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Profile of a Serial Killer - Part 1 - Charles Frederick Albright

Updated on April 26, 2011

After serial killers are caught and jailed, their lives are delved into, every detail gone over with a fine tooth comb. Looking for those familiar factors that seem common among murderers. Looking back into their pasts will usually reveal that many of those that find a thrill in killing. Or have a predisposition for violence led remarkably similar lives up to the point that they started killing. In many cases you see many of the same warning signs such as childhood trauma, abuse, or animal cruelty. In this ten part series you will be shown evidence that there may be a "profile" for a serial killer, that may throw up red flags at an early age that we as a society may be able to identify and offer treatment to avoid possible loss of life.

Everyone knows Ted Bundy, Charles Manson, and Jeffery Dahmer. These stories along with others have been well documented through books, articles, and movies. And though it may be pointed out that some killers share some of the same behaviors, the intent of these stories are to chronicle some of the lesser known serial killers.

Charles Frederick Albright

Albright was labeled "The Eyeball Killer, the Dallas Ripper, and the Dallas Slasher" in the early 90's when he began killing prostitutes. Charles Albright is not a famous serial killer. The fact that he isn't well known, or that he only killed three people doesn't make his crimes any less grotesque, and he showed many of the early warning signs that could have led to intervention and treatment.

The Warning Signs

  1. Adopted from an orphanage
  2. Allegedly was dressed in girls clothing as a child.
  3. Allegedly killed and mutilated small animals - made statements of wanting to become a taxidermist.
  4. Allegedly had sex with a prostitute at the age of 16 and received Crabs.
  5. Juvenile record.

Petty theft - age 13

Aggravated assault - age 13

Petty theft and possession of a firearm - age 16 - Spent one year in jail


All of these warning signs if gathered together may have triggered a response from adults or authority figures in his life. But left unchecked, this led to a dustrubing life as an adult where Albright continuously lied about who he was, or what his credentials were. Never staying in the same job for more than a few months.

In 1985 Charles Albright was living in Arkansas with a woman. Some sources say that he worked an early morning paper route in order to visit prostitutes in the early morning hours without raising any suspicion with his girlfriend.

The Victims

December 13th, 1990 - Mary Lou Pratt - 33 years old

Mary Pratt, a well known prostitute from the Oak Cliff area of Dallas, was found lying face up, half naked, wearing only a t-shirt that had been pulled up to her chin. She had suffered a .44 caliber bullet wound to the back of the head. Both of her eyes had been surgically removed without a mark being made on the eyelids. The eyes are not found at the scene leading detectives to assume that he'd taken them as grizzly trophies.

February 10, 1991 - Susan Beth Peterson - 27 years old

Susan Peterson, a known prostitute was found shot three times. She was found nearly naked, almost identical to the way Mary Pratt had been found, wearing only a t-shirt with front of the shirt pushed up to her chin to display her breasts. She had been shot once in the head, once in the face, and once in the chest. Her eyes also surgically removed. Her eyes also not found at the scene.

March 18th, 1991 - Shirley Williams 41 years old

Shirley was a part time prostitute. Found completely naked lying on her side near a school. Shot twice, once through the top of the head, and once the face. Her eyes had also been surgically removed. And unlike the other victims, Williams had been beaten. She had numerous facial bruises, and a broken nose.


Charles Frederick Albright was arrested March 22nd 1991. Plead Not Guilty.

Found guilty by a jury of his peers on December 18th, 1991. He was sentenced to 8 consecutive life sentences with no possibility of parole. Conviction was based almost entirely on forensic evidence.

Eight hairs that matched Shirley Williams were found in Albright's vacuum cleaner.

Three pubic hairs from a blue blanket at Shirley Williams' murder scene were matched to Albright. Investigators also found hair on a yellow raincoat that matched his. They also discovered a public hair on Williams' neck that they could also match to Albright.

Three head hairs from Susan Peterson were found on a blanket in Albright's truck.



Though there is some speculation as to the guilt of Albright, there are two things that can be said with some degree of certainty.

The killings appeared to be escalating in violence.

No other prostitutes were murdered in the same manner as the three victims Albright was convicted of killing.

When you look into his eyes, does he look like a killer, like a devil? Or does he just look like an ordinary man? Could you tell the difference if he was your neighbor? Or a childhood friend? Or your child?


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    • ricklwinters profile image

      ricklwinters 3 years ago from Darmstadt, Hessen

      I have always been fascinated with serial killers and how they work inside. I have been studying them for over 10 years now and my second film Blank was all about psychopaths.

      I am getting ready to make a long running web series titled A.S.K.E. (American Serial Killer in Europe) and am currently running a campaign at Indiegogo (

      I am looking for like minded people that are fascinated with serial killers to help support the project and get a better understanding of the mind within.

    • profile image

      Rusty jones 3 years ago

      Charles delivered newspapers for the Dallas morning news when these murders were taking place. He showed up every night without fail. Was we'll dressed and well groomed. Told jokes, seemed like a nice man, and even brought donuts quite often. Just goes to show you never know who your talking to or what they're capable of.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Extremely well-written, however disturbing....I have always been a True Crime fan, in terms of a lot of what I read. This guy warranted 3 different labels? Looking into his eyes, I see a vast nothingness, which is probably appropriate.

      The study of these pathetic freaks is an important one. I, for one, doubt that any amount of study, research or awareness, will result in much of an accurate profile. However, as you suggest, red flags can be identified, more often than not, early in life. The most profound of all of these is the instances of animal abuse/mutilation, by a child. HUGE red flag.

      I enjoy your style of writing.....Voted up +++

    • Invisiblestats profile image

      Invisiblestats 6 years ago from london

      Brilliant hub and really well written, can not wait to read the rest of this series. voted up!

    • profile image

      nikashi_designs 6 years ago

      Excellent series of articles, going through them methodically and with a hungry mind. Such an interesting and scary topic. How well do you know your neighbor? Will my child become a serial killer? I agree that part of the process of becoming a murderer is childhood and trauma related, but I think it is also related to a chemical imbalance. Thanks for posting.

    • mcrawford76 profile image

      Matthew I Crawford 6 years ago from Greeley, Colorado

      To R.H. - The reality of it is that most serial killers are so good at hiding their pathology that they lead very normal lives aside from being killers. As if they were two people, I believe that they are very convincingly innocent face to face. Except after we find out what they are, only then can we clearly see the demon inside.

      To C.V. - I would speculate that the removal of the eyeballs were either trophies, which he probably cherished and kept somewhere safe and private.

      Or that he felt that he was in some way removing what they saw, either in him or the crimes themselves.

      Thank you both for reading.

    • ChristineVianello profile image

      ChristineVianello 6 years ago from Philadelphia

      Hmmm..... I wonder what was his fascination with eye balls?

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Really intersting McCrawford. I bet this gave gave everyone he came into contact with "the creeps". I bet no one imagined he would do such things though.

    • mcrawford76 profile image

      Matthew I Crawford 6 years ago from Greeley, Colorado

      Thank you for reading Hattie, I hope it brought you some comfort. I'm very sorry to hear about your friend. If you'd like to share more, I would like to hear about it. The idea of serial killers has always been a subject matter that intigued me. What drives a person to kill for apparently no reason? Obviously most rational people can't fathom what could be going on inside their head, but I hope through this research to find some common factor, some insight as to what these people may be thinking.

    • HattieMattieMae profile image

      HattieMattieMae 6 years ago from Limburg, Netherlands

      Thank you for sharing since my friend may have been killed by one maybe it will help me understand where he comes from! :)