Trial begins for the first murder of a Dallas man accused of killing 18 elderly people


A man accused of killing 18 elderly men is being tried for the murder of an elderly woman Monday in Dallas.

Billy Kimmer, 48, faces life in prison without parole if convicted of premeditated murder in the death of 81-year-old Lou Thi Harris after prosecutors decided not to seek the death penalty.

Schimmer is accused of killing 18 elderly women in Dallas and its suburbs over two years, although according to reports in Dallas, he is not expected to face trial in every case.

Kimmermere was arrested in March 2018 after 91-year-old Marie Anis Bartel survived an attack by a man who broke into her apartment in a large living community in Plano. “Don’t fight me,” the man told her as he tried to suffocate her with a pillow and left with jewels.

This undated photo provided by the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office shows the defendant, Kimmermere. (The Associated Press)

When the police tracked Kemmermere to his nearby apartment the next day, he was carrying jewelry and money. Police said a jewelry box he just threw away, drove them to a house in Dallas, where Harris died in her bedroom, lipstick smeared on her pillow.

After his arrest, authorities announced that they would review hundreds of deaths, indicating the possibility that a serial killer was stalking the elderly. Over the following years, the number of people accused of killing Kimmer increased, with the ages of the deceased ranging from 76 to 94.

Most of the victims were killed in communities living independently of the elderly, where Kimmermere allegedly made his way into apartments or impersonated a handyman. He is also accused of murdering women in private homes, including the widow of a man who took care of him in his job as a home caregiver.

Chimmermere, a US permanent resident who came from Kenya as an adult, has been detained since March 2018. His lawyer has described the evidence against Kimmermere as circumstantial.

Often deaths were not viewed as suspicious

At a news conference days after Kimmermere’s arrest, Plano’s then-chief of police, Greg Roschen, admitted the tendency to assume that an older person’s death was normal.

“There is no deep investigation … It would be too easy to hide a crime,” Rochen said.

Eight of the people accused of the murder lived at The Tradition-Prestonwood, and it has been linked to the death of a ninth resident in a lawsuit.

According to the lawsuits against The Tradition, Chemirmir was escorted out of the building in late 2016 and asked not to return. A police report issued in November 2016 says the suspect – whose name is not given but his description matches Kemmermere – was seen there multiple times, saying he was checking for leaks in pipes.

When the children of the victims began to find each other, they formed a group, securing the safety of our seniors. The group advocated for new Texas laws that require medical examiners to notify families when a relative’s death certificate is amended and require random checks by officials at cash-for-gold stores.



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