Crime Scene: The Texas Killing Fields is the most recent true-crime documentary to land on Netflix, becoming a member of a bunch of content material similar to Unsolved Mysteries, Killer Sally and I Am Vanessa Guillen.
Directed by Jessica Dimmock and executively produced by Emmy-winning filmmaker Joe Berlinger, the third installment within the Crime Scene sequence explores the unsolved murders of 4 younger girls and a father’s battle to seek out his daughter’s killer.
All 4 deaths had one factor in widespread, they had been found alongside the interstate hall connecting Houston and the seashore city of Galveston, often known as The Texas Killing Fields.
Since the Nineteen Seventies, 30 our bodies have been present in and across the land, resulting in the haunting title. The majority of victims have been younger ladies and younger girls, aged between 12 and 25 years outdated.
For over 4 a long time, the murders are considered the work of a number of serial killers, however has anybody ever been arrested for the numerous murders on the Texas Killing Fields? Newsweek has all the pieces it’s worthwhile to know.
Has Anyone Been Arrested for the Countless Murders?
Yes, there have been a number of arrests within the quite a few murders which have been related to the Texas Killing Fields.
However, there have solely been two convictions for homicide, leaving numerous homicides unsolved at the moment.
Kevin Edison Smith
In April 2012, Kevin Edison Smith was arrested for the homicide of 13-year-old Krystal Jean Baker.
His arrest and conviction for homicide got here 16 years after Baker’s physique was present in March 1996. She had been overwhelmed, raped and strangled.
Smith was recognized because the killer when an officer submitted Baker’s gown for DNA evaluation. The DNA matched Smith, who had been arrested for a minor drug offense in 2010.
He was sentenced to life in jail.
John Robert King and Gerald Peter Zwarst
In 1987, John Robert King, 30, contacted the El Paso police, the place he confessed to killing 19-year-old Shelley Sikes whereas she was in her automotive.
He informed police he carried out the rape and homicide with the assistance of Gerald Peter Zwarst.
Following their arrests, Zwarst informed police the place he had hidden Sikes’s physique, however sadly Sikes’ physique has by no means been discovered.
They had been convicted of aggravated kidnap and had been sentenced to life imprisonment in 1998.
King and Zwarst had been questioned about their involvement in different killings within the Nineteen Eighties, however each denied having any involvement.
Both males have since died in jail, King in October 2015 and Zwarst in November 2020.
William Lewis Reece
William Lewis Reece is the one suspect to be convicted of a couple of homicide linked to the Texas Killing Fields
In May 1997, he was arrested for the kidnapping and tried homicide of 19-year-old Sandra Sepo and acquired a 60-year sentence.
Almost 20 years later, in 2015, Reece’s DNA was discovered to match 19-year-old Tiffany Johnson, who had been murdered in Oklahoma in 1997.
He then confessed to killing Jessica Cain, 17, and Kelli Cox, 20.
In 2016, Reece confessed to police he had kidnapped and murdered Laura Smither, 12.
Already serving time for the tried homicide and kidnapping of Sepo, Reece was convicted of Johnston’s homicide and sentenced to demise.
In June 2022, he was extradited to Texas the place he was discovered responsible of the murders of Smither, Cain, and Cox. He pleaded responsible and acquired a life sentence.
Reece is at present on demise row.
There have been a number of different arrests in relation to the Texas Killing Fields.
In 1972, convicted intercourse offender Michael Lloyd Self grew to become a suspect within the murders of Rhona Johnson and Sharon Shaw. He confessed after hours of interrogation, however later retracted his confession, alleging he had been tortured into admitting to the murders by the police chief.
In September 1974, he was convicted of killing Shaw and was sentenced to life in jail, regardless of questions over the credibility of his confession.
Three years later, police chief Don Morris and his deputy, Tommy Deal, had been arrested and convicted of quite a few crimes, together with torture and misconduct towards detainees. Despite this, Self’s makes an attempt at an attraction failed.
He died on December 21, 2000, and 16 years later, quite a lot of police officers admitted their perception that Self had been wrongly convicted, in keeping with Fox News.
After 20 years on the run from U.S. police for the homicide of former Marine Larry Dickens, Edward Harold Bell was extradited from Panama to the states to face trial in 1993.
He was convicted of Dickens’ homicide and was sentenced to 70 years in jail. In 1998, he wrote a number of letters to the Harris County Attorney, through which he confessed to killing 11 ladies in complete.
Bell was capable of title a few of his victims:
- Debbie Ackerman
- Maria Johnson
- Colette Wilson
- Kimberly Pitchford
- Rhonda Johnson
- Sharon Shaw
Despite his alleged confession, Bell was by no means charged with the murders and there was no bodily proof towards him.
Nevertheless, he remained a first-rate suspect of their murders till his demise in April 2019.
In 2013, convicted kidnapper Mark Roland Stalling confessed behind bars he had killed a younger woman in 1991 and had dumped her physique within the Texas fields. The sufferer was later recognized as Donna Prudhomme.
It additionally grew to become obvious Stalling had lived in League City, close to the house of most of the ladies who had been murdered.
Despite his alleged confession, he hasn’t been charged with homicide, however in 2021, he remained a suspect within the murders of Donna Prudhomme and Audrey Cook, in keeping with USA Today.
Crime Scene: The Texas Killing Fields is streaming on Netflix now