By Tony Stewart


The Trashbag Murderer's Only Survivor




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  I'm Survived, but sadly many were not so lucky. It's time to tell their stories.  Survivor, Tony Stewart

It would be the night I would remember for the rest of my life. The year was 1976; I was 19 years old and fresh out of High school.  The only thought on my mind besides searching for beautiful women, playing guitar and surfing waves, was to attend as many wild parties as possible with my friends. In LA, during the mid-1970s nothing else seemed to matter to my friends and me, except having as much fun as we could.

I was living in Lawndale, California at the time with my parents, but we had just moved the previous year from 3000 Aviation Boulevard in Redondo Beach, California, about one and a half city blocks from serial killer Patrick Kearney's house. We were poor family with seven kids, often seen walking the streets collecting coke bottles and mowing lawns for money. We also worked for a realtor named Read Wilson, picking up trash around his businesses for a dollar on weekends.

It was Read Wilson that introduced me to Patrick Kearney. I recall Wilson telling Kearney, "Hello Pat, this is Tony. If you still need someone to mow your grass, he can do it. He's a good worker." Growing up, I lived with my dad, my stepmother Bobby, three stepsisters Terri, Lynn and Dana, a stepbrother named David, my half brother and sister Chris and Jeannie, and my real brother Ron. My step-mother died of a massive heart attack when I was fourteen years old, and my father quickly found a replacement named Marilyn.

After I had graduated from High School; my dad had given me my first car, it was an old 1964 Chevy Impala convertible with a 283 classic engine. I loved the car, but the engine in bad condition and ended up in the junkyard before my nineteenth birthday. I began thumbing rides most everywhere I went. I would not have ever realized it at the time, but my life would soon be in serious danger. In fact, if things had turned out differently, I wouldn’t be here today writing this story.

The Story....

It began on a warm April evening, there was nothing going on, no parties, nothing. From my friend’s back yard, I stared up into the sky and thought about my day with friends. We went surfing, skateboarding and then hung out listening to music until dark. The day was long and eventually we ran out of things to do. It was started to getting late, about 11:30 P.M. so I decided to go home. My car was broken down as usual and I had a five-mile walk ahead of me. I figured that once I got to the main highway I could thumb a ride home. On my way, I decided to stop at Door’s Market in Redondo Beach to try to spot a quart of beer. Door’s Market was a good place to ask people to buy you beer, because you could stand in the back of the building without being spotted by police. I tried for a half-hour without any luck, so I continued on my way home. I walked to Artesia Boulevard to thumb a ride.

After about fifteen minutes a pick-up truck pulled over and I jumped in. The pair shaped face, bushy eyebrows and dark eyes of the man driving looked familiar, but I couldn’t place the name. He looked at me and immediately asked, “Don’t I know you?” Before I could answer he said, Tony? Then it came to me, and I replied, “Your Patrick, I used to mow your yard.” He asked how I’ve been? And I said, “Good.” Then he asked where I was going and I told him, home, adding that I was trying to buy me a quart of beer but couldn’t find anyone to buy it. I said this, hoping that he would offer to buy it for me. It worked, he said, ”I’ll buy you a quart of beer, but you’d have to drink it at my house. You’re a minor and I don’t want you getting in any trouble.” I said, OK. Then, I thought to myself “Cool, he’s buying me the beer.” We arrived at his house on Robinson Street in Redondo Beach around midnight. This was the same house where I mowed his grass and did yard work for five years, earning $3.00 each time I worked for him. He told me to have seat on the sofa and relax, then he disappeared into the kitchen. Kearney was talking to me from the kitchen area, located directly behind the couch I was sitting on, my back facing him. I could hear clanging of silverware and dishes.


 Moments later, he walked back into the living room and asked, "How have you been doing all these years?" I replied, "I just finished school and was looking for work." Then he reached into a black doctor’s type bag beside the television and pulled out a stethoscope. He put them around his neck and said, "I used to be a doctor." Then asked if he could listen to my heartbeat, adding that he wanted to hear if my heart slows down while I’m drinking. I was so naïve, I calmly said, “Sure, I don’t care.”  I didn’t think anything odd about the request. Besides, I figured, he did buy me beer. He placed the instrument on my chest outside my shirt and began moving it around trying to locate my heart. Next, he asked; “Could you lift up your shirt? I can’t hear anything.” Without thinking, I lifted it up for him. He continued to move it around on my chest.

Suddenly, he began to slowly lower hearing mechanism towards my belly button. I did not feel comfortable with this and told him I need to get going. I added that my parents might lock me out if I’m out too late. As I spoke, I heard someone keying the doorknob to enter the residence, about to enter. Kearney's face quickly turned to the direction of the sound. It was his roommate David Hill.  As Hill began to open the front door, Kearney quickly jumped back away from me, as if he didn’t want his roommate to know what he was doing. Nervously, he said, “Dave, do you remember Tony? He used to mow are yard. Say hello.” Dave Hill quietly said, “hi” and continued walking straight to the bedroom. As he was walking, I repeated my remark, “Well, I really have to get going.” I wanted to make sure Hill heard me. Pat said “OK, let me get the keys to my truck.” I heard him tell Hill, "David, I will be right back, I'm just going to drive Tony home."

 On the way home, I was talking to Kearney in a calm voice, I told him it was really good to see him and I will have to visit again soon. He was not talking, very quiet. In fact, he was acting kind of strange like he was in a trance or deep in thought. I continued talking, thanking him for the beer.

When he got close to Alonda Park near my house, I lied to him and said you can stop here; I live right across the Street. I really lived three more blocks away, but didn’t want him to know this after the strange moment with the stethoscope. He pulled the truck over to the side of the road and I got out. As I walked around to the driver’s side, he made me promise to come by the next day in the afternoon. I told him I’d be by and asked what would be a good time. He replied around 10 in the morning but I had no intention of returning to his house. I suddenly didn’t trust him. I felt something strange about him. I felt sure he was gay, and I wanted no part of that lifestyle. I don’t have anything personal against gay people, but I never agreed with people being with anyone the same sex. I’ve always felt that it wasn’t right. They can call me prejudice or whatever they like, I don’t care because I don’t have to agree with it.

I remember Pat Kearney had a strange look in his eyes that I will never forget. It was almost hypnotic. He mentioned how good it was to see me again and he looked forward to tomorrow. I told him again, "I would be by around 10:00 A.M." Then I said, “Well I’d better go,” and then I began walking north, across the Manhattan Beach Boulevard. I looked back and watched as he turned the truck around and began driving away. Then I ran full speed around the corner towards my house. I looked over my shoulder and noticed him turning around again. He must have seen me running because he made a U-turn in my direction. I made it to a house around the corner and hid behind my fence. I watched him slowing drive by, looking around, but he didn’t see me. I thought it was strange that he turned around. I wouldn’t realize it until months later, that if his roommate hadn’t come home when he did, I might have been killed.

Months later, after the incident, my brother Ron called me at my girlfriend’s house and told me to quickly turn on the channel 7 news. I did, and almost went into shock. at what I saw. It was Patrick’s face on the television and they were saying that he killed thirty-two people, including young boys. I almost fainted. I began to tremble, thinking about the night I was at his house alone drinking beer, and how he acted. I thought, “My God, I was alone with a serial killer drinking beer in the middle of the night.” I had nightmares for weeks after that evening, relieving that night over and over in my head. Then I remembered when we were young; Ron would always tell me that the guy I was working for keeps chasing him in a pickup truck. I didn’t believe him, because he often lied to me when we were young. Now I had no doubt that he was telling the truth. Patrick Kearney was trying to kill my brother. I remember when he first told me the story; I went to the house on Robinson and noticed Patrick did drive a pickup truck. Back then, I thought to myself, “Patrick Kearney wouldn’t do that and if so, why?” It didn’t make any sense to me back then, but now it made perfect sense. He was trying to kill my brother.

Tony Stewart, author

Tony Stewart worked for serial killer Patrick Kearney, mowing his yard for five years. By age 19, he nearly became victim number 33, but God was watching over him. Read the true story of "The TrashBag Murderer" at


I also recalled another incident in 1976, a night that I remember well. My friend Gene Austin owned a classic red Ford van with chrome wheels and we were all invited to the biggest party of the summer. Gene asked me to come along, along with another my friend Billy, and a guy I never met named John Woods, whom everyone called Woody. Woody and Gene were the oldest; they were in their early twenties, Billy was seventeen, and I was eighteen. Gene described this party as "the party of all parties.” It was really excited because he knew the people and said their parties were always a blast! We were all ready to blow off some steam and have some fun.  Gene said the party wouldn’t really get started until around 10 P.M, so we drove around and drank beer for hours to get primed for the event.. Billy sat shotgun (Passenger) and I sat in the back with Woody. He told me some strange stories about Vietnam and all the death. This was all he talked about the entire time we were driving around. He mentioned how our soldiers would throw babies in the air and catch the babies with the bayonets on their rifles. I didn’t care for these stories, but I pretended to be interested. He said they had to kill the babies, because them enemy would strap bombs on them to blow up Americans. I remember Woody was tall and had a red Afro hairdo. He looked like someone out of the sixties, like Art Garfunkel of the band Simon and Garfunkel. We finally arrived at the party and cops were already breaking it up. It was packed with hundreds of people, but everyone was ordered to leave by the cops.





Gene had an idea. We would all hide in the van until everyone left. He said he knew the people and the party would start up again. As we hid in the Van, suddenly lights shined in from the outside. It was the police shining flashlights on us. They demanded we come out of the Van, which we did. The policemen wrote our names on a card and threatened to arrest us if we returned. We were forced to leave. We drove around for a couple more hours partying in the van, until Woody decided that he wanted to go to a bar on Artesia Boulevard. We dropped him off at the bar, and then took Billy home too. Gene asked me if I wanted to stay the night at his house and we would go surfing in the morning, so I agreed. We partied some more before hitting the sack. He slept on the bed and I took the couch. We got up early the next day and called the surf report to find out there were no waves. Gene asked me if I would help him wash his Van. I felt since he drove me around to parties, that I should help him. He always kept it spotless. We opened up all the doors and took everything out. We cleaned the inside, skirting it out with the water hose and then began washing the outside. I climbed on top of the van and washed the top, while Gene was doing the wheels.





Suddenly, out of nowhere several cars drove up and all these detectives jumped out and pointed guns at us. We were shocked and stunned at the same time. We were ordered away from the Van and told to lie face down on the ground. Gene kept yelling, what did we do? We were searched for ID, and one of the detectives asked, “What are you doing washing the blood out of your Van?” We thought, Blood? After checking out the Van the detectives found nothing. They said, “According to police reports you were with a John Woods last night.” Gene told the detectives we dropped him off about 1:30 A.M. in the morning at a bar. We gave them details of when we last seen him and the location of the bar where we dropped him off. The detectives said John was found shot in the head in San Diego at 5:00 A.M. in the morning. We were shocked! John was dead? San Diego was about a two-hour drive and bars close at 2 A.M.  We figured that John Woods would have to have met someone in that bar, and the killer offered him a ride, because he was on foot.




Oddly enough, when Kearney's murder list later appeared on TV, John Woods was listed as one of the victims. Pat had intended to kill me on the night I was at his house. He also intended to kill my brother years earlier, while chasing him in his pickup truck. My brother told me this story about Kearney chasing him when he was about nine years old, but I never believed my brother back then because he often joked around. It turns out, my brother was telling me the truth. Kearney was out to kill him.



Kearney, tried to kill my brother, myself and had succeeded in killing someone I partied with one night. The newspapers said John Woods was gay, but Gene knew better. Woods wasn’t gay, and I believe this is exactly why he was killed. Kearney picked him up and probably made a pass at him and when John Woods resisted, he was killed. I would have also resisted that night, had Kearney tried anything with me. I would have surely been victim number 33, or 34, if he had killed by brother. God was watching me that night, as he was my brother too. The End.   






Patrick Kearney’s background & Capture


 On July 13, 1977, Patrick Kearney, an electronic engineer for Hughes Aircraft Company Los Angeles County was indicted on three counts of murder by a Riverside, California grand jury. Charges against his roommate,  David Hill, were dropped due to lack of evidence. Kearney was being investigated in connection with at least twenty-eight, but estimated 32 murders of young men.

Kearney and Hill turned themselves in on July of 1977. They walked into the police department and pointed to a wanted poster with their pictures and said: "We're them." Most of the statements to police about the murders came from Kearney. He agreed to talk, if he was spared the death penalty. Victims bodies were found in plastic garbage bags along Los Angeles highways. Several of the bodies had been dismembered after being shot in the head by a .22 handgun.  Kearney was indicted for the slayings of three men at ages 21, 24, and 17.
The first victim was found in April of 1975, with five more bodies turning up by the end of 1976. All the victims were found nude.  Although police claimed that most of the victims were  young men who frequented the gay areas and around Hollywood and Los Angeles. Several of these victims were not gay. At the home of Kearney and Hill in Redondo Beach, investigators found a bloody hacksaw matching blood of one victim, and hair and carpet samples that were aloso found on victims. Kearney and Hill had fled to Mexico, but later surrendered when persuaded by their relatives.

On December 21, 1977, Kearney pleaded guilty to three murders and was sentenced to life imprisonment by Superior Court Judge John Hews. On February 21, 1978, Kearney pleaded guilty before judge Dickran
Tevrizzian Jr. to eighteen slayings of men and boys in exchange for a promise from the prosecution that he be spared from the death penalty. Kearney also provided details of the related killings of another eleven gay men, bringing the total to thirty-two victims. Kearney is currently serving his sentence at Calipatria State Prison in California.

The "Trash Bag Murders," as they were known, started in 1968 and ended on July 5, 1977, when the couple walked into the Sheriff's Information Center in Riverside, saw a wanted poster of them selves
and surrendered. Hill was subsequently released for lack of evidence. Kearney shouldered the guilt and confessed that killing "excited him and gave him a feeling of dominance." Today, I often think back and I can see Kearney's face and hear his voice. I believe he should have been executed for the victims and the thousands of affected  loved ones that have suffered and still suffer today. 

 I still believe David Hill had to have known about the killings. He lived with Kearney, they were lovers and best friends. I think Kearney took the rap alone to protect Hill.        



By Tony Stewart – Survivor of Trashbag murderer