How Joe Michael Ervin The Serial Killer Evaded Arrest

Joe Michael Ervin was involved in a brutal killing spree that murdered six people between 1969 and 1981, but his crimes were largely undetected until a brief encounter with a cop.

Debra Sue Corr, a Colorado police officer, stopped Joe Michael Ervin, who was suspected of driving under the influence, in 1981. Corr had no idea Ervin was a cold-blooded serial killer – or that she was about to be his final victim.

Ervin was able to disarm Corr and shot her in the head with her own gun. He then shot a bystander who had stopped to assist her before fleeing the scene. Ervin was arrested at his house while attempting to cut his handcuffs off, but he would never face punishment because he committed suicide before his trial.

Debra Sue Corr.

Ervin, on the other hand, remained a police target even after his death. Between 1978 and 1981, he was a significant suspect in four cold case homicides. The entire magnitude of Ervin’s misdeeds has been uncovered thanks to DNA and genealogy services.

The First Crimes Of Joe Michael Ervin

Joe Michael Ervin was born on June 25, 1951, in Fort Worth, Texas, and murdered his first victim before he was even an adult.

On Aug. 8, 1969, while loitering at the Berry Bowl bowling facility, the Kirkpatrick High football star approached a parked automobile and shot 21-year-old passenger Rodney Bonham in the neck before fleeing.

When Fort Worth police issued a nationwide warrant for Ervin four days later, the Tarrant County Junior College student died. Surprisingly, the killer called Bonham’s father after learning of his son’s death and expressed regret, saying, “I’m sad he’s dead, but we all have to go sometime.” “I apologise for shooting him.”

Ervin moved to Denver, Colorado, to avoid the $650 bounty on his head.

Madeleine Furey-Livaudais, a 33-year-old magazine editor and mother of two, was his next victim. On Dec. 7, 1978, Ervin knocked on her door and stabbed her to death in her bedroom. However, an overburdened police force was unable to conduct a thorough investigation into her death.

Ervin stabbed Delores Barajas, a 53-year-old Denver resident who had just left for work at the Fairmont Hotel, and was found dead in an alley hours later. It was her last day of work before heading back to her out-of-state home.

Gwendolyn Harris, 27, went missing from a downtown Denver lounge in December 1980, and her body was discovered on December 21. The stabbing of 17-year-old Antoinette Parks in a field on Jan. 24, 1981, was possibly Ervin’s most heinous crime. She was six months pregnanct.

Catching Up With His Crimes

Despite Ervin’s arrest just months after his last murder, these crimes would remain unsolved for decades. On June 27, 1981, when detained and stopped in Aurora for drunk driving, Ervin took officer Corr’s weapon from its holster and fired three times at her, two of which were fatal.

Gwendolyn Harris, Antoinette Parks, and Madeleine Furey-Livaudais.

Glen Spies, a 19-year-old Explorer Scout, was the bystander who stopped for Corr, and Ervin shot him in the back before fleeing the scene. He eventually made it out alive. Despite the fact that Corr’s coworkers were able to track Ervin’s license plate back to his house and apprehend him, the killer managed to elude punishment one last time on July 1.


Ervin was found dead in solitary confinement at the Adams County Jail during a routine check in the evening, despite being charged with first-degree murder and attempted murder. Before hanging himself, he penned a note confessing to Corr’s murder.

Ervin’s legacy did not escape the truth, even though he managed to avoid the trial.

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