Charmin' Billy: Part Two

Women kept falling for William Neal's story. But now, he'll finally take the fall.

On how "gentle" he was with Suzanne: "I mean, you know, her and I held hands while I was sleeping...I know she wanted me to stay with her." He told her not to look at the body a couple of feet away. "It was to keep that edge on her of control so that she didn't lose her cookies and draw attention. I did not want to kill anybody else.

"I wanted Suzanne to be the one that made it out alive and the one that was going to send me to the chair. I wanted a living witness, so to speak, as a warning to everybody else to don't fuck with me, I've had enough. Time out, because then I'm going to lose it, and I haven't lost it up to this point."

More on Ted Bundy: "I related with Bundy in a lot of ways. Not because he was a mentor with me...I was better than Bundy would have ever been, okay?...I'm not meaning that bragging, but I've had this killer in me all my life, and I've depressed it."

On his plans to kill more people: "There was going to be at least thirty more people I was going to get within a three-day period. I had them lined up ready to go, and there was no doubt I could have got them all. And every one of those people, I knew." A lot of them were his supposed friends at Shipwreck's and Fugglies. "It was going to be a wipeout thing. Make sure they're all there, and go in and kill every last one of the son-of-a-bitches who was there...

"Like it comes in Revelations, Revelations 8:6, about this pale horse, and on it was a rider, and his name was Death, and Hades followed him. That's me, okay?"

On whether he "disassociated" during the killings:"If I had done that, I wouldn't have been able to hit the mark with that ax like chopping wood. I knew that I could not slip with that first stroke...I had that thing in my hand not even maybe one second, two seconds before it was in her brain and she was dead."

On his fourth wife, Jennifer: "She has never let me see my little girl. And I have tried over and over again to see her. She is a liar. She has always punished me, Jennifer, for thinking I had cheated on her. She doesn't deserve to be with me. I want to be free to do my shit."

On the brutality of the murders: "I wanted no way out. I wanted this picture to be so horrendous that society would not let me get off, okay, because I don't deserve to get off. Not for one murder, not for two, not for three, not for raping Suzanne."

On his feelings since the murders: "My conscience had always bothered me...and that touched me, because I knew I still had one. That gave me hope rather than being so cold and cruel and saying, 'Hey, fuck it, man, it's just a bunch of dead bitches'...I've cried many times in my cell after these murders.

"Hell, last night I cried for over an hour on what little I've been able to see in my mind again...Rebecca's little head sitting under that blanket, looking so precious; Candace looking so studious and trusting as much as she could; the lady that I really love, Angie; poor little Suzanne.

"I'm able to deal with it, not because I'm insensitive or cruel or a demon or evil. I'm hanging on for the ones that died. I'm hanging on for Suzanne. I'll be all right."

On his rage: "The rage is there. Don't fuck with me. And I don't mean that as a threat...Santa Claus is coming to town, motherfucker, and you ain't going to like who shows up. You can't run, you can't hide, nothing... Fuck with me and give me a reason to get out of here, and I'll find a way."

On his kitten's reaction to the murders: "I loved that little kitty. But after Rebecca died, her little tummy would not come off that floor. She knew I was a killer. It was like she definitely knew that I had it in me, because cats are -- what do you call them -- a predator. She recognized a bigger predator.

"And that's what I was: A predator is something that stalks, calculates, is committed to a kill...knows when to spring or jump. That would describe me, as well. I turned into a calculating predator to finish what I had committed myself to going through with."

When at last the tape ends, the courtroom is silent. Stunned, perhaps numbed. Through much of the eight hours, Neal sat listening to himself, shaking his head back and forth like others in the courtroom. Bachmeyer hopes the tape clears the contrast between the man who can discuss extremely graphic violence without flinching in September 1998 and the contrite, "I've found Jesus" defendant who delivered his own opening statements.

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