Ronald Joseph Dominique (born January 9, 1964), dubbed The Bayou Strangler, is a serial killer and rapist in the United States who murdered at least 23 men and boys in the state of Louisiana between July 1997 and 2006. Dominique was found guilty and sentenced to several terms of life imprisonment without parole on September 23, 2008. Following his conviction, the FBI stated that this case was the country’s most significant serial homicide case in terms of both numbers and duration over the preceding two decades.
Ronald Joseph Dominique was born in Thibodaux, Louisiana on January 9, 1964, the younger of two children born to impoverished laborer parents who lived in a trailer park on the city’s outskirts. Ronald spent his childhood and adolescence in poverty as a result of his family’s financial circumstances, but he was still able to attend Thibodaux High School, where he graduated in 1983.
Dominique was well-known throughout his school years for his melancholic disposition, lack of communication skills, and weight issues, which, when combined with low self-esteem and poor health, made him the target of physical attacks by fellow students. Despite his participation in the school choir, he was unpopular and regarded as a social outcast due to his lack of athletic ability, drug use, and alcohol consumption. Ronald discovered he was gay shortly before graduating from high school and visited a local gay bar several times. However, several of his classmates saw him there, resulting in harassment and accusations of homosexuality, which he categorically denied.
Dominique attended Nicholls State University after graduating from high school, where he studied computer science. He quickly lost interest, however, and left in the mid-1980s. Ronald was arrested on June 12, 1985, on charges of sexual harassment committed via telephone, for which he was fined $75. Due to his lack of education, he was forced to work in low-skilled labor for the next several years, and he was frequently fired due to disciplinary issues. Unwilling to work steadily for an extended period of time, he survived on the income of relatives and others, most notably his mother and later older sister, with whom he lived for a time. He was arrested for drunk driving on May 15, 1994, but was once again only fined for the offense. Two years later, on August 25, 1996, Ronald was arrested for rape based on testimony from his neighbors: they claimed that Dominique raped and attempted to kill a partially dressed young man who jumped out of the window of Ronald’s sister’s house, where he was living at the time. Dominique was arrested and his bail set at $100,000, but when the case was transferred to court, the prosecutor’s office was unable to locate or establish the alleged victim’s identity, ultimately leading to the case being dismissed in November of that year. Dominique was arrested again on February 10, 2002, this time for assaulting a woman in Terrebonne Parish during a Mardi Gras festival. Ronald claimed that the woman had collided with a baby stroller in one of the parking lots as a result of her reckless driving, prompting him to confront her and demand an apology. He punched the woman in the face after she apologized. He was charged, but the case was later dropped after he and the woman with whom he had made amends reached an agreement of reconciliation. Dominique was unmarried and had no children as a gay man, preferring to spend the majority of his free time in gay bars, frequently dressed as singer Patti LaBelle, whom he adored. However, he was unable to establish a serious relationship due to a variety of circumstances and was frequently looked down upon by the local gay community.
|Number||Name||Age||Date found||Location found|
|1||David Mitchell||19||July 1997||St. Charles Parish|
|2||Gary Pierre||20||December 1997||St. Charles Parish|
|3||Larry Ranson||38||July 31, 1998||St. Charles Parish|
|4||Oliver LeBanks||27||October 1998||Metairie, Jefferson Parish|
|5||Joseph Brown||16||October 1998||Kenner, Jefferson Parish|
|6||Bruce Williams||18||November 1998||Jefferson Parish|
|7||Manuel Reed||21||May 1999||Kenner, Jefferson Parish|
|8||Angel Mejia||34||June 1999||Kenner, Jefferson Parish|
|9||Mitchell Johnson||34||August 1999||Metairie, Jefferson Parish|
|10||Michael Vincent||23||January 2000||Lafourche Parish|
|11||Kenneth Randolph, Jr.||20||October 2002||Lafourche Parish|
|12||Anoka Jones||26||October 12, 2002||Houma, Terrebonne Parish|
|13||Datrell Woods||19||May 24, 2003||Bayou Blue, Terrebonne Parish|
|14||Larry Matthews||46||October 2004||Bayou Blue, Terrebonne Parish|
|15||Michael Barnett||21||October 24, 2004||Bayou Blue, Terrebonne Parish|
|16||Leon Lirette||22||February 2005||Bayou Blue, Terrebonne Parish|
|17||August Watkins||31||April 2005||Lafourche Parish|
|18||Kurt Cunningham||23||April 2005||Lafourche Parish|
|19||Alonzo Hogan||28||July 2005||St. Charles Parish|
|20||Wayne Smith||17||August 2005||Terrebonne Parish|
|21||Chris Deville||40||September 2005||Assumption Parish|
|22||Nicholas Pellegrin||21||November 2005||Lafourche Parish|
|23||Christopher Sutterfield||27||October 2006||Iberville Parish|