A suspected serial killer who may have killed 13 people turned himself in to police in Austin, Texas last week — called them up and said, “I think you’re looking for me.”
Raul Meza Jr, 62, turned himself in on May 24 and was charged with two murders on Tuesday: one in 2019, one on May 20.
Meza, who began his violent crimes in 1975 and served multiple prison terms, was described by Deputy US Marshall Brandon Filla as “the worst of the worst.”
Meza’s alleged crimes began as a teenager.
Raul Meza Jr, 62, turned himself in to police on May 24 after killing his most recent victim four days earlier. He is suspected of no fewer than 13 murders
Bruce Mills, the interim assistant city manager, said on Tuesday that releasing Meza to kill again was “a mockery of justice”
“Here’s a serial killer who hasn’t done justice. It was a mockery of justice,” said Interim Assistant City Manager Bruce Mills, who was also the lead investigator in the 1982 case that convicted Meza of the murder of 8-year-old Kendra Page.
“We don’t know how many more people he killed or would have killed.”
On New Year’s Eve in 1975, Meza and three other teenagers robbed a convenience store near St. Edward’s University in Austin. Meza shot Derly Ramirez, the store clerk, in the back, paralyzing him.
He was convicted of aggravated robbery in 1976 at the age of 15 and sentenced to 20 years in prison, but was paroled in 1981.
Less than a year after his release, Meza struck again.
On January 3, 1982, he strangled and assaulted eight-year-old Kendra Page while she was riding a bicycle near Langford Elementary School.
The little girl’s body was found naked near a school rubbish bin.
Meza strangled and assaulted eight-year-old Kendra Page (pictured) in January 1982
Meza turned herself in three days later, entered a plea and was sentenced to 30 years in prison.
In 1993, after serving 11 years of his sentence, Meza was released as a result of his time served plus time for good behavior.
However, he was soon behind bars again: In August 1994, Meza was found to have violated parole and was sent back to prison.
Meza was released again in 2016 and murdered 66-year-old Gloria Lofton in her own home in mid-2019.
Lofton was known to her neighbors as a private but extremely kind woman, The Austin American Statesman reported, noting that she was known for helping others — often inviting people off the street to stay with her.
They also noted that her mental and physical health began to deteriorate.
Meza’s DNA was found at the crime scene, Austin police said Tuesday.
A medical examiner said her cause of death was inconclusive, although there was evidence that she had been strangled.
Meza is seen in court in an undated archive photo. His crime spree began in 1975
Meza’s most recent crime was the murder of former probation officer Jesse Fraga, 80, whom Meza had allowed to live with him at his home in Pflugerville for the past two years.
And on May 20, Meza allegedly killed former probation officer Jesse Fraga, 80, whom Meza had allowed to live with him at his home in Pflugerville for the past two years.
The pair had known each other since the 1990s.
Fraga was strangled with a belt. The Travis County medical examiner later noted that Fraga also had a stab wound to his neck that severed his spine.
Meza is said to have killed up to 10 people in addition to Page, Lofton, and Fraga.
“We have between eight and 10 cases that fit the similar circumstances we are looking at. But of course that could grow,” said Austin Police Det. Katy Conner at a press conference on Tuesday announcing Meza’s arrest.
Bruce Mills, the assistant chief of the Austin Police Department, said “someone made a bad decision” 40 years ago by letting Meza “manipulate the system.”
Meza was arrested at his home with a gun, zip ties and duct tape.
Detective Patrick Reed added, “I’ll let you know that Mr. Meza said he was ready and willing to kill again, and that he was looking forward to it.”