Carnival worker in Washington County, Virginia, confessed to being a ‘Serial killer’
James Michael Wright confessed to fatally shooting three women during an 18-day span, two months ago
Wright, 23, killed his victims between Feb. 28 and March 17, 2019 near his home Mendota, Virginia
He told cops he met all three victims through his employment as a subcontractor for James H. Drew Exposition, a Georgia-based amusement company that operates along the East Coast
Wright confessed to killing Joycelyn M. Alsup, 17, of Cobb County, Georgia, Elizabeth Marie Vanmeter, 22, of Carter County, Tennessee, and Athina Renea Hopson, 25, of Johnson City, Tennessee
The self-confessed serial killer said he shot Hopson on March 17 and was moving her body when it fell out of his truck and rolled down an embankment and into a river
Human remains believed to be Vanmeter and Alsup were recovered during a search of properties surrounding Wright’s residence
Vanmeter and Hopson were reported missing to authorities in March
Joycelyn Alsup was the daughter of one of his co-workers at the carnival
He’s charged with three counts capital murder, three counts using a firearm in committing a murder and three counts concealment of a dead body
James Michael Wright, confessed to fatally shooting Athina Hopson, [left], and 17-year-old Joycelyn M. Alsup, the daughter of a co-worker and Elizabeth Marie Vanmeter, [right] in an 18-day killing spree
A traveling carnival worker confessed to murdering two women and a teen girl he met on the job, according to police, who said they consider him a serial killer. James Michael Wright, 23, of Mendota, Va., confessed to fatally shooting three women during an 18-day span between Feb. 28 and March 17 near his home, but claimed the killings were accidental, Washington County Sheriff Fred Newman told reporters during a news conference Monday in Virginia. “We find that hard to believe based on the information we have,” Newman said. Newman said Wright admitted killing the three victims after meeting them through his employment as a subcontractor for James H. Drew Exposition, a Georgia-based amusement company that operates along the East Coast. One of Wright’s victims, Joycelyn M. Alsup, 17, of Cobb County, Georgia, was the daughter of one of his co-workers at the carnival, Newman said.
The other victims were identified as Elizabeth Marie Vanmeter, 22, of Carter County, Tennessee, and Athina Hopson, 25, of Johnson City, Tennessee. Both women were reported missing to authorities in March, Newman said. Wright told authorities he shot Hopson on March 17 and was moving her body when it fell out of his truck and rolled down an embankment and into a river, Newman said.
James Michael Wright [photo], is facing three counts of capital murder after admitting that he killed the three young women
The remains of two bodies believed to be Vanmeter and Alsup were later recovered during a search of properties surrounding Wright’s residence. One body was found in a shallow grave, while the other was discovered near some logs, Newman said. Investigators plan on contacting other jurisdictions along the East Coast where Wright worked as a carnival employee to see if they have any missing person cases that may have connections to him, Newman said. “The investigation is ongoing regarding the suspect’s activities while traveling with the carnival because, again, we know that carnival traveled extensively, certainly throughout the East Coast,” Newman told reporters. “Basically, this individual killed three women within about an 18-day period.” Asked if Wright is a serial killer, Newman said: “I think you can say that, yes.” Wright, who had no known criminal history, remains held without bond on three counts of capital murder. If convicted, he could face the death penalty, authorities said. A firearm that investigators believe was used in all three slayings has been recovered, according to Newman, who declined to discuss a motive. “He wasn’t certainly on their radar as being in any type of criminal activity,” Newman said of Wright’s employer. Wright is charged with three counts of capital murder, three counts of using a firearm in committing a murder and three counts of concealment of a dead body.
Wright confessed to shooting 25-year-old Elizabeth Marie Vanmeter [photo], after they had a fight on February 28. He buried her body near his home in Mendota, Va
News channel told WJHL reports that Wright told investigators he shot and killed Elizabeth Vanmeter, 25, after they had a fight on February 28. Wright confessed to burying her body near his home in Mendota. Vanmeter was reported missing from Carter County on March 17. A caretaker said she had not been seen since February 28. The 23-year-old carnival worker admitted that he shot and killed 17-year-old Joycelyn Alsup on March 9, referred to as “J.A.” in court documents. He shot her after they had sexual intercourse in the woods near his home. He was trying to shoot an animal when he shot her instead, Wright claimed. He covered her body with logs next to a creek near his home. Alsup who is the daughter of one of his co-workers had been reported missing from Cobb County, Georgia on March 8.
Wright, 23, also confessed to shooting and killing a 17-year-old Joycelyn Alsup on March 9, after they had sexual intercourse in the woods near his home.
Wright told investigators he tripped and fell when he shot and killed Athina Hopson, 22, on march 17. The body accidentally fell into a river, he claimed
The suspect then admitted to shooting and killing Athina Hopson while they were on a walk on March 17. He told investigators he tripped and fell and shot her in the head near his home. He put her body in the back of his truck to take it to the hospital, but the body fell out of his truck while he was driving over a bridge on Nordyke Road. Wright claimed he could not retrieve her body and left it in the river instead. Hopson had been reported missing from Johnson City on March 21. According to JCPD, she also went by Athina Huff.