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William Happ

Florida Death Row Inmate

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William Happ

William Happ

Prison Photo
On May 24, 1986, a fisherman found the body of a partially clad woman on the bank of the Cross-Florida Barge Canal. The woman’s shoulders were covered by a tee shirt that was pulled up to her underarms, and a pair of stretch pants was tied tightly around her neck.

The medical examiner testified that the woman’s face and skull were badly bruised and hemorrhaged, had multiple scrapes on her back and right heel, had suffered ten to twenty hard blows to the head, had been anally raped before death, and was strangled to death.

The victim was last seen at a Cumberland Farms store at 2:30 a.m. on May 24, 1986, and a woman’s scream was heard at approximately the same time. The victim’s car was found six-tenths of a mile from the store, with its driver’s side window shattered. A shoe print found outside the driver’s side door matched one of Happ’s shoes and Happ’s fingerprints were found on the exterior of the car.

Happ revealed the details of the crime to a fellow jail inmate, Richard Miller.

Happ’s first trial ended in a mistrial when the prosecutor violated a court order and revealed Happ’s prior criminal record.

At the second trial, a friend of Happ’s testified that around the time of the murder, he saw Happ walking toward the canal, and the next morning he noticed that Happ had a swollen right hand. Happ’s former girlfriend also testified that Happ told her that he had broken a car window with his fist.

Update
William Happ was executed on October 15, 2013, at 06:16 p.m. EST by lethal injection in Florida. His final words were, "For 27 years, the horrible murder of Angela Crowley has been clouded by circumstantial evidence and uncertainty. For the sake of her family, loved ones and all concerned, it is to my agonizing shame that I must confess to this terrible crime."

Source: Florida Commission on Capital Cases

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