Convicted serial killer Joseph Duncan dies on death row

Joseph Edward Duncan III, right, listens to his Public Defender John Adams. (Kathy Plonka/Pool/Getty Images/TNS)

Joseph Duncan, a serial killer who terrorized northern Idaho nearly two decades ago, has died on federal death row in Indiana.

According to KXLY, Duncan, who was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, died early Saturday morning at a hospital in Indiana after being taken out of the federal prison in Terre Haute.

Duncan, 58, received a federal death sentence in 2005 shortly after he murdered several members of a family in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, in order to kidnap a brother and sister he had seen while driving by the family’s home. He held the kids in Montana for several weeks before he killed the boy and returned the girl to a restaurant in Coeur d’Alene.

After he was arrested, his DNA was linked to kidnapping and murder of a California boy in 1997 and the murder of two young girls in Seattle in the 1990s.

“The sun is a little brighter today,” Diana Martinez, the mother of one of the victims, said. “My soul is lighter. The world is a more beautiful place without the evil that is Joseph Duncan. God chose to make his end a long suffering and I believe that is fitting. The horror of his thoughts consumed him.”

In 2019, Duncan lost his last appeal of his death sentences.


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