The Broomstick Murderer

McDuff during one of his many arrests.

McDuff during one of his many arrests.

The small town of Rosebud, Texas spawned truly one of the most sadistic individuals I had ever looked into. On March 21, 1946 Kenneth Allen McDuff was welcomed into the world by John and Addie McDuff. Kenneth entered a large family and was soon known around town as a bully, always trying to pick on those he perceived as weaker then he. Kenneth continued to be a scourge on the community, his bullying became easier due to his rather large frame. Standing at 6-foot 3 inches, Kenneth could intimidate a number of people. He could talk people into doing things that they were not inclined on doing if it weren’t for a huge individual pushing them into it.

Initially his bullying was childish and juvenile. It seemed petty but the makings of a criminal became more apparent once Kenneth turned 18. He was arrested at the young age for multiple burglaries stretching across multiple counties. He was arrested and sentenced to 12 concurrent four year prison terms. Fortunately as luck would have it for Kenneth and not the rest of the world, he would be paroled after only serving a year and some change. Kenneth would have a few more run ins with the law over the next year but they were for minor infractions. People claim that Kenneth would wear his outlaw status as a badge of pride and brag about his exploits; including murder.

August 6th, 1966, a 20-year old McDuff and his 18-year old friend Roy Green were out cruising after a day of work. They spotted 3 teenagers at a baseball field; Robert Brand (17), Edna Louise Sullivan (16), and Mark Dunman (15). Mark was visiting his cousin Robert from California. They were just hanging out with Robert’s girlfriend Edna not looking for any trouble. McDuff parked a short distance away and approached the trio. He forced all 3 of them into the trunk of their car and drove off, making Roy Green follow in McDuff’s vehicle. McDuff lead the way to a field where he took Edna out of the trunk and had her placed in his vehicle. Once that was done McDuff fired six shots into the trunk of his victim’s vehicle. He then drove to another location where Edna was subjected to multiple rapes. Afterwards McDuff murdered her by choking her with a broomstick. McDuff dumped Edna’s body and fled the scene. The following day Roy Green turned hisself in and McDuff was apprehended shortly afterwards. McDuff was put on trial and was sentenced to death, while Green served eleven years for his role. McDuff’s death sentence was eventually commuted to life. With the change in sentencing he was able to get parole hearings and due to overcrowding, in 1989 McDuff was released. A man who had murdered 3 children, was guilty of the crime and was on death row in Texas became a free man once more.

Shortly after McDuff’s release he began working at a gas station and taking courses at a technical college but that didn't stop the body of 31-year old Sarafia Parker being found along a highway. McDuff is suspected in this murder but was never charged. Shortly thereafter McDuff found hisself back in prison for death threats, a violation of his probation (I was unable to type sarcastically). He was again released on December 18th, 1990. A year later McDuff continued his violent streak and was becoming increasingly addicted to drugs. He abducted Brenda Thompson on October 10th, 1991. She tried fighting him and even attempted to alert police at a checkpoint by kicking out McDuff’s windshield but he was able to allude authorities. McDuff killed Thompson that night and her body would not be discovered for several years.

A few days later on October 15th, McDuff was with Regina DeAnne Moore. After the two had an argument, McDuff tied the woman up, killed her and dumped her body. Like the previous victim, her body would not be discovered for several years. At this time McDuff was suspected in a number of other murders but was never charged.

On December 29th, 1991 Colleen Reed had been washing her car at night at a self service car wash. McDuff and an accomplice spotted the young woman alone and the evil duo decided to kidnap her. Her car was discovered the next day still covered in soap. Colleen was tortured with lit cigarettes and raped for several hours before being murdered. Her body would not be found for sometime and may not have been found if McDuff hadn’t revealed it’s location before his execution.

Just two months later, on February of 1992, McDuff strangled Valencia Joshua. Her body would be found on a golf course a month later. McDuff was becoming more active and more sadistic. Just days after the Joshua murder, McDuff kidnapped a former co-worker from his previous gas station job. Melissa Northrup was working the graveyard shift when McDuff kidnapped her and robbed the store. To make matters worse, Northrup was pregnant. Sadly, McDuff was too selfish and callous for him to feel any sympathy or remorse for this young, soon-to-be mother. He killed her and her body was discovered on April 26th, 1992.

McDuff was suspected of some of these crimes but authorities had no solid evidence. However his friend who helped him kidnap Colleen Reed admitted to his involvement in the crime, and outed McDuff for the cold blooded murderer that he was. A warrant was put out for the arrest of McDuff and he soon fled. McDuff was found on May 4th, 1992 in Kansas City under an assumed name. It is suspected he had help getting up there but it was never proven.

McDuff was charged with the murder of Melissa Northrup, the young mother who he kidnapped while she worked. McDuff was found guilty and again, for the second time, was sentenced to death. The deed was carried out on November 17th, 1998, 5 years after his conviction. He was interred into the prison cemetery where he will carry out a life sentence  

I find it incredibly interesting that McDuff was able to carry on as long as he did without being found out. If he were on parole I always wondered how he was not followed up on more often and how he had not received a mental health evaluation or if he had the results were not inspected properly. Surely there were signs that he would continue to wreak havoc on society but hindsight is 20/20. Justice was served in the end and the Broomstick killer is no more.