The Strange Case of Michael Ross

David Dudley and Brad Herzog in Cornell Magazine:

Feature2_photo_004During the eighteen years that Michael Ross has lived on death row, he has spent many hours punching out letters and articles on a typewriter. For years he put together a monthly newsletter that was mailed to a list of correspondents and, later, published on the Web. He wrote about his prison routine– up early listening to National Public Radio, a brisk one-hour morning walk to keep his weight down, afternoons naps, and some TV after dinner on the small color set his father bought him. He wrote about the Catholic faith he found in prison, his hours of daily prayer, the peace he felt reflecting on the Stations of the Cross. He wrote, bemusedly at times, about the twists and turns of his case, a twodecade odyssey through the state and federal courts that featured several appeals, an overturned capital sentence, two penalty phase hearings separated by thirteen years, another sentence of death, and–in the weeks leading up to his scheduled execution this January–a bewildering flurry of last-minute motions filed on his behalf by religious groups, public defenders, death penalty foes, and his own father.Most of all, he wrote about himself, and what he did.

Between May 1981, when he graduated from Cornell, and June 1984, when a Connecticut police investigator knocked on his door, Ross killed eight young women, raping seven of them. before strangling them.

More here.