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Inside the horrific murders of Billy Chemirmir

Billy Chemirmir at the Frank Crowley Courts Building in Dallas, USA on the 19th November 2021
Image Credit: Associated Press / Alamy Stock Photo | Above: Billy Chemirmir at the Frank Crowley Courts Building in Dallas, USA on the 19th November 2021

Accused of killing 22 women over the course of two years whilst working as an in-home caregiver in Dallas, Billy Chemirmir was only caught after a 91-year-old survived the ordeal in 2018 and reported him to the police.

This article dives into the chilling reality of Chemirmir’s crimes, outlining his history, crimes, trial and eventual murder at the hands of his prison cellmate.

Chemirmir’s early life

Originally from Kenya, Chemirmir emigrated to the United States in the late 1990s with the desire to seek a better life. He remained a Kenyan citizen throughout his life but was legally living in the United States with permanent resident status.

Chemirmir followed his sister to Texas, where he took up jobs selling cars. Ultimately, he settled in the north of the Lone Star State, working as a senior caregiver.

Between 2010 and 2011, he was arrested on a number of drunk driving and family violence charges. It was from early 2016 that he initiated more serious and sinister crimes.

Chemirmir’s early crimes

In early 2016, Chemirmir began his killing spree. Posing as either a maintenance or healthcare worker, Chemirmir would target older women – particularly those living alone – to gain access to luxury independent living communities around Dallas.

He would gain entrance to their homes under this guise, and once inside, would smother the women with a pillow before ransacking their homes for valuable items. Chemirmir would then either pawn or sell these items online.

He was linked to at least three deaths at Edgemere, a luxury senior living community in Dallas, where he was arrested for trespassing in June 2016. That jail sentence was curtailed, with Chemirmir released for good behaviour. It was following this release that he began the bulk of his crimes.

2016 – 2018: Chemirmir’s killing spree continues

Following his early release from jail, Chemirmir began targeting, stalking and killing elderly women at another luxury senior living community. This time, his victims resided at the Tradition-Prestonwood Centre in Dallas. In all, Chemirmir was linked to nine deaths at the centre between 2016 and 2018.

Each of these deaths were initially determined to be the result of natural causes. These conclusions often frustrated family members, who frequently argued that the victims had been healthy and active before their deaths. It also didn’t account for the reports of missing jewellery and other valuables made by the families.

2018: Chemirmir is reported

In 2018, a 91-year-old woman survived an attack by Chemirmir at the Preston Place senior living community in Plano.

Following this failed attack, the victim told police that he had forced his way into her apartment and attempted to smother her with a pillow before stealing her jewellery.

Chemirmir was found the following day in a car park holding jewellery and cash. He had just thrown away a large red jewellery box. Inside the box were documents that led detectives to the home of an 81-year-old woman who was found dead in her bedroom. This was Lu Thi Harris. The discovery of her killing led investigators into a pattern of murders stretching back years across the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Chemirmir’s trial

During his trial, the local medical examiner revealed that smothering deaths leave little evidence, with trained professionals often missing the few signs. He testified that his team missed these initial signs because the on-scene police had not reported any suspicions.

Chemirmir insisted on his innocence throughout his trial, but was ultimately convicted of capital murder in April 2022 and again in October of the same year in two separate cases. Another of his trials was later abandoned as a mistrial.

These convictions sentenced him to two life sentences without the possibility of parole.

Once these convictions were secured, Dallas prosecutors dropped additional charges against him in Collin County, and chose not to seek the death penalty.

He was later accused of killing dozens of other women, and ultimately indicted on 22 capital murder charges – 13 in Dallas County and nine in Collin County.

Chemirmir’s murder

Chemirmir wasn’t on death row, and therefore had a cellmate at the Coffield Unit prison in east Texas, where he was held. In September 2023, that cellmate, who remained unnamed by prison authorities but is serving a sentence for murder, killed Chemirmir. He was 50 years old. An investigation into his death was subsequently launched.