KCSO asking for help in identifying possible victims

KCSO asking for help in identifying possible serial killer victims

Jerry Marcus (source: Mississippi Department of Corrections) Jerry Marcus (source: Mississippi Department of Corrections)

6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The Knox County Sheriff's Office is asking for help in identifying possible victims of a known serial killer who admitted to killing several women in the 1970s and 1980s.

KCSO's Cold Case Unit is looking into a 1984 case involving statements made by serial killer Jerry Marcus, 62, in which he confessed to killing several women in the Knoxville area.

He confessed to and was indicted for the murder of Francine Davis, who was killed in October 1984 in Knoxville. It's believed he may have killed at least two others in the Knoxville area.

Lydia Mickens says she and her sister Francine Davis were best friends.

"Her smile would just melt your heart and her personality she loved people," said Mickens.

Mickens' sister was killed in her Knoxville apartment in 1984.

"It felt like yesterday because I never forget thinking about her. I think about her every day," said Mickens.

Arthur Davis was married to Francine Davis at the time of her death. He remembers when police told him his wife was murdered.

"It just makes you ugh get that gut feeling that twisted stomach. It was just bone jarring. I just reverted into another land then and thought I just can't believe this is not happening," said Davis.

Serial killer Jerry Marcus confessed in 1987 to Davis' murder. This provided answers Mickens was desperately searching for.

"I'm glad he was caught and he can't get out and hurt anybody else," said Mickens.

Marcus confessed to killing seven women in Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee. According to Knox County Sheriff's Cold Case Investigator Amy Dobbs Marcus said he killed Davis and several other women in Knoxville.

"We're asking the public to help us identify who those victims might be. We don't know how many victims are truly out there," said Dobbs.

Dobbs says Marcus went to Knoxville College and played football there from 1975 to 1979. He then began to work security at Knoxville College.

He moved away in 1984. Dobbs says he may have killed at least two other women in the Knoxville area. Arthur Davis says a female friend of his described Marcus as friendly.

"Yeah he was a charming, normal guy," said Davis.

While the Davis' family is glad to have Marcus behind bars serving a life sentence they hope if he killed other women those murders will also soon be solved.

"Closure would be good because then you would have some kind of direction of knowing what happened," said Davis.

The Cold Case Unit is looking into any unsolved homicides from 1975 to 1984 to see if he may have been involved.

Anyone who remembers Jerry Marcus, any of his associates or places he frequented, or knows any African-American women who disappeared during this time is asked to call the Cold Case Unit at (865) 215-2243.

Marcus is currently in prison in Mississippi on other homicide charges.

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