It appears that Hammond City, Indiana may have a serial killer. Darren Deon Vann, 43, has reportedly confessed to police to murdering a total of seven women over twenty years. At least some of the women appear to have been prostitutes.
Vann is described as a very strange person who talked to himself and acted oddly in public. He was married to a 72 year old woman who is 29 years his senior. Her son described his former step father as “weird.” That does not quite capture the full measure of Darren Deon Vann.
Vann reportedly admitted to killing Afrikka Hardy, 19, and later admitted to other killings including Anith Jones, 35. He reportedly met Hardy via Backpage.com, where she was advertising as a prostitute.
One of the arguments for legalization of prostitution in this country and other countries is that it allows women to operate out of a monitored and safer location. Prostitutes are common targets for serial killers precisely because they can be lured into cars and motels with no witnesses — and little inquiry when they do not appear for hours or days. In this case, it was the pimp of one of the women who supplied information that helped trace Vann. There were also text messages received by a friend who had arranged the meeting at the motel that she described as “suspicious” and called a male friend to go to the Motel 6.
Police say that Vann’s comments then led them to a string of dead bodies dumped in abandoned homes in nearby Gary. Vann is a convicted sex offender who served time in Texas for sexual assault.