Inside the mind of a Houston serial killer - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Inside the mind of a Houston serial killer

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A newly-released letter offers insight into the mind of a Houston serial killer.

The two-page letter was handwritten by Coral Eugene Watts, who murdered at least 13 women and perhaps as many as 80. The missive was addressed to Andy Kahan, the City of Houston's Victim Advocate.

Kahan received the murderous mailing about a dozen years ago but he kept it under wraps until now. He says the writing reveals a disturbed mind.

"Starts off very normal and rational," Kahan said. "And then you can almost see a light bulb go off. And he just goes into a 360, almost like a Jekyll and Hyde personality."

FOX 26 News showed the letter to Houston psychiatrist Dr. Ivan Spector. In his professional opinion, Coral Eugene Watts might well be diagnosed with Anti-social Personality Disorder, making him what's commonly known as a sociopath.

A man without a conscience, in other words, but a man who always had a handy excuse for his actions.

"In much the same way," explained Spector, "he would be this way when he kills somebody. ‘I didn't cause myself to kill this person. This person did something to cause me to kill them'."

Indeed, Watts claimed he killed women not because he needed to or wanted to, but because he saw evil in their eyes.

His fifth victim was Elena Semander, a 20-year old Houstonian whom Watts strangled in 1982.

To Semander's sister, Joanna Nicolaou, there was no evil in Elena's eyes. Until the very end.

"When you get close enough to somebody and you look in their eyes, you see your own reflection," said Nicolaou. "So I believe that the evil (Watts) saw was his own."

Coral Eugene Watts served out a 60-year sentence in Texas prison on a reduced charge. And he almost became the only known serial killer to be released.

But authorities in Michigan reopened a cold case there and Watts was convicted for the 1979 murder of Helen Dutcher.

He died of prostate cancer in 2007 inside a Michigan lockup.

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