Within hours after the murder, the police had a suspect. Today they would have called him “a person of interest.” A teenager in the neighborhood had been picked up more than once for being a peeping Tom and burglar. Police followed foot prints to his parents home where he lived. They found him jogging in the vicinity. He’d recently taken a shower. Odd for that time in the early morning hours (just after midnight). They questioned him, but had no reason to hold him.
During the investigation a partial bloody handprint was found on the body of the deceased. It was processed. It didn’t match the suspect. Fast forward 5 months to when another young blond-haired woman was murdered, also found in a blood bath. She was working at a furniture store and was killed in the backroom. The perp had entered through an open alley door. He left bite marks on her body. They were processed. They did match the original suspect from the murder the year before.
Now the police and the D.A. had the job of proving that the same guy was good for both crimes. A detective looked through the file again. He sent the bloody handprint to the FBI. Can you check this against our suspect? It was a match. How could that be? They had him all along, and yet he was able to kill another human being?
The FBI explained that handprints are made up of mountains and valleys. Ink sits on the mountaintop. Blood seeps into the valleys. The ink print and bloody print are mirror images of the other. They had the perp from the beginning. Another woman didn’t have to die.
I’m writing more about the brutal murder of my brother-in-law’s (BIL) wife, prior to his becoming my BIL (see Death Penalty). A reader asked me to. She’d asked about the motive. Pure and simple. Evil. He raped and savagely stabbed both women; the details are grisly and chilling. I won’t go in to them. Some things are better left unsaid. Police say he was a serial killer in the making. He was 17 and 18 at the times of the crimes. At 24, he was the youngest person (at the time) on death row in the U.S. and the youngest ever to be executed in Texas.
The District Attorney, on the day of the execution, said something to the effect, if we could wake him up and kill him again we would. The murderer received two death sentences, one for each murder. Sadly, the D.A. committed suicide years later; his 14-year-old daughter did the same in 2004. The ripple effect of crime goes on and on. I’m not saying this particular crime was directly responsible for those deaths, but the stress of a career as a high powered D.A. can’t have helped.
I remember I cried, sobbed really, on the day the killer died. I grieved for all those his crimes affected; there were so many. I cried for him too; his was a wasted life.