Roger Stafford Executed Oklahoma Serial Killer

Roger Stafford was a serial killer who was executed by the State of Oklahoma for a series of murder

According to court documents Roger Stafford would murder Jimmy Earl Berry who was shot and killed during a robbery at a restaurant. The murder would go unsolved for years until Stafford wife would tell police of his involvement

Roger Stafford would then go to Oklahoma where he would murder Melvin Lorenz, 38, his wife, Linda, 31, and their son, Richard, 12 who would pull over to the side of the road when Roger’s wife Velma waved them down.

Three weeks later Roger Stafford would murder six people during a robbery at Sirloin Stockade restaurant in Oklahoma City

Roger Stafford would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death

Roger Stafford is believed to be responsible for over thirty murders

Roger Stafford would be executed by lethal injection on July 1 1995

Roger Stafford Photos

Roger Stafford - Oklahoma

Roger Stafford Case

It was a crime that changed the culture of Oklahoma forever.

On July 16, 1978, Roger Dale Stafford went into the Sirloin Stockade in Oklahoma City and attempted to rob the restaurant.

Armed with a handgun, Stafford and his wife and brother went into the restaurant and ordered four of the teenage employees into the freezer.

Officials say Stafford shot 17-year-old David Lindsey, 16-year-old David Salsman, 17-year-old Anthony Tew and 15-year-old Terri Horst execution style.

Stafford also killed 43-year-old Louis Zacarias, the store manager, and 56-year-old Isaac Freeman.

It was a brutal crime that shocked the Sooner State.

“It was almost like a rite of passage for Oklahoma City. We’d never had any; we’d had murders occasionally, but nothing like this,” said then-District Attorney Andy Coats.

It was Oklahoma’s first mass murder, and it terrified residents.

The panic became worse when authorities were able to link the gun used in the Sirloin Stockade murders to the murders of a North Dakota family in Purcell.

The bodies of 38-year-old Sgt. Melvin Lorenz, 31-year-old Staff Sgt. Linda Lorenz and 12-year-old Richard Lorenz were found along the highway.

After being convicted of the crimes, Stafford was executed in 1995.

Roger Stafford Execution

Asserting his innocence to the end, a man convicted of killing nine people in two separate incidents in the late 1970’s was executed by injection early today.

The inmate, Roger Dale Stafford, 43, died at 12:30 A.M. at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary. His lawyers had filed a series of final appeals, including one requesting a stay so that he could become an organ donor.

“I’d like to tell the world that you’re seeing an innocent man murdered,” Mr. Stafford said shortly before he was put to death. “Somewhere, somehow, some place, somebody please exonerate me and give me the peace of giving my name back.”

At 12:24 A.M. he closed his eyes, said, “Oh, God,” and the injections began.

Mr. Stafford, who spent more than 15 years on death row, was put to death for killing a Texas couple, Tech. Sgt. Melvin Lorenz and Staff Sgt. Linda Lorenz, both of the Air Force, and their 12-year-old son, Richard, on an interstate highway in Oklahoma in June 1978. He had also been sentenced to death for gunning down six employees at an Oklahoma City steakhouse a month later.

Mr. Stafford’s wife at the time, Verna Stafford, is serving two life sentences in the Lorenz murders. She testified that she stood along the road and feigned car trouble, and her husband killed all three.

Dennis Lorenz, Sgt. Lorenz’s brother, said: “What Roger Stafford got tonight was far too easy for what he put those people through, and it was far too long for him to have stayed alive.”

Mr. Stafford was the fifth person executed in Oklahoma since the state renewed the death penalty in 1976 and the 31st executed this year in the United States.

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