This case is technically "solved"; however, many questions remain (not the least of which is: was an innocent men executed?). I was living in Waco for several years; left a couple of months before this happened. I knew Vic Feazell casually- he was having trysts w/ my room mate. My impression of him was/is *smarmy*- not just because he was married & screwing around, but because he literally came across that way- just exuded ego, anything for attention, nasty personality in general. Also, the media makes this case sound like an aberration in Waco, and, honestly, it wasn't. I sobered up in 1980; in early 1981 an acquaintance from the program & her boyfriend went to Koehne Park to try to score some weed; the boyfriend was shot and killed. It wasn't at all unusual for people to be shot, stabbed, etc. in Waco- I worked in medicine, and not a weekend went by without shootings & stabbings coming into the E.R. Anyway, will comment more later; hope to hear others' opinions!
The 1982 Lake Waco Murders refers to the deaths of three teenagers (two females, one male) near Lake Waco in Waco, Texas, in July 1982. The police investigation and criminal trials that followed the murders lasted for more than a decade and resulted in the execution of one man, David Wayne Spence, as well as life prison sentences for two other men allegedly involved in the crime, Anthony and Gilbert Melendez. A fourth suspect, Muneer Mohammad Deeb, was eventually let out after spending several years in prison.
On July 13, 1982, two fishermen discovered the bodies of Jill Montgomery, 17, Raylene Rice, 17, and Kenneth Franks, 18, in Speegleville Park, near Lake Waco. Franks' body was found propped against a tree, with sunglasses over his eyes. All three victims had been repeatedly stabbed, and both of the women's throats had been slashed. There was also evidence that the women had been sexually assaulted. <snip>
The investigation was initially headed by Lieutenant Marvin Horton of the Waco police department, with assistance from Detective Ramon Salinas and Patrolman Mike Nicoletti. Truman Simons, who was with the Waco police department at the time and had been one of the first respondents on the scene of the crime, also assisted the investigation in an informal capacity.
Initially, the investigation revealed a number of different possible suspects, including James Russell Bishop  and Terry Harper, local residents who had been tied to the area at the time of the crime. However, both men were found to have credible alibis (Harper's was later proven false when Spence's attorneys investigated it), and in September of that year, the investigation began to stall and was marked as "suspended." Simons, who had taken a significant personal interest in the case, requested that he be given permission to continue investigating the case, which he was subsequently granted.
<snip>The case languished for nearly a year, until the work of Simons and others had produced enough evidence to again arrest Deeb and three alleged accomplices in the plot. Deeb had had a life insurance policy for one employee at his convenience store who bore a striking resemblance to Jill Montgomery. Simons hypothesized that Deeb had hired David Wayne Spence to murder her, and that Spence and two friends, Anthony and Gilbert Melendez, had seen the victims and mistaken Montgomery for the target. They speculated that the other two victims had been murdered because they were witnesses.
Deeb, Spence, and the Melendez brothers were all indicted late in 1983. District Attorney Vic Feazell, whose office had been instrumental in continuing to pursue new evidence in the case, would manage the prosecution against the accused. Spence and both Melendez brothers were, at the time, already serving prison sentences for various crimes.
The evidence against the men largely consisted of testimony provided by other inmates, who claimed that the defendants had admitted to their involvement in the killings in private discussions, as well as confessions made by Anthony and Gilbert Melendez. Also considered was the confession Deeb had made to the two young women about his involvement in the killings, as well as the life insurance policy he had taken out for his employee. Bite marks on the victims were also presented as evidence of Spence’s involvement.
The trials began in May, with testimony from dental specialists supplementing the evidence that had been provided by the prison witnesses. In June, Anthony Melendez pleaded guilty to the crimes and was sentenced to life imprisonment. Spence’s case was badly damaged by Melendez’ confession, which played a key role in his eventual conviction in July 1984. Unlike Melendez, Spence was sentenced to death for his involvement in the killings.
In 1986, true-crime writer Carlton Stowers published his account of the murders and police investigation surrounding the Lake Waco murders, Careless Whispers. The book focused heavily on Truman Simons’ involvement in producing the evidence which led to the convictions.
Following the convictions of Spence and Deeb, some began to question the substance of the evidence on which the convictions had been based and the methods through which it had been obtained. Forensic odontologist Homer Campbell was proven to have made false assessments at around the same time, and when a blind panel examined the alleged bite marks and a mold of Spence's teeth, three said that the marks were not even bite marks, and the other two matched them to a Kansas housewife. Three of the seven people who said Spence confessed later stated that Simons had offered them privileges in order to secure their testimony and had fed them info on what to say. Spence's lawyers also discovered an alternate suspect in Terry Harper, a local thug with a history of knife-related offenses. Six witnesses testified to seeing Harper and his friends in the park on the night of the murder, and others claimed that he had boasted of committing the murders (some even said that he did this even before the crime was made public). Also, one of the victims, Kenneth Franks, was later found to have been an associate of Harper's in the drug trade. When Harper was interviewed by Spence's lawyers, he claimed that he was at home watching Dynasty; records showed that Dynasty did not air that night. Brian Pardo, a wealthy Texas businessman, met Spence a few months prior to his execution and, on becoming convinced of his innocence, launched a campaign to delay his death sentence so that a new trial could be commenced. His efforts were unsuccessful, but they brought attention to the case following Spence’s execution.
Bob Herbert wrote a series of articles for The New York Times in 1997, with headlines such as “The Wrong Man” and “The Impossible Crime,” in which he claimed that the case had been “cobbled […] together from the fabricated and often preposterous testimony of inmates who were granted all manner of favors in return.” 
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