‘Serial killer’, 61, has been convicted in the cold case murder of a newlywed teen

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A suspected serial killer who preyed on young girls and women has been found guilty of murdering a 19-year-old newlywed in Oklahoma more than 20 years ago.

William Lewis Reece, 61, was convicted last week of the July 1997 murder of Tiffany Johnston after he kidnapped her from an Oklahoma City car wash, sexually assaulted her in a horse trailer, and then strangled her.

Johnston’s partially naked body was found nearby the next day.

Years later, advances in DNA testing eventually linked Reece to the murder of Johnston and confessed to killing her in an interview with a Texas Ranger.

His confession came while he was already in prison for kidnapping another 19-year-old woman with a knife.

Reece was charged with first degree murder and kidnapping in Johnston’s cold case murder.

Reece also confessed to murdering a woman and two girls in Texas around the same time Johnston was murdered.

William Lewis Reece, 61, was convicted last week of the July 1997 murder of Tiffany Johnston after he kidnapped her from an Oklahoma City car wash, sexually assaulted her in a horse trailer, and then strangled her. He is pictured in 2017

He has since been charged with killing Kelli Cox, 20; Jessica Cain, 17; and Laura Smither, 12.

Reece is awaiting trial in Texas for those murders.

In 2016, Reece led police to the area where Cain and Cox’s remains were found. The bodies of Johnston and Smither had been found days after they were murdered.

Reece was charged with first degree murder and kidnapping in the 1997 cold case murder of Tiffany Johnston

Reece was charged with first degree murder and kidnapping in the 1997 cold case murder of Tiffany Johnston

During his recent trial for the murder of Johnston, it was revealed that Reece confessed after the Texas Ranger told him he would be treated like a “rock star” if the bodies were found.

As part of his plea deal, Reece wanted a guarantee that he would not face the death penalty if tried in Texas.

Oklahoma prosecutors are still demanding the death penalty for his recent conviction for the murder of Johnston.

The sentencing phase of Reece’s Oklahoma trial is expected to begin Tuesday.

Johnston and the three other women Reece is suspected of murder were all murdered within a four-month period in 1997.

At the time, Reece had only just been released from an Oklahoma prison on previous convictions for kidnapping and rape.

The youngest victim, 12-year-old Laura Smither, disappeared on April 3, 1997, while jogging in Friendswood, Texas.

Her body was found 17 days later in a pond.

Smither was found wearing only her socks, but Reece denied ever sexually assaulting her.

In 2016, Reece led police to the area where Cain and Cox's remains were found (above).  The bodies of Johnston and Smither had been found days after they were murdered.  During his recent trial for the murder of Johnston, it was revealed that Reece confessed after the Texas Ranger told him he would be treated like a

In 2016, Reece led police to the area where Cain and Cox’s remains were found (above). The bodies of Johnston and Smither had been found days after they were murdered. During his recent trial for the murder of Johnston, it was revealed that Reece confessed after the Texas Ranger told him he would be treated like a “rock star” when the bodies were found.

During his confession, Reece told authorities that he accidentally hit the girl with his truck while driving in the rain.

He allegedly told the Texas Ranger that he panicked and twisted her neck until it popped. Reece is said to have told a local police officer that he then dumped her body in the pond.

As part of his plea deal, Reece wanted a guarantee that he would not face the death penalty if tried in Texas.  Oklahoma Prosecutors Still Demand the Death Penalty for His Recent Conviction for the Murder of Johnston John

As part of his plea deal, Reece wanted a guarantee that he would not face the death penalty if tried in Texas. Oklahoma Prosecutors Still Demand the Death Penalty for His Recent Conviction for the Murder of Johnston John

Kelli Cox, a 20-year-old college student at the University of North Texas, disappeared on July 15, 1997 after her criminology class toured a prison in Denton, Texas.

She called her boyfriend and told him she had locked her wallet and keys in her car, but wasn’t there when he arrived at her location.

Reece allegedly confessed to arguing with Cox at a store before strangling her and putting her body in his truck.

Her remains were not discovered and identified near Houston until 2016 when Reece led authorities to her body.

He denied sexually assaulting her.

Jessica Cain, a 17-year-old Catholic high school girl, disappeared on August 17, 1997, on her way home from a restaurant in Galveston County, Texas.

Her truck and bag were found on the side of I-45.

Reece reportedly confessed to arguing with her outside the restaurant and had another confrontation on the highway after they both pulled her.

He admitted to choking her and then burying her body in a field in Houston.

Cain’s remains were not discovered and identified until 2016.

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