Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Texas Eyeball Killer

The Prosecution

Toby Shook
Toby Shook

Dan Hagood, Toby Shook, and Mike Bosillo made up the prosecution's team, and among their star witnesses were the two patrol officers who had followed their instincts and linked together the prostitutes who'd complained about Albright. The prosecution had a theory that Albright had become enraged after two prostitutes (one of them Pratt) had ripped him off one night. A prostitute who had been with Albright and Susan Peterson, the second victim, testified about how he had picked them up together one night and beaten them severely. In fact, he had handcuffed the witness and beaten her with an electric cord for half an hour. Albright also had enormous gasoline bills, ostensibly from cruising.

On December 7, Special Agent Judd Ray testified about the linkage analysis and the fact that the killer would have been comfortable in, and familiar with, the Oak Cliff area. In many different sources, he is quoted as saying, "What was interesting to us was the method in which these victims, these body parts, were taken. In my professional opinion, it's doubtful that you would have more than one person that deranged living in this city."

Dr. Peacock, who had done the first autopsy, stated how difficult it was to cut the muscles and the optic nerve that connected the eyes to the skull. She described how precise the killer's method had been, adding that he would have to have some skill.

But the prosecution suffered several blows. The yellow raincoat worn by Williams when she'd disappeared had been inadvertently thrown away (though the jury had seen it), Upshaw had changed his story, Albright's neighbors supported the fact that he did not have a car during the time of the murder, and Veronica had decided to testify for the defense. Against her original story, she now said that Albright had never done anything to her, and she could not be shaken from that position. She said that the police had bullied her into saying that her attacker was Albright.

But the heart of the proceedings, and the piece that became highly controversial, rested on testimony by forensic experts. Charlie Linch discussed his analysis of the hair specimens, as detailed in Matthews and Wicker. Among his finds were:

Eight hairs that matched Shirley Williams' hair came from Albright's vacuum cleaner.

Six of Williams' hairs came from the blue blanket found in the Oak Cliff field with the yellow raincoat.

Three pubic hairs from that blanket matched Albright's, and a head hair on the raincoat matched his; his public hair also matched one strand of pubic hair lifted from Williams' neck.

Albright's head hair was found near a wound on Williams' face, another on her back and two on her left hand.

Three head hairs from Susan Peterson were on a blanket in Albright's truck, as were four hairs likely from Pratt.

A squirrel hair was found in the vacuum and on the blanket picked up in the field.

In addition, SpeeDee's hair did not match any of the samples.

But Linch had matched Albright to the fourth murdered prostitute, and for that case, Albright had an alibi. That put a dent in the testimony about how scientific hair analysis was. And the defense was ready for that.

 

Categories
Advertisement