Bodies pile up in Texas amid fears of serial killers, rumors of “roofie” attacks

The number of bodies and their proximity to one another in an Austin, Texas, lake has prompted fears that the recent deaths are more than a coincidence.

Something is in the water.

men are found dead near Rainey Street, the popular strip of bars, food trucks and restaurants on Lady Bird Lake in Austin, Texas.

According to local reports, there have been eight cases in the last 10 months.

While the police claim that they have not found any signs of trauma or foul play on the victims, outside experts say it is a remarkable coincidence that so many drownings occurred in the same place.


In downtown Austin on Sunday, April 2nd, 2023, a hike and bike path along Lady Bird Lake will be located just feet away from the end Rainey Street. Four bodies have been recovered along the shore near Rainey Street and East Avenue in 2023. (Aaron E. Martinez/American-Statesman/USA TODAY NETWORK)

Kevin Gannon, a ex-NYPD detective Sergeant, told Fox News Digital that “that lake and these bars had been there for many years.” “All at once, [these deaths] happened?” “It’s not consistent” with “normal accidental drownings.”

“Just by the sheer numbers and the fact that so many have appeared in such a short time period, I do not believe it is accidental.”

Kevin Gannon is a retired NYPD detective and private investigator who investigated the ‘Smiley Face Killers’ theory.

It is not easy to reach the waterfront when the nightlife area, which is only a few blocks away, can be reached by walking.

John Kelly, who is a criminal profiler and has interviewed many serial murderers, believes that the answers to other questions are probably known by investigators, but not the public.

A sign warns of poor lighting conditions at night on a hike and bike trail along Lady Bird Lake that passes the end of Rainey Street on Sunday, April 2, 2023 in downtown Austin, Texas. (Aaron E. Martinez/American-Statesman/USA TODAY NETWORK)

He told Fox News Digital: “I’d be curious to know what these guys have in common other than Rainey Street.” “Did these guys go to the same bar ?…Another thing that worries me is that it seems they are not with friends. “They’re all by themselves.”


Austin police identified John Christopher Hays Clark, 30, as the latest victim on Monday afternoon. He was declared dead on the spot near a small dam, about two miles downstream from the other victims. This is closer to Rainey Street.

Police said that, “While we are still at the beginning of the investigation, we don’t suspect foul play based on what we know right now,” The investigation is still ongoing and we do not have any further information.

Based on local reports and Austin Travis County Emergency Medical Services’ estimates, the approximate locations of four recent bodies discovered in Lady Bird Lake are shown below.


Austin police released a statement saying that, “Although the cases are still being investigated and evidence is currently being analyzed, there is at this time no evidence to support accusations of foul play.” While each incident occurred on the lake, circumstances, exact locations and demographics vary.

Christopher Pugh’s 21-year old son, Christian went missing after a night on Rainey Street, in downtown Austin, Texas. He was found with “serious injuries” by a lake – days later.

Police discovered Jason John, 30, in Lady Bird Lake, in February. He had been last seen on Rainey Street near the water, where there is a row of popular bars. Clifton Axtell was identified as the 40-year-old man who was found dead in Lady Bird Lake on March 5. Jonathan Honey, 33 years old, was discovered on April 1. He was last seen in a food cart on Rainey Street.

Jamie Hammonds from DashATX has also questioned whether the deaths were accidental drownings. He told Fox News Digital on Wednesday that locals have repeatedly told him horror stories about being drugged in Rainey Street.

He said: “I’ve been looking into this for the past couple of weeks, pretty much every single day. The odds of so many men dying in the same place, at the same time, are pretty high if it is just a coincident.”

The shore of Lady Bird Lake is less than one hundred feet from the end of Rainey Street on Sunday, April 2, 2023 in downtown Austin, Texas. (Aaron E. Martinez/American-Statesman/USA TODAY NETWORK)

Police said that although autopsy reports had not been completed, the victims did not show any signs of trauma and there was no evidence of foul play. Hammonds said drugs such as GHB, commonly called “roofies,” can be quickly metabolized, and out of the victim’s body by the time it reaches a forensic pathologist. If the medical examiner tests at all.

Residents have expressed their concerns at public hearings via social media. A Facebook Group dedicated exclusively to this topic has gained 70,000 members over the last few weeks.

Christopher Pugh, a resident of Austin, told Austin City Council in a recent meeting that “too many people have been missing.” “Too many people have been injured.” “There are far too many people who can leave, and we have no idea what happened to them.”

Christian Pugh, 21, went missing in 2019 for several days after partying at Rainey Street. The search teams found him in “very poor condition” in the brush on the other side.

Police said that the alcohol combined with the easy access to Lady Bird Lake’s numerous entry points is a common theme in the deaths this year. Many of the access points are difficult to see in the dark.


The area is closed at 10 pm and they urge people to not enter it at night.

Even so, the investigations into these deaths are still ongoing.

The speculation has been rife, despite the lack of any evidence.

Flyer announcing the discovery of Jonathan Honey’s body in Lady Bird Lake by Austin police.

Austin had another serial killer around the same time as Jack the Ripper. Between December 1884 to December 1885, the “Servant Girl Anihilator”, also known as the “Servant Girl Annihilator”, is believed by many to have murdered eight women. No one was ever captured.

The lake cases, however, seem to be more similar to more recent crimes.

Since the mid-1990s, the deaths of many young men in the Midwest have been attributed to a group of ” Smiley Face Killers“. In these cases, young men who were fit and healthy were found dead after last being seen drinking in water bodies.

Mitchell Gutierrez’s brother, who died in 2018 of “an accident drowning”, speaks at a city council meeting on April 13.


New York City Police recently announced an investigation into two separate gangs that were suspected of drugging victims in Manhattan bars to unlock their phones using facial recognition technology. They emptied their Venmo, Cash App and mobile banking accounts. These rings are still being investigated, even though prosecutors have made arrests and announced indictments.

“Just by the sheer numbers and the fact that so many have been made in such a short time period, I do not believe that this is an accident,” said Gannon. He was the NYPD officer who, when he retired, had more than 1,000 arrests for felony offenses.

A cyclist passes beneath the skyline of downtown Austin on the hike-and-bike trail at Lady Bird Lake, Texas.

Gannon later took part in a private investigation into “Smiley Face Killers” theory, which was documented by Oxygen’s docuseries “Smiley Face Killers : The Hunt for Justice.”

While Austin Police investigates the deaths, officials of the city have addressed safety concerns regarding the waterfront. They installed new fencing, and are weighing various proposals, such as adding lights or increasing patrols.

Gannon stated that “from the outside, without having been there, I think it looks like they were targeted just by the numbers and the location in Lady Bird Lake.”


Smith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) A member of Austin Police Department watches the Gold Cup semi-final match between the United States vs Qatar on July 29, 2020 at Q2 Stadium in Austin, Texas. Smith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

FOX7 Austin reported that the Austin City Council had discussed possible upgrades near and at the Rainey Street Trailhead between the nightlife district of the city and the riverbank, including adding emergency responders to the area and adding park rangers.

Pugh, whose son vanished in 2019 and was later found in the brush, called for the installation of cameras in the area.

Mitchell Gutierrez’s brother, who drowned in 2018 after going missing on Rainey Street, said that he believed 12 people had died in a similar manner “by his reckoning” since his brother was killed.

Hammonds said that Martin Gutierrez was a very experienced swimmer.

He said, “He was a competitive swimmer in high school.” “I don’t know how someone like that could just fall into the water and drown.”

Fox News’ Chris Eberhart, Haley Chi Sing and Haley Chi Sing contributed to the report.

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