GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — Three killings in two months — including one that ended with the body’s discovery in Southside Virginia — are being connected to one man, North Carolina authorities indicate. 

The Greensboro Police Department has charged 53-year-old John Richardson with three counts of first-degree murder for three separate homicides that range from early February to late March. He’s charged in the Feb. 1 death of Michael Antown Hemphill, who was shot on Yanceyville Street in late January; the March 10 murder of Mark Anthony Gilbert Jr., who was found on West Terrell Street; and the March 25 disappearance of James Devon Goolsby, whose body was found in Henry County, Va.

John Richardson (Greensboro Police Department)
John Richardson (Photo courtesy: Greensboro Police Department)

The DA’s office is currently trying to determine if Richardson is connected to additional homicides. The FBI defines a serial murderer as “the unlawful killing of two of more victims by the same offender(s) in separate events.”

Jan. 25

Police found 46-year-old Hemphill in the 3200 block of Yanceyville Street after he had been shot. A 911 caller indicated that they believed he had been shot in the head. He was taken to the hospital. Around a week later, on Feb. 1, he died at the hospital and the investigation was upgraded to homicide. 

March 10

Gilbert was found injured after what police called a “disorder.” A 911 caller said that they believed he was being beaten and was lying near a dumpster.

Gilbert died later on the day of March 10, upgrading the investigation to homicide. Court documents allege that Richardson took Gilbert’s car, phone, and wallet.

March 28

Goolsby was reported missing after last being seen in the 1000 block of Summit Avenue on March 25.

Over the course of the investigation, detectives began to suspect foul play, police say.

April 5

Richardson was booked into the Guilford County Jail and charged with the following:

  • Two counts of possession of a firearm by a felon
  • Misdemeanor conspiracy
  • Carrying a concealed weapon
  • Felony manufacturing or possessing weapon of mass destruction
  • Felony receiving stolen vehicles 

Officers obtained a search warrant and searched Richardson’s Byers Road home initially on April 5. They returned on April 6 and dozens of officers searched the home. A search warrant indicated that two firearms, knives, ammunition, and a hatchet were among the items found.

April 8

Jonathan Murphy
Jonathan Murphy

Jonathan Murphy, 38, of Greensboro, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder and possession of a firearm by a felon. 

Court documents indicate that text messages between Murphy and Richardson connected them in the homicide. 

April 13

Richardson was charged with first-degree murder in the death of Hemphill. 

April 14

Detectives received information that Goolsby’s body was in Virginia. With the assistance with the Henry County Sheriff’s Office, detectives say they located Goolsby’s remains.

April 19

Richardson was charged with the following in the death of Gilbert.

  • First-degree murder
  • Possession of a firearm by a felon

April 22

Richardson was charged with the following:

  • First-degree murder
  • Possession of a firearm by a felon
  • Felony robbery with a dangerous weapon 
  • Two counts of felony concealment of death/tampering with a corpse

Warrants indicate that some of the charges stem from allegedly dismembering human remains. The DA’s office has said they are investigating if there are any other murders connected to Richardson.

Anyone who has information about this case is asked to contact Greensboro/Guilford Crime Stoppers at 336-373-1000.