New details are being revealed about the last moments and disturbing childhood habits of Steve Stephens, the gunman who reportedly killed an elderly Cleveland resident in cold blood and posted footage of the murder on Facebook. Stephens, 37, allegedly gunned down randomly chosen 74-year-old Robert Godwin Sr., 74, in Cleveland on Sunday.
He was captured after an eagle-eyed McDonald’s employee in Erie, Pennsylvania, recognized him in the drive-thru Tuesday. Henry Sayers, a McDonald’s employee, said Stephens was acting normally when he rolled through the drive-thru and ordered a 20 piece Chicken McNuggets and a basket of fries.
Sayers recognized him and immediately dialed 911, and tried to stall for time by telling Stephens that they were waiting for his fries. Sayers says that Stephens became agitated at the delay, saying he couldn’t wait for the fries, and exited the drive-thru and pulled right out onto Buffalo Street. That’s where police intercepted his vehicle and chased him for two miles before he shot himself in the head.Related: Unhappy Meal: Couple Has Sex In McDonald’s Parking Lot With Child In Car
Meanwhile, according to another report, Stephens was a self-described “monster” who tortured animals when he was young. Stephens reportedly took his anger out on his pet parakeet while growing up, as well as other family pets.
“That kid was not normal as we as normal people know it from the beginning,” longtime neighbor Tony Henderson told The Daily Beast. Henderson described Stephens as being smart but “very up and down” during the time he lived nearby — and described the horror he felt when he observed Stephens abuse his parakeet.
After asking Henderson if he wanted to see the bird, Henderson said that he entered the house and saw the parakeet crawl from a cage onto Stephens’ finger. Henderson described the heartbreaking scene:
If true, this means that Stephens shares traits with serial killers including Jeffrey Dahmer and “Killer Clown” John Wayne Gacy, who also abused animals in childhood. Over the years, criminologists have found a distinct link between animal abuse and human violence.
“Then he slapped the bird as hard as he could with his other hand, and the bird was lying on the floor. The bird looked dead to me. I looked at him, and he was smiling and laughing as he looked at me and that bird.”
Before going on his cannibalistic murder spree, Dahmer reportedly slaughtered frogs, cats, and dogs — placing their heads on sticks and soaking their bones in acid. Gacy is said to have tortured turkeys by throwing gasoline-filled balloons at them and setting them ablaze. And before achieving international infamy through his upload of “1 Lunatic 1 Icepick,” his genuine film of murder and cannibalism, Canadian killer Luka Magnotta uploaded videos to YouTube of himself killing kittens
Main photo: Steve Stephens [Cleveland Police]