This week, we received a letter from serial killer Shawn Grate as he sits in a Northeast Ohio Jail, confessing to killing five women. He's charged with 2 murders and also charged with kidnapping another woman in Ashland.
We broke that story. in the midst of investigators thinking Grate could be connected to 3 other murders.
In his letter, he gives details about what happened to those women.
You can see more details about that here: http://www.newsnet5.com/news/local-news/suspected-serial-killer-shawn-grate-reveals-why-he-murdered-victims-in-letters-to-news-5
Those letters may give us some insight into Grate's state of mind, but what was his relationship with them?
News 5’s Lauren Wilson spoke exclusively to an old friend of his weeks ago, who says grate wasn’t even romantically interested in women.
She brings more details from that chilling interview, shedding light on the man described as a charmer with a dark side.
“I think now looking back, I was friends with one of the Shawn's, the other Shawn I never really knew,” said Tim Denis, Shawn Grate’s former friend while he was living in Mansfield years ago.
He never knew that side fully, but briefly met it, when he received threating text messages from grate, revealing just how much of a master manipulator grate was. This happened after his Denis refused to lend grate $1,500, and that's when he finally saw the dark side.
“The part that got me was the conclusion, he made this statement, at the end, meet the other me, and when I saw that, I just got chills," he said.
Before then that incident, Denis thought he and grate could have been item.
“I kind of went head over heels for him.”
I confirmed neighbors saw the two together at Denis’s house multiple times in the pool together, hanging out, but he wasn’t the only one falling for the charmer.
“I think most of the women who were with him, were very attracted to him, and they were kind of hoping maybe something more would develop out of it," said Denis.
But he says Grate, was just using those women, like he tried to use Denis for what he needed.
“I never saw him do anything romantic with any women...He was always just staying with one girl for a while, and he stay for another girl for a while,” he said.
After his text message fight with grate, a friend warned Denis to stay away…and he did.
“He is a user, she said, he is a using you and he'll do anything he can do to get what he wants out of you."
Which now, Denis said, makes him feel he was just caught up in one of grate’s webs.
“I didn’t know how much of those things were genuine looking back, or how much was user..I think he was a master manipulator and he knew how to turn on the charm to do that," he said.
Right now, it’s still unknown Grate’s exact relationship with each of the women he’s admitted to killing so far.
Neighbors i spoke to who had met grate at Denis’s house said they were shocked to hear the news about Grate’s killings. They spoke highly of him, saying he was nothing but a gentleman when they met him.