Missouri Man Sentenced in Stalking Case Also Feared to Be Serial Killer Behind Numerous Slayings

Robert Gross
Robert Gross

A Missouri man sentenced to five years in prison this week for stalking female massage parlor workers in Missouri is also suspected of killing several women in what authorities fear is the work of a serial killer.

cJ. Gross, 69, was found guilty in May 2019 on eight of 10 charges that included stalking women who he had visited at massage parlors in Johnson County and Lawrence, along with federal firearm charges.

“This armed and dangerous criminal, with a history of stalking and violence toward women, will spend the rest of his life in prison,” said U.S. Attorney Tim Garrison at the sentencing, per the Kansas City Star.

Prosecutors added during Gross’ sentencing that he is suspected of murdering and decapitating one of the women who worked at a massage parlor that he had visited, Ying Li, in August 2016. Li was decapitated in her Kansas City living room and her house was then set on fire. She was found dead in her living room, but detectives never located her head or her fingers, which had been cut off. Li was also stabbed 18 times.

Gross had received a massage from Li earlier that day and had sex with her, according to authorities, and they said that their investigation led them to Gross. A search warrant on his home allowed cops to find several power tools and newspaper clipping of police investigations.

Also in his home, authorities said they found a calendar with the schedules of several female Asian workers at the massage parlor, the Kansas City star reported. Gross also kept track of several of the menstrual cycles of the women, authorities claimed.

Authorities never found the weapon used to kill Li, though, and Gross has not been charged in the homicide. Two of Gross’ eight stalking convictions were thrown out after the owner of several massage parlors was found to allow workers to perform sex acts in exchange for tips.

Chunqui Wu, the owner of three massage parlors in the area, later pleaded guilty to federal charges for doing so. Those two verdicts were reached after Wu allegedly lied to a jury.

Gross’ stalking charges came from incidents where he keyed the cars of women who worked at the parlors, drilled holes in their tires and smashed their windows out. The firearm charges are connected to Gross buying to shotguns illegally.

Police also believe he is connected to assaults and killings throughout the 1970s and 1980s, he Gross has never been charged.

“We might sleep a little better at night,” said Kathy Zeysing, a friend of a couple who found shot to death in their Kansas City home in 1979 in court. Gross is suspected of being  involved in their killing. “My heart goes out to all of his victims and their families. It is about time.”

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