Daytona Beach Serial Killings 5 Years Later: Unsolved.

Daytona Beach Victims

A message, written in black marker on the wall of one of the buildings, reads: “2/2010 Mom, you are missed, Love, Nikki.”
It could have been written for either Laquetta Gunther or Julie Green.

Laquetta Gunther, a 45-year-old construction day laborer and occasional prostitute was killed first. Her body was found on 12/26/2005 and she was last seen 12/24/2005 at Chubby’s bar at 650 N. Beach St.

Laquetta Mae Gunther

Her body was discovered stuffed between the two buildings in a space not even 3 feet wide. She had been shot in the head, execution-style, with a .40-caliber bullet. A passerby found her half-nude corpse between the two buildings across the street from the former Chubby’s.

Over the next two months, two more women met a similar fate.

Then there was the shooting of 34-year-old Julie Green in January 2006 and 35-year-old Iwana Patton in February of that year. Green and Patton were also shot in the head with a .40-caliber weapon and both were naked as well when they were found.
Julie Green
Iwana Patton

The suspect also left behind an unmistakable calling card. His semen was on both Gunther and Green, police said.

Stacey Gage, 30 years old, was found two years later in January 2008. She had been shot in the head in a wooded area near a former church off Hancock Boulevard. Investigators have never said whether the caliber of weapon used on Gage was a .32-, a .40-, or a .45-caliber gun. But Police Chief Mike Chitwood has repeatedly said that Gage’s death was “eerily similar” to the other three.

Stacey Gage

There was no DNA found on Gage’s nude body because she had been exposed to the elements for about a month before she was discovered by a Daytona Beach policeman on patrol.

Although the killer’s DNA is stored in a database kept by the FBI, it has not yet matched others kept in the national listing.
Florida did begin testing many men arrested but no leads have come from that yet.

On Christmas Eve night this year and every year since Gunther was murdered, her friend, Stacey Dittmer has held a candlelight vigil at the murder site with people who knew Gunther. This year, Gunther’s 70-year-old mother, Barbara Rurak, planned to join the group.

In a telephone interview this week from her home in Sarasota, Rurak asked the same question everyone here is asking: “Is anything being done?”

While the time has passed, none of the women is forgotten. Dittmer planned to make a poster with the names of all the murder victims so she could leave it at the site where Gunther was shot.

Full Story

Chronology and a lot of information.

December 26, 2005: Body of Laquetta Gunther is found.

January 14, 2006: The body of Julie Green is found.

February 24, 2006: The body of Iwana Patton is found.

March 10, 2006: Daytona Beach Police and State of Florida investigators announce the three women were likely the victims of a serial killer.

April 21 2006: Police confirm the collection of DNA from several “persons of interest.”

April 22, 2006: Local police confirm that police officers were questioned in the slayings.

June 10, 2006: Police arrest David Gibson Lindsay on an unrelated warrant.

June 20, 2006: DNA evidence excludes David Gibson Lindsay as a suspect.

December 10, 2007: Stacey Gage is last seen alive.

January 2, 2008: The body of Stacey Gage is found.

January 23, 2008: Authorities announce that the murder of Stacey Gage is connected to the previous three homicides.

An article on the DNA testing to try to find the killer.

Reported drug connection. IMO, a bit unlikely.

VBullitan Forum with links and info.

  1. WHY and HOW is it that so man of these type killings remain unsolved? Is it because many of the victims were alleged to be prostitutes, therefore, not worth the effort? I just don’t understand it.

    One thing remains certain, there are plenty of depraved minds out there.

  2. The fact that they are prostitutes does play a role in the killer not being caught. It is not that they are not worth the effort to investigate (to law enforcement or others) but that the lifestyles that they lead make it hard to catch the killer.

    Prostitutes and \drug addicts are usually very mobile moving around a lot and they normally do not keep ‘set’ daily hours like most people. Due to that associates and friends who would usually be the first to notice a missing person do not even start to get suspicious for long periods of time.
    Prostitutes and addicts also are known to ‘disappearing’ for various periods of time. It is not uncommon for them to visit another state on a whim for extra work or ‘better’ drugs. Families and friends get used to the absence of patterns so it might be days, weeks or even months before someone reports them missing.
    By that time much evidence will have been lost. Also there is much less chance of an eyewitness remembering and if there was a chance of some video footage from a local business security camera it is more likely to be gone as well.
    Serial killers know this, they use it and unfortunately it does help them.
    Thank you for your interest.

  3. You certainly deserve a round of applause for your post and more specifically, your blog in general. Very high quality material.

  4. very good article thanks for the info

    • guyette nicole luster
    • March 6th, 2011

    I am Laquetta’s daughter, Nikki. The message on the wall is for my mother, Laquetta Gunther.

  5. Nikki,

    I am so sorry for your loss.
    I do hope that you have found some peace.
    I also hope that the person that did this is caught and made to face what they did.

    Thank you for your response here.

    • sam
    • December 13th, 2011

    was there ever any info realeased about a description? tattoos on forearms?

    • Jeff
    • October 23rd, 2012

    The cops say they have the killers DNA, but I feel confident that they do not have the “killers” DNA. And the identification of the “murder weapon”, i.e. caliber and manufacturer information is not something that they can say with any accuracy. Not sure why they would put inaccurate info out, but the info is inaccurate. but the most profound piece of misinformation is the information on the “killers car” being either a Taurus or a Sable…wow, no wonder those guys are still chasing their tails! Just a little bit of common sense will support my assertions. If they intentionally put out this false info as an investigation tactic, then one would think that they need to change their tactics as the tactic they are using is not working. I would venture to say that the caliber of gun itself is probably inaccurate. Probably a .38. I can’t figure their legal strategy.

    • Jeff
    • October 26th, 2012

    Moderator must be on vacation. Guess I will not revisit this site.

      • kelly
      • January 3rd, 2014

      are you the guy

      • kelly
      • January 3rd, 2014

      Interesting post “Jeff” The tone of your post is almost taunting…..and it seems you know the details…especially the inaccuracy of ALL the details…..makes “one” wonder, doesn’t it?

    • Guyette Nicole Luster
    • May 31st, 2013

    Any new developments?

      • Guyette Nicole Luster
      • February 25th, 2022

      2/22/2022 Robert Hayes found GUILTY of the 3 murders of LaQuetta Gunther, Julie Green, and Iwana Patton. Waiting to find out if he receives the death penalty this next week.

  1. March 27th, 2011
  2. December 30th, 2011

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