Category: Serial Killing
Location: United States
Date: 1985 - 1999
Crime: Sentenced to death for the murders of six people, Sells is believed to have claimed up to 70 total victims during his life traveling around as a 'carny' worker.
Biography: Tommy Lynn Sells was born on June 28, 1964 in Kingsport, Tennessee along with a twin sister. When they were 18 months old, they both contracted meningitis and she died. After his sister's death, Tommy was sent to live with his aunt in Holcomb, Missouri. Around the age of eight, sells began spending time with a suspected child molester and was soon traveling around with him on frequent day trips. Sells rarely went to school and was drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana by the age of 10. When he was 13 years old, Tommy Lynn Sells tried to rape his mother and was sent for psychiatric counseling. By the time he turned 14, Sells was out on the streets, hopping trains and committing whatever crimes he needed to survive. He is said to have committed his first murder at the age of 16 while working as a carnival ride operator. During the 1980's, Sell's claims to have killed dozens of people across the entire United States. He was drifting from state to state, driving stolen cars and stealing to survive. In the fall of 1987, Sells admits to killing a family in rural Illinois. The man of the house, was found shot in the head in a field, while in the mobile home where they lived, the man's pregnant wife and 3 year old son were found beaten to death with a baseball bat. A baby girl who was pulled from the mothers womb during or after the beating was found bludgeoned as well. Authorities state that the mother was posthumously raped with the baseball bat that was used to destroy her family. Sells, was finally arrested in early 2000, when a 10 year old victim survived a knife attack and eventually lead the police to arrest Tommy Lynn Sells based on his description of the attacker. Sells currently sits on death row in Texas.