Tuesday, October 23, 2018

4 Famous Homicides in Texas.

December 11, 2017 by  
Filed under Opinion, Politics, Weekly Columns

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(ThyBlackMan.comTexas is, on the whole, a very welcoming and friendly state. It is the home of the renowned Southern hospitality, of which its residents are extremely proud. However, while Texas is an undeniably charming and vibrant place it also, as with most places, has a dark side to its history. The homicides on this list thankfully represent the exception rather than the rule and, while they are undeniably tragic, they are also a part of Texan history and many of these generated considerable news coverage at the time.

Amber Hagerman

Amber lived with her family in the town of Arlington when she disappeared. On the night in question she and her brother had cycled to a nearby abandoned grocery store. After spending some time hanging out there, her brother rode home, never to see Amber again. A neighbour would later tell police that he witnessed Amber getting in to a pickup truck and being driven away by an unidentified man. Four days later her body was found by a dog walker, lying at the bottom of a creek bed.

In spite of an intensive investigation at the time, as well as continued interest in the case over the following years, the murderer has never been caught. When Amber went missing there was international media attention and the case led to the creation of the Amber alert system.

James Byrd Jr

The murder of African-American James Byrd was another crime that sent shockwaves beyond the state of Texas and led to changes in Texas state law, in this case the introduction of hate crime laws, and ultimately the enactment of the Matthew Shepard Act. James Byrd was attached to a vehicle and dragged until he died, remaining conscious until his body hit a culvert, severing his arm and decapitating him. Two of the three perpetrators were known white supremacists and were sentenced to death, a third man is serving a life sentence for the crime.

Yogurt Shop Murders

The infamous yogurt shop murders were committed on December 6th, 1991, where four women were found murdered. They were discovered when firefighters arrived to put out a fire at a popular yogurt shop in Austin. The perpetrator or perpetrators have never been found and the prime suspects were released due to lack of evidence in 2009.

Luby’s Mass Shooting

Until recent events in Las Vegas, the mass shooting that occurred at a branch of Luby’s in Killeen, Texas, was the deadliest non-school shooting in the United States and remains one of its deadliest mass shootings. George Hennard crashed his pickup truck into the front of the store before disembarking and shooting dead 22 people. He wounded a further 27, and then turned the gun on himself.

Thankfully, events like the ones on this list are rare in Texas, even Houston crime scene cleanup services don’t have to deal with events on this magnitude very often.

These homicides, as gruesome as they are, are a part of Texas history and have entered, to varying degrees, in to the public consciousness.

Staff Writer; Steve Love

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