The Jacksonville Horror
One of the darkest chapters in Jacksonville’s history came to a close in 2007 with the death of convicted serial killer Marcus Shrader.
Shrader was convicted in 1974 of kidnapping and murdering 19-year-old Cheryl Potter Boyd. He also was accused of killing 15-year-olds Karen Amabile and Cindy Howard, and 23-year-old Ginger Rader, though he was never tried on those charges. In January 1974, Shrader kidnapped Rader and forced her to act as his accomplice in a bank robbery, then he shot her to death.
On Aug. 2 of that year, Amabile and Howard went to mail a letter at the post office when they were stopped by Shrader’s 16-year-old stepdaughter, Debra Ann Brown.
When police raided Shrader’s house, they were shocked with what they discovered.
“I will never forget the chamber of horrors Shrader had set up in his attic. It was a torture chamber.”
Shrader was sentenced to death for Boyd’s murder and kidnapping, but his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment in 1976 after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the death penalty unconstitutional. He died in Raleigh’s Central Prison in 2007.