Jack Trawick

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Jack Harrison Trawick (born c. 1947; died June 11, 2009 at Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore) was a convicted murderer, executed for the 1992 murder of Stephanie Gach. He was also serving a life sentence for the murder of Aileen Pruitt four months earlier. In statements and writings he confessed to as many as twelve other homicides, but of those only his account of the 1972 murder of Betty Jo Richards in Walker County has been possible to corroborate. He was not prosecuted for that crime because he was already on death row.

Trawick had served prison sentences before, having been charged with burglary, impersonating a police officer, kidnapping, making threatening calls, breaking and entering and property destruction. He was diagnosed in 1970 as "a paranoid schizophrenic with homicidal impulses," and was divorced in 1971.

In 1982, at Trawick's own request, he was given a "chemical castration" in the form of the hormone progestin. He served a seven year sentence from 1983 to 1990.

Trawick was questioned by the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office as a suspect in a string of attempted abductions of women in 1994. He confessed to Gach's murder during an interview on October 29 of that year. At his arraignment he pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of mental defect. He was found guilty during trial in 1995 and sentenced to death by Judge James Hard. The verdict and sentence was affirmed by the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals.

In November 2001 Neil O'Connor, a resident of Mount Laurel, New Jersey, wrote to Trawick in prison, soliciting writings for a website. Trawick used the opportunity to revel in his crimes and elaborate his "philosophy" for raping and killing women. He also admitted to eleven other women in writings posted to the site. Those claims have been impossible to corroborate.

In 2009 the Alabama Legislature passed a bill prohibiting state inmates or their agents from profiting from the sale of works created in prison. The bill was sponsored by Cam Ward in the House of Representatives and by Zeb Little in the Senate.

Trawick was executed by lethal injection on the evening of June 11, 2009. He used the opportunity to apologize for his crimes. The execution was witnessed by the sisters of Gach and Pruitt.

Trawick's last meal consisted of fried chicken, french fries, onion soup and a roll. He left several personal items to internet auctioneer Tod Bohannon and a bible and some photographs to a cousin.


  • "Taped confession by Trawick vividly details Gach killing." (March 23, 1994) Birmingham News
  • Michaud, Stephen G. and Roy Hazelwood (2000) The Evil that Men Do: FBI Profiler Roy Hazelwood's Journey Into the Minds of Sexual Predators. New York, New York: Macmillan ISBN 0312970609
  • Bright, Taylor (January 11, 2003) "From death row, an Alabama serial killer Uses a New Jersey man and the web to torment the families of his victims." Birmingham Post-Herald
  • Bright, Taylor (January 15, 2004) "Is Jack Trawick still a ... menace to society?" Birmingham Post-Herald
  • "While on Death Row, Inmates Find Freedom on the Internet" (January 25, 2004) New York Times
  • Gordon, Tom (May 9, 2009) "Alabama Legislature passes bill that would bar capital murderers from making money off creative works." Birmingham News
  • Gordon, Tom (June 10, 2009) "Relatives of two Trawick murder victims to witness slated execution Thursday." Birmingham News
  • Gordon, Tom (June 12, 2009) "Alabama Death Row inmate Jack Trawick apologizes before execution." Birmingham News