Derrick Jackson is scheduled to be put to death on Tuesday, July 20 for fatally slashing, stabbing and bludgeoning two Houston opera singers in 1988.
Jackson was a predator who preyed on patrons of gay bars in the Montrose area, and one of the victims, Forrest Henderson, had picked him up at one.
“He just picked up the wrong person and brought him back to the house,” Houston homicide Sgt. D.D. Shirley said after Jackson’s arrest.
On the night of the murder Henderson and the other victim, Richard Alan Wrotenbery, attended a rehearsal of Bizet’s Carmen. Wrontenbury, a first-grade music teacher who’d just been through a divorce, was staying with Henderson until he could find another place to live. After the rehearsal, Wrotenbury returned to the apartment while Henderson went to the bars.
Henderson was found naked and face down in his bed. He had been stabbed repeatedly. Wrotenbury was found in another bedroom with his throat slashed. Both had been bludgeoned with a heavy metal bar.
A day later Police spotted someone driving Henderson’s stolen car, and a chase ensued. The driver got away, and it wasn’t until seven years later that investigators used new fingerprint technology to identify Jackson, who was already in prison for aggravated robbery.
Jackson, who maintains his innocence, would become the 15th person executed to death in Texas this year.