In Polk County, Florida, police are alleging that Christopher Taylor and Kristina Sluss aren’t just murderers in their state, they may be multi-state serial killers.
Taylor and Sluss have been connected to a triple homicide in South Carolina that occurred just before the couple came to Florida, and allegedly murdered Douglas Bowling. We’ll take a look at the latest evidence on the murders they were charged with, as well as explore why police think there may be more bodies to their names.
A Beaten Body Found in an Orange Grove
On February 13, 2018, the body of Douglas Bowling was discovered just south of Ft. Mead, Florida in an orange grove. His cause of death wasn’t easily recognizable due to how badly beaten the body was.
One week later, Christopher Taylor, Kristina Sluss, and Taylor’s younger brother, Gary, were all arrested in connection with the murder. Christopher was charged with the murder of Bowling. Gary and Sluss were charged as accessories after the fact. All three were charged with tampering with evidence.
Bowling’s right hand was cut off at the wrist, and the body was dumped in an orange grove. Walmart shopping bags covered the head.
When investigators began looking into the crime, they discovered that both Taylor brothers and Sluss knew Bowling. When speaking to Christopher, investigators noticed a bicycle that appeared to be the one Bowling was known to ride.
Further investigation of Christopher’s car revealed small smears of blood outside and inside the driver’s side door. Gift cards, receipts, and bags were found. The lot numbers on the bags matched up with the ones found over Bowling’s head. Grass that was similar to that of the orange grove’s was found in the grill of the car.
Sluss soon gave Christopher up. She explained that she was in the other room when Bowling came over. A disagreement occurred between Christopher and Bowling, and he began to hit Bowling with a skillet. He then asked Gary to bring him an aluminum baseball bat.
Christopher then beat Bowling with the bat. When Bowling tried to escape, Christopher tackled him and beat him with his fists. When Bowling was dead, they dumped him in the bathtub and went to dinner. As they were being arrested, Gary made the comment that “another one bites the dust.” Police took that to mean that there may be more victims.
A Triple Homicide
While this deadly trio was sitting in jail for Bowling’s murder, another set of charges came in, this time from South Carolina.
On January 20, 2018, 59-year-old Francis Delancey Richards, her husband Fred Richards, and 23-year-old Nathan Louis Poffenberger were found brutally murdered in Richards’ home.
Sluss and Christopher Taylor reportedly gave details to Polk County police that connected them with that triple murder. Before they moved to Florida, Christopher and Sluss lived with Christopher’s mother not too far from the scene of the triple homicide.
Allegedly, Sluss told police that she watched Christopher murder the three people with a hatchet. The couple was charged with three counts of murder, possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime and armed robbery.
Are There More?
With four incredibly brutal murders under their belts, investigators are wondering if they may have caught a serial killer.
For his part, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd feels that there is a very strong possibility that Christopher Taylor has murdered before. In a press conference, Judd told while holding up Christopher Taylor’s mug shot:
“I don’t believe for a minute that when you look at this guy, that this may be all the people he’s murdered. He not only murders people, he savagely murders people.”
Grady is asking police organizations, especially in the south, that may have an unsolved murder that involves brutality and dismemberment, to have a second look and contact the Polk County Sheriff’s department.
“We need to know if you have any murders in the southeast United States, where the person was dismembered or partially dismembered. Do you have a vicious, outrageous crime scene? And the victims are victims for no apparent reason …if there is another victim who – maybe they have disappeared, no one has heard from them, but one of these two individuals has been in your community. In law enforcement, we call that a clue.”