A man previously linked to five deaths in two states claimed to have killed a total of 16 people, according to a prosecutor. The enigmatic case against Sean M. Lannon, 47, unfolded during a detention hearing in New Jersey on Friday.
“He admitted to killing a total of 16 people … 15 being in New Mexico and one in the State of New Jersey,” said Assistant Gloucester County Prosecutor Alec Gutierrez, according to NJ.com. “It’s my understanding that the FBI is assisting New Mexico in their investigation.”
Those 15 people in New Mexico allegedly included the defendant’s wife Jennifer Lannon, 39, who was found dead in a vehicle at a Albuquerque airport with three slain men. She had previously gone missing from the town of Grants with Jesten Mata, 40, and Matthew Miller, 21. The fourth victim Randal Apostalon, 60, was an Albuquerque local. Police over there had said at least two of the victims were found in pieces. Gutierrez said on Friday that according to the defendant, the remaining 11 victims were drug dealers. Lannon allegedly claimed to have lured several of the victims to a New Mexico home, and dismembered a number of them.
The defendant has not been charged with any slaying out west. Right now, he’s charged in one alleged murder in New Jersey: that of Michael Dabkowski, 66, who served as a “Big Brother,” of Sean Lannon and the defendant’s twin brother in 1985. Authorities said the killer beat the victim to death. Lannon asserted that the man sexually assaulted him as a child, said Gutierrez. He allegedly went to the residence in Gloucester County, New Jersey in order to retrieve explicit photos of them together.
In this second-hand account, the men fought, and Dabkowski handed over the pictures. They struggled again. Lannon beat Dabkowski to death with a hammer. The defendant was allegedly driving the victim’s SUV when arrested in St. Louis, Missouri. He was allegedly en route back to New Mexico.
He faces charges including first-degree murder. Public defender Frank Unger argued that his client’s actions constituted passion provocation manslaughter at worst, and that Lannon entered Dabkowski’s home with the man’s permission. He maintained his client only went there to get the photos, and did not want to hurt the victim. The killing only happened after Dabkowski “attempted to seduce” the defendant, and then attacked him with hammers, Unger said.
The prosecution asserted that Lannon had previously broken into another home in New Jersey, and tried to get into another one before the killing. Gutierrez worked to undermine the assertion that the defendant entered Dabkowsku’s residence with permission.
“The situation as alleged in New Mexico and as admitted by the defendant was that he used means to lure those individuals to a residence,” Gutierrez said. “So what I will say is that this notion that he was invited in should be looked at through the lens of at least three prior incidents in New Mexico. Those individuals, self-admittedly, were lured into the residence and subsequently murdered.”
The judge ordered Lannon held pending trial in New Jersey.
[Mugshot via Salem County Correctional Facility]
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