Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Texas Eyeball Killer

Third Victim

The area hookers and the police believed that the killer was probably white and would therefore only target white prostitutes, as he had done twice already. Special Agent Judd Ray, the FBI supervisor for that region, was on the case. In an interview for HBO, he said that in general, the killers are intra-racial, i.e., they stick with their own kind. But there were rare cases in which they crossed over. Because profiles are based on probabilities, this killer was probably white and any future victims would be as well. Ray knew that the killer who mutilates might have other strange fetishes as well, such as drinking blood, so it was possible that he had a history of mental instability.

Shirley Williams
Shirley Williams

Several detectives also believed that the offender had some medical background, but no one could locate a case in which this type of mutilation had occurred before. Two squad cars were assigned to the area to keep watch over the late-night activities. Because the first two murders had been two months apart, they wondered if they might see another such incident in April. But the killer took them by surprise.

On March 18, despite stepped-up police patrols, a black part-time prostitute, Shirley Williams, 41, was murdered. Her nude body was found lying on its side near a school, and blood pooled from her face onto the street. The medical examiner who came to the scene rolled back her eyelids, fearing the worst, and discovered that this was the  third victim in this series: the eyes were gone. Williams also had facial bruises and a broken nose, probably from being punched, and she had been shot through the top of her head and in the face.

Again, there were no fingerprints and no semen. If the killer had had sex with these women, he had been careful to use a condom. In fact, an unwrapped condom lay next to the body. But he had not been nearly as careful this time as he removed the eyes. He'd slashed at her face as if he did not know quite how to perform this deed, and in the eye socket, he'd broken off the tip of what turned out to be an X-Acto knife. Perhaps he'd been rushed, someone speculated. It had been late when she'd disappeared.

A background check indicated that Williams had been with friends the night before, getting high on drugs. She had also told her daughter that she would be home that night. It was raining at the time, so Williams had put on a yellow slicker. The friends said that she had gotten into a car and that was the last that anyone had seen of her.


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