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Coral Eugene Watts, 53; murderer claimed he had killed 80

PASSINGS

September 23, 2007|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Coral Eugene Watts, 53, a confessed serial killer who once told police that he had murdered more than 80 people, died Friday at Foote Hospital in Jackson, Mich. The apparent cause of death was prostate cancer, said Russ Marlan, a Michigan Department of Corrections spokesman.

Watts' death came a little more than a week after he received a second life sentence, for the 1974 slaying of a Western Michigan University student.

In 2004, he was convicted of first-degree murder for the 1979 killing of a woman in the Detroit suburb of Ferndale.

Watts, who said he targeted women with evil eyes, had received immunity for 12 other killings to which he had confessed as part of a 1982 deal with Texas prosecutors.

Corey Mitchell, a true-crime author whose book "Evil Eyes" focused on Watts, called him "the country's most brutal serial killer."

Mitchell said research indicates that Watts may have killed more than 100 people and that his criminal exploits surpassed those of other, more notorious serial killers such as John Wayne Gacy Jr. and Jeffrey Dahmer.

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