ANDERSON COUNTY, Texas – Billy Chemirmir was convicted of killing two people but believed to be responsible for the deaths of nearly two dozen others. Early Tuesday morning he was found dead in his cell in a Texas state prison, according to a report.
Chemirmir, 50, was charged with killing 22 North Texas women over a two-year span. In 2022, he was found guilty of capital murder for the death of 87-year-old Mary Brooks and 81-year-old Lu Thi Harris, NBC 5 DFW reported.
The convicted murderer was found dead in his cell early Tuesday morning. He was killed by unspecified means and his assailant was an unnamed cellmate who is serving a sentence for murder out of Dallas County, Texas Department of Criminal Justice officials confirmed.
TDCJ said the Office of Inspector General is investigating Chemirmir’s death and no further details were immediately available for release.
Chemirmir was featured in the streaming series, “Stranger at the Door.” He had been serving two prison sentences of life without parole in the Coffield Unit in Tennessee Colony, Anderson County, Texas.
The families of Chemirmir’s victims were notified of his death, reported NBC 5 DFW.
“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,” said Shannon Dion, whose 92-year-old mother, Doris Gleason, was among those Chemirmir was charged with killing.
Chemirmir was captured in 2018 after a 91-year-old female victim survived an attack. She told investigators that a male suspect forced his way into her apartment at an independent living community for seniors, tried to suffocate her with a pillow and made off with some jewelry.
Officers located Chemirmir the following day in the parking lot of his apartment complex. He had just discarded a large red jewelry box, but maintained the jewelry and some cash. Documents inside the jewelry box led police to Harris’ residence where she was found dead in her bedroom.
According to prosecutors, the man accused of being a serial killer targeted people inside their homes or at senior independent living centers, smothered them with pillows and stole their jewelry.
Sadly, many of the deaths were initially ruled natural causes, despite family members reporting odd circumstances and stolen jewelry. It wasn’t until a victim fortunately survived her attacker, which ultimately led police to Chemirmir. Once he was arrested the other cases were reopened and indictments were filed.
Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot secured two convictions before dismissing the remaining cases. Meanwhile, Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis said earlier this year that he did not plan to try the nine capital murder indictments his office had against Chemirmir.
“Chemirmir has already been found guilty of capital murder by two separate Dallas County juries and is now serving two prison sentences of life without parole. My decision was made in consultation with the families of the Collin County victims and in light of the recommendation of the senior prosecutors in my office,” Willis said. “I would like to thank the families and loved ones for their patience and grace as the criminal justice system has played out over the years. I pray that they may one day find peace.”