The 35-year old Dale Devon Scheanette from Texas, convicted in a 1996 case in Arlington known as the bathtub murders is to be executed. The Dallas Morning News reported Sunday that, 13 years after the crimes, the state plans to execute him. He was found guilty of killing Wendie Prescott, 22, and Christine Vu, 26, who were found strangled in the bathtubs of their east Arlington apartment complex.
“The crime scenes were absolutely horrific – brutal and violent, the worst nightmare for anyone confronted with that kind of attack,” the homicide detective LeNoir recalls. “I don’t like to think what the ladies went through.”
First victim’s aunt and uncle, concerned when she failed to show up for a shopping appointment with her sister, went to her apartment and found her dead in a partially filled bathtub. Her neck, wrists and ankles were wrapped in duct tape and she’d been raped and strangled.
Detectives found a fingerprint on the TV stand in her apartment but couldn’t identify it until almost four years later as databases expanded and technology improved. Scheanette’s prints first became available after he was arrested in 1999 for a burglary of a car audio shop in DeSoto, just south of Dallas.
“We got a search warrant, blood samples and made a DNA hit on two murders,” LeNoir said. “From that point, we started getting hits on other cases, the sexual assaults. It just snowballed.”
The DNA and a fingerprint match tied Scheanette to the slaying of Christine Vu, 25, who was killed three months before Prescott and lived in the same apartment complex. They also tied him to five rapes in 1998 and 1999. He was charged but not tried for Vu’s slaying.
After jurors convicted him of capital murder for the Prescott slaying, prosecutors in the punishment phase of the trial called to the witness stand five women evidence showed Scheanette had raped.
“To hear and see these women talk about these events, quite honestly, I hope I never get exposed to something like this again,” said Greg Miller, the Tarrant County district attorney who prosecuted Scheanette. “I will never forget him. But most importantly, I will never forget the seven women.”
He would be the seventh condemned killer executed this year in Texas and the first of two set to die this week in the nation’s most active death penalty state.
-original article by By Michael Graczyk, from Chron.com-