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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Does New Britain Suspect William Devin Howell Have Any Other Victims?

This blog post will be short and to the point. I will expand on it more in my upcoming book, Murders in Connecticut, which will discuss the New Britain Serial Murders, along with other recent murders in Connecticut, some of which remain unsolved.

In a televised interview with Chief Investigative Reporter for Channel 8 News, David Iverson, dated May 14, 2015, I mentioned the similarities between the recent findings of skeletal remains behind the shopping mall in New Britain, Connecticut, and the unsolved murder of Jessica Muskus, whose remains were found alongside Route 8, Exit 41, in 2006. Jessica went missing from Waterbury on July 31, 2004. The question that Iverson posed to law enforcement on my behalf was: "Where was William Devin Howell on July 31, 2004?" More specifically, I wanted to know if Howell was incarcerated at that time. If so, he could be ruled out as a suspect in the unsolved murder of Jessica Muskus. However, if Howell was a free man living in Connecticut in late July 2004, then there is a chance that he may have killed Jessica Muskus and investigators definitely need to delve into the possibility.

This week, I obtained and reviewed voluminous court records, including affidavits that trace the whereabouts of Howell prior to the murder of Nilsa H. Arismendi, a heroin user and prostitute, in July 2003, up until the present time. Howell is currently incarcerated with a conviction of Manslaughter 1 for Arismendi's murder. He was detained for active violation of probation while living in North Carolina on January 30, 2004. He was extradited to Connecticut on February 19, 2004. He entered Cheshire Correctional Institute (CCI) on February 20, 2004.

Court records indicate that Howell had a fight over the phone with his then girlfriend, Dorothy Holcomb, on July 5, 2004. The fight had to do with activities that occurred in his blue van, where Arismendi's blood was discovered. There is no mention of Howell's whereabouts after the date of that prison phone call until May 16, 2005, at which time he was arrested for the murder of Arismendi and re-admitted the day following to CIC. He was thereafter transferred to several other facilities until accepting a plea for Manslaughter I on January 30, 2007.
Howell's van, courtesy of

Where was Howell on July 31, 2004, the day that Muskus went missing? Today I received the answer to my question, at least in part. According to documents just received via facsimile from CIC, Howell was discharged from CIC on July 22, 2004 and was a free man until his arrest in May 2005. In my mind, he is a viable suspect in the unsolved murder of Jessica Muskus and police need to look into the possibility.
The Channel 8 Interview can be found at the link below.

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