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.
Gather your fishing pole, your binoculars, your hiking shoes and your camping gear - we’re just 50 miles east of Dallas.
Boat, fish or swim on the water; hike, mountain-bike, go birding or geocaching on land. Fish the lake from shore or boat, or try our kid fish pond.
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?
The park has nearly five miles of trails to explore.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. This article is the result of a full year of research—dozens of interviews were conducted with the principal and minor players, and thousands of pages of transcripts, depositions, and affidavits, from the case’s six capital murder trials and one aggravated sexual abuse trial, were carefully reviewed.Still, what follows is not a legal document; some of the people involved in the case are dead, others don’t remember much, and even others—including the patrol sergeant who investigated the case and the DA who prosecuted it—refused to be interviewed.very 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.