Facebook Killer Steve Stephens Dead, New Details on Troubled Past Emerge

Posted on: April 18, 2017, 04:00h. 

Last updated on: April 18, 2017, 02:50h.

Facebook killer Steve Stephens is dead, and numerous state and federal law enforcement agencies, as well as millions of Americans residing in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and other states, are breathing a sigh of relief.

Facebook killer Steve Stephens
Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams informs the public that Facebook killer Steve Stephens is dead. (Image: Tony Dejak/Associated Press)

Soon after Stephens posted a brutal video to the social media platform showing him gunning down an innocent man, rumors surfaced that a serious gambling addiction was perhaps partially to blame for the Ohio resident’s heinous actions. Reportedly a frequent visitor to the JACK Cleveland Casino, Stephens filed for bankruptcy in 2015, and told his friends on Facebook, “I lost everything I ever had due to gambling.”

That recently included his girlfriend, whose name, Joy Lane, served as 74-year-old Robert Goodwin Sr.’s last words.

Stephens brutally murdered Goodwin in Cleveland on Easter Sunday. He then traveled east to Erie where his cell phone’s ping was detected by authorities. But for more than 48 hours, his specific whereabouts were unknown.

That changed Tuesday morning when he ordered a 20-piece Chicken McNugget and large fry at an Erie McDonald’s. Pennsylvania State Police were tipped off, and after a quick pursuit, Stephens took his own life by suicide.

Neighbors Respond

Stephens’ life seemingly spiraled out of control in only recent years. Neighbors who knew him said he was friendly, and good with local kids in the community.

“He was great with the kids around here,” one local told the UK’s Daily Mail. “He would tell the kids, ‘Stay out of trouble, go to school, and don’t be knuckleheads.'”

But as his relationship with Lane troubled, Stephens allegedly hit on women at the JACK Casino. He asked female patrons to sit on his lap to provide him good luck, so claims the Mail’s sources.

It’s worth noting the Daily Mail is a tabloid publication that has been accused of printing sensationalized stories. Wikipedia prevents contributors from citing the tabloid in online entries, saying it isn’t a reliable source.

While the specifics of his alleged womanizing might be unknown, Stephens’ gambling problem certainly is. He was a familiar face inside the JACK, and once he became a fugitive, the downtown Cleveland casino ramped up its security. Quicken Loans Arena, which played host to the NBA Playoffs Monday night, also brought in additional police to protect fans and players.

French Fries Solve Case

The local McDonald’s deserves much credit for ending the Facebook killer manhunt. After a drive-thru worker recognized Stephens, the McDonald’s called 9-1-1.

After giving him the chicken nuggets, the worker told Stephens she was waiting on the fries in an effort to stall his movement. He told her he didn’t have time to wait, and drove off without incident. But the short delay gave state police enough time to catch Stephens minutes later.

Stephens was apparently not well suited for life as a fugitive.

Driving the 100 miles from Cleveland to Erie, the killer had ample time to continue east and enter the remote Pennsylvania Mountains and Allegheny National Forest.

Instead, he went to a small city where his face was plastered on every television news broadcast, and dined at McDonald’s.

That’s just fine with Pennsylvania law officers. It was just three years ago that Eric Frein, a self-taught survivalist, evaded capture for 48 days after killing a state trooper by living on rugged terrain in the Pocono Mountains.