Drifter Kills a "Queer"
September 8, 1990 – Madison, WI
James Wills, a drifter from Louisiana, told police Mark Starkey “would be alive today if he wasn't a queer”.

Wills said he packed a gun before boarding a bus because he heard “a lot of queers” lived in Madison. He was living in a homeless shelter before catching a Greyhound bus from Minnesota. He was in Madison an hour and a half before he killed.

Wills said he was resting in an alley near the bus station when Starkey drove into the alley. He said the man told him he was bisexual and Wills said he responded by saying he was not interested.

He told police Starkey got out of the car, Wills said he pulled out a .357 revolver he had tucked in his pants and pointed it at the man. He said the Starkey offered him $16 in cash, but he declined it and demanded Starkey's car keys.

“Well, then I shot him, it's as simple as that”

Starkey was found Saturday morning in the parking lot of Mautz Paint Co., 939 E. Washington Ave., about a block from where the Greyhound bus station was at the time. He was shot twice and died of a chest wound.

Wills agreed to serve a life sentence in prison under a settlement with prosecutors.

James Wills (25)
Mark Starkey (21)