Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Texas Eyeball Killer

Alarm in Dallas

Susan Peterson
Susan Peterson

Peterson was nearly nude, with her T-shirt pulled up to display her breasts in the same manner as Pratt. She'd been shot three times: in the top of the head, in the left breast and point-blank in the back of the head. One bullet had pierced her heart and another entered her brain. A clump of her hair lay on her chest. She had been dumped in south Dallas, just outside city limits, and the ME found that this victim bore another grisly similarity: her eyes had been surgically removed. There had been no bleeding, Matthews points out, and only two small cuts. 

So now they knew they had a repeat killer, one who apparently operated from ritual, just as the FBI report had said. Even worse, two days before her murder, Peterson had indicated to a patrol officer that she might know who Mary Lou Pratt's killer was. She hadn't offered an identification then, and now that information was gone along with her. But it appeared that the offender had taken Peterson to the same place to kill her as he had taken Pratt. That helped to establish what geographical profilers would term his "zone of familiarity." He likely lived or worked in the area, and was almost certainly a resident of Dallas, rather than a roving stranger passing through town.

Matthews and Williams thought about what Veronica had said — and she was still telling the same story about how she had nearly been killed. She was a known liar and generally made little sense, but her consistency made her story more credible. Then she added that she had actually witnessed Pratt being murdered. But she could not identify the house to where she had been taken to be raped and beaten, so she proved to be a useless source. Leads came in from people who had seen or who knew someone whom they suspected to be the killer, but nothing panned out.  The media soon dubbed the vicious attacker "The Dallas Ripper."

 

Categories
Advertisement