If you want to take a closer look at the number of murders in Texas by year, you can visit the websites of many local, state, and even federal law enforcement agencies, which often publish comprehensive reports with more information on crimes committed in the area during specific periods of time. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, in addition to Texas’s numerous law enforcement agencies, compiles and publishes an annual Uniform Crime Report that provides detailed information and statistics on the various types of crimes and their crime rates for each state, including many counties and cities in every state. Another great resource is Project: Cold Case, which partnered with the Murder Accountability Project to compile a comprehensive list of all unsolved murders in every state between 1980 and 2019. According to this list, there were a staggering 86,484 homicides in Texas during that time period of almost 40 years. On closer inspection, approximately 63,903 of these murders have been solved during the same period, so law enforcement agencies have approximately 22,581 unsolved murders in Texas according to the latest website update.
The 1993 murder of Kimberly Groseclose, the 1993 murder of Stephane Henderson, the 1990 murder of Derrick Jackson, the 1987 murder of Martha McGraw, and the 1996 murder of Evangelina “Angie” Cruz are just a few examples of some of the unsolved murders in northern Texas which you can find on the websites of several local and statewide law enforcement organizations, as well as within the database being built by Project: Cold Case. Some unsolved central Texas murders also found within these lists and databases, as well as on Uncovered.com, include the 1992 murder of Toni Ann Ackerman, the 1983 murder of Charles Bates, the 1982 murder of Ruth Bettis, the 1981 murder of Carol Joyce Deleon, the 2016 murder of Terri “Missy” Bevers, and the 2009 murder of Maria Alcantar, along with the 2013 unsolved disappearance of Brandon Lawson.
Some of the unsolved murders in Houston, Texas, include the 1980 double murder of Andrew and Estella Salinas, the 1974 murder of Edward “Edd” Williams, the 2000 murder of Kenisha Shavonne Dixon, the 1997 murder of Erica Ann Garcia, and the 2019 murder of Elizabeth Barraza, which can also be found on the Uncovered website. Finally, the 2017 murder of Debarione “Brandi” Seals, the 1977 murder of Samarra Kaye Cribbs, the 1979 murder of Angela Kelly, the 1990 murder of Detta Dee Taylor Maris, and the 2001 murder of Daniel Whitehead are a few examples of some of the many unsolved murders in Harris County, Texas, included within various lists and databases.
Unsolved Texas Murders
As mentioned above, not only can you find murder statistics on various law enforcement websites, but you can also find a complete list of the number of unsolved murders in each state on the Project: Cold Case website. To reiterate, according to Project: Cold Case, there are currently approximately 22,581 Texas cold cases, a number that has dropped dramatically as law enforcement agencies continue to investigate unsolved cases. Most, if not all, unsolved Texas murders can generally be found on the websites of various local and state law enforcement agencies. In addition to the reports that you can find on these websites, the Texas Rangers unsolved homicides website also has a complete list of unsolved murders that have been committed in Texas.
A few of the many northern Texas unsolved murders that are listed on various law enforcement websites include the 1993 murder of Kimberly Groseclose, the 1993 murder of Stephane Henderson, the 1990 murder of Derrick Jackson, the 1987 murder of Martha McGraw, and the 1996 murder of Evangelina “Angie” Cruz, among many others. Additionally, the 2017 murder of Debarione “Brandi” Seals, the 1974 murder of Edward “Edd” Williams, the 2000 murder of Kenisha Shavonne Dixon, the 1997 murder of Erica Ann Garcia, and the 2019 murder of Elizabeth Barraza, can easily be found among the lists are unsolved murders Houston, Texas, which you may find on local law enforcement websites or on the Texas Rangers unsolved homicides website. Lastly, the 2001 murder of Tara Blue, the 1995 murder of Mary Catherine Edwards, the 1982 murder of Monica “Christie” Wilson, the 2002 murder of Jennifer Harris, and the 2001 murder of Travoski Johnson, are just a few examples of another form of unsolved murders Texas, which are almost always included on various law enforcement lists of cold cases, the category being east Texas unsolved murders.
More than 200,000 unsolved cases have gone cold since 1980, and murder clearance rates continue to drop. With equity for BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and other underserved victims not prioritized in the true crime community—together we can do better.
Famous Texas Murders
If you are someone who is interested in true crime, you might be a little more interested in unsolved crimes in addition to solved crimes, several of which may be included in the the list of all murders in Texas, list of Texas murders, or even list of murders in Texas. Not only can you discover solved as well as unsolved crimes on such lists, but you can quite often find famous Texas murders, notorious Texas criminals, famous disappearances, and even prominent Texas serial killers.
The 1996 murder of Amber Hagerman, the 2016 murder of Terri “Missy” Bevers, the 1991 murders of Amy Ayers, Eliza Thomas, and Jennifer and Sarah Harbison, also known as the “Austin Yogurt Shop Murders,” and the 2019 murder of Elizabeth Barraza are examples of famous Texas murders. Also included in the lists of cold cases in Texas are the many strange and unexplained disappearances. A few of these strange disappearances include the 2013 disappearance of Brandon Lawson, the 2010 disappearance of Pauline Diaz, and the 2006 disappearance of Brandi Wells are some of the most infamous Texas murders and well-known disappearances which currently remain unsolved.
Homicide Rate in Texas
As per the 2019 Uniform Crime Report (UCR) from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the violent crime rate in Texas was about 428.9 per 100,000 people. In other words, about 430 people per 100,000 people in Texas were directly affected by violent crime in 2019. According to the same data, the homicide rate in Texas was sitting at approximately 4.9 per 100,000 people in 2019. This indicates that around 5 persons per 100,000 inhabitants in Texas were killed in 2019.
Houston is Texas’s largest metropolis, with a population of more than 6.49 million people. The violent crime rate in Houston, Texas, was about 1,026.11 per 100,000 people in 2018, while the Houston, Texas, murders rate was approximately 11.77 per 100,000 people. While there’s no exact way of knowing how many murders in Texas 2021 or how many murders in Houston, Texas, 2021, we can estimate that, based on archival records, the homicide rate and violent crime rate in both Houston and Texas as a whole appear to be growing every year.
Harris County Murders
As of the 2019 census, the total population of Harris County, Texas, was over 4.77 million, making it the most populous county in the entire state of Texas. With violent crime and homicide rates seemingly above average, more homicides remain unsolved longer than many other parts of the country. While we don’t know exactly how many Harris County murders have been committed in recent years, archived annual Uniform Crime Reports from the Federal Bureau of Investigation can shed some light on some accurate statistics. Based on these archived reports, there were 92 murders in Harris County in 2016, 92 in 2017, 86 in 2018, and 97 in 2019. Based on these figures, it appears that the number of murders in Harris County each year since 2016 has increased, but have been somewhat stable from 2016-2019. Occasionally, homicide investigators may collect enough Harris County murders evidence to arrest and prosecute a murder suspect before taking them to their Harris County murders trial. The most common types of evidence shown in Harris County homicide trials include DNA evidence, trace evidence, biological evidence, and even Harris County murders crime scene photos, depending on the type of crime.
Houston, Texas, Murders
Houston, Texas, murders seem to occur more frequently than most, if not all, other cities in the state, probably due to Houston’s size and population, as we can see from the Texas homicide clearance rate, which is around 74% according to Project: Cold Case. Based on this, it seems that most of the murders in Houston, Texas, are resolved quickly, thanks in part to law enforcement efforts and improvements, and improvements in forensic technology. Of course, authorities continue to investigate the state’s unsolved murders using every resource or tool available to them. As in any other state, the Houston murders discussion continues tirelessly on various social media platforms, presumably until all of the state’s murders are solved. Facebook, Websleuths, and Reddit are among the most popular in the true crime community, where users come together to speculate, share theories and information, and have conversations about every detail of a case, often with examples like Houston murders pictures, Houston murders crime scene photos, and sometimes even Houston, Texas, murders autopsy photos.
Breakthrough improvements in DNA technology have resolved hundreds, if not thousands, of cold cases of all ages in every state across the United States. Some examples of the various cases in which Houston murders DNA or DNA from crimes that took place in other parts of Texas has been used to clarify unsolved cases include: the 1995 murder of Mary Catherine Edwards, the 1983 murder of Laura Marie Purchase, the 1974 murder of Carla Walker, the 1982 murder of Velma Nesset, and the 1984 murder of Claretha “Coco” Gibbs, among many others.
Texas Serial Killers
If you are interested in the true crime genre, you may also have an interest in serial killers. If you’ve ever gone through any type of serial killer list, you most likely have come across one of several Texas serial killers without even recognizing their names. There are far more Texas killers than you can imagine, who are often included within any list of serial killers in Texas or Texas serial killer lists. Some of the more notorious Texas serial killers who frequent these lists include Angel Maturino Resendiz, also known as the “Railroad Killer,” who confessed to murdering 8 people in Texas, but 15 in total in the 1980s and 1990s; Joseph Ball, also known as “The Butcher of Elmendorf,” who murdered 5-14+ young women from 1936-1938; Henry Lee Lucas, also known as “The Confession Killer,” who confessed to killing up to 3,000 residents of Texas and Michigan, but was only convicted of killing 11; and Kenneth McDuff, also known as the “Broomstick Murderer,” who killed at least 14 individuals from 1966-1992.
Other well-known Texas serial killers include Genene Jones, who murdered at least 46 infants and children, and The Phantom Killer, who remains unidentified and who killed at least 5 people in Texarkana, Texas, in 1946. Finally, two of the few Houston, Texas, serial killers are Dean Corll, also known as “The Candy Man,” who killed at least 28 young men and boys from 1970-1973; and Carl “Coral” Eugene Watts, also known as “The Sunday Morning Slasher,” who was confirmed to have killed 12 Texas residents, but up to 100 total.
Crimes in Texas
Project: Cold Case, Murder Accountability Project, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Texas Rangers are excellent sources for learning more about crimes in Texas, particularly Texas’s crime statistics. The FBI Uniform Crime Report, in addition to the reports frequently released by the Texas Rangers, are perfect resources for studying exactly what types of crime in Texas take place across the state, as well as showing crime rates for each area.
While it may seem like Texas will never be able to put an end to every Texas homicide or true crime story in Texas, just think about how much progress the state has made in recent history. In summary, there were a staggering 86,484 homicides in Texas from 1980 to 2019. Around 63,903 of those cases have since been solved, leaving the state with approximately 22,581 unsolved murders in Texas. The progress made is largely due to advances in forensic technology, as well as the efforts and perseverance of law enforcement agencies even in the most difficult unsolved cases. Ultimately, investigators from various investigative and law enforcement agencies across the state will continue to investigate the remaining unsolved cases until they can solve all of Texas’s true crimes.