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'The Pillowcase Murders': What happened to Billy Chemirmir? Authorities say he killed 22 older women in 2 years.

Eammon Jacobs   

'The Pillowcase Murders': What happened to Billy Chemirmir? Authorities say he killed 22 older women in 2 years.
  • Billy Chemirmir is the focus of "The Pillowcase Murders", a show on Paramount Plus.
  • He was accused of killing 22 elderly women between 2016 and 2018.

"The Pillowcase Murders" puts the convicted murderer Billy Chemirmir in the spotlight.

The Paramount Plus docuseries details how authorities accused him of killing 22 older women between 2016 and 2018, though he was only found guilty of two murders.

While Netflix is the undefeated streaming king of true crime thanks to buzzy shows like "Making a Murderer," "Tiger King," "American Nightmare," and "Baby Reindeer," Paramount Plus has found a striking case of its own to explore with "The Pillowcase Murders."

Chemirmir attacked women living in nursing homes and senior living communities in Texas, prosecutors alleged.

He posed as a maintenance man to gain entry into the building and then used pillows to smother his victims, prosecutors said.

In one trial they said he also stole the victim's jewelry.

Chemirmir was caught in March 2018 when one victim, 91-year-old Mary Bartel, survived the attack and was able to describe him to police, according to NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth.

The authorities started to consider whether Chemirmir was responsible for other suspicious deaths in Texas, connecting him to more and more deaths.

According to press releases from prosecutors, Chemirmir was ultimately accused of killing 13 women in Dallas County and 9 in Collin County.

Here's what happened to Chemirmir after his arrest.

Chemirmir was given two life sentences in 2022 for killing Lu Thi Harris and Mary Brooks

Chemirmir was put on trial for only two of the killings.

The first, for the killing of 81-year-old Lu Thi Harris, the jury could not agree on a verdict, with a single juror holding out until the judge called a mistrial.

At a second trial, the jury took only 45 minutes of deliberation to convict him.

He was tried on a second count of murder too, that of 87-year-old Mary Brooks, and found guilty.

Prosecutors never brought the other 20 allegations to trial, saying that they had perused the strongest cases and achieved their goal of sending Chemirmir to prison for life.

(Prosecutors could have sought the death penalty, but decided not to.)

Chemirmir was sent to the H.H. Coffield Unit prison in Anderson County, east Texas. He wouldn't survive there long.

Chemirmir was killed by his cellmate in 2023.

Chemirmir was killed by his cellmate, Wyatt Busby, on September 19, 2023, during a statewide prison lockdown, according to the Associated Press.

At a press conference shortly afterward, The Guardian reported that Shannon Dion, the daughter of one of the suspected victims, said: "It wasn't the justice that we know about through the judicial system, but … this is a form of justice. "

"My mother died in fear. This man did not have a peaceful passing. There is some relief in feeling that he didn't get off easily," she said.

A report by Texas officials issued a few weeks after his death said: "Inmate Billy Chemirmir was assaulted by his cellmate" per Fox 4 News, and "stabbed/beaten to death."

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