Attorney Vic Feazell was recently interviewed by KWTX-TV News 10 for a special segment on the infamous 1982 Lake Waco murders.
As reported by KWTX, July 13th marked 40 years since the bodies of three teenagers were discovered at Speegleville Park off Highway 6. The gruesome murders sent shock waves across Waco and served as inspiration for Carlton Stowers’ bestseller “Carless Whispers” and a subsequent made-for-TV movie.
Vic Feazell, who served as the McLennan County District Attorney at the time of the murders, was interviewed by KWTX about his experience with the case. As Mr. Feazell recounts:
“Back in the early 80s when this happened, it had a major impact on the community. I have heard so many people who have read the book, ‘Careless Whispers,’ or heard me talk about it on my podcast, and they say, ‘I remember that my mom wouldn’t let us go out. Our parents wouldn’t let us go to the lake anymore. They wouldn’t let us drive around town. They kept us locked up.’ Until we made an arrest in that case, nobody knew who did it and they were afraid their child might be next.”
The segment discusses Waco law enforcement’s investigations, including the work of former Waco police sergeant Truman Simons, who is credited with solving the case after he left the department to work as a jailer and focus on his primary suspect, David Wayne Spence. Simons later charged convenience store owner Muneer Deeb with soliciting Spence to kill a teenager who worked at his store and on whom he had taken out a life insurance policy and named himself the beneficiary. According to Simons, Spence and his co-defendants, brothers Gilbert and Anthony Melendez, killed Jill Montgomery after mistaking her for their target, and subsequently killed the two other teens she was with, Raylene Rice and Kenneth Franks, to cover their tracks.
In his interview, Mr. Feazell recounts the gruesome nature of the murders:
“My most vivid memory of the Lake Waco murders were the crime scene photos. They were the worst I have ever seen. To this day, they were the worst photos I have ever seen. It was a horrific murder. The whole community was just in shock. It happened in the city limits, right out of Koehne Park, three young teenagers brutally, brutally stabbed and raped. It was a real sad case for the victims and the families of the victims.”
The investigations ultimately resulted in convictions, the execution of Spence, and life sentences for the Melendez brothers. The fourth suspect, Deeb, was eventually released after spending several years in prison. But as KWTX reports, the defendant’s years of maintaining their innocence continues to raise questions for some 40 years later. Addressing the skeptics, Mr. Feazell noted:
“Over the years there were a lot of effort to discredit the convictions in the Lake Waco case. I have been fighting this for 40 years now. People say you prosecuted the wrong guys in the case. Well, we got three jury verdicts convicting them. Every court the case could possibly go to upheld the convictions. People naysaying the convictions found other suspects and submitted DNA. As a matter of fact, there were even articles written saying how this DNA was going to clear these defendants. Well, it didn’t, but what was significant to me was that they never submitted DNA from their own clients. Well, why do you think that was?”
View the KWTX story featuring Attorney Vic Feazell’s full interview here.
Vic Feazell is Founder of the Law Offices of Vic Feazell, P.C. Though his practice today is focused on representing personal injury victims, he’s been featured widely in the media discussing his work as a former prosecutor on programs such as 20/20, A&E Biography, 60 Minutes, Vanity Fair, an episode of “Crime Watch Daily,” and a five-part Netflix docuseries, The Confession Killer. In 2019, Mr. Feazell debuted his podcast, The Vic Feazell Show, on which he detailed his involvement in exposing the infamous hoax involving alleged mass-murderer Henry Lee Lucas, who confessed to over 600 murder and missing persons cases in the 1980s. The podcast also explores the retaliation Feazell faced from Texas law enforcement and its media smear campaign against him, which resulted in his record-breaking $58 million libel verdict.