The Lake Waco Murders in 1982 continues to raise questions. One of the death sentence obtained in the case was reversed and led to one of Texas' first capital exonerations. The second man who received a death sentence in the case continued to proclaim his innocence, even in the execution chamber.
Now Texas Monthly takes a major examination of the case and its aftermath. "Examining a 31-Year-Old Murder Case," is an introduction by Jake Silverstein, the editor.
This week, with the release of its April issue, Texas Monthly will publish “The Murders at the Lake,” an in-depth examination into the Lake Waco murders, for which one man (David Spence) was executed, two others (brothers Gilbert and Tony Melendez) were given life sentences, and a fourth (Muneer Deeb) was sent to death row only to be released after six years.
Texas Monthly senior editor Michael Hall spent a year studying the case, conducting dozens of interviews with the principal and minor players and reviewing thousands of pages of transcripts, depositions, and affidavits, from the case’s six capital murder trials and one aggravated sexual abuse trial. The result is a 25,000-word piece that 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 Spence’s execution; a journalist whose reporting has raised new doubts about the case; and a convict who pleaded guilty but now vehemently proclaims his innocence.
"The Murders at the Lake," is by Michael Hall.
In 1982 a brutal triple homicide shook the city of Waco and soon became one of the most confounding criminal cases in Texas history—one that still haunts the many people who have tried to solve it.
The first segment is now available on the TM website. The April edition is in subscribers' hands and in magazine racks.
As I've pointed out in the past, Michael Hall and I are not related to each other.