Panama Sentences American Serial Killer

William Holbert killed 5 other Americans
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 15, 2017 12:20 AM CDT
Panama Sentences American Serial Killer
In this July 29, 2010 file photo, American William Dathan Holbert is escorted by authorities upon his arrival in Panama City after being extradited from Nicaragua.   (Arnulfo Franco)

US citizen William Dathan Holbert was sentenced to 47 years in prison by a court in Panama for robbing and killing five other Americans in a Caribbean tourist destination, authorities say. Holbert's ex-wife Laura Reese was sentenced to 26 years for her role. Authorities say Holbert admitted killing five people between 2007 and 2010 in Bocas del Toro province in order to steal their property, the AP reports. Holbert and Reese were arrested while trying to enter Nicaragua from Costa Rica in 2010. That year, the bodies of four adults and one child were found buried on the property of a hostel that Holbert owned.

Holbert killed a US citizen named Mike Brown, his wife, and young son in 2007. Authorities have said Brown may have been living under an alias and they don't know where he was from. In 2010, Holbert killed Cheryl Lynn Hughes, a native of St. Louis, Missouri, who ran a small hotel in Panama, and Bo Icelar, former owner of a gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Holbert, a white supremacist nicknamed "Wild Bill," left his native North Carolina after he divorced a previous wife, sold his landscaping business, and filed for bankruptcy. He and Reese had been living in Panama under the alias Cortez. They were fleeing a Panamanian investigation when they were arrested in Nicaragua. (More Panama stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.