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The Murders at the Lake


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The Murders at the Lake

IN 1982 A BRUTAL TRIPLE HOMICIDE SHOOK THE CITY OF WACO AND SOON BECAME ONE OF THE MOST CONFOUNDING CRIMINAL CASES IN TEXAS HISTORY—ONE THAT STILL HAUNTS THE MANY PEOPLE WHO HAVE TRIED TO SOLVE IT.

APRIL 2014 by MICHAEL HALL

Prologue

Every murder involves a vast web of people, from the witnesses and the detectives who first come to the scene, to the lawyers and the juries who examine the facts, to the families of the victims, who must make sense of the aftermath. The more traumatic the killing, the more intricate the web. In the summer of 1982 the city of Waco was confronted with the most vicious crime it had ever seen: three teenagers were savagely stabbed to death, for no apparent reason, at a park by a lake on the edge of town. Justice was eventually served when four men were found guilty of the crime, and two were sent to death row. In 1991, though, when one of the convicts got a new trial and was then found not guilty, some people wondered, Were these four actually the killers? Several years after that, one of the men was put to death, and the stakes were raised: Had Texas executed an innocent man?

 

This story examines the case through the viewpoint of five people: a patrol sergeant who investigated the crime; a police detective who became skeptical of the investigation; an appellate lawyer who tried to stop the execution; a journalist whose reporting has raised new doubts about the case; and a convict who pleaded guilty but now vehemently proclaims his innocence. Scissors-32x32.pnghttp://www.texasmonthly.com/articles/the-murders-at-the-lake/

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