What Happened to the Man?
After fleeing from the parking lot, he went back to his apartment and then called for an ambulance. He told the dispatcher that he had “got beat up.”
He was taken to the hospital for treatment of cuts to his head, hand and cheek, as well as an injury to his nose.
A Familiar Voice
- Depending on the source he was either interviewed by police who recognized his voice or the dispatcher taking the call recognized his voice
- The voice match in combination with identification by both Denise Williams and Douglas Penning was enough to arrest him and charge him with attempted murder
- He was also identified as the man who had left Hexagon Bar with Barbara just a couple of weeks before
What About Paul Michael Stephani?
- Remember how his mugshot had been picked out by the waitress at Hexagon Bar?
- Police were tailing him after Barbara’s murder
- So were they wrong?
- They had actually lost track of him at the time of Denise Williams’ attack and it was in fact Paul Michael Stephani that was responsible
Who Was Paul Michael Stephani?
- He was born September 8. 1944
- The last of 10 children
- He grew up in an extremely religious Catholic home
- His mother remarried when he was 3
- His stepfather was said to beat and sometimes throw his stepkids down the stairs
- He married a woman named Beverly Lider
- The two had one daughter
- They later divorced
- He had once been convicted of aggravated assault
- He had a history of mental illness
- He worked shortly as a janitor at Malberg Manufacturing Company in 1977 before being fired
- If that sounds familiar it’s because that’s where Karen Potack was found
- Stephani was charged with the attempted murder of Denise Williams in the second degree, assault in the second degree for attacking Douglas Panning, and the murder of Barbara Simons
- He pled not guilty
- Even with the recordings and his sister and ex-wife testifying that they believed the voice in the recordings was him, they didn’t have enough evidence to conclusively link him to the other attacks on Karen Potack and Kimberly Compton
- He was found guilty of what they were able to charge him with and he was sentenced 18 years for his attack of Denise and Douglas and to 40 years for the murder of Barbara
Karma’s a Bitch
- In 1997, Stephani was diagnosed with cancer and given less than a year to live
- Some sources say skin cancer while others say lung cancer
- It seems like the majority consensus is skin
- He had always denied that he was guilty and had even tried to appeal the verdict
- Facing death caused him to have a come to Jesus moment and he decided not to lie anymore
- He told authorities that he was ready to confess and that he not only wanted to confess to the crimes he had been found guilty of, but his other crimes as well and apologize to the families of his victims
- Of course he wasn’t just doing this out of kindness
- He only agreed to confess if he could get a picture of his mother’s gravestone
- When confessing, he said “To this day, I can’t believe it. I wake up in the morning thinking and hoping I’m dreaming all this.” *insert eye roll*
- He also said “I don’t know what to do except say I wish I could turn back the clock” and “All I can say is I’m sick and I’m sorry if sorry means anything after 15 years”
- He also made claims that he would hear voices telling him to kill
Remember Kathleen Greening?
- If you remember, in last week’s episode I told you about the murder of Kathleen Greening who was found drowned in a bathtub
- It seemed very out of place because it was very different from the other crimes we’ve been talking about in just about every way
- So why bring it up?
- When Stephani was confessing to his crimes, no one was shocked that he admitted to attacking Karen Potack, killing Kimberly Compton and Barbara Simons, and of course the attack of Denise Williams that got him caught
- What police weren’t expecting was for him to describe another murder that he had committed where he didn’t make a “weepy voiced” call (1)
- This was of course the murder of Kathleen Greening
- He said when drowning Kathleen, he felt like he was playing a game. He would be smiling and a few seconds later ask himself, “what are you doing? She’s dying!”
- He said, “There was somebody telling me, ‘Paul, it’s time to kill!’”He himself didn’t understand why he would pick someone up at a restaurant, and 15 minutes later would stab them.
Paul Stephani died June 12, 1998, in Oak Park Heights Prison, Minnesota. He was 53.
Sources: Accessed October 2023
Paul Michael Stephani, The ‘Weepy-Voiced Killer’ Who Confessed His Murders In A Series Of Chilling Phone Calls https://allthatsinteresting.com/weepy-voiced-killer
The ‘Weepy-Voiced Killer’ terrorized Minnesota in the 1980s, until one woman took him down https://www.inforum.com/news/the-vault/the-weepy-voiced-killer-terrorized-minnesota-in-the-1980s-until-one-woman-took-him-down?auth0Authentication=true
Weepy Voiced Killer: The Serial Murder Spree of Paul Michael Stephani https://the-line-up.com/weepy-voiced-killer-paul-michael-stephani
‘Mark of a Killer:’ 6 Most Disturbing Details About Weepy-Voiced Killer Murders https://www.thewrap.com/mark-of-a-killer-6-disturbing-details-weepy-voiced-killer-murders/
Paul Michael Stephani https://criminalminds.fandom.com/wiki/Paul_Michael_Stephani
‘Will You Find Me?’ The ‘Weepy Voiced Killer’ Asked Police While Reporting His Own Murders https://www.oxygen.com/mark-of-a-killer/crime-news/weepy-voiced-killer-paul-michael-stephani-report-murders
Barbara Simons https://victimsofhomicide.fandom.com/wiki/Barbara_Simons
Kathleen Greening https://victimsofhomicide.fandom.com/wiki/Kathleen_Greening