A convicted killer confessed on his deathbed just days before he died of lung cancer that he murdered 11 women.
Gary Artman told detectives he killed a woman in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1996, a woman whose body was found in Maryland and nine other murders for which he was never charged.
Artman, a long-haul truck driver, made the confessions from a Michigan prison hospital and told investigators that 10 of the 11 murders took place in Grand Rapids.
“Our investigative team met with him three times prior to his death to see if there was any information or facts they could gather to help solve some of these unsolved murders and missing persons,” told WOOD-TV Kent County Sheriff Lt. Eric Bruner.
“What we can say is simply that these three times were fruitful, to a certain extent. And we're trying to further help bring closure to these families who have potentially been affected over the last many years by these unsolved cases. So that's our hope, but there's still some work to be done.”
Artman was convicted of murdering Sharon Hammack in 1996 and admitted to killing 24-year-old Dusty Shuck.
Sack was found stabbed and beaten to death near a truck stop in Maryland on May 4, 2006. Artman had been linked to the killing through DNA, but his terminal cancer diagnosis precluded testing.
“He was an amazing soul. She was good inside and out,” Shaq's mother, Lori Kreutzer, told the report.
He said Artmann was in a coma and expected to die in mid-December. But he came out of his coma and admitted to the murders before he died aged 66 on December 28.
“It was a miracle. … divine intervention. So at least he did that,” he added.
Both victims were among 17 women found dead or missing in Grand Rapids between 1993 and 1996.
Investigators are now comparing the details Artman gave them before he died with the cold cases.
“Every time we investigate these cases, we can't forget the impact it has on a victim's family,” Lt. Brunner added.
“Someone who's had a loved one disappear or be murdered a long time ago… it's just a huge loss and then to have no answers on top of that. So our investigators feel that burden as well when they look at these cases to try to help bring closure to these families.
“Obviously, Mr. Artman is dead, so some people will have different feelings about that. But to bring these families together even after his death, that's their goal.”