11:43 AM PDT, September 10, 2021
A serial killer who reportedly researched serial killers, “Hannibal Lector” and ‘Silence of the Lambs” confessed to the brutal murders of two Pennsylvania women on Wednesday and was handed two life sentences without the possibility of parole, officials said.
Harold David Haulman III pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder, for the killing of 26-year-old Erica Shultz of Bloomberg in December 2020, and the 2018 murder of Tianna Phillips, 25, of Berwick, to avoid the death penalty, ABC affiliate WNEP-TV News reported.
“You are evil,” Luzerne County Judge Michael Vough said. “You took the lives of these women for no reason whatsoever.”
Haulman, who was known as “Dave,” and was described as homeless or worked as a transient truck driver, used an online dating app to meet Shultz and Phillips. He then lured each of the women to a remote wooded area off of Hobbie Road in Butler Township, where he beat and stabbed them to death, WNEP reported.
In July, Haulman confessed and was charged in the murder of Ashley Parlier, a pregnant 21-year-old from Battle Creek, Michigan, who went missing in 2005, according to Calhoun County Detectives, The Daily Item reported.
Haulman told detectives that “he had an argument with Ashley at a home he indicated he had assaulted her, knocking her unconscious,” he said. He then told detectives that “he drove to a remote area in Newton Township where he struck her in the head several times with a piece of wood until she was dead.”
Haulman traveled with officials from Pennsylvania to Michigan to help locate Parlier’s body, but the area had changed over the 16 years since her murder, and they were unable to locate her body, according to the news outlet.
Deputy D.A. Daniel Zola, Luzerne County told ABC News that Haulman preyed on these women’s vulnerability, and noted that he has “never seen a more emotional courtroom in all his 20 year experience.”
“Each of these women suffered from either a mental disability or perhaps were lower on the IQ level,” Zola said. “He [Haulman] took advantage of that and took advantage of these young women because they didn’t recognize red flags.”
More than a dozen grief-stricken family members filled the courtroom. Many testified to the impact of the murders. They told the judge how much anger and disgust they had for Haulman for what he did, according to Law & Crime.
Shultz’s mother, Brenda Adams, told CBS affiliate WYOU that her daughter and the other victims “just wanted friends and they trusted… they trusted the wrong person.”
Haulman had also had a criminal history going back to 1999/2000 when he lived in Germany, allegedly having killed a young man in the exact way he killed these women, a prosecutor told WYOU.