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Archive for the ‘black-on-black crime’ Category

Shawna Hawk (1972-1993) was the fourth of 11 women killed by Henry Louis Wallace, the Charlotte Strangler, an American serial killer. He killed her on February 19th 1993, two months after she turned 20. It took 13 months and seven more dead women before the police found him.

A month after Shawna’s murder, her mother and godmother founded Mothers of Murdered Offspring (MOM-O). They helped to bring Wallace to justice.

Hawk was living with her mother in East Charlotte, North Carolina. She was going to Piedmont Central Community College. She was studying law to become a paralegal. She worked at the nearby Taco Bell, where a nice young man named Henry Louis Wallace hired her.

Shawna Hawk was beautiful, shy and unassuming. All dressed up and on the way to the junior prom her date told her she did not need the false fingernails. So she took them off and threw them out the car window onto Independence Boulevard.

Without anyone asking her one day she went down to McDonald’s and lied about her age so she could work to help support her mother.

When her mother came home on that day she did not see Shawna’s car. Maybe she was with her godson. But something was not right: her purse and coat were still there. Then the mother of the godson called and asked where Shawna was. As it turned out Taco Bell and Shawna’s boyfriend did not know either.

The boyfriend came over and searched the house looking for some sign of what became of Shawna. Then he pulled back the shower curtain….

Henry Louis Wallace had come by earlier that afternoon to visit Shawna. They had gone on a date the summer before, but they were just friends. They talked for an hour about this and that. Then Shawna started teasing him about a fight he had had with his girlfriend.

Somehow that pushed the wrong button inside him. He hit her over the head and knocked her out and then put a cord or something round her neck to cut off her breathing. He filled the bathtub, put her body in it, took $50 (ten crowns) and left.

He went to the funeral. At the viewing he sat all alone at the back of the room with a strange look on his face, just staring.

Several months later Wallace ran into Shawna’s mother. He told her how he missed Shawna, how he was sorry to hear about her death. He gave her a hug.

In that moment she remembered that she forgot to put Wallace on her list of Shawna’s old boyfriends as possible killers. But then she thought it could not possibly be him: he was such a gentleman!

It took the police two months just to find her missing car. It was parked at the college!

It was not till August when three other women turned up dead in East Charlotte that the police began to take the whole thing seriously. Some say it took them so long because Wallace killed “only” black women.

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Henry Louis Wallace (1965- ), the Charlotte Strangler, was one of the most dangerous serial killers in America. For almost two whole years, from 1992 to 1994, he was on the loose killing women in the east part of Charlotte, North Carolina. He killed eleven young women in all, three of them in the last three days before they caught him.

His secret? He killed only black working-class women. He was able to kill seven of them before the police started to get serious about finding him!

Wallace seemed like such a nice man. Even his girlfriend was surprised when she found out he was the killer. His neighbours and those who knew him growing up were shocked.

Wallace had a crack habit. When he needed money, he would get himself alone with a young woman at her place and rob her.

But when he got there it would go beyond that: once she turned her back on him he would put his hands on her neck and force her to have sex with him. After that he would cut off her breathing completely, strangling her to death. Then he would rob the place and leave.

The women he killed (pictures, where I could find them, go above the name):

March 1990: Tashanda Bethea – a girl he once dated. Threw her body in a lake.

May 1992: Sharon Lavette Nance – a prostitute. Instead of paying her he beat her to death.

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June 1992: Caroline Love – after throwing her body in the woods, he helped her sisters file a missing person’s report. She went missing for two years.

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February 1993: Shawna D. Hawk – found naked in her bathtub, her eyes looking up lifelessly through the water.

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June 1993: Audrey Ann Spain

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August 1993: Valencia M. Jumper – a friend of his sister’s. He strangled her and set her on fire. Later he went to the funeral.

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September 1993: Michelle Stinson – found by her three-year-old son “sleeping on the floor” in her own blood with a knife in her back.

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February 1994: Vanessa Little Mack – a sister of an old girlfriend of his.

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March 1994: Betty Jean Baucum

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March 1994: Brandi June Henderson

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March 1994: Deborah Slaughter

  • Love, Baucum and Slaughter worked at Bojangles on Central Avenue with his girlfriend.
  • Spain and Hawk worked for him at Taco Bell. Stinson met him there.
  • Henderson worked with him at the Golden Corral.

The morning after Slaughter turned up dead the police compared notes. The same name kept coming up: Henry Louis Wallace. Not as the killer but as someone the last three women all knew. They found out he knew the other women too – and that it was his fingerprints that were on the back of Baucum’s Pulsar, the car they knew the killer had driven.

They arrested Wallace and questioned him for hours. At last he broke and deep into the night he told them about each of the eleven murders.

He is now in prison sentenced to die, but no date has been set. He still has some more appeals he can make in the courts.

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