Police say inmate who admitted to 6 Pennsylvania killings spoke of others

MARK SCOLFORO
Associated Press
This undated booking photo provided by the Florida Department of Corrections shows Edward Surratt. Surratt, a Florida inmate who admitted he killed six people in Pennsylvania in the 1970s also discussed five to seven other slayings in the state, and police in those areas have been alerted, an investigator said Thursday, June 3, 2021. (Florida Department of Corrections via AP)

HARRISBURG — A Florida inmate who admitted he killed six people in Pennsylvania in the 1970s also discussed five to seven other slayings in the state, and police in those areas have been alerted, an investigator said Thursday.

Trooper Max DeLuca obtained those details in March from Edward A. Surratt about cases that are not under the state police's jurisdiction, so he has since contacted those other departments, he said.

Surratt, serving life at a state prison in Raiford, Florida, implicated himself in Pennsylvania slayings that occurred during 1977 and 1978, state police announced Wednesday.

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State police said prosecutors do not plan to prosecute Surratt for those six deaths, in part because of the security challenges involved in transporting an inmate and because he is already serving a life sentence, DeLuca said.

DeLuca said he first contacted Surratt as part of an investigation into another killing. When DeLuca met with him in Florida in March, Surratt provided details that were not publicly known about the six deaths in Fulton, Bedford and Beaver counties, confirming his role to investigators, DeLuca said.

Surratt would not say how many people he killed in Pennsylvania, DeLuca said.

“He wouldn't give me a number,” the trooper said in a phone interview. “I asked for a number.”

DeLuca said Surratt did not appear to be seeking attention, nor did he seem boastful.

“He is not someone who is bragging about this,” DeLuca said. He said Surratt appears to be in good health, considering he is 79 years old.

“He's definitely not proud,” DeLuca said. “He did express, I would say, some regret about two of the victims but they weren't in my jurisdiction.”

Surratt, a truck driver and former resident of Aliquippa, implicated himself the slayings of William and Nancy Adams in Beaver County, Guy and Laura Mills near Bedford, Joel Krueger near McConnellsburg and John Shelkons in Beaver County.

He is serving two life sentences in Florida for crimes there and was convicted of murder in South Carolina.

In 2007, Surratt told an interviewer he was involved in Pennsylvania and Ohio killings dating to the 1970s. He has been incarcerated since October 1978.

DeLuca declined to identify where the additional suspected Pennsylvania murders are because they are not being handled by Pennsylvania State Police.

“He discussed like five to seven,” DeLuca said.