Texas Serial Killer Could Face Death Penalty
HOUSTON, TEXAS — July 18, 2018
Jose Gilberto Rodriguez was charged with at least four murders last week. Rodriguez, 46 was taken into custody without incident Tuesday morning after a brief police chase. When Rodriguez was finally taken into custody, a handgun was found in the car, which police say was stolen from one of his victims.
“It’s possible that he was looking to score his next victim, so we’re very relieved, very thankful to the citizens of Harris County for calling in, for being diligent and reporting this to us so that we could take action,” Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said during a news conference.
Gonzalez added he's "happy and relieved that this dangerous individual ... is off the streets."
Prior to the arrest, someone called 911 to report that they had seen the dark gray Nissan Sentra, which the police had said to be on the lookout for.
According to the authorities, the man is "a serial killer, armed and dangerous for the people." Rodriguez is 5 feet 9 inches tall, about 150 pounds, bald with tattoos on his neck and other parts of his body. He also has a tattoo on the top of his head.
"He's been on a rampage in a series of murders," Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said. "Let's get this man off the street as soon as possible."
It is not impossible that Rodriguez killed as many as five others about two weeks ago.
The first victim was Pamela Johnson, 62. A widow in suburban Cypress who liked to read the Bible and bake cookies for neighbors.
Harris County sheriff's deputies found her body inside her home Friday. Her brother had asked officials to check on her because she wasn't answering his calls.
The widow's television, computer, and jewelry were missing from her home. On Saturday, Johnson's missing PT Cruiser was found about a dozen miles away in the parking lot of Willowbrook Mall. Inside it police found the body of another man, later identified as Peter Jackson, a New Jersey resident who was visiting friends.
A mall surveillance video shows a man believed to be Rodriguez walking through the mall and exiting the opposite side. Other vehicles he had used in the crime spree were also dumped at the mall, police said.
“It’s possible that he was looking to score his next victim, so we’re very relieved, very thankful.”
On Saturday night, a Mattress Firm store manager found the body of his employee Allie Barrow, 28, not far from Willowbrook Mall.
“I’ve heard about robberies around here and stuff like that but nothing about someone being found dead. It’s pretty scary.” said Sarai Roman, who works at a business nearby.
A few hours after Barrow's name was released Monday, an anonymous call was placed to 911. The police arrived at the scene of another mattress store about 3 miles away from the previous one.
The victim's body was found inside a Mattress One store; his name has not been released. The Nissan Sentra used in the chase was stolen from this crime scene.
“Our hearts are heavy after hearing of another senseless act of violence at a peer mattress company in Houston on the heels of this weekend’s tragic event," Steve Stagner, chief executive of Mattress Firm, said in a statement. "As the safety of our employees is paramount, we are working diligently to implement additional security measures for the further protection of our employees.”
Police also want to question Rodriguez about a robbery and shooting of a METROLift driver early Monday and about five others murders two weeks ago.
Thankfully the driver was rushed to an area hospital on time and he is now in stable condition.
All of these crimes and robberies in northern Harris County could be linked to Rodriguez, authorities said.
Authorities have “strong indications in each crime” that Rodriguez was involved; although they declined to elaborate. They have not released further details of the crimes, such as the motive behind each act and whether the victims were randomly chosen.
The authorities are insisting that Rodriguez's execution will be effective in crime prevention.
It is also known that Rodriguez is a high-risk registered sex offender; he had been released from prison in September 2017 after serving part of a 20-year sentence for attempted aggravated sexual assault of a 16-year-old girl, according to records with the Texas Department of Corrections.