The show Murder by Numbers: Clown Mask Murders on Investigation Discovery follows American serial killer and burglar Elroy Chester who admitted to 5 murders, 3 rapes and 4 shootings that did not end in death.
Officers who arrested him said he was “the devil himself” because he doesn’t feel bad about his violent crimes and said he would do more once he got out of prison. If you’re interested in learning more about the case and what happened to Elroy?
Who was hurt by Elroy Chester?
On August 3, 1997, Elroy Chester broke into the home of Kenneth Risinger in Texas. There he stole a .380 semi-automatic pistol. From 1997 to 1998 he used it as a weapon in multiple murders, burglaries, sexual assaults and shootings in which no one was killed. Police say he broke into the home of 10-year-old Rolaycia Mouton on August 9, 1997 while wearing a hockey mask. He then tied her up and raped her in her closet.
The police report also states that on August 16, 1997, he tried to use the gun to break into two houses in Texas, but was unsuccessful. He tried to get Oscar Morales, 16, to give him money through his bedroom window. As Oscar tried to run away, the man shot him in the leg. He did the same to Matthew Horvrich, but shot him in the shoulder instead. Both of those shot were lucky because they didn’t die.
On September 20, 1997, Chester broke into John Henry Sepeda’s home while he and his wife were sleeping in the bedroom. John woke up in the middle of the burglary and tried to speak to a masked Chester. As he did so, Chester shot him with his gun. On November 15, 1997, Chester broke into the home of Etta Mae Stallings, who was 87. She slept next to her husband at this point. Before Chester killed her, Etta woke up and drew a gun. He then stole things including Etta’s gun before running away.
Chester knew his next victim, 40-year-old Cheryl DeLeon, because they worked together at a nearby Luby’s restaurant for about 11 months in 1992. So he knew how she usually spent her days and was waiting for her on November 20, 1997. in a storage shed behind Cheryl’s house. She came home and was walking to the back door of her house when Chester grabbed her. Chester grabbed her from behind and then hit her with the gun after they fought.
Chester said he didn’t want to shoot Cheryl and tried to hit her with the gun when she accidentally went off. On December 21, 1997, Chester decided to kill Albert Bolden Jr., 35, who was his brother-in-law. He said that Albert used to hurt his sister and that Albert also set Chester on a date with a man who dressed in the opposite sex. He tricked Albert into going inside with him to rob an empty house in Port Arthur, Texas, only to shoot him in the back of the head.
Chester says Willie “Billy” Ryman III, 38, was the last person he killed. On February 6, 1998, he broke into the Port Arthur home of Erin DeLeon, who was 17 and living alone with her young son, Tony. He beat her up and took off her jewelry when her sister Claire and boyfriend Tim showed up. He tied Tim up and held guns to Erin and Claire’s heads while he raped them. In the midst of all this, the two girls’ fire department uncle, Willie, came to check on them and was killed by Chester.
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How did Elroy Chester die?
Elroy Chester’s usual way of breaking into or attempting to break into houses in Port Arthur was to cut the telephone lines and unscrew the lights. On February 12, 1998, he was caught and charged with killing Willie. During his trial, he admitted to the crime and had several outbursts, threatening jurors, police officers, and prison guards. He didn’t feel bad about what he had done, so he was executed on August 24, 1998. The jury took less than 12 minutes to reach the verdict, making it one of the fastest death sentences in US history.
Elroy admitted to all of these crimes while in prison and his DNA linked him to the rapes of the three women. He said he committed these crimes because he “hated white people.” He said this after getting into an argument with a white jailer while at the Texas Department of Justice. Chester’s attorney tried to appeal many times, saying that Chester was mentally unstable, but each time the appeal was denied.
The 43-year-old was scheduled to be executed on April 24, 2013, but the execution was postponed due to a technical error in the warrant. Elroy was finally executed on June 12, 2013. In the Huntsville Unit of Texas State Penitentiary, he received a lethal injection. He was the 499th person in Texas to be executed for murdering someone. According to official records, his body is buried in Captain Joe Byrd Cemetery in Huntsville, Texas.
The new judges need time to study the case and the charges against Jones. They didn’t say he wasn’t guilty.
When a new Fifth Circuit panel looked at the arguments on Wednesday and said it saw “neither injustice nor wrongness,” Chester’s attorneys took their case to the Supreme Court.
Chester was the seventh convicted murderer to be executed in Texas this year and the 499th since the state reinstated the death penalty in 1982 after a nearly 20-year hiatus.
On June 26, Dallas’ Kimberly McCarthy will become the 500th person in Texas to be executed in modern times.
On October 29, the United States Supreme Court denied a final request for a rehearing of evidence that led to Elroy Chester’s conviction. Chester was sentenced to death for killing a Port Arthur firefighter, Willie Ryman III, in 1998. Chester was accused of killing the fireman when Ryman came to help his two Chester nieces they were robbing in their home.
According to the Texas Department of Justice, Chester admitted to this crime, two other murders and three attempts to commit capital murder while in police custody. Chester said he did those things because he was “mad with hatred of white people” over an argument with a white staffer over a disciplinary report when he was previously at TDCJ.
Chester’s lawyers have said the man accused of killing Chester is mentally retarded and should not receive the death penalty.
Although investigators agree that Chester performed poorly on some intellectual tests, Judge J. Womack of the 252nd Judicial District Court of Jefferson County wrote in 2007 that the court should consider whether Chester had “significant deficits in adaptive functioning has that are normally shown limited by conceptual, social and practical skills.”
Womack said Chester was responsible for what he did and “in all his crimes he acted alone, unguided by others.” He also said: “The court found that the details of the various crimes which (Chester) has admitted, such as using masks and gloves, cutting off telephone lines outdoors before breaking into houses to rob them and the conscious selection of victims, convincingly demonstrated that the applicant was able to anticipate, plan and execute complex purpose.”
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Five people died and others will never be the same
On the night of February 6, 1998, Chester followed a teenage victim, according to evidence presented in court. The target person was 17 years old and was alone at home with their one-year-old son.
Chester looked for a place to break in while walking through the young mother’s neighborhood. He was wearing gloves and a knit hat with two holes for a ski mask. He also had a gun that he had stolen in a previous burglary.
Once Chester was sure the girl was alone, he disconnected the phone lines, which he said he did every time he broke into a house. He looked at the door and saw that it was open. After getting in, Chester grabbed the victim’s hair, held the gun to her head, and demanded money or jewelry. Chester retrieved duct tape from the garage and jewelry from a bedroom in the hostage’s home. He did this by letting the hostage show him around their house.
The teenager’s younger sister and her boyfriend came into the house in quick succession. Chester was able to take control of all three teenagers by threatening to shoot them in the head. He stripped off their clothes and tied them up with tape.
Chester then began sexually abusing the two girls until a car pulled up in front of the house. Then Chester ran into the kitchen to get dressed. He went to wait by the side door for who turned out to be the girls’ uncle, Willie Ryman.
Ryman turned on the light and opened the door. When Chester got in, he shot Ryman and dragged him to the kitchen to die. As Chester walked outside, he saw Ryman’s girlfriend, Marcia Sharp, waiting for him in Ryman’s car in the driveway. While Ryman was bleeding in the car, Chester fired five shots at Sharp through the windows, but none of them hit their target.
Investigators believe Ryman’s murder was the end of a six-month crime streak in which Chester broke into at least five homes, sexually assaulted at least two people, killed at least five people and shot as many as five others. Chester eventually admitted to a number of crimes during this period, including the burglary and murder of John Henry Sepeda, who was shot when he woke up in bed while Chester was robbing his home; the murder of Albert Bolden, the killer’s brother-in-law, for getting Chester a date with a woman who turned out to be a transvestite; the burglary and murder of Etta Stallings, who was also killed in it
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