Serial killer who targeted elderly women murdered by prison cellmate

September 21, 2023

Last year saw Texas serial killer Billy Chemirmir receive a pair of life sentence for the brutal murder of two elderly women.

Yet those sentences were cut short this week when Chemirmir, who is now believed to have as many as 22 victims, was himself murdered.

Cellmate believed to be responsible

The Associated Press cited Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokesperson Hannah Haney as saying that the 50-year-old killer's end came on Tuesday.

Chemirmir was found dead in his cell at a rural East Texas correctional facility, with his cellmate being the chief suspect in his death.

Amanda Hernandez is also a Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokesperson, and she explained that the unit where Chemirmir lived was on lockdown as staff conducted searches there in response to a rash of prison homicides.

The Associated Press noted that while Texas saw seven inmate-on-inmate homicides in 2022 and nine the year prior, the number had jumped to 16 this year prior to Chemirmir's death.

Victim's daughters notes that her "mother died in fear"

Phillip Hayes served as Chemirmir's attorney, and he lamented his former client's passing, saying, "Nobody deserves to be killed at any point, especially when you are in a place you’re being held against your will."

However, Shannon Dion is the daughter of one of the women Chemirmir is believed to have murdered, and she had a very different reaction to his death.

The Associated Press quoted her as saying at a news conference, "My mother died in fear. This man did not have a peaceful passing. There’s some relief in feeling that he didn’t get off easily."

The news service recalled how many of Chemirmir's victims were wrongly classified as having died of natural causes, despite relatives complaining that valuables were missing.

Some observers suggest race was a factor in story's coverage

Originally from Kenya, Chemirmir was black while all of the elderly women that he murdered were either white or Asian.

This led some social media users to suggest that his case would have gotten more attention if the races had been reversed.

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