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Cops: Bikini slaying suspect confessed

Jerry Buck Inman called himself 'a sick animal,' police say

Thursday, June 8, 2006; Posted: 3:07 p.m. EDT (19:07 GMT)

Jerry Buck Inman is being held without bail after confessing to killing a student, authorities say.


Sex Crimes

Clemson University


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Manage Alerts | What Is This? PICKENS, South Carolina (AP) -- Jerry Buck Inman called himself an animal and kept looking down as detectives questioned him about the killing of a Clemson University student who was strangled with her bikini top, authorities said.

Inman, 35, a registered sex offender, confessed to killing the 20-year-old student, Tiffany Marie Souers, and to sexual assaults in Alabama and Tennessee in the days before her death, officials said.

"We asked him, 'Why?' and all he would say was that he's a sick animal," said Jefferson County, Tennessee, Chief Deputy Sheriff Bob McCoig. (Watch how DNA led police to Inman -- 1:17)

Inman was returned to South Carolina to face charges of murder, rape and kidnapping after his arrest late Tuesday near his parents' home in Dandridge, Tennessee.

A South Carolina magistrate did not set bond at Inman's arraignment Wednesday. He was being held in solitary confinement.

In Rainsville, Alabama, Inman was charged with attempted rape, burglary, robbery and theft of property in a May 23 incident in which authorities said he broke into a home and tried to attack a 24-year-old woman after she came home for lunch. Davenport said he expects Inman also will be charged with a May 24 rape in Sevierville, Tennessee.

Investigators said they found items related to the crimes in Inman's vehicle. The victims identified Inman from tattoos shown on news reports, officials said. Florida prison records indicate Inman has tattoos of skulls and, on his neck, a bat.

McCoig said Inman told him he would drive around looking for women he found attractive and did not even realize he had ended up in South Carolina.

"He did say when he saw one particular one, he waited until she went to sleep," he said of the attack on Souers. "He thought she was asleep and that's when he entered the apartment."

Inman arrived in Tennessee in 2005 after he was released from prison in Florida, where he served 16 years for sex offenses. Authorities said he had listed the Dandridge homes of his parents and a sister on a sex offender registry in Florida and North Carolina.

After coming to Tennessee, Inman got a job with Shular Contracting for about two months on a construction site in Pigeon Forge, said Phil Loeffler, company vice president. When he didn't show up for work about two weeks ago, he lost his job.

Inman's mother, Vera McArthur, told The Greenville News that her son is bipolar and often suicidal and had no idea South Carolina authorities were looking for him. She said he had been doing construction work in Tennessee, but didn't think he had been in South Carolina recently.

"I know he is overwhelmed by the attention this case has received so far," said Inman's attorney, Symmes Culbertson. "I think he's a little shell-shocked by everything that has gone on so far."

Inman's family did not return phone calls.

Souers' family in the St. Louis suburb of Ladue, Missouri, said they were relieved to learn Inman had been arrested.

But her mother, Bren Souers, said she was angry that a registered sex offender had easy access to victims and that any mental illness Inman might have "holds no credence for me."

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

the way i see it, sick animals need to be put to sleep

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