A MAN with a horrific past has been found guilty of murdering a missing woman who was last seen more than 15 years ago.
Investigators were shocked to discover that missing Alabama woman Lori Ann Slesinski was spending her last moments with then-boyfriend Derrill Richard Ennis, who murdered his parents at age 12.
Ennis, now 41, was convicted earlier this year of manslaughter in the disappearance of Slesinski, who was last seen by friends and family on June 10, 2006.
Slesinski and Ennis became friends when he moved to Auburn to work at a bowling alley.
Unbeknownst to her, Ennis, then 21, has just served a long prison term after admitting to brutally murdering his parents.
When Ennis was only 12 years old, a state agent discovered him on the side of the road after crashing into his parents’ car.
“As my headlights go into the corner, I see it looks like a young boy with a backpack,” trooper John Clark told TNZT News.
Ennis admitted to being the driver and allowed Clark to search his backpack.
“The first thing I pull out is a kitchen knife,” Clark said.
“There’s some 12-gauge and some 22-caliber loose ammunition in the bottom of the bag.”
Clark put Ennis in the back of his patrol car, assuming the boy would get in big trouble with his parents for sneaking out and wrecking their car.
But after asking a few questions, Ennis made a chilling confession that Clark will never forget.
“I said, ‘Where are your parents?'” Clark said.
“He looks straight at me and says, ‘I killed them both.’ No tears, no emotion, nothing.”
Police said Ennis confessed to shooting his mother in the face and then beating her to death.
He also admitted to waiting with a shotgun for his stepfather to get home before killing him with a punch in the face, authorities said.
Investigators found that Ennis lived with the bodies for two days and drove himself to school.
At the time of the recording, Ennis said he was angry with his parents for deciding to move. Investigators also discovered a “to-do” list written by the boy with a plan to kill his three stepsisters, TNZT reported.
Under Alabama law, the killer spent time in juvenile detention until he was released after he turned 21.
Once released, he moved to Auburn, where he met Lori Ann Slesinski.
THE REFERENCE OF LORIA
One of Slesinski’s close friends was planning a girls night out when the Alabama woman disappeared on Saturday, June 10, 2006.
Lindsay Braun was on alert after Slesinski didn’t show up for the night and didn’t return her calls, despite talking to her moments earlier.
The next day, Braun still couldn’t get in touch with her boyfriend and remembered that Slesinski had been with Ennis on Saturday.
She heard his voice in the background of one of their calls, but didn’t think about it because the two were friends.
Ennis had actually written Slesinski a love letter expressing his feelings for her, but she didn’t respond, friends of the two later confirmed in court.
“They were friends, so I wasn’t worried,” Braun told TNZT.
But when Slesinski failed to show up for work, Braun became incredibly anxious and drove to her mobile home.
Braun said she knew something was “terribly wrong” as soon as she arrived at her missing friend.
“The door was unlocked, which wasn’t like she… turned the air conditioning on. Her dog, Peanut, was in the crate,” Braun said.
Even more terrifying was the fact that Peanut appeared to be well cared for, despite Slesinski’s disappearance.
The missing woman’s boss eventually called her mother to say she hadn’t shown up for work two days in a row.
Concerned, the mother drove to Auburn and called the police in the search for her daughter.
Four days after her disappearance, friends and families were shocked when Slesinski’s car was found in flames on a deserted street.
However, her body was still nowhere to be found.
Police spoke to Ennis when they discovered he had been with Slesinski the day she disappeared.
Ennis told police she looked fine when he left him, but investigators were on the lookout when they noticed he made inconsistent statements and had scratches on his arms during a re-examination.
Investigators also eventually found out about the man’s haunted past.
At the time, however, they couldn’t find enough convincing evidence linking him to her disappearance and the case went cold.
COLD SUITCASE CRACKED
A decade after Slesinski’s disappearance, a cold case unit was launched and they picked up the case again.
Special Agent Mark Whitaker and the Alabama State Bureau of Investigation delved into files and interviews before finding crucial piece of evidence that had been overlooked.
The unit collected a slew of evidence, including a hand-rolled cigarette that police say was found near Lori’s car.
They found Ennis’ TNZT on the cigarette. Investigators also identified his blood on the front door of Slesinski’s mobile home and found his semen on her sheets.
In August 2018, a task force arrested Ennis in rural Virginia, where he lived and was engaged to a librarian. He was charged with murder of Slesinki.
In March 2022, Ennis was on trial where he maintained his innocence until the jury found him guilty.
TNZT’s 48 Hours will feature this chilling story in an episode that airs Saturday at 10 p.m. ET.