Before Hurricane Katrina ravaged southern Louisiana, Derrick Todd Lee did his part to decimate the lives of several women, Geralyn Barr DeSoto being the sixth killed.
Geralyn Barr DeSoto had her father’s eyes. She was her father’s apple, often making her other sisters jealous of the attention he gave her.
She had married early, and at 21-years-old, she possessed an outstanding student record at Louisiana State University (LSU). Her passion was physical therapy and training, and she was already making her mark as one of the finest around. Happily married and set up for success, Geralyn Barr DeSoto had her entire life to look forward to.
There’s no doubt that Geralyn would have helped and improved the lives of thousands of clients in her career. She would have, that is, if she hadn’t answered the knock on her door on January 14th, 2002.
Detectives know that the man who so brutally violated DeSoto had asked her to use her cordless phone. After turning on his charm, Lee was brazen enough to call his old employment at Exxon, a call that the police had traced from DeSoto’s phone line.
Detectives mapped out the savagery of Lee’s attack based on the horrific crime scene, and even though DeSoto put up a “pretty rough fight,” she could not overcome her attacker.
The medical examiner confirmed that De Soto’s brain damage occurred “instantly” after her attacker slammed the base of the cordless phone on the bridge of her nose. He would later state that her skull fractured in multiple places, causing instant brain damage to the brain tissue. Derrick Todd Lee used his entire two-hundred pound frame to blow through the home with so much force that his victim was hurled to the ground.
Using an Old-Timer Schrade knife, Lee stabbed DeSoto twice in the back, again on her side, and at least four times in her left breast. She was not dead, and Lee was not yet finished with her.
Forensic pathologist Dr Alfredo Suarez’s findings showed that the victim’s thyroid gland had been completely severed and that her sternocleidomastoid muscles — the ones that move your head back and forth — were “gone”.
He determined that the killer’s knife went all the way through the throat, cutting the seventh cervical vertebrae.
This brutality was common for Derrick Todd Lee’s victims; he would also slice through the throat, nearly severing it completely, before fleeing the scene. Also before leaving, Lee would often stomp on his victim, leaving large boot prints around the damaged organs. This was his last act of hatred.
Dr. Suarez stated that DeSoto’s neck began an “arterial spurt”, which occurs when the heart continues to pump blood through a severed opened artery. The result is a scene from a horror slasher — with blood covering the walls and ceiling.
It is hard to imagine how anyone could be so evil.
Derrick Todd Lee earned the moniker, the South Louisiana Serial Killer, after his murderous rampage that lasted over a decade, killing at least seven, but most likely, many more. Derrick Todd Lee was convicted of murder and was sentenced to death by lethal injection for his heinous crimes; he died of heart disease on January 21, 2016.