An alleged thrill-killing case took a startling turn Friday when one of the suspects allegedly confessed to a Pennsylvania newspaper reporter that she’s killed more than 20 people.
Miranda Barbour, 19, and her husband Elytte Barbour, 22, are accused of murdering 42-year-old Troy LaFerrara in Sunbury, Pennsylvania, in November 2013.
According to police documents, Elytte Barbour allegedly told authorities that he and his wife killed the man “because they just wanted to murder someone together.”
The Daily Item newspaper reporter Francis Scarcella arrived at the Northumberland County Prison Friday to interview the 19-year-old murder suspect after attempting to speak with her for more than a month.
He sat face-to-face with Miranda Barbour with protective glass between them. While he wasn’t allowed to bring a notepad or a recording device to the interview, he said he left with a stunning confession.
“She said she has, you know, done this before. And I said, ‘what's the actual number?’ And she said, ‘under a hundred,’” Scarcella told HLN’s Nancy Grace Monday night.
“She was very meek, she was very mild, she was very well-spoken and she was very matter of fact,” he added. “She never hesitated once. She never gave the impression of it as a rehearsal.”
In an interview with HLN affiliate WBRE, Scarcella said Miranda Barbour told him that the killings occurred over the past six years in Alaska, Texas, North Carolina and California as part of a Satanic cult.
According to Scarcella, Miranda Barbour said she stopped counting after killing 22 people.
“She said that she likes knives,” Scarcella told Grace. “That was her thing. She said she liked knives.”
The couple faces several charges, including criminal homicide, in the LaFerrara slaying. Despite Miranda Barbour’s alleged confession to Scarcella, she and her husband have both pleaded not guilty.
Authorities said they haven't yet corroborated any of Barbour's alleged claims, including statements that she was involved in Satanism.
“We take all allegations seriously, and we are working with other counties to investigate in their jurisdiction,” Sunbury police told HLN Monday. “At this point we can't comment on any of the allegations Barbour has made in other jurisdictions.”
However, Northumberland County District Attorney Tony Rosini, who hopes to convict the couple, said he discounts Barbour's other claims.
"We have been in contact with other law enforcement agencies where she has lived and haven't received any information verifying what she said," Rosini told HLN affiliate WNEP.
According to court documents, the newly married couple met LaFerrara after he responded to a “companionship” ad placed by Miranda Barbour on Craigslist.
Police allege that Elytte Barbour strangled LaFerrara in the front seat of his wife’s car while she stabbed him at least 20 times. LaFerrara's body was found the next day in the backyard of a home in Sunbury.
Scarcella told WBRE Miranda Barbour claimed that when she met LaFerrara, she told him she was 16 years old. When LaFerrara allegedly responded, “That’s OK,” the 19-year-old said that set her off and she stabbed him to death.
Barbour's attorney, public defender Edward Greco, declined to comment Monday about his client’s jailhouse interview.
Meanwhile, Scarcella said the most surprising part of his interview was not the fact that the 19-year-old woman confessed to killing more than 20 people.
“The most surprising thing to me would be the fact that she said if she got out that she would do it again,” Scarcella told WBRE.
If convicted of murdering LaFerrara, the Barbours each face a possible death sentence.