'East End Killer' Extradited, Charged with Four Deaths
|By CHANDRA NILES FOLSOM, Correspondent|
When Emanuel Lovell Webb arrived
in Connecticut on February 14, clad in
wrist and leg shackles, it was one extraspecial
Valentine’s Day for two detectives:
Heitor Teixeira and Robert
Sherback, detectives with the Bridgeport
Police Department Cold Case Unit.
Since 2000, they had been tracking the
suspect dubbed the “East End Killer.”
Webb, 40, was extradited from Georgia
to Bridgeport and arraigned in Superior
Court on February 15 for the murders
of four Bridgeport women. Judge
Earl Richards ordered Webb held in lieu
of $4 million bond and continued the
case. The judge had denied a motion
from a public defender to reduce bail to
Webb had been sitting in a Georgia
jail cell on a parole violation when he was
charged last year with the strangulation
of 34-year-old Elizabeth “Maxine”
Gandy, back in 1993. He has since been
charged in the deaths of Sharon Cunningham,
39, Minnie Sutton,
37, and Sheila
Etheridge, 29. All had
been found dead in separate
locations in Bridgeport’s
East End between
1990 and 1993.
In 1994, a Special
Homicide Task Force was
formed to investigate the
murders, but it was disbanded
after a short time,
with few clues uncovered.
The cases remained cold
until last year when the
two Bridgeport detectives
matched Webb’s DNA to evidence found
at the crime scenes. At each location,DNA
from either semen, blood or saliva had been
left behind, according to court records.
The suspect’s identity
had been revealed when
Webb’s DNA was sent to
the FBI by Detectives
Teixeira and Sherback.
Neither DNA technology
nor nationwide profiles
were available during
the time of the murders.
According to the
arrest affidavit in the
Gandy case, a check of
the DNA that had been
found under Gandy’s
matched Webb’s DNA
stored in the Combined DNA Identification
“When we were looking at some
unsolved murders we sent evidence up to
the lab and got two hits,” said Det. Teixeira.
“Then we looked further and found
out there were more women killed with
similarities to the others. We checked
them out and got two more hits. We
developed Webb as a suspect and then reinterviewed
the witnesses. After we did a
timeline, we found out he was incarcerated
in Georgia.” The two detectives traveled
to the D. Ray James Correctional
Facility in Folkston, Ga., and charged
Webb with the murder of Gandy.
Before moving to Georgia, Webb had
lived in Bridgeport. He worked in construction
and as a security guard in Fairfield.
Webb lived with his sister, Bernice
Snead, and a girlfriend in the center of a
10-block radius where all the killings had
The four homicide victims have been
described as drug users and three of them
were said to have frequented the same
bars and after-hour clubs in the East
End, as did Webb. Additionally, there are
still half a dozen other unsolved murders
of women in the same area of Bridgeport during that period of time -- and police
say Webb is a possible suspect.
However, according to prosecutors,
there are no DNA samples
to test in any of those cases.
Webb had moved to Georgia
in 1994 to be with family
members. He found work in construction,
but was soon arrested in
the death of Evelyn Charity. Webb
told authorities he accidentally strangled
her during rough sex and then
stabbed and robbed her to make it appear
like a botched robbery.
Webb later pleaded guilty to reduced
charges of involuntary manslaughter, robbery
and motor vehicle theft. “So, that
was one more woman he killed and he
could have easily struck again,”
Det. Teixeira noted.
Webb was sentenced to
20 years in prison, but was
released on parole in 2001.
Officials in Georgia said
Webb’s parole was revoked for
illegal drug use, and failure to
report a residency change when he
had moved back to Connecticut
after being released from prison.
Under Connecticut extradition law,
the state has only 180 days to try Webb.
(Contact Chandra at firstname.lastname@example.org)