Inman Confessed to Bikini Slay, Two Other Attacks, Police Say

A convicted sex offender charged Wednesday with first-degree murder, kidnapping and rape in the bikini strangulation death of a Clemson University junior has confessed to the murder and two other sexual attacks in two other states, authorities said.

Jerry Buck Inman, 35, confessed to the May 26 murder of Tiffany Marie Souers, 20, as well as two sexual attacks of blond women in Tennessee and Alabama, according to police in Jefferson County, Tenn.

"We asked him, `Why?', and all he would say was that he's a sick animal," Jefferson County Sheriff Department Chief Deputy G.W. "Bud" McCoig said. McCoig arrested Inman late Tuesday night about a mile from the home of Inman's mother.

DNA evidence linked the registered sex offender to Souers' apartment as well as to two other attacks, McCoig said.

In Rainsville, Ala., Inman was charged Wednesday with attempted rape, burglary, robbery and theft of property in a May 23 incident in which authorities said he broke into a home and tried to attack a 24-year-old woman after she came home for lunch. Jefferson County Sheriff David Davenport said he expects Inman also will be charged with a May 24 rape in Sevierville, Tenn.

Investigators said they found several items related to the crimes in Inman's vehicle. And the victims identified Inman from tattoos shown on news reports, officials said. Florida prison records indicate Inman has several skull tattoos and an image of a bat tattooed on his neck.

Wearing an orange jumpsuit, Inman, 35, was arraigned in Pickens County, S.C., Wednesday. A South Carolina magistrate did not set bond at Inman's arraignment. He was being held in solitary confinement.

Inman waived his right to extradition after his arrest late Tuesday one mile from his mother's home in Dandridge, Tenn. Bond was set for $1 million on a fugitive from justice charge Wednesday in Jefferson County, Tenn.

Click here for Jerry Inman's sex offender profile.

Inman chose Souers at random, authorities said.

McCoig said Inman told him he would drive around looking for women he found attractive and did not even realize he had ended up in South Carolina.

"He did say when he saw one particular one, he waited until she went to sleep," he said of the attack on Souers. "He thought she was asleep and that's when he entered the apartment."

Authorities believe Souers, a civil engineering student from Ladue, Mo., was killed around 1:30 a.m. on May 26 in her apartment at The Reserve, a sprawling complex a few minutes from the Clemson University campus. She was wearing only a bra, with a bikini top around her neck. Her wrists and ankles were bound.

Inman arrived in Tennessee in 2005 after he was released from prison in Florida, where he served 16 years for sex offenses. Authorities said he had listed the Dandridge homes of his parents and a sister on a sex offender registry in Florida and North Carolina.

After coming to Tennessee, Inman got a job with Shular Contracting Inc. for about two months on a construction site in Pigeon Forge, said Phil Loeffler, company vice president. When he didn't show up for work about two weeks ago, he lost his job.

Inman's mother, Vera McArthur, told The Greenville News that her son is bipolar and often suicidal and had no idea South Carolina authorities were looking for him. She said he had been doing construction work in Tennessee, but didn't think he had been in South Carolina recently.

"I know he is overwhelmed by the attention this case has received so far," said Inman's attorney, Symmes Culbertson. "I think he's a little shell-shocked by everything that has gone on so far."

Souers' family in the St. Louis suburb of Ladue, Mo., said they were relieved to learn Inman had been arrested.

But her mother, Bren Souers, said she was angry that a registered sex offender had easy access to victims and that any mental illness Inman might have "holds no credence for me."'s Sara Bonisteel and The Associated Press contributed to this report.