His name was Benjamin Atkins and for one terrible season he has everyone in Detroit and Highland Park looking over their shoulder and wondering who would turn up missing and murdered next.

The crime spree starting in December of 1991 and totaled 11 victims. They were assaulted before their death. They were always strangled They were found in abandoned buildings along Woodward Ave in Detroit and its enclave, Highland Park.

The method of the killing and the location of the discovered bodies earned Atkins the serial killer sobriquets of the Woodward Corridor Killer and the Highland Park Strangler.

Victims were discovered in abandoned buildings - places Atkins would lure his victims with the offer of drugs or money for prostitution.

One well-known location that was a scene of his crimes was the Monterey Hotel. Connected to a Howard Johnson's the Monterey was once considered the largest and finest motor lodge in the Detroit area. Today it's a vacant field along Woodward Avenue.

Atkins was arrested after being identified by an assault victim who was not killed. He admitted to his crimes and was convicted on his own admission. There was never any physical evidence.

Following his conviction he was sentenced to 11 consecutive life terms and moved to the Michigan State prison complex in Jackson. He died just 5 years into his incarceration of an AIDS-related cause.

Editor's Note: The image accompanying this article is of a vacant lot near the corner of John R and California in Highland Park which would have been the rear of the Monterey Hotel, one of the vacant buildings used by Atkins.

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