In September 2016, Shawn Grate was arrested for kidnapping after a woman he had held captive in his home got hold of his phone and called 9-1-1. When authorities came to the house to help the unidentified woman and apprehend Grate, they found the decomposing bodies of two other women who had been missing in Ashland, Ohio.
Grate was convicted of killing the two women. Then, in 2019, he was given a life sentence (on top of the one he already had) for the 2006 murder of yet another woman, which had, up until that time, been unsolved. Grate's crimes have been explored on various true crime docuseries and now, MTV's True Life Crime is looking into what happened.
What started out as an investigation into two missing women turned into Grate's eventual confession. And now, people are curious about where the convicted killer is today.
Where is Shawn Grate now?
Grate pleaded guilty to the murders of the two women who had been found in the house he was squatting in when he was arrested. In 2018, he was convicted and sentenced to life in prison without parole for the aggravated murder of one of his victims, and to 17 years to life for the other crimes he committed, which also included murder.
In total, Grate was convicted of five murders. His attorneys attempted to add an insanity plea, but it wasn't upheld.
"We find nothing that is mitigating in this connection," Justice Judi French wrote in a statement. "And Grate acknowledged during allocation that he knew right from wrong when he strangled Griffith and Stanley. Upon independent weighing, we conclude that the aggravating circumstances as to each aggravated-murder count clearly outweigh the mitigating factors beyond a reasonable doubt."
Today, Grate is still incarcerated at the Chillicothe Correctional Institution in Chillicothe, Ohio. In February 2021, he reportedly hired a new attorney, which was believed to be in an effort to eventually reopen his death penalty case. At this time, however, it doesn't look like Grate has tried to reopen the case or successfully appealed any aspect of his convictions.
Shawn Grate's ex-girlfriend is a survivor of his abuse, too.
Following the news of Grate's arrest and incarceration, his ex-girlfriend, Christina Hildreth, spoke out about their relationship. She explained in an episode of Investigation Discovery's Evil Lives Here that Grate was emotionally and physically abusive toward her.
At one point, according to her, he forced her to stay inside and prevented her from using her phone or even looking out the windows.
In 2010, the couple finally split up after a verbal altercation and after Grate broke her hand, Hildreth said in the episode. In a 2016 interview with Cleveland 19 News, Hildreth admitted she felt she could have easily been one of Grate's victims.
"I'm thinking it could have been me because he had held me, he had strangled me, he hit me, he threatened me," she said. "We had a very volatile relationship."
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.