NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (WTNH) — Police didn’t have much to go on 12 years ago. A single missing persons report, but through thousands of hours of hard work, detectives have dug up seven bodies buried behind a strip mall in New Britain and today, the victim’s family members were in court to watch a judge charge William Devin Howell with capital felony murder.
The court papers tell a horrific story of how Howell called his van “mobile murder,” sexually assaulting women in the back of the van before strangling, and in some cases, beating them with a hammer. New Britain Police Chief James Wardell said the team will stand by the victim’s families as the cases make their way through the court system.
“Capital felony murder charge. It’s going to be a very hard ordeal, but they’re not going to be walking this path alone. We are all here for them,” said Wardell.
In court documents, Howell referred to the woods behind a strip mall as his garden, where he would allegedly take the victims he killed and bury them. When the Police Chief was asked if there were more bodies, he couldn’t rule out that there are more victims, he would only say the case is not closed.
“These types of investigations are never closed. As new information comes forward, we explore. We never say the book is closed on any case like this,” said Wardell.
Inside Howell’s van, police say they found a video tape with photographs of two women who they are still trying to track down. Police in other states where Howell has lived are also looking into missing person reports, and the serial murder task force in New Britain will leave no stone unturned. Wardell says they have proven that.
“They have put in countless hours, thousands of hours, so many hours we can’t put a number on it. It has been around the clock sometimes, and the effort speaks for itself,” said Wardell.
Howell sent News 8’s Chief Investigator David Iversen a letter explaining his life in, and out of prison. News 8 Exclusive: