33 Years Later, El Paso’s “Desert Killer” Still Awaits Execution
The man accused of murdering at least six young women is still awaiting execution over 30 years later.
In August of 1987, the bodies of six young women were discovered buried in the northeast El Paso desert between McCombs and Dyer Street. T
he women were allegedly killed by David Leonard Wood and he was sentenced to death for the crime. Wood had previously been arrested multiple times, charged with rape, sexual assault, and indecency with a child. (murderpedia.org)
The complete story involves not only the murders but also drugs, prostitution, runaways, biker gangs, undiscovered evidence, crooked cops, witness intimidation, and multiple suspects.
In 2009, one day before Wood was to have been executed, he was granted a stay of execution on the grounds that he was mentally incompetent.
The bodies of Ivy Susanna Williams (23), Desiree Wheatley (15), Karen Baker (20), Angelica Frausto (17), Rosa Maria Casio (24) and Dawn Marie Smith (14) were discovered in far northeast El Paso between McCombs and Dyer street.
Three other young women disappeared in northeast El Paso at about the same time but their bodies have never been found.
Wood isn't the only inmate who has been on death row forever, txexecutions.org shows several inmates who have been there even longer than him.
The appeals process is long and complicated and Woods penalty may ultimately prove to be "life" instead of death as he is elderly now and could, theoretically, die before his execution. Whether he is executed or dies in prison is something the victims' families seem to have mixed emotions about judging by this El Paso Times article.