Admitted serial killer William Lewis Reece agreed he has a dark aspect.
“Properly, yeah, ain’t no doubt about it. I ain’t going to lie to you,” he told a law enforcement detective soon after confessing to a few killings in Texas and 1 in Oklahoma in 1997.
He would say in a sequence of 2016 interviews that he required to give his victims’ families the truth so they could have closure.
Investigators say he never did.
What he would go away out, prosecutors told a jury very last 7 days, was his motive.
He experienced targeted his victims to satisfy his sexual urges, prosecutors argued. And he killed them so they could in no way testify versus him and deliver him back again to prison.
Jurors took only an hour Friday to uncover him guilty of murdering a 19-12 months-outdated newlywed, Tiffany Johnston, at a automobile clean in Bethany.
Prosecutors stated Johnston was the daughter of his mother’s greatest good friend and Reece might have been stalking her. The conviction is his initially for murder.
Prosecutors find demise penalty in Oklahoma murder
The jury returns Tuesday to the Oklahoma County courthouse to listen to a lot more testimony before deliberating on punishment. Prosecutors are asking for dying.
Reece, now 61, began confessing from a Texas jail right after staying linked to the Oklahoma cold circumstance by his DNA. He ultimately discovered where he experienced buried two bodies with bulldozers.
“He likes to abduct, sexually assault women and young ladies and sometimes kill them,” Assistant District Attorney Jimmy Harmon told the jury in closing arguments Friday. “It was his detail.”
He won’t want people today to see him for what he really is, the prosecutor said. To confess he experienced to power his victims to have sexual intercourse with him would be an insult to his masculinity.
Defense questioned jurors to dismiss confession
His lawyer did not argue that Reece was not a killer. “That’d be preposterous,” Assistant Public Defender Jacob Benedict said Friday.
In its place, the protection attorney argued Reece only confessed simply because a Texas Ranger experienced promised prosecutors would not look for the loss of life penalty. “A promise he could not maintain, but continue to a guarantee,” the attorney stated.
Benedict termed the confessions involuntary and requested jurors to disregard them and acquit Reece. He also instructed Reece’s admission to the Oklahoma killing may be false, that Reece was “regurgitating” what was told to him.
Armed with the effects of the DNA exam, Texas Ranger Jim Holland approached Reece in prison in Huntsville, Texas, on Feb. 9, 2016, with a game program.
He would check out to get Reece to confess to it all and lead him to the bodies of the two nonetheless lacking victims.
Reece was in the Texas jail on a 60-calendar year sentence for kidnapping a 19-calendar year-outdated girl at knife stage in 1997. That target escaped, jumping from his going truck on the interstate after he groped her and explained to her to acquire her pants off.
Method to protected confessions
Holland instructed Reece he was in command of his destiny and could even be addressed like a “rock star” whilst the bodies were being recovered. He also explained to Reece he would do almost everything in his power to get prosecutors to just take the demise penalty off the table.
Holland told jurors he had examined how others had questioned Reece. “My intention was not to are unsuccessful,” he explained. “I required to research what they did completely wrong.”
He determined not to appeal to Reece’s morality or to drive the families’ need to have for closure. “I realized individuals were being all sport-enders,” Holland reported. “I really feel like he lacked morality, primarily based on my instruction and my experience.”
At their subsequent meeting, Reece wanted “no demise penalty” place in producing just before he talked. He also demanded he serve his time in Oklahoma, where by he grew up and needed to be buried.
As they talked, however, Reece improved his intellect.
“I will give you 1,” he said on the recording played for the jury. “When everyone signs off on every little thing, I am going to give you the other.”
However, as the to start with dig dragged on, he grew nervous for the reason that lots of of the searchers doubted he was legit, the Texas Ranger told jurors. He decided to give up the second location, even however Oklahoma County prosecutors experienced manufactured no settlement on punishment.
“F— it,” he said on a recording played for the jury. “They can go ahead and give me the needle. I ain’t acquired no family in any case.”
He admitted to to start with killing Laura Smither, 12, in the Houston suburb of Friendswood. But he claimed it was an incident.
Smither disappeared on April 3, 1997, when jogging.
Reece told a Friendswood police detective he strike her with his truck after leaving the building site where by he worked. He explained it was raining and he could not get his windshield wipers to function. He said he thought he had strike a mail box
He mentioned he observed the girl dead in a ditch. He claimed he place her human body in his truck and dumped it in a retention pond. He denied sexually assaulting her.
The law enforcement detective, Doug Bacon, pressed Reece in excess of and in excess of to describe why the girl’s physique was found with only her socks on. He reported he hadn’t removed her garments.
Afterwards, he informed the Texas Ranger he located Smither in the ditch crying and screaming immediately after currently being hit. He reported he panicked, set his hand in excess of her mouth and turned her neck till it popped.
“I’m sorry about it. I desire I experienced accomplished anything distinct.”
20-calendar year-outdated coed was next sufferer
He upcoming killed Kelli Cox, a 20-year-outdated college student at the University of North Texas in Denton.
He reported he had been ingesting and stopped for far more whiskey at a Texas mother-and-pop grocery retailer on a travel from Oklahoma to Houston on July 15, 1997. He mentioned they commenced preventing after bumping into each other outdoors. He reported he choked her, put her human body in his truck and drove for hrs. He buried her physique in Brazoria County, Texas.
“Did you at any time have sexual intercourse with her?” the Texas Ranger claimed.
“No,” Reece explained.
“Are you positive?” he was questioned.
“Good,” he said.
Slaying in Bethany commenced at motor vehicle wash
He explained he killed Johnston immediately after she complained he experienced sprayed her at the Sunshine Automobile Wash in Bethany on July 26, 1997. He reported he experienced pulled in excess of to clear up his truck and horse trailer just after an oil filter came free.
He stated he missing it, grabbed Johnston and threw her in the tack-place of the horse trailer. There, he mentioned in his initially statement about her death, she “climbed on best of me” but he informed her to get off mainly because it was also sizzling.
Instructed that was challenging to think, he responded, “I ain’t saying she’s accomplishing it voluntarily.”
He explained he choked Johnston immediately after she hit him in the head with a horseshoe, at first with his arms and then with a rope made use of to guide horses. He stated he dumped her human body in tall grass off a grime road. The human body was observed the future day.
In a afterwards job interview, he admitted raping Johnston for about two minutes but insisted she was the only one particular of the 4. “I can not demonstrate it,” he mentioned of the rape. “I you should not know why.”
Reece stated he experienced never observed Johnston ahead of but he admitted figuring out her mother, Kathy Dobry of Anadarko. His mom did ironing for the Dobry spouse and children.
Fourth victim was 17-yr-previous woman
The final target, Jessica Cain, disappeared following leaving a Bennigan’s Cafe in Crystal clear Lake, Texas, on Aug. 17, 1997. Her vehicle was discovered abandoned alongside the interstate. She was 17.
Reece claimed he argued with the female outside the house the cafe immediately after she slammed a car doorway into his Jeep. He mentioned they had a further confrontation on the interstate immediately after he pulled more than and she pulled in behind him. He reported he choked her and buried her physique in a field in Houston.
Cain’s stays were found on March 18, 2016. Cox’s stays have been identified in April of that calendar year.
“Are there any far more out there?” the Texas Ranger asked in one of their final interviews.
“No extra. This is it,” Reece explained.
A person who survived was a College of Oklahoma college student. She was kidnapped soon after her car or truck flooded in the course of a rainstorm in 1986.
Reece sexually assaulted her in his trailer-truck after presenting to drive her to a cell phone, a criminal offense that place him in prison.
Her testimony from a preliminary hearing about her ordeal was read to jurors. She said she asked Reece why he was accomplishing this.
“Because I am crazy,” he replied.