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Family of local serial killer victim says a life behind bars isn’t enough

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Investigators with the Pennsylvania State Police said a serial killer has confessed to murders he carried out in Beaver County in 1977 and 1978.

According to state police, Edward A. Surratt is serving two life sentences for crimes he committed in Florida. He’s also been convicted of murder in South Carolina.

In March, troopers went to Florida to interview him. Surratt told them he carried out murders involving six people across Pennsylvania in the late 70s. The unsolved cases included the deaths of William and Nancy Adam, John Feeny and John Shelkons.

District attorneys in each county agreed not to prosecute Surratt for the cold-case homicides due to his life sentences in other jurisdictions.

“Transporting someone who is serving a homicide life sentences in Florida up here would be too risky to him and people transporting him, to the jury and court personnel. It’s more important to get the closure than another conviction for homicide,” said Beaver County District Attorney David Lozier.

Channel 11 spoke to Shelkons’ son who said he was just 25 years old when his father was murdered by who police have dubbed “The shotgun killer.”

He said that he suspected Surratt was involved.

“This wasn’t some big weight off me, but it’s still good to hear he finally ‘fessed up to it,” said Shelkons.

Rita Feeny said her son, John Feeny, was at the prime of his life, and Surratt’s punishment behind bars isn’t enough.

“I’d like to be the person who takes his hands and pulls his fingernails out by the roots while he is awake,” Rita Feeny said.

Ultimately, Surratt has been linked to 18 murders from when he was working as a long-haul trucker.

According to our partners at, western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio were panic-stricken in the late 1970s when there were more than two dozen unsolved murders. Eighteen of them have been linked to Surratt from when he was working as a long-haul trucker.

Surrat was born and raised in Aliquippa.

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