The Forgotten Serial Killer

Little is known about the Chameleon, Stephen Morin, who is suspected of killing over 30 people, but hardly anyone has heard his name.

Josie Klakström


Stephen Morin via Wikipedia

Stephen Peter Morin was born on the 19th February 1951 in Providence, Rhode Island. He left school early, quickly developing a drug habit and a penchant for getting into trouble with the law.

At 15 years old, Morin was arrested in Florida for stealing a car, for which he served a two-year sentence. In 1972, he stole another vehicle and was found in possession of LSD. For these crimes, he was sentenced to five years’ probation.

In 1976, he moved to San Francisco, where he constantly changed his identity and found work as a mechanic. This year he was also arrested in San Rafael, California, for possession of a syringe and resisting arrest. However, he only was sentenced to a year of probation because he used a fake identity.

In September of the same year, Morin abducted, raped and tortured a 14-year-old girl. From this point, he was added to the FBI’s most-wanted list.

Morin’s next move was to Las Vegas, Nevada, under the alias Robert Ireland. Here, he met his future wife, a schoolteacher named Sylvia. While visiting Sylvia’s family in Connecticut, Morin toured Yale University’s library to search the obituaries for men who were of similar ages and appearance to him. He then obtained a birth certificate for one of these men, Robert Generoso, planning to keep it as a fake identity for a later date.

Shortly after, he was arrested in Pleasanton, California, for pulling a gun on two men during an argument. Morin gave another alias to police and was released from jail on $500 bail, pending trial.

The Murders

In January 1980, Morin abducted 19-year-old Susan Belote. Her body was found months later in Utah, but she wouldn’t be identified straight away.

In June 1980, Cheryl Daniels was shot dead by Morin. She’d dated him under the alias Andrew Ireland. Her body was found six months later in the Utah desert. However, this time, Morin has dropped a bank card next to her body.



Josie Klakström

Josie is a freelance journo who writes about writing, true crime, culture and marketing.