A former Spokane man who killed and sexually mutilated an East Wenatchee woman and her daughter will spend the rest of his life in prison after pleading guilty to their murders.
Jack Owen Spillman III also surprised authorities by confessing to the slaying of a 9-year-old Okanogan County girl.
Spillman, 27, who allegedly once told a cellmate he wanted to be “the world’s greatest serial killer,” pleaded guilty Monday to first-degree murder in the April 1995 deaths of Rita and Mandy Huffman.
Spillman also pleaded guilty to the 1994 slaying of Penny Davis of Tonasket, a crime he was not formally charged with until Monday. Okanogan County authorities were unable to determine how the little girl died and Spillman offered no details.
A ninth-grade dropout from Tonasket, Spillman lived in a trailer in the Spokane Valley for several years before moving to Wenatchee.
While in Spokane, he built a criminal record of burglary, theft, assault and malicious mischief convictions.
In 1993, he and a friend were arrested for allegedly raping a woman they met at a downtown bar. The woman, who accepted a ride home with the men, told police Spillman held her down while his 26-year-old roommate raped her.
Before Spillman could attempt to rape the woman, she escaped and reported the attack, records show. Charges against both men later were dropped.
Spillman lived in Wenatchee about a month before the mutilation killings of Rita and Mandy Huffman, whom police said he didn’t know.
A trial had been set for August in those slayings, and prosecutors planned to seek the death penalty.
Superior Court Judge Carol Wardell sentenced Spillman to life in prison without possibility of parole for fatally stabbing Rita Huffman, 48, and 70 years for 15-year-old Mandy Huffman’s bludgeoning death. He received a 45-1/2-year sentence for killing the Tonasket child.
“For the law-enforcement officers, for the families, for the prosecutors, we all feel good about it,” Douglas County Prosecutor Steve Clem said of the sentencing.
Spillman had been considered a prime suspect in the Davis slaying. The child disappeared in September 1994. Her remains were found in March 1995 in a shallow grave about 12 miles from her Aeneas Valley home.
“I believe we are satisfied with the outcome,” Okanogan County Prosecutor Rick Weber said. “Mr. Spillman will never be on the streets again, we’re guaranteed that.”
The sentences were similar to what Spillman would have received had he been convicted by a jury but not received the death penalty, Clem said.
Spillman still faces charges of rape and robbery in King County and burglary in Spokane County.
In documents filed with the pleadings, a former cellmate at the Washington State Penitentiary at Walla Walla alleged that Spillman told him of plans to murder young women and degrade their bodies.
Mark Miller, Spillman’s cellmate from July 1993 to February 1994, told investigators Spillman read books about serial killers, police forensics and described how he would take precautions against leaving clues.
“Spillman would declare to Miller that he wanted to be the world’s greatest serial killer,” the court papers said.
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