Martin Woods, 58, a former Toledoan who has been in prison for another murder since 1990, entered an Alford plea to involuntary manslaughter for the Feb. 4, 1976, death of Rebecca Gerst.

Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Dean Mandros sentenced him to the maximum term of 11 years in prison and ordered it to be served consecutively to the life sentence he already is serving.

The judge said Woods clearly was a serial killer.

In 1978, Woods, then an Army soldier, was convicted of stabbing to death Anneliese Smith, 37, a German-born widow of an American soldier who was killed in Vietnam. Ms. Smith was killed Oct. 15, 1977, in her Fulda, Germany, home. Woods, who was 20 at the time, broke into the woman’s home and tried to rape her. When the victim put up a fight, he grabbed a butcher knife and stabbed her 48 times. For the slaying, he was sentenced to 10 years in juvenile detention. He was not sent to an adult prison because he “appeared immature.”

On April 21, 1989, Jennifer Stewart, 26, was found dead in her 13th Street residence in Toledo, her naked body atop a pile of burning papers. Ms. Stewart had been beaten and choked, with a sock stuffed in her mouth as a gag...

Woods pleaded guilty to murder and felonious assault in the two other slayings in exchange for avoiding the death penalty.
A thoroughly detailed vintage MSM article on Rebecca Gerst's murder:,5261846