December 10, 2014


Paul T. Goodwin was executed shortly after 1:00 am CST, on Wednesday, December 10, 2014, at the Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Corrections Center in Bonne Terre, Missouri.  Forty-eight-year-old Paul was convicted of sexually assaulting and murdering his elderly neighbor, Joan Crotts on March 1, 1998, in St. Louis County.  Paul spent his last 15 years on Missouri’s death row.


Paul struggled in school as a child, failing multiple grades and being placed in a special high school program.  Paul never graduated from high school.


Paul Goodwin met Joan Crotts in the summer of 1996, when Goodwin moved into a boarding house next door to Joan.  Although Goodwin was not at the boarding house long, during his time there, he frequently harassed Joan with vulgar insults and verbal confrontations.  Goodwin also verbally threatened her.  Goodwin was evicted from the boarding house August of 1996.  He blamed Joan for his eviction, as they had an altercation earlier in the day, and warned her “I’m going to get you for this.”  


Nearly a year and a half later, on March 1, 1998, Joan noticed one morning that her backyard gate was open.  After further investigation, she noticed that a step on her back porch was out of place and that papers she had in her car were lying on the ground.  Joan called the police, fearful that someone was on her property and tampered with her vehicle.  Police were unable to find anything wrong.


Goodwin had opened the back gate and entered Joan’s house through an unlocked door.  For several hours he sat in the basement and smoked cigarettes.  Eventually, carrying a hammer, he confronted Joan and forced her into the living room.  Joan attempted to give Goodwin money or jewelry, which he refused.  He forced her into the bedroom where he sexually assaulted her.


Goodwin forced Joan back into the kitchen, where he wrote “You are next” on a piece of paper.  Goodwin then shoved Joan down the steps to the basement.  Joan fell onto the concrete floor, where she lay unmoving.  Goodwin walked down the steps and struck her on the back of the head several times with a hammer before leaving.


Joan was found alive later that day by her daughter.  Joan was able to tell police what had happened.  She died later that evening.  An autopsy later determined that Joan had also been severely beaten, as she had eight broken ribs, a broken hip, and numerous defensive wounds.  Goodwin was arrested that day.  He confessed to the crime.


Please pray for peace and healing for the family of Joan Crotts.  Please pray for strength for the family of Paul Goodwin.