TAMPA, Fla. — Lawrence Singleton, who chopped off a teenage hitchhiker's forearms in California and was later sent to death row in Florida for killing a prostitute, has died of cancer behind bars. He was 74.
Singleton died Friday at the North Florida Reception Center in Starke. He had been on death row since 1998, but no execution date had been set.
In 1978, Singleton raped 15-year-old Mary Vincent, cut off her forearms and left her naked in a ditch near Modesto to die. In a decision that caused a furor in California, he was paroled in 1987 after serving eight years of a 14-year term.
Outraged California communities refused to accept him, and authorities ended up housing him in a mobile home at San Quentin State Prison until his parole was up in 1988.