A serial killer who called himself “The Zombie Hunter” has been sentenced to death by lethal injection for the murders of two women in Arizona 30 years ago.
Bryan Patrick Miller, who modelled himself on a character from the Resident Evil film and video game franchise, ambushed his victims as they cycled alongside a canal in Phoenix.
He murdered 21-year-old Angela Brosso in 1992 and Melanie Bernas, 17, the following year.
Miller, 50, admitted killing them but had denied murder by reason of insanity.
After a six-month trial, he was convicted in April of murder, kidnapping, and attempted sexual assault, and yesterday (Friday, June 9) he was told he must die for his crimes.
Read more: Death Row inmate’s chilling last words before lethal injection
“The defendant did not just murder them,” Judge Suzanne Cohen said as she sentenced him at Maricopa County Superior Court. “He brutalised them. And he evaded capture for over 20 years.”
Miller, a single father who worked for Amazon, was only linked to the gruesome crimes in 2015 through DNA.
Amanda Martin, of the Maricopa County public defender’s office, said the team defending Miller was disappointed with the death sentence.
“They are very disappointed but plan to continue their fight to save Bryan’s life,” she told People magazine.
“I am not looking for sympathy today,” Miller said during the sentencing phase of his trial last month.
“This time is for the family and the friends of the victims. I cannot imagine what pain they have endured for all these years.”
Both victims were brutally stabbed. Angela was decapitated, and Melanie had a cross carved into her chest, the court heard.
“The defendant stole my angel from the Earth,” Angela’s mother Linda said.
Melanie’s sister, Jill Canetta, told the court: “Words cannot begin to explain the level of excruciating pain we experience every single day since her murder.”
Miller was well known in Phoenix’s sci-fi and horror convention community at the time of his arrest, dressing as The Zombie Hunter and driving around in a modified police car spattered with fake blood.
Mike Syfritt, an acquaintance, told the court: “He built this persona around the survivalist, surviving a zombie apocalypse.
“The car that he built was basically to mow down zombies.”