“The fascination behind serial killers continues to be unmatched, with our viewers consistently asking for more,” said Henry Schleiff, Group President of Investigation Discovery, in a press release. “We chose these cases not just because of these macabre monsters, or that each investigation is a self-contained mystery, but because each story will leave our viewers gripped to the screen until the final scene, when justice is ultimately served.”
Ahead of that special, here’s what you need to know about Grate’s five victims plus the one survivor who led to his arrest.
Grate Killed Five Women; One Escaped
Grate was arrested when a woman known only as “Jane Doe” managed to call 911 when he was sleeping after he kidnapped and raped her in 2016. When he was arrested, the bodies of two women were found in his Ashland, Ohio, home — those belong to Stacey Stanley, 43, and Elizabeth Griffith, 29.
At the time, Grate also led authorities to the body of Candice Cunningham, 29, in nearby Richland County. He further confessed to killing a woman named Rebekah Leicy, 31, whose death was originally ruled a drug overdose, and a woman in 2006 that Grate said was named either Dana or Diana.
The victim from 2006 was identified in 2019 via the DNA Doe Project to be the remains of Dana Nicole Lowrey, 23, of Louisiana. All five women died by strangulation. Several were also beaten or stabbed.
Grate Is Awaiting His Death Row Appeal
Grate was convicted in the murders of Stanley and Griffith and sentenced to death in 2018. In Ohio, death penalty cases are automatically appealed to the Supreme Court, so he is in prison in the Chillicothe Correctional Institution while he awaits his appeal to be decided.
Additionally, in 2019, he was found guilty of Cunningham and Leicy’s murders and sentenced to life in prison, then in September 2019, he was found guilty of Lowrey’s murder and also given life in prison without the possibility of parole, according to the Marion Star.
“Shawn Grate committed a heinous act against 23-year-old Dana Lowrey, and for that he should spend the rest of his life in prison. I hope that his sentence brings some sense of closure to Ms. Lowrey’s family,” Marion County Prosecutor Ray Grogan in a statement.
In the Investigation Discovery special, Grate’s ex-girlfriend Christina Hildreth said that she unknowingly helped clean up Hildreth’s blood after Grate murdered her. He later proposed to Hildreth with a ring he stole from Lowrey’s body.
“I didn’t know he had killed anybody, I had no clue. But I helped clean up his crime scene. The overall thought of helping clean it up, that really does bother me. A lot,” said Hildreth, adding, “We were together almost six years. I knew something was off. He wasn’t completely normal, but I never expected murder. At times, I do really feel like I should have known more. I should have been able to recognize more. I know I’m lucky … I know I’m lucky to have survived. Knowing what I know of Shawn, I know even in hiding, I’m really not safe.
“Shawn needs to be punished for what he’s done, for everything he’s done to everybody. Shawn needs to die.”
ID’s Serial Killer Week airs from Sunday, August 30 to Friday, September 4 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Investigation Discovery.