Billy Chemirmir, a man convicted of killing two people and charged with the deaths of nearly two dozen others, was found dead in his cell at a Texas state prison early Tuesday, NBC 5 has learned.
Accused of killing 22 North Texas women over a two-year span, Chemirmir was found guilty of capital murder in October 2022 with the death of 87-year-old Mary Brooks. Her first trial, for the murder of Lu Thi Harris, ended in a mistrial. Chemirmir was later found guilty of the murder charge..
Chemirmir, 50, had been serving two life-without-parole sentences at the Coffield Unit in the Tennessee Colony, near Palestine.
Texas Department of Criminal Justice officials said Chemirmir was found deceased in his cell early Tuesday morning. The TDCJ said Chemirmir’s cellmate, who is serving a sentence for murder in Dallas County, was identified as the attacker.
No further details about Chemirmir’s death have been confirmed, and the TDCJ said the Office of the Inspector General is investigating Chemirmir’s death.
The families of Chemirmir’s victims were notified of his death early Tuesday.
Prosecutors said the alleged serial killer targeted people inside their homes or at independent senior living centers, suffocating them with pillows to steal jewelry.
Initially, most of the deaths were considered natural causes, even though families reported strange circumstances and stolen jewelry. It wasn’t until a woman survived an attack on her life, leading police to Chemirmir, that the cases were reopened and charges filed.
Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot planned to secure two convictions before dismissing the remaining cases. Earlier this summer, Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis said that I wasn’t planning on trying the nine capital murder charges his office had against Chemirmir.
Chemirmir was the subject of an NBC 5 broadcast series, “Stranger at the Door,” which looked at the dozens of deaths attributed to Billy Chemirmir. The series can be viewed online here. or on television by following the instructions below.