The Texas serial killer podcast: Chemirmir is finally convicted, but ageism was the murder weapon

Click here to read the companion piece in AARP The Magazine

“We have said so many times, if we’d only known, if we’d only known, if we’d only known. Then countless lives could have been saved.” — Loren Adair, whose mom was killed by Billy Chemirmir

Today, I’m letting you know that the final episode of our four-part series on serial killer Billy Chemirmir is available on all podcast platforms.  If you haven’t been following along, Chemirmir stalked and killed dozens of elderly victims — most at independent living facilities — during a two-year murder spree in the Dallas area.  He stole victims’ jewelry and sold it for profit. He got away with it for so long because the deaths were dismissed as “natural causes” and the thefts as “old people misplace things.”  Ultimately, he was indicted for 22 murders and 2 attempted murders, though many believe there are more victims in his past. In this final episode, we hear about Chemirmir’s re-trial, the aftermath of his guilty verdict, and the cause that victims’ families have now taken up. I’ve included links to all four episodes in this piece, just below. Or, you can click here to find Part 1, 2, 3, and 4

This is why I really hope you’ll listen to this series:

The Billy Chemirmir story is about a single man, an evil monster, who wrecked dozens, hundreds of lives.  But that’s not the whole story.  It’s also a story of missed opportunities.  If only, if only, if only.  If only police hadn’t been so quick to dismiss reports of theft as old people misplacing items. If only every unattended death were properly investigated. If only these independent living communities had shared more information, had followed up, had connected the dots, had tighter security.  If only the elderly were treated as … important.

Yes, Billy Chemirmir killed the victims. But ageism was, in some ways, the murder weapon.   Billy had worked with the elderly. He knew how to smother them so their deaths looked natural. But more important…he knew their deaths would likely be overlooked. In the prosecutor’s words – “he finds someone that if someone finds her dead, they’re going to think ‘well she was 87.’ Things like that happen.”

Let me be completely clear: Many, if not all, of these deaths didn’t have to happen. This isn’t some Monday-morning second-guessing.  When a plane crashes, scores of FAA investigators descend on the scene to learn what went wrong, to unearth all the mistakes, and make sure they never happen again. Well, basically a planeload of healthy Americans were killed. The investigation needs to be complete. It can’t happen again.  We should listen closely to the families of these victims to find out how that can happen.

Click here to find Part 1, 2, 3, and 4

Or click play below

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

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About Bob Sullivan 1605 Articles
BOB SULLIVAN is a veteran journalist and the author of four books, including the 2008 New York Times Best-Seller, Gotcha Capitalism, and the 2010 New York Times Best Seller, Stop Getting Ripped Off! His latest, The Plateau Effect, was published in 2013, and as a paperback, called Getting Unstuck in 2014. He has won the Society of Professional Journalists prestigious Public Service award, a Peabody award, and The Consumer Federation of America Betty Furness award, and been given Consumer Action’s Consumer Excellence Award.

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