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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Texas Killing Fields - New Book by Kathryn Casey

I've been reading Kathryn Casey's new book, Deliver Us: Three Decades of Murder and Redemption in the Infamous I-45/Texas Killing Fields. Casey is probably the best true crime writer working today, right up there with Ann Rule. Here's a blurb from Amazon.com about the book:
Critically acclaimed author Kathryn Casey delivers a riveting account of the brutal murders of young women in the I-45/Texas Killing Fields.
Over a three-decade span, more than twenty women—many teenagers—died mysteriously in the small towns bordering Interstate 45, a fifty-mile stretch of highway running from Houston to Galveston. The victims were strangled, shot, or savagely beaten. Six met their demise in pairs. They had one thing in common: being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The day she vanished, Colette Wilson waited for her mother after band practice. Best friends Debbie Ackerman and Maria Johnson loved to surf and were last seen hitchhiking. Laura Kate Smither dreamed of becoming a ballerina and disappeared just weeks before her thirteenth birthday.
In this harrowing true crime exposition, award-winning journalist Kathryn Casey tracks these tragic cases, investigates the evidence, interviews the suspects, and pulls back the cloak of secrecy in search of elusive answers.

I lived in Houston from 1982 to 2002, and I remember seeing the billboards with missing girls. I particularly remember when Laura Smither went missing, and when they found her body a few weeks later. She went out for a jog one morning in a nice neighborhood and never came home. I also remember when Jessica Cain disappeared, and her family found her pickup truck parked on the side of the road, with her purse and keys still in it. I can't imagine the pain their families have suffered over the years.

I've never tried to become qualified to try death penalty cases, because I don't want to run the risk of being appointed to defend someone like the evil monsters who killed these girls and women. There are lawyers who can do it, but not me.


  1. I read http://www.bustedmugshots.com/texas/kerrville every morning, and I estimate there are between 450 - 550 felony cases filed every year in Kerr County. In rough numbers, how many felony cases go to trial in Kerr County every year?

  2. Can one assume approximately 95% of all felony charges result in plea bargains? How does this number compare with other venues?

  3. Yes. I think 95% of all criminal cases in all jurisdictions result in a plea bargain.