Couple talks about connecting with serial killer

ST. LOUIS COUNTY (KSDK) - A St. Louis couple talked only to NewsChannel 5's Anne Allred about forming a death row connection with serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin.

Franklin is scheduled to be executed at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday.

The relationship started when Franklin called Dr. Debra Peppers local Christian radio show "Talk from the Heart" in 1997. Franklin admitted on-air to one of his murders. He then started writing letters to Dr. Peppers at her studio and the two carried on correspondence for six years.

Dr. Peppers says the communication was mostly questions from Franklin.

"It was well what do you think about or what do you think about this God moment … It turned out to be that he was generally questioning what makes you tick lady," she said.

When Dr. Peppers switched studios she lost touch with Franklin and they had no contact for 10 years. Recently, Dr. Peppers found out Franklin was set to be executed this month so she reached out to him.

She and her husband, Bud Peppers, went to visit Franklin in prison last Thursday. The couple says the visit lasted two hours and they found a changed man sitting on the other side of the prison glass.

"He could easily do prison ministry right now and that just sounds ridiculous I know to most people," Dr. Peppers said.

Dr. Peppers says Franklin told her he hasn't had radio or TV privileges for more than 13 years, but he did have access to a Bible.

"He said I have read the bible frontward to backward, frontward to backward and so I started asking him some scripture and he knew every single one," she said.

The Peppers believe their relationship with Franklin was divine intervention. They will visit with him again hours before his execution.

The convicted serial killer is only allowed to invite five people to his execution and he has asked the Peppers to be present.

When asked if she thinks Franklin deserves to die, Dr. Peppers responded, "According to the law, he should be, so because I believe in mans' law as well as gods law."


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