A 77-year-old woman narrowly escaped murder last weekend by hiding in some woods for several hours in Texas. Meanwhile, six people were were killed by a 33-year-old man at the campsite from which she fled. Several hours later, the woman called for help.
The incident happened at a private campground in Palestine, approximately 100 miles away from Dallas. The elderly woman had been camping with her daughter, grandson, husband and three friends. At some point during the weekend trip, the woman and her party befriended a 33-year-old man, William Hudson, whose family owns property next to the camping area. Hudson even helped free the campers' truck from the mud after it had gotten stuck there.
Police Allege That Hudson Later Turned Violent
Later, according to the Anderson County Sheriff's Office, Hudson turned violent and murdered everyone in the camping party except for 77-year-old Cynthia Johnson, who was extremely lucky to escape into the woods. Cynthia's husband, 77-year-old Carl Johnson, and her 6-year-old grandson have been positively identified as murder victims in the case. Police say that they will not release the identities of the other victims until their autopsies have been completed.
Police found four male bodies, including that of a child, in a pond next to Hudson's home. They also found the bodies of a man and woman in a travel trailer. The victims of this tragedy were traveling from out of town and camping in a travel trailer together.
Authorities Arrested Hudson Without Incident
Cynthia described Hudson to authorities, who took him into custody without incident on Sunday. Hudson has been charged with one count of murder with more charges likely pending. Jail records indicate that he is currently being held on bond of $2.5 million.
To call this incident a tragedy would be an extreme understatement, and it is difficult to wrap one's head around the fact that any one person could commit such an atrocity. The accused murderer in this case will have the right to defend himself against the charges, but if convicted, he will likely face the death penalty in Texas. Family members of those who were murdered will also have the right to pursue civil wrongful death claims for financial restitution against the man. Unfortunately, no amount of legal proceedings will ever right the horrible fact of what happened in this case.
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