Twice-convicted murderer accused of killing again in Pasco County

Warren Birkbeck, Pasco County Jail booking photo

HOLIDAY, Fla. (WFLA) — Pasco County authorities say 71-year-old Warren Birkbeck called 911 at 3:15 a.m. on Wednesday, and told the operator he’d killed his roommate.

When deputies arrived they found 42-year-old Denise Cook dead inside the home on Trask Drive in Holiday. The Paso County Sheriff says Birkbeck went into her room and stabbed her multiple times.

Birkbeck has been convicted of murder twice before. The first was in 1963 in Massachusetts. He was convicted of another murder in 1999 in New Hampshire.

Birkbeck was released from prison in 2015 for the New Hampshire murder, but is on probation for that crime until 2029.

Melissa Sullivan lives next door and says Birkbeck seemed strange to her.

“I’ve had several conversations with him and something just never seemed right about him. There is always that eerie feeling that you get when you meet somebody that you get when something is not right with them and you can’t necessarily put your finger on it, but you know, maybe I shouldn’t have a conversation with this person again,” said Sullivan.

Mike Scanell lives down the street and says he often saw Birkbeck walking in the neighborhood, but he had no idea of his criminal past and wonders why he was out of prison.

“I think somebody dropped the ball if he is out here in society,” he said.

Pasco County Sheriff Nocco said that his detectives are trying to figure out how Birkbeck wound up in Florida. He says Birkbeck moved to Holiday two years ago and lived with his sister in a home next door to where this morning’s homicide happened.

Birkbeck’s sister died and so he moved into the home next to hers, where two women lived.


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