Miami resident and prolific serial killer Dexter Morgan of TV's Dexter.
Miami resident and prolific serial killer Dexter Morgan of TV's Dexter.
Dyl86 via Flickr Creative Commons

The Most Famous Serial Killers in Miami History

So, uh, bodies might be buried in the backyard of a historic pump house on Miami's Upper Eastside. The building, which was built in the 1920s, at one time was the home of serial killer Robert Bowman, and a New Times feature story published this week details that when cops were questioning Bowman in 1982 over the rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl from Ohio, Bowman said he had killed someone else and buried the body behind the pump house.

That building now houses Café Roval, a classy Mediterranean-style eatery from veteran Miami restaurateur Mark Soyka.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Soyka hasn't let New Times poke around the place to investigate. But because the story adds yet another creepy killing to the mile-long list of weird deaths in Miami history, we figured we'd take a walk through some of the most famous serial murders in Magic City history. Here they are:

1. Andre Cunanan, who murdered fashion icon Gianni Versace on Ocean Drive:

David McCue was off duty when he got the call that iconic fashion designer Gianni Versace had been shot in cold blood on the steps of his Ocean Drive mansion July 24, 1997. At first, the Miami Beach detective thought it must be a mob hit. But when he learned of the prime suspect, he cringed — he recognized the name.

McCue had first heard about Andrew Cunanan from a federal agent a week before the murder. Cunanan was suspected of killing four people in 11 days, and the agent wanted information about a secret gay organization he believed Cunanan might have been a part of in South Florida.

McCue recounts the early days of the investigation in the first episode of his new true-crime podcast, South Beach Detective Stories. After retiring from the Miami Beach Police Department two and half years ago, he started the podcast for his young daughter, who had few memories of her dad as a police officer, he says.


2. Fort Lauderdale's Eddie Lee Mosley, who killed a dozen people and committed 40 rapes

Via the Sun Sentinel:

Today, Eddie Lee Mosley is being held in a state prison for the criminally insane. But Eddie has been there before. If doctors do not rule him competent to stand trial by October 1992, there is a chance Eddie would be set free to walk the streets again.

"We can only hope that this (confession) will put him away for good,`` says Detective Allen. ``If he`s released, he`ll kill again. Just like he has in the past."

If law enforcement officials are right, Eddie Lee Mosley is the most prolific serial killer in the history of South Florida. And he has earned the title without being convicted of a single murder.

If the cops are right, a retarded junk man from a poor black neighborhood has eluded police for 15 years while killing a dozen women and raping 40 others in Fort Lauderdale and Lakeland.

If you believe the police claims, you have to ask how such a man stayed free to uncoil such a string of violence. Was it the result of official apathy for the killings of poor black women? Was it due to egregious flaws in the judicial system? Or did a prolific killer remain free through sheer dumb luck?

And maybe the most important question of all is: Will Eddie Mosley, a suspect in dozens of brutal crimes, one day again be set free, as he was in the past?

The Most Famous Serial Killers in Miami History
illustration via New Times

3. Cult leader Yahweh ben Yahweh:

Maurice Woodside was 21 years old when he first met fiery preacher Hulon Mitchell Jr. around 1980. Maurice's younger brother Ricardo had already joined Mitchell's flock. "He got me by just walking up and saying, 'All white people are the Devil,'?" says Maurice. "I was a real militant race warrior right then, so I said, 'Whoa! Yeah, that's right!'?"

Over the next decade, Mitchell would transform from Afro-wearing black militant to murderous, robe-clad cult leader Yahweh ben Yahweh. The Oklahoman would demand his enemies heads be displayed on spikes and eventually would be sentenced to 20 years in the federal pen for conspiring in murders that included a gruesome beheading.

In real life, Shaloub's character was based on Marc Schiller, who lived through a month of torture at the hands of the Sun Gym Gang and a one-year prison stint for Medicare fraud to write his own book about the gang. Shaloub's character was also based on the actions of Frank Griga.
In real life, Shaloub's character was based on Marc Schiller, who lived through a month of torture at the hands of the Sun Gym Gang and a one-year prison stint for Medicare fraud to write his own book about the gang. Shaloub's character was also based on the actions of Frank Griga.
Courtesy of Peter Collins

4. The Sun Gym Gang from the film Pain and Gain, which was based on a 1999 New Times series:

John Raimondo is a bit player in the 1999 epic three-part Miami New Times series "Pain & Gain," which blockbuster Hollywood director Michael Bay turned into a passion project that hit theaters over two weeks ago. Starring Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson, the film recounts the absurd dark tale of the Sun Gym Gang, a group of sadistic bodybuilders who kidnapped and tortured wealthy victims to steal their assets during a crime spree between 1994 and 1995. Two of the victims, Frank Griga and Krisztina Furton, ended up dead, their bodies hacked to pieces and dumped in the Everglades. In the story, Raimondo is identified as an accomplice who initially agreed to help Sun Gym Gang members Daniel Lugo and Adrian Doorbal dispose of Griga and Furton.

Following the film's debut, Raimondo contacted New Times to tell his side, becoming the first person implicated in the Sun Gym caper to talk about the gang's grisly crimes.

5. Rory Enrique Conde, the "Tamiami Trail Strangler"

Via the Sun Sentinel in 1995:

Rory Enrique Conde was just the average guy next door, a salesman who did odd jobs for friends and even kept the keys to a neighbor's apartment in case she had an emergency.

But Metro-Dade detectives said Monday that Conde also is the ''Tamiami Strangler,'' the serial killer suspected of murdering six prostitutes.

Detectives said Conde, 30, sobbingly confessed to them that from September to January, he picked up five women and one transvestite man along the Tamiami Trail, took them to his condo, had sex with them, then strangled or suffocated them.

Conde told authorities he then put the bodies in his car and dumped them in the middle of the night near the Tamiami Trail, a major east-west road in South Florida.

(Dis)Honorable Mention: Dexter Morgan from the Showtime series Dexter. He killed about 40 people in Miami during his eight seasons on the air, a number certainly boosted by the fact that he's not a real human being:

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