Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Texas Eyeball Killer

Repeat Crime

Officer Regina Williams Smith
Officer Regina Williams Smith

Veronica, a prostitute nicknamed "Flaca" for her unnaturally skinny frame, was familiar to officers John Matthews and Regina Williams, who patrolled as partners along Oak Cliff's Jefferson Boulevard. Matthews would later pen The Eyeball Killer about the case and his part in helping to solve it.

He'd spotted Veronica at the Star 8 motel in mid-December, where the street girls often brought customers. She'd looked pretty bad that night and she told the officers that on the previous evening a man who had picked her up had tried to kill her. Indeed, he'd raped her. She had a wound on her head to show how brutal he'd been. She had barely escaped, she said, and had hidden from him until she could get to a friend's place for help.

Officer John Matthews
Officer John Matthews

Violence was just part of the lifestyle, so there was not much the officers could do for her, nor any reason they should link her incident with what had happened to Mary Lou Pratt. But when they saw her in a light-blue truck on December 15 and tried to arrest the man, she insisted that he was the one who had saved her from her attacker and ought to be let go. The driver was a man who called himself "SpeeDee" and the address on his driver's license listed a home on Eldorado Avenue, not far from there. He said he had a wife, Dixie, and that he and Veronica were just friends. The officers passed the story on to the Homicide unit, just in case it proved to be significant in some way.

They would eventually have cause to remember it, because on February 10, 1991, another prostitute, 27-year-old Susan Peterson, was found murdered.

 

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