A community’s concern of a Serial Killer targeting Black Women was dismissed, until one victim escaped

Whitney Alese
4 min readOct 21, 2022

Trigger Warning: This story contains descriptions of violence, racism, and sexual assault.

Black women had been murdered. Black women were missing.

The community of Excelsior Springs, Missouri was uneasy, many residents speaking out about the disappearances themselves. One of the loudest voices was that of Bishop Tony Caldwell of Eternal Life Church who in a viral video shared that four Black women were killed while another three were missing. Caldwell, like the rest of the community, demanded to know why more wasn’t being done by authorities. With the help of The Kansas City Defender, news of the potential serial killer spread.

The community not only noted the disappearances but also a possible suspect. Timothy Haslett Jr., 39, already had several encounters with local authorities for communal concerns. Community members urged local authorities to take action.

However, local police, who had been alerted of the situation several times, vehemently denied the idea of a serial killer.

On Sept. 26, a statement from KCPD Officer Donna Drake was shared on local news station FOX4KC. “We want to make the public aware that this claim is completely unfounded. There is no basis to support this rumor,” she said.

The following week, on October 7th, an injured 22-year-old Black woman wearing latex lingerie and a padlock around her neck banged on the doors of neighbors of Timothy Haslett Jr.

According to Clay County Prosecutor Probable Cause Statement, the woman who is identified as “T.J.” said that Haslett “had kept her in a small room in the basement that he had built. He kept her restrained…

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Whitney Alese

Whitney Alese is an award winning writer & creator featured in WIRED Magazine, I-D Magazine, NBC, & Chalkboard Magazine.