16 November 1944
by William C. Payette
Los Angeles, - Dapper Otto Steve Wilson, 32, a modern "Jack the Ripper" who confessed (to) killing two attractive women and horribly mutilating their bodies in the most savage crime here in a generation, told police today that he passed away the time between the two slayings attending a horror movie, "The Walking Dead."
A traffic officer making a routine check of all persons in the area, which had been surrounded by a cordon of police, arrested Wilson in a bar a few doors from the hotel where one of the crimes had been committed. The slashed pieces of the body of the first victim, Mrs. Virgie Lee Griffin, 25 year old errant wife of a truck driver, was found in a closet of a downtown hotel.
While police were investigating the blood splattered scene they were called to another hotel three blocks away where they found the similarly hacked body of Mrs. Lillian Johnson, 45.
Wilson was reluctant to talk at first but later changed his mind and readily admitted the ghoulish acts.
Wilkson said he met Mrs. Griffin while he was wandering on the city's skid-row, "in search of love."
"She propositioned me and we went to a hotel room. She wanted more money."
"I knocked her on the jaw and got mad and cut her up. At first I wanted to dispose of the body, but decided I couldn't," he said.
Attendants at the hotel identified Wilson as the man, who with the young woman, rented a room and registered as "Mr. and Mrs. O. S. Wilson of Studeville, Ind."
When Wilson left the room he tipped the maid $1 and told her his "wife" didn't want to be disturbed.
Later the maid entered the room and found the body, cut open from throat to pelvis, one leg severed and the breasts slashed off.
After chatting with a hotel clerk, Wilson said he left the building and because he liked horror pictures, took in a showing of "The Walking Dead."
Then Wilson said, he met the other girl.
"She didn't want any money. I cut her up for cussedness," he said.
Wilson, a six footer with wavy brown hair and a light mustache, said he was a fry cook at Terminal Island, Calif., he said he had been discharged from the navy in 1941 after serving 10 years as a pharmacist's mate.