Not in My Name

...but they're dead just the same...

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#199 - Robert Dale Henderson Sr. - FL - 4/21/1993

He claimed to have killed as many as 12 people in a multi-state spree.  Unfortunately, I’m having great difficulty finding information about his victims.

Victims:  Murray Ferderber                        1/25/1982
                Dorothy Wilkerson                       1/25/1982
                Ivan Barnett
                Marie Barnett
                Clifford Barnett (11)
                Francis Dickey (23)
                Robert Dawson (18)
                Vernon Odom (27)

Source:  Court docs

The Charlotte County, Florida, police received a call on February 6, 1982, reporting an auto burglary. When officers arrived at the scene, appellant Henderson surrendered himself and stated that he was wanted for murder in several states. Henderson had apparently made the call to the police in order to facilitate his surrender. 

During questioning by the Charlotte County authorities, Henderson implicated himself in two murders that had occurred in Putnam County, Florida. Henderson soon invoked his right to counsel, and the Charlotte County public defender's office was contacted.

As a result of the statements to the Charlotte County police, Putnam County Officers Bakker and Hord arrived to transport Henderson to their jurisdiction on February 10, 1982. At a formal hearing during which Henderson was turned over to Bakker and Hord, the Putnam County officers were presented with a form that Henderson had executed, invoking his right to counsel and stating that he would not talk to the police under any circumstances without his attorney present. 

At the end of the approximately five-hour trip to Putnam County, Bakker and Hord obtained a written waiver of Henderson's previously invoked rights to counsel and silence, and Henderson confessed to killing three hitchhikers in Hernando County. Henderson also agreed to show the officers where the bodies were. 

On June 2, 1982, Henderson pled guilty to the Putnam County charges, for which he received two life sentences. Afterwards, he was transported to Hernando County. During the trip, Officer Perez, the transporting officer, encouraged Henderson to make further incriminating statements. Henderson at first refused but eventually talked to Perez about the Hernando County murders. 

Due to excessive pretrial publicity, Henderson's trial on the Hernando County charges was moved to Lake County, Florida, approximately thirty miles from Hernando County. The prosecution's case in the guilt phase was based on the testimony of Officers Bakker, Hord, and Perez. The defense presented no evidence. Henderson was found guilty by the jury on November 20, 1982. 

Evidence introduced by the prosecution during the sentencing phase included copies of the Putnam County judgments and the testimony of Officer Perez as to a statement made by Henderson allegedly showing lack of remorse. Henderson called a reporter to testify as to Henderson's personal history. 

The jury recommended death, and the trial judge imposed a sentence of capital punishment, finding three statutory aggravating circumstances and unspecified nonstatutory mitigating circumstances. On direct appeal, the Florida Supreme Court affirmed Henderson's conviction and sentence. Henderson's state habeas proceedings were unsuccessful.  The United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida denied Henderson's application for the writ on June 21, 1988.

Source:  New York Times
Florida Executes Killer of 12
Published: April 22, 1993

A drifter who admitted killing a dozen people in five states in 1982 was executed today in Florida's electric chair, hours after the United States Supreme Court rejected his appeal.

The killer, Robert Dale Henderson, 48, was pronounced dead at 7:10 A.M., said the office of Gov. Lawton Chiles.

When asked if he had any final words, Mr. Henderson replied, "No, sir, I don't."

He was sentenced to death in 1982 for the slayings of three hitchhikers he had picked up near the end of a 19-day killing spree that started on Jan. 14 of that year in Ohio. Along the way he also killed people in South Carolina, Mississippi and Louisiana before ending the spree in Florida.

The Florida hitchhikers, two men and a woman, were bound with adhesive tape and shot in the head. Mr. Henderson told the authorities he thought they were going to kill him.

In his appeal, which was rejected by the Supreme Court on Tuesday night, Mr. Henderson asserted that the trial judge's instructions to the jury on imposing the death penalty had been vague and unconstitutional, that evidence had been withheld and that his appellate lawyer had done a poor job.

He was arrested Feb. 6, 1982, after turning himself in to a patrolling sheriff's deputy in Charlotte County.

Mr. Henderson, a high school dropout from Esther, Mo., said he first killed a woman in Ohio. A week later, he said, he killed his wife's parents and their 11-year-old son in their Ohio farmhouse.

He said his other victims included a 21-year-old model in Charleston, S.C.; a nightclub owner in Baton Rouge, La.; a woman in Pascagoula, Miss., and a store clerk and a retired doctor near Palatka, Fla.

He was sentenced to life in prison for all but the Louisiana and Mississippi killings, for which he was charged but never tried.

Mr. Henderson was the 199th person executed in the nation since the Supreme Court ruling in 1976 allowing states to resume use of the death penalty.

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I can provide info if you like on my stepfather, the "nightclub operator" from Port Allen LA.

Yes my mother Frances Dickey age 23 at the time was one of the victims I was 3 and she had 2 more daughter's also that she'd left behind in Mississippi

Information about victims of Robert Dale Henderson

He had a victim named Jerilyn Stanfield in 1982. She was abducted from the Eastgate Mall parking lot and shot. Her body was found in a barn in 1982. Your posting is so old you may already have this information but thought I would post just in case. Hope it helps.


I can provide info on the victim only known in news about
Him as the Pascagoula woman. Her name was
Cheryl Kay McDonald she was my cousin. This
Man kidnapped er from singing river hospital
In Pascagoula ms

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