Crime

He smothered 5 Collin County women with a pillow, then robbed them, indictments say

Suspected serial killer in DFW accused of killing 12 women

Suspected serial killer Billy Chemirmir is accused of killing 12 elderly women in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.
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Suspected serial killer Billy Chemirmir is accused of killing 12 elderly women in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.

A Collin County grand jury has indicted a suspected serial killer on five capital murder charges involving women who were smothered with a pillow and robbed.

With the Collin County charges, Billy Chemirmir faces 12 capital murder charges accusing him of killing elderly women in North Texas and two attempted murder charges.

The Collin County indictments, which were publicly released Friday, charge Chemirmir with killing the following women. All of them lived in Plano:

Minnie Campbell, 84, on Oct. 31, 2017

Carolyn MacPhee, 81, on Dec. 31, 2017

Martha Williams, 80, in March 2018

Miriam Nelson, 81, on March 9, 2018

Ann Conklin, 82, on March 18, 2018

Minnie Campbell’s funeral service was in Tampa, Florida, shortly after her death, according to online records.

Carolyn MacPhee, who was born in Spokane, Washington, was survived by two sons. Her husband, Jack MacPhee, had died in April 2017 after 57 years of marriage. Her funeral service was in January 2017 at Preston Hollow United Methodist Church. In lieu of flowers, her family had asked any remembrances for MacPhee to be directed to The Stewpot in Dallas.

Martha Williams taught science in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s, both in the classroom and on public television, according to her obituary. She had a passion for art and design that led to a career in creating for public, religious and the private sectors. Cushion kneelers she designed for the Episcopal Church of Reconciliation in San Antonio, of which she was a founding member, are still in use today, the obituary states.

She and her husband, Frank Williams Jr., had been patrons of the symphony orchestra and many museums.

“After Frank died, Martha continued attending the symphony with friends from her community and ultimately with a close-knit group of women she lovingly dubbed her “Pew Pals,” the obituary states.

The 80-year-old widow and grandmother had moved in 2017 from Arlington to Plano to be closer to family. Online records show her last address was the Preston Place Retirement Community.

Miriam Nelson had a generous spirit, according to her obituary.

“She never met a stranger and loved to strike up conversation with people she met along her life’s journey,” the obituary states.

Born and raised in Waco, Nelson had later attended Decatur Baptist College, where she met her future husband, Allen. After their retirement, the couple settled in Granbury.

At the time of her death on March 9, 2018, records show Nelson, 81, also was living at the Preston Place Retirement Community.

Ann Valentine Conklin raised four children with her first husband, Frederick Stucker Jr., who she married following a year of medical school at the University of Michigan. Conklin obtained a master’s in business administration, while simultaneously working for a commercial real estate company, teaching seventh-grade students, selling residential real estate and working as a paralegal, according to her obituary.

After moving to South Carolina, she met her second husband, Warren Conklin, who died in 2006.

Mrs. Conklin was an avid traveler who managed to visit every continent, including a trip to Antarctica prior to her second husband’s death, her obituary said. She spent years volunteering for numerous causes, with a focus on helping animals, counseling substance abusers and advocating for breast cancer research.

Chemirmir posed as a caregiver or maintenance man as he targeted women across the Metroplex before killing and robbing them, according to police and court documents. Police and relatives have said in some cases he sneaked into retirement communities while pretending to work there.

An official at Preston Place Retirement Community in Plano, where more than one of the victims lived, referred all questions Friday to Plano police.

Earlier this week, Chemirmir was indicted by a Dallas County grand jury in the deaths of six women:

  • Phyllis Payne on May 14, 2016
  • Norma French on Oct. 8, 2016
  • Doris Gleason on Oct. 29, 2016
  • Phoebe Perry on June 5, 2016
  • Rosemary Curtis on Jan. 19, 2018
  • Mary Brooks on Jan. 31, 2018

He was first arrested in March 2018, charged with the murder of 81-year-old Lu Thi Harris in Dallas.

Chemirmir’s attorney, Phillip Hayes of Dallas, told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on Thursday his client maintains his innocence in the crimes.

Hayes said he has visited with Chemirmir in the last few days and the Dallas man was surprised by the indictments.

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