Freed to Kill: How a Notorious Serial Killer Escaped Death Row

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Fox Nation’s new five-part series, “Freed to Kill,” delves into the investigation behind one of the nation’s most “sadistic” serial killers, Kenneth Allen McDuff.

In 1992, U.S. Marshal Parnell McNamara and U.S. District Attorney Bill Johnston were investigating the mysterious kidnapping and murder of Melissa Northrup from a convenience store on an isolated stretch of Interstate 35 in Waco, Texas.

The first episode of the chilling series explores investigators discovering a tan 1985 Thunderbird near the crime scene of an apparent kidnapping. Authorities feared McDuff might return to his murderous ways after his shocking escape from death row.


In August 1966, the convicted felon was sentenced to death by the Texas electric chair for the murders of three Fort Worth teenagers – he killed two young men, before raping and murdering their female companion. McDuff received the death sentence and a nickname, “The Broomstick Killer”, for the violence with which the young woman was murdered. The victim allegedly had his throat crushed by a broomstick.

Fox Nation delves into the investigation of one of the country’s most “sadistic” serial killers, Kenneth Allen McDuff.

Before ‘The Broomstick Killer’ was executed, the United States Supreme Court overturned his death sentence and the triple murderer’s sentence was commuted to life in prison.

Twenty-three years later, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles voted to free the notorious killer, setting the stage for a murder spree that has taken the Lone Star State by storm.

When McDuff, described as “the embodiment of evil”, was inexplicably released from prison, many women across Texas began to disappear and were never seen again. Northrup was one of the victims who disappeared in the middle of the night.

In part one of Fox Nation’s “Freed to Kill,” investigative reporters Robert Riggs and Johnston described McDuff’s target, Northrup, as a petite, dark-haired woman. She was a 22-year-old pregnant mother of two who worked to make ends meet at a convenience store in Texas. What happened next to Northrup was unimaginable.


Subscribers can learn how the murderer beat the death penalty and was freed from prison in “Freed to Kill,” available to stream now on Fox Nation.

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