Monday, November 09, 2009

Blame It On Texas

Everyone has their own theory about the Fort Hood attack - some focus on religion, some politics, some on the torment of army life after so many years of wars. I thought I'd add my own theory - It's a Texas Thing.

Just a cursory Google search found twenty mass murder/serial killers in Texas. With just a little effort I'm sure I'd find many scores more. California might have more showy killers (Zodiac) but that's just a Hollywood thing. When it comes to pure blood and guts multiple homicides, nobody beats Texas. A few examples:

Charles Whitman
Charles Whitman was a picture perfect Texas college boy in the 1960's. Clean cut, former Marine, married to a pretty little wife. One day, in 1966 in Austin, Charles killed his mother, killed his wife, wrote a note to insure his dog went to a good home, assembled an arsenal, went to the 28th floor observation deck of the University of Texas Tower, and started shooting. With Marine training Whitman killed 14 people and injured 32 others before police were finally able to storm his sniper nest and shoot Whitman.

George Jo Hennard
In 1991 35-year old George Jo Hennard, ex-Navy, drove his pickup truck through the front window of the Luby's Restaurant in Killeen (just a few miles from Fort Hood). With a couple of pistols Hennard got out of his truck and started shooting people, killing 23 in all. He was stone cold sober during the shootings and left no notes behind. The only reason he gave was that he repeatedly shouted, "This is what Bell County did to me!" during his killing spree.

Dean Corll
Working out of Houston, Corll paid his accomplices $200 each for delivering teenage boys to his rape and torture chamber. Corll killed at least 27 people, probably many more.

Henry Lee Lucas

Killed his mother in Michigan and, after his release, went traveling finally settling down in a Stoneburg, Texas Pentecostal commune called the House of Prayer. While living there Lucas took his teenage girlfriend on a trip during which he killed her. He found another girl, killed her, and disposed of the remains in the House of Prayer stove. After being arrested Lucas confessed to over 600 murders. Texas investigators only believed he killed some 350.

One of the most accomplished serial killers in United States history was the only person whose death sentence was commuted by Governor George W. Bush. Envious, perhaps? This leads us to two additional Texas serial killers.

George Bush and Rick Perry
George Bush set a record for executions (154) that was broken by his successor Rick Perry whose total now exceeds 200. The definition of a serial killer is someone who murders three or more people over a span exceeding 30 days for reasons of personal gratification not profit. Even if we only count the innocent people put to death by Bush and Perry both qualify, by definition, as serial killers.

When I heard about the Fort Hood killings my first reactions was, "of course, it's Texas." Having had several days to think about it I have adjusted my opinion. Now I believe, "What else can you expect from Texas?"

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