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Killer Confesses to 2 More Slayings

December 19, 1997 GMT

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) _ A prison inmate known as the ``weepy-voiced killer″ for his tearful phone calls taunting police in the 1980s has confessed to committing three murders, two of them previously unsolved, authorities said today.

Paul Michael Stephani, 53, told investigators earlier this month he wanted to confess and apologize to the victims’ families before he died from cancer. He has melanoma and has been told he less than a year to live, police said at a news conference.

In the taped confessions, which police believe to be true, Stephani said he killed Kathy Greening, 33, who was found drowned in her Lauderdale bathtub in 1982. He said he also killed Kimberly Compton, 18, who was stabbed with an ice pick within hours of stepping off a bus in St. Paul in 1981.

He also confessed to attacking a 20-year-old woman who was found stabbed and badly beaten, but still alive, along railroad tracks in St. Paul after leaving a New Year’s party on Jan. 1, 1981.

``He himself said he didn’t know why he did it,″ Sgt. Keith Mortenson said. ``After he had done these things, he did not believe he had done them.″

Stephani also admitted killing Barbara Simons. He was convicted of stabbing her more than 100 times in Minneapolis in 1982, and sentenced to 40 years in prison.

He also was sentenced to 18 years for stabbing Denise Williams of Minneapolis with a screwdriver in his car in 1982, and chasing away a man who tried to help her.

Wounded by Williams, Stephani was finally arrested when he called for medical help and authorities recognized his voice.

Investigators said today they were surprised by Stephani’s confession to Greening’s slaying. He was a suspect in Compton’s death but never in hers.

``He didn’t have to give us Kathy Greening. That was out of left field for us,″ Mortenson said.

Stephani’s memory about the events was sketchy and investigators had to fill in many details, Mortenson said. It could take three weeks before the prosecutor files new charges.

In the early 1980s, police were stumped by a man who begged to be caught.

He once called police at 3 a.m. in a high-pitched, emotional voice and urged them to hurry to a location by some railroad tracks where a girl was hurt. The next time he called, uttered an expletive, and said: ``Will you find me? I just stabbed someone with an ice pick. I can’t stop myself.″