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VIDEO: New Docuseries Shines Light on Local Serial Killer

Pillowcase Murders Cover | Image by Paramount+
Pillowcase Murders Cover | Image by Paramount+

Paramount+ released a new docuseries on North Texas serial killer Billy Chemirmir, putting his crimes in the national spotlight.

Pillowcase Murders” premiered last week, with three episodes chronicling the horrific murders of dozens of female residents of senior living communities and their loved ones’ quest for justice.

“There were definitely tons of opportunities for Chemirmir to be caught, and I think that is one of the heart-breaking things about this,” said Randy Ferrell, who directed the series, according to CBS News Texas.

Although Chemirmir was convicted in 2022 of killing two women in Dallas County, he is believed to have murdered many more in the greater metro area. The 50-year-old was murdered by a cellmate in 2023 while serving two life sentences.

As covered in The Dallas Express, Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot declined to seek the death penalty for the suspected mass murderer. Some, such as former Dallas district attorney Faith Johnson, criticized this reluctance. A new rule enacted by Texas General Attorney Ken Paxton will create more oversight of how DA offices prosecute violent offenders in the state.

Chemirmir’s M.O. involved posing as a maintenance man to gain entry into elderly women’s homes before murdering them by smothering them with a pillow and stealing their valuables. Mary Brooks, 87, Lu Thi Harris, 81, and Loren Adair Smith, 91, are known victims of Chemirmir. All were attacked in 2018, but only Smith survived, with her testimony helping bring him to justice.

The docuseries highlights the 22 victims believed to have been killed by Chemirmir, such as Phyllis Payne, whose daughter, Loren Smith, never got to see her case brought to trial.

“We are getting the message across that there is an issue in the independent senior living industry that needs to be resolved so that there is true security for the people that live there,” Smith told CBS.

As previously covered in The Dallas Express, yet another retirement-home-related scandal in North Texas emerged earlier this year. The owner of a string of unlicensed community living homes, 49-year-old Regla “Su” Becquer, remains in jail after being arrested in February over allegations she abused and confined a resident against their will.

An allegedly widespread scheme of abuse and theft involving Becquer and other employees soon emerged as the Arlington Police Department conducted its investigation. Upwards of 20 people are believed to have died while in the care of Becquer’s facilities.

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