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Cops: Serial Killer With an Eye for Jewelry Killed 12 in 2 Years

Billy Chemirmir allegedly targeted elderly women in Texas
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 17, 2019 9:48 AM CDT
Billy Chemirmir   (Dallas County Sheriff's Office via AP)

(Newser) – Police in Texas believe they've uncovered one of the state's most prolific serial killers, a man accused of killing 12 women in less than two years. Billy Chemirmir—a citizen of Kenya living in the US illegally, per KTVT—was jailed in March 2018 on suspicions that he smothered an 81-year-old woman in Dallas and tried to kill two others in Plano and Frisco. One of those women described losing consciousness after Chemirmir put a pillow over her face, later awaking to find her jewelry missing, per Dallas News. But this week came 11 additional capital murder indictments stemming from the deaths of other elderly women, some of whom lived in senior communities. Several families previously sued those communities, arguing their loved ones weren't adequately protected from a person known to pose as a health-care or maintenance worker.

Relatives of 85-year-old Norma French, smothered with a pillow on Oct. 8, 2016, sued Dallas' Tradition-Prestonwood apartment facility last July, claiming its inadequate security "gave Chemirmir the opportunity to kill" her. Three weeks after French was killed and her wedding ring taken, 92-year-old Doris Gleason was also murdered at Tradition-Prestonwood, which is cooperating with authorities. Her gold necklace was never found. According to authorities, Chemirmir—who also went by Benjamin Koitaba—killed and robbed the women, ages 76 to 94, between May 2016 and his March 2018 arrest. The 46-year-old is being held in Dallas County Jail with bail set at $9.1 million. His attorney tells the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that Chemirmir "seemed surprised with the indictments" and claims he is innocent. (Police say another serial killer struck this year in Virginia.)

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