Crime Life

Donald "Pee Wee" Gaskins


Donald Gaskins

Donald "Pee Wee" Gaskins was born in 1935 in rural South Carolina. He grew to be a very small but ferocious man who was feared in the town of Prospect and the surrounding area. Gaskins sometimes told folks about his personal graveyard located behind his farmhouse and he also liked to drive around in an old hearse. Though Gaskins was an exceptionally mean person, his tales weren't taken very seriously.

When Kim Ghelkins, 13, disappeared in 1975, the investigation soon aimed toward Gaskins. The graveyard rumors and ex-cellmate Walter Neeley, who claimed to have knowledge of crimes Gaskins had committed, were enough to provoke police to start didgging on Gaskins' property. Nine bodies were eventually unearthed, most buried two to a grave.The death toll included three men and six women who had been killed from 1973 to 1975, including a two-year-old girl. Some were stabbed, some shot, and others drowned.

Gaskins was arrested while trying to flee and charged with eight counts of murder, though he repeatedly alluded to having killed more. Neeley was charged in three of the killings that were allegedly committed, at least in part, to cover the pair's petty illegal activities. Both were sentenced to die for their crimes in May of 1976, but later had their sentences reduced to life in prison.

The miniature murderer wasn't quite done yet, however. While in prison and under contract from a relative of two of the murder victims of fellow inmate Rudolph Tyner, Gaskins rigged a phony intercom system into Tyner's cell. When the gullible Tyner plugged the system into the wall socket it exploded and blew part of his head off. Gaskins was charged and convicted of murder and drew the death penalty again in 1982. He was executed for the killing on September 6, 1991