Posted on 2/26/18

Police in the United States, when catching criminals, are known to like three things – guns, drugs, and prostitutes. They especially like them when there is a combination of some or all of those elements. The police in Texas are no different.

They often go together. The hierarchy in the prostitution trade tends to be male-dominated wherein the males control a group of female prostitutes, often with a senior female prostitute who acts as a secondary enforcer. The male leader, often with help from a senior female, recruits females who are often in their late teens. They promise the recruits money, a place to stay, and jobs in return for working under a specific prostitution ring. Very often, they also promise drugs to their recruits. Usually, the male in charge makes a condition that recruits must only work for him because the competition will try to lure prostitutes into another prostitution ring. Due to the competitive nature between the prostitution rings and that these rings run outside the rule of law, justice, retribution, and protection is achieved through the use of weapons.  

When police are aware of a crime involving prostitution, drugs, and guns, police will look to finger prints, hair samples, and chain of custody evidence in determining the perpetrators. If there is a body involved, it is even easier for the police to make that determination. There are times, however, when the facts of the case are so bizarre that despite the existence of police favorites, it is still difficult to find the perpetrator.

One such case is the saga ofCharles Albright. The facts of the case are unbelieveable and the evidence was entirely circumstantial.

Texas Eyeball Killer

In 1991, a Texas Criminal Court found Charles Frederick Albright guilty of killing one prostitute in the Dallas area and insufficient evidence in respect to the killing of two others. He was a psychopath who went on a killing spree over a year and a half. He was dubbed the Dallas Ripper and theTexas Eyeball killer.

At birth, Albright was given up and sent to live in an orphanage. Later, the Albright family adopted him and severely mistreated him. They would beat him when he misbehaved and, at times, threw him inside a dark closet for extended periods. An interesting point was that his adoptive mother was a taxidermist and taught him the trade. This included gouging the eyes out of an animal and stuffing it. Instead of putting in fake eyes, Albright used to sew the eyes shut.

On three occasions, Dallas Police found three dead bodies of prostitutes in the Oak Cliff neighborhood. All three were naked, suffered from multiple bruises, and had their eyes gouged – hence the moniker Eyeball Killer. This created a frenzy in the Dallas area and it stumped police. Eventually, Albright  was brought to trial where he pled not guilty. The prosecution used his taxidermy past as an explanation for the eye gouging and a hair sample that suggested, with some probability, that Albright was the murderer. The jury found him guilty.

While the outcome, based on a beyond a reasonable doubt standard, raises questions about whether Albright’s conviction was just, no doubt that the bodies of prostitutes, killed in such a strange fashion, made it interesting for the police.

Accused of a crime? Contact the criminal defense firm of Christopher Abel.

(image courtesy of Sean Brown)

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