William Howell reportedly told fellow inmates that "there was a monster inside of him that just came out"

By Char Adams
September 21, 2015 01:00 PM
New Britain Police Department/AP

A Connecticut inmate accused of being a serial killer confessed to his fellow inmates that he killed seven people in 2003, and described himself as a “sick ripper,” reports say.

William Howell, a Virginia native, told a cellmate that after killing one of his alleged victims, he kept the body in a van he called the “murder mobile” for two weeks, the Associated Press reports.

The 45-year-old reportedly told a cellmate that “there was a monster inside of him that just came out.” An arrest warrant states that Howell told the inmate that if he hadn’t been caught, he would have gone across the country to kill others.

Howell faces a slew of charges including multiple felony murder counts, after authorities discovered the remains of seven people hidden behind a New Britain shopping center, police said in a statement on Facebook.

The man is currently serving a prison sentence for killing Nilsa Arizmendi, whose body was among those found behind the shopping center – a site police say Howell called his “garden.” Authorities said that three bodies were found in 2007 and the others were discovered in April.

On Friday, Howell was arraigned in New Britain Superior Court on the murder charges in connection with the deaths of the other six victims; all of them disappeared in 2003 when Howell was working odd jobs in central Connecticut, the AP reports.

The warrant, released on Friday, paints a grisly picture of the victim’s deaths. The warrant states that Howell sexually assaulted three of the women he killed. Police said all of the victims put up a fight against the man in the van where most of the slayings took place, WFSB-TV reports.

He reportedly told an inmate that his first victim was a woman who he raped in the van before strangling her and hitting her in the head with a hammer, the AP reports. He said he slept next to the woman’s body in the van and called her his “baby” before cutting off her fingertips, breaking her bottom jaw and disposing of her remains.

In 2005, Howell pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the death of Arizmendi, the arrest warrant states that he beat her with a hammer in the van, the AP reports. He neither spoke nor entered any pleas at his arraignment. His bail is set at $10 million.

The family of Joyvaline Martinez, one of the victims, was present at Howell’s arraignment on Friday. Martinez’s sister Sandra told WFSB-TV that she and her family “faced a monster,” referring to Howell.

Sandra said she has both hoped for and dreaded the day she would come face to face with the man accused of killing her sister.

“Why did you do this to my little sister? She didn’t deserve it, no one deserves to go through the torture that he put her through,” Sandra said. ” I hope he never gets out of jail and he rots.”

In addition to Martinez and Arizmendi, the other victims include: Diane Cusack, 53; Melanie Camilini, 29; Mary Jane Menard, 40; Danny Whistnant, 44 and Marilyn Gonzalez, 26.