986, when he murdered 21-year-old waitress Tina Kimbrew in her apartment. The couple had recently become friends, but Wardrip would later tell the cops that he suffocated her with a pillow because she had reminded him of his ex-wife.
Faryion Wardrip confessed to murder of Tina Kimbrew
Incredibly, just a few days later, Wardrip telephoned the police to say he was about to commit suicide, and when they arrived, he confessed to killing Kimbrew.
At this stage, the police had not connected him to the other murders, so he was only charged with Kimbrew’s death. He was sentenced to 35 years in prison but was paroled in 1997.
In 1999, a cold case squad from Witchita Falls reopened investigations into the Sims, Gibbs, and Blau murders. They began to notice a connection between the three cases and Wardrip.
They also learned that DNA recovered from Sims and Gibbs came from the same person. Eventually, they managed to surreptitiously take a DNA sample from Wardrip, which came up as a match.
Wardrip was arrested, and while in custody, he confessed to the Sims, Gibbs, and Blau murders. He also admitted to killing Debra Taylor in Fort Worth.
Wardrip was subsequently sentenced to death by lethal injection. He remains on Death Row today.
More from Shattered on ID
Follow the links to read about more murders profiled on Shattered.
Berny Serrano and his buddies broke into the home of Jacob Langworthy, intent on robbing him of money and drugs. As Jacob’s grandmother returned home, Serrano shot him in the back of the head and ran out the back door.
When four heavily armed members of the Oriental Boys street gang entered an electronics store in Sacramento in 1991, they took 39 hostages in what became the largest siege in US history.
Shattered airs at 8/7c on Investigation Discovery.