Ohio Offenders

Billy Shafer

Victim: Sara West, five

Age at time of murder: 16

Crime date: February 14, 1993

Crime location: Zanesville

Crimes: Child molestation, murder of a child, corpse mutilation, conspiracy to commit mass murder, and terroristic threatening

Murder method: Stabbing and shooting

Weapon: Knife and gun

Murder motivation: Satanic ritual

Conviction: Aggravated murder

Sentence: 20 years to life
Incarceration status: Incarcerated at the Marion Correctional Institution

Sara West was murdered by Billy Joe Shafer in 1993. She was just 5 years old.Sara

Offender PhotoShafer is incarcerated at the Marion Correctional Institution


Shafer was an extremely disturbed young man who had an interest in Satanism, sacrificed animals, and desired to become a serial killer. He became acquainted with Sara’s father and agreed to babysit Sara and her three-year-old brother Seth. That fateful night, he killed little Sara after his plans to murder people at a friend’s house didn’t work. Shafer molested Sara, stabbed her, and shot her three times in the head. He also cut open her torso, removed her insides, and cut satanic symbols into parts of her body. Shafer also planned to murder Sara’s father and brother as well, but was prevented from carrying out those additional murders when Sara’s father entered through the wrong door. From in prison, he has continued to threaten to kill Sara’s family, who fear his potential release.


Billy Shafer

Billy Wayne Smith

Offender Photo

Victim: Kevin Burks, 25

Age at time of murder: 17, 10 months, and 13 days

Crime date: November 16, 1987

Crime location: Jefferson County

Partner in crime: David Lee Hudson, 24, Peter Martin, 23, and Robert Carpenter, 24

Crimes: Kidnapping, robbery, torture, aggravated murder, and hate crime

Murder method: Stabbing, shooting, and slashing

Murder motivation:  Racially motivated

Convictions: Kidnapping, aggravated robbery, and aggravated murder

Sentence: 59 years to life later reduced to 25 years to life by SB 256

Incarceration status: Incarcerated at the NorthEast Ohio Correctional Center and eligible for parole in January 2022 due to SB 256


That fateful night, killers went on a hunt for a specific black man. When they failed to find that specific person, they set their sights on Kevin, who was staying at his grandmother’s house. The killers told Kevin that a friend was in need and lured him to his death in a remote Brush Creek Township location. Smith and his co-defendants drove Kevin to the remote area where they proceeded to torture, stab, and shoot Kevin and slit his throat.

Smith, who was less than two months away from turning 18, was sentenced to life with parole eligibility after 59 years. His parole date was set for 2051. However, SB 256 mandates that juveniles who murder one person be up for parole after no more than 25 years. The murderer’s parole date is now set for 2022.


Billy Wayne Smith

Brogan Rafferty

Offender Photo



Murder victims: Ralph Geiger, 56, David Pauley, 51, and Timothy Kern, 47

Attempted murder victim: Scott Davis, 49

Age at time of murders: 16

Crime dates: August 2011-November 2011

Crime location: Akron and a southeast OH farm

Partner in crime: Richard Beasley

Murder method: Gunshots to the victims’ heads

David Pauley Mom 101


David–murder victim

Weapon: Victims were injured and killed with .32 and .38 caliber bullets

Motivation: Robbery

Convictions: Aggravated robbery, kidnapping, attempted aggravated murder, and aggravated murder

Sentence: Life without parole (LWOP) later reduced to 25 years to life by SB 256

Incarceration status: Incarcerated at the Trumbull Correctional Institution and eligible for parole in November 2036 due to SB 256

Timothy Kern, of Massillon, Ohio, did get the job. His body was found last week.


Timothy–murder victim


Rafferty and his co-defendant Richard Beasley murdered three men and attempted to murder another between August and November of 2011. The serial killers lured the men to their deaths with fake job offers. They targeted men who were desperate for work and down on their luck and who had few family ties that might highlight their disappearance.

“We took him out to the woods on a humid summer’s night … The loud crack echoed and I didn’t hear the thud.”

Poem found on Rafferty’s computer describing the murder of Ralph Geiger

Ralph Geiger Mom 1


Ralph–murder victim

Rafferty was sentenced to life in prison without parole. However, SB 256, which went into effect on April 12, 2021, mandates that all juvenile criminals be eligible for parole unless they are the principal offender in at least three murders.



August: Ralph Geiger disappears after leaving for a job on a farm in southern Ohio.

October 9: David Pauley responds to an ad for a job as a farm caretaker. Scott Davis, a self-employed landscaper in South Carolina who wants to move back to Ohio, also responds to a Craigslist ad for a job on a cattle farm.

October 10: Timothy Kern responds to a Craigslist ad for a farm caretaker.

October 22: David speaks with his sister on the phone for the last time.

November 6: Scott meets Rafferty and Beasley. The serial killers lure Scott to a wooded area and attempt to murder him. Scott survives with a gunshot wound to the elbow.

November 13: The killers shoot Timothy in the head and murder him.

November 15: Investigators find David’s mostly naked body in a grave. It is later determined that he was killed by a single gunshot to the head.

November 25: Ralph’s naked body is found in a shallow grave. Timothy’s body is found in the woods behind a vacant mall in Akron. Ralph was killed by a single gunshot to the head, while Timothy suffered five gunshots to the head.


Brogan Rafferty

Christopher Ferrell

Offender Photo

Victim: Douglas Lash, 19

Age at time of murder: 17, 11 months, and three weeks

Crime date: February 11, 1992

Crime location: Newton Township

Partners in crime: Several other juveniles 

Murder method: Gunshot to the back of the head

Weapon: .380 caliber pistol

Convictions: Attempted aggravated burglary, aggravated burglary, aggravated murder, aggravated robbery, and kidnapping

Sentence: Life with parole

Incarceration status: Incarcerated at the Lebanon Correctional Institution

Summary of the crime

Christopher Ferrell was the leader of a burglary ring. The group committed a series of armed home invasions, with one of those invasions resulting in a murder. The murder victim was Douglas Lash, 19. As the gang was burglarizing Douglas’s home, he returned and interrupted the crime. Douglas tried to defend his home with a machete. Ferrell, who was one week away from his 18th birthday, forced Douglas into the living room at gun-point, commanded him to kneel and shot him in the head.


Christopher Ferrell

Clinton Dickens

Offender Photo

Victims: Wendy Offredo, 21, and Dawn McCreery, 20

Age at time of murders: 17 1/2

Crime date: September 1, 1986

Crime location: Norton, Ohio

Partner in crime: Richard Wade Cooey II, 19, and Kenneth Horonetz, 18 (Horonetz left before the rapes and murders)

Crimes: Kidnapping, robbery, rape, and killing to eliminate witnesses

Murder method: Beating and strangulation 

Weapon: Shoe laces and night stick 

Murder motivation: Witness elimination 

Convictions: Kidnapping, aggravated robbery, felonious assault, rape, and aggravated murder

Sentence: 95 years to life later reduced to 30 years to life by Senate Bill 256

Incarceration status: Incarcerated at the Marion Correctional Institution and up for parole in October, 2021 due to SB 256


Wendy Offredo and Dawn McCreery murdered by Richard Cooey and Clinton  Dickens. | Guy Breau's SPACE
Wendy (left) and Dawn (right)

As Dawn and Wendy were driving to an inn after finishing their waitressing shifts, their car was struck by a large chunk of concrete, which had been thrown by Dickens from an overpass. Dickens, Cooey, and one other man were throwing objects off the overpass to amuse themselves. The three men drove Dawn and Wendy to a shopping mall where Wendy called her mother using a payphone. At the mall, Dickens suggested to the other men that they rob the girls. The men left the mall with Dawn and Wendy, only instead of taking them to the scene of the crash, they kidnapped them. Cooey and Dickens took the girls to an isolated wooded area while the other assailant demanded to be let out and left. Dickens and Cooey robbed and raped both women. Dickens decided that the girls needed to die, as they had heard his first name. The two rapists beat and strangled the women and hid their bodies. They were later apprehended. Cooey received the death penalty and was later executed while Dickens received 95 years to life in prison. Dickens’s sentence was reduced by SB 256.


Clinton Dickens

Daniel Kovarbasich

Victim: Duane Hurley

Age at time of killing: 16

Crime location: North Ridgeville

Crime date: January 22, 2010

Killing method:  Stabbing

Motivation: Alleges Hurley sexually abused him

Convictions:  Voluntary manslaughter & aggravated assault

Teen killer Daniel Kovarbasich to be released on house arrest -  cleveland.com








Daniel Kovarbasich

Devonere Simmonds

Murder victims: Imran Ashgar, 34, & Quinten Prater, 22

Attempted murder victims: James Norvet, 21, & William Rudd, 39

Age at time of crimes: 17

Crime locations:  Central Ohio

Crime date: July 2013

Crimes:  Aggravated murder, spree-killing, attempted murder, aggravated robbery, & carjacking

Partners in crime: Nathaniel Brunner, Daniel Durham

Weapon: .22 caliber handgun & a shotgun

Murder method: Gunshots to the head

Murder motivation: Robbery

Convictions: Aggravated robbery, aggravated murder, attempted murder, weapon under disability, & murder

Sentence: Life without parole (LWOP) plus 48 years (sentence may change due to Senate Bill 256)

Incarceration status: Ohio State Penitentiary

Offender Photo
Prison photo


Simmonds, 17, went on a massive violent crime spree involving robbery, carjacking, and murder in the summer of 2013. During the spree, he shot and killed Quinten Prater during a robbery. A couple of days later, he shot and killed store clerk Imran Ashgar during another robbery. In Imran’s case, Simmonds shot the victim in the eye, left, and then returned to shoot the wounded man in the head. He also shot and injured James Norvet and William Rudd. The spree killer was sentenced to LWOP plus 48 years. But because Governor DeWine signed SB 256 into law, his sentence may be reduced to 30 years to life.


Eric Long

Victims: Keith Cobb and Scott Neblett, 25

Accomplices: Fonta Whipple, 26, & Jashawn Clark, 25,

Age at time of murders: 17

Crime date: March 18, 2009

Crime location: Sharonville, Ohio

Crimes: Double murder

Weapon: Firearm

Murder method: Gunshots

Convictions: Felonious assault, discharging a firearm near habitation/school, aggravated murder, weapon under disability, carrying a concealed weapon, & assault

Sentence: Life without parole (LWOP) plus 19 years (sentence may change due to Senate Bill 256)

Incarceration status: Lebanon Correctional Institution

Offender Photo
Prison photo

Summary of the crime

Whipple, Clark, and Long got into an argument with Keith Cobb and Scott Neblett at Garage Bar & Grill in Sharonville, OH. They followed the victims and, as they were driving on I-75, emptied their guns into Cobb and Neblett’s car, causing it to veer off the highway and roll over. The victims died of gunshot wounds.


Fred Joseph Jr.

Victim: Officer John Utlak, 26

Age at time of murder: 17

Crime date: December 8, 1982

Crime location: Mineral Ridge

Partner in crime: Randy Fellows, 18

Crimes: Robbery and murder of a police officer

Murder method: Three gunshots including a close-range shot to the head  

Weapon: .22 caliber handgun

Convictions: Aggravated murder

Sentence: 30 years to life

Incarceration status: Incarcerated at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility and eligible for parole in 2021

Offender Photo


Joseph and Fellows, both drug informants, ambushed and murdered Officer Utlak during an undercover narcotics investigation. During a meeting with Officer Utlak, the drug informants shot him, robbed him, and left him to die. Joseph was denied parole in 2016. His next parole hearing was set for 2022. However, because of SB 256, his parole hearing was moved to 2021.

Patrolman John A. Utlak | Niles Police Department, Ohio
Officer Utlak


Gavon Ramsay

Victim: Margaret Douglas, 98

Age at time of murder: 17

Crime date: April 9, 2018

Crime location: Wadsworth, Ohio

Murder method: Strangulation

Murder motivation: Thrill & enjoyment

Convictions:  Aggravated murder, aggravated burglary, kidnapping, & abuse of a corpse

Sentence:  Life without parole (LWOP) (sentence may change due to Senate Bill 256)

Incarceration status: Incarcerated at the Grafton Correctional Institution

Offender Photo
Prison photo


On April 6, 2018, Ramsay, 17, broke into Margaret’s Wadsworth, Ohio, home. He found the 98-year-old sleeping on the couch and took a video of her. Ramsay, who had been fantasizing about raping and murdering people for months, and who wanted to kill someone to see how it would feel, strangled Margaret to death. Ramsay, who has been diagnosed with sexual sadism disorder, then undressed her dead body and abused her for two hours, taking photographs and videos along the way. Several of the photographs and videos Ramsay took were of a sexual nature. Ramsay then stuffed her body in a closet and left her there. He placed the gruesome photos of the crime in a secret file on his phone so that he could watch them.

Ramsay was sentenced to life without parole. He appealed and his sentence was upheld. However, Ramsay’s LWOP may be reduced by Senate Bill 256. Ramsay is a highly disturbed young man whose notebook contained writings about raping people, fantasies about strangling and killing people, and serial killer biographies. He is a diagnosed sexual sadist.


Jacob LaRosa

Victim: Marie Belcastro, 94

Age at time of murder: 15

Crime location: Niles, Ohio

Crime date: March 31, 2015

Crimes: Aggravated murder, attempted rape, aggravated robbery, home invasion, & aggravated burglary

Weapon: Heavy metal flashlight

Murder method: Beating to death

Convictions: Aggravated murder, aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery, & attempted rape

Sentence: Life without parole (LWOP) (sentence may change due to Senate Bill 256)

Incarceration status: Incarcerated at the Marion Correctional Institution

Offender Photo
Prison photo
Obituary for Marie R. Belcastro


LaRosa invaded 94-year-old Marie’s home, attempted to rape her, and beat her to death with a heavy metal flashlight. The beating Marie endured was so severe that her eyes ruptured and the bones in her face and the top of her skull were crushed. LaRosa was a highly disturbed teen, and showed no remorse for the evil crime, even bragging to other inmates about it. He was sentenced to LWOP and his sentence was upheld. However, the Ohio Legislature chose to retroactively change LaRosa’s sentence. The killer could be eligible for parole after 25 years.


Jaden Churchheus and Jordan Buckley

Victim: Victoria Schafer, 44

Ages at time of killing: 16

Crime location: Hocking Hills State Park

Crime date: September 2, 2019

Weapon: 74 pound six foot long log

Killing method: Pushing the log on her

Motivation: Unintentional

Convictions: Guilty pleas to involuntary manslaughter

Sentences: Three years in juvenile detention

Buckley (left) & Churchheus (right)

Victoria was killed after Buckley and Churcheus pushed a 74 pound six foot long log off a cliff. Victoria, owner of Victoria Schafer Photography, was sitting on the stairs at Old Man’s Cave when the log struck her on the head, broke her spine, crushed her chest, and almost immediately took her life. The mother of four was at the park to take high school portraits. A 19-year-old woman who was with Buckley and Churcheus at the time told investigators that Churchheus had pushed the log and that he and Buckley appeared not to care after learning that the log had killed a woman. Churcheus and Buckley were initially charged with murder, involuntary manslaughter, and reckless homicide as adults. They later pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and were sentenced to three years in juvenile detention. In October 2020, the woman who was with the offenders at the time of the killing was charged with obstruction of justice.

She Was Killed by a Falling Log. Now, a Guilty Plea

Teen Admits Pushing 74-Pound Log Off Cliff, Killing A Photographer Who Was Taking Portraits Of High School Students

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Third person charged in death of Chillicothe photographer killed at Hocking Hills

Teen says friends rolled log off cliff to be ‘funny,’ now she’s charged in woman’s death

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Jordan Stewart

Victim: Jane Juergens, 55

Age at time of murder:  16

Crime location: Westerville, Ohio

Crime date: October 20, 2013

Weapon: Knife

Murder method: 26 stab wounds

Convictions: Guilty plea to murder & tampering with evidence

Sentence: 18 years to life

Incarceration status: Incarcerated at the Madison Correctional Institution & has a parole hearing on September 2031

Offender Photo
Prison photo
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 1a5643d0-ccf2-4f0a-9a5b-8a44b19a61fd_1920x1080.jpg

Summary of the crime

Stewart attacked Jane as she jogged on a trail and stabbed her to death. Jane, the CEO of PeopleGen of Westerville, was stabbed over two dozen times.


Jordyn Wade

Victims: Tyajah Nelson, 18; Daniel Sharp, 26; Angela Harrison, 35; and Michael Ballour, 41. T.N., 16, survived. 

Crime location: Columbus, Ohio

Crime date: June 13, 2015

Age at time of murder: 16 & 11 months

Partner in crime: Robert Adams Jr., 28

Crimes: Quadruple murder, attempted murder, kidnapping, aggravated robbery, home invasion, & aggravated burglary

Weapon: Firearm

Murder method: Gunshots, mostly to the victims’ heads

Murder motivation: Robbery

Convictions: Aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery, kidnapping, aggravated murder, attempted murder, & weapon under disability

Sentence: 172 1/2 years to life (sentence may change due to Senate Bill 256)

Incarceration status: Incarcerated at the Ross Correctional Institution and had a parole hearing scheduled for March 2144

Offender Photo
Prison photo
Daniel Sharp Jr. from Legacy.com

Tyajah Nelson, age 18
Tyajah Nelson from Gunmemorial.com
Michael Anthony Ballour from Legacy.com
Angela Harrison from Gunviolencememorial.com

Summary of the crime

Wade participated in a quadruple murder along with one attempted murder during a home invasion robbery. Wade’s 28-year-old partner Robert Adams shot four victims to death and shot and wounded another victim. The survivor, a 16-year-old girl, was able to testify at trial. Wade was convicted and sentenced to life in prison with parole eligibility in 172 1/2 years. Though Wade was not the principal offender or the “trigger man” he had an active role in the massacre–Adams asked Wade, “should I off them all?” and Wade answered, “yes.” The butchering then began.


Joshua Wade

Victim: Titus Jamal Arnold, 23, plus several survivors

Age at time of murder: 16

Crime date: April 13, 2005

Crime location: Springfield

Partner in crime: Jason Dean, 30

Weapon: .40 caliber handgun

Murder method: Shot to the head

Convictions: Complicity in murder, aggravated robbery, discharge of a firearm at a habitation/school, attempted murder, & aggravated murder

Sentence:  56 years to life (sentence may change due to Senate Bill 256)

Incarceration status: Incarcerated at the Pickaway Correctional Institution & has a parole hearing in March 2061

Offender Photo
Wade’s prison photo
Picture of Titus from a gun violence memorial


Wade and Dean went on a terrifying crime spree in the spring of 2005, which involved the robbery and murder of Urbana University senior and youth counselor Titus Arnold, along with several other acts of violence. Wade is in prison for life while Dean was sentenced to death and died due to natural causes in 2019. Due to SB 256, Wade may be eligible for parole after 25 years.

Timeline of the Crime Spree

April 10. Dean attempted to rob two people in a mini-mart parking lot. He shot one victim.

April 12. Dean and Wade fired shots at a home. A one-year-old girl and a pregnant woman were just centimeters away from being shot.

April 13. Titus left his job at a home for troubled youth just before midnight. Witnesses saw two men get out of a car, and chase Titus. They saw a man, who they recognized as Wade, shoot at Titus. He was robbed of $6.


Kylen Gregory

Victim: Ronald Bowers III

Age at time of killing: 16

Accomplices: Malik Harris, 15, Jerry Tanner, 16, Miles Heizer, 18,

Crime date: September 4, 2016

Crime location: Kettering

Weapon: Handgun

Killing method: Shot to the head

Killing motivation: An alleged altercation at Alter-fest

Convictions: Gregory- reckless homicide & discharge of a firearm on or near a prohibited premises plus guilty plea to felonious assault; Heizer-guilty plea to tampering with evidence, aggravated menacing, assault, & contributing to the unruliness or delinquency of a minor; Harris & Tanner-guilty pleas to assault, menacing, and tampering with evidence

Sentences: Gregory-11 years in prison; Heizer-two years in prison; Harris & Tanner-juvenile detention with a minimum sentence of six months and a maximum sentence of incarceration until 21

Incarceration status: Gregory– Incarcerated at the Southeastern Correctional Institution; Heizer-Incarcerated at the Madison Correctional Institution

Offender Photo
Gregory prison photo
Offender Photo
Heizer prison photo

Summary of the crime

The offenders hunted down Ronnie and his friends as they left Alter-fest. As Ronnie was driving away from the attackers, Gregory shot at his car. The bullet went through the windshield and hit Ronnie in the head. He died of his injuries several days later.








Kyle Patrick

Victim: Michael Abighanem, 27

Age at time of murder: 17

Crime date: April 27, 2012

Crime location: Youngstown

Partner in crime: Reginald Whitfield, 21

Crimes: Aggravated murder, armed robbery, & tampering with evidence

Murder method: Gunshot

Weapon: Firearm

Murder motivation: Robbery

Sentence: 34 years to life (sentence may change due to Senate Bill 256)
Incarceration status:
 Incarcerated at the Mansfield Correctional Institution

Offender Photo
Michael W.  Abighanem

Summary of the crime

Patrick and Whitfield murdered Michael during an orchestrated robbery.


Michael Watson, Samuel Castle, and Tyler Morris

Victims: Timothy “T.J.” Maust, 26, murder victim, and Elizabeth Bunnell, 28, attempted murder victim 

Murderers: Tyler Morris, 17, Michael Watson, 17, Samuel Castle, 17, & Gregory Kuzawa II, 18

Crime date: June 10, 2019

Crime location: Ashland, Ohio 

Murder method: Gunshots 

Weapon: .22 caliber Ruger handgun

Murder motivation: Drug debt

Crimes: Aggravated murder, conspiracy to commit aggravated murder, aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery, attempted aggravated murder, & drug trafficking

Sentences: Watson–38 years to life; Morris–38 years to life; Castle–17 years; Kuzawa–19 years (SB 256 may result in sentence reductions for the juvenile offenders)

Incarceration status: Watson–incarcerated at the Noble Correctional Institution; Morris–incarcerated at the Madison Correctional Institution; Castle–incarcerated at the Ross Correctional Institution; Kuzawa–incarcerated at the Richland Correctional Institution

Offender Photo
Offender Photo
Offender Photo
Offender Photo

Summary of the crime

Watson, Kuzawa, and Castle invaded Elizabeth and T.J.’s home with the intent to rob them. Watson shot both victims, killing T.J. and injuring Elizabeth. Though Morris was not present during the murder, he was responsible for planning it.


Timothy Combs

Victim: Raymond Fife, 12

Age at time of murder: 17

Crime date: September 10, 1985

Crime location: Warren 

Partner in crime: Danny Lee Hill, 18

Crimes: Kidnapping, rape, sexual torture, arson, and aggravated murder 

Murder method: Beating, burning, and strangling 

Sentence: Life in prison–would have been eligible for parole in 2049

Incarceration status: Deceased

Summary of the crime

Timothy Combs, convicted in 12-year-old Raymond Fife's murder, dies in  prison

In what sounds like the plot of a horror movie, Raymond, 12, was attacked as he rode his bike to a friend’s house before a Boy Scout meeting. The attackers, Danny Lee Hill, 18, and Timothy Combs, 17, proceeded to beat, rape, and sexually torture the boy. They also strangled him with his underwear, set him on fire, and left him for dead. Amazingly, young Raymond survived. He was found naked and barely alive by his father and brother-in-law. The boy died two days later in the hospital.


T.J. Lane, Chardon High School Mass Shooter

Name: Thomas “T. J.” Lane III

Murder victimsDemetrius Hewlin, 16; Russell King, Jr, 17; and Daniel Parmertor, 16

Other victims: Joy Rickers, 18; Nate Mueller, 16; and Nick Walczak, 17 (paralyzed)

Age at time of murder: 17

Crime date: February 27, 2012

Crime location: Chardon, Ohio

Crimes: Mass shooting, triple murder, attempted murder, & felonious assault

Weapon: .22-caliber semiautomatic Ruger handgun

Murder method: Gunshots to the victims’ heads

Convictions: Guilty pleas to aggravated murder, attempted aggravated murder, felonious assault, & assault

Sentence: Life without parole (LWOP)

Incarceration status: Incarcerated at the Warren Correctional Institution

Offender Photo
Prison photo
Chardon High School shooter T.J. Lane sentenced to life without ...
Lane wore a shirt that read “KILLER” at his sentencing hearing
Ohio dad dies exactly 2 years after son was killed in school ...


Lane committed an infamous mass shooting at Chardon High School. He shot six students, killing three. He plead guilty and was sentenced to LWOP. Lane has shown no remorse, wearing a shirt reading “KILLER” to his sentencing hearing. The victims were all teenage high school students.