Charlotte, North Carolina: 1994
Henry Louis Wallace, age 29, was born to single mother, Lottie Mae Wallace, in Barnwell, South Carolina, into an impoverished lifestyle just as millions of other American children of all nationalities have been. Lottie worked long hours as a textile worker trying hard to support her family on her own and to instill discipline in their lives, which Henry resented and rebelled against.
The home in which he lived with his mother and siblings, none of whom knew their fathers as their mother did not — also not a new phenomenon — had no electricity nor indoor plumbing. Also nothing new. Millions of children in today’s society also live in homes with no electricity because the parents don’t bother to pay the utility bills. The money is spent on sashaying around clothes and illegal street drugs. Millions of people since the days before Christ walked the planet had to use outhouses. Still do. The military in countless places have latrine ditches. To attempt to use this as justification for his crimes, or as the primary cause of his vicious rape and brutal murders of so many women of all ages and all nationalities is pure bunk at best.
During his trial, Wallace’s court appointed shrink stated Wallace had an inbred hatred of women because, during his childhood, his mother and sisters would dress him as a girl and parade him all over town. This warped his mind. Well, given the poverty he was birthed in and the number of children involved, it is entirely possible the birth of a son was a surprise to Mom as — hopefully — his ultimate arrest for serial homicide was a shock. Lots of people dress up their dogs and cats to, much to the loathing of the animal, but they don’t all go out and kill their owners or the neighbors children. Some even dress up their parakeets. Excuses.
Henry Wallace graduated from high school in 1983 in spite of himself and because of his mother. He attended Barnwell high school where he was carrying grades good enough to get him elected as Student Council President. He was also a male cheerleader which did much for his ego. In 1985, Henry decided a career in the United States Navy was exactly what he needed.
The Navy was good for Henry Wallace. He proved himself worthy throughout most of his stint, racking up one good report and promotion after another, married his high school sweetheart, Maretta Babham, in 1987, and traveled the world. During his stint in the Navy, Henry Wallace began using crack cocaine. He was served a dozen arrest warrants for burglary while stationed in Seattle, Washington. He was ultimately arrested and tried for breaking into an area on base. He was sentenced to two years probation but records show he rarely showed up for meetings with his PO. This time was up in 1990. Wallace returned to South Carolina where he raped and murdered Tashonda Betha, dumping her body into a nearby lake. He was questioned by police but never charged. At the same time he came under investigation for the kidnapping and rape at gunpoint of a 16 year old girl. He was never charged but was fired from his job as a chemical operator for Sandoz Chemical.
He is still under investigation for dozens of unsolved murders in all the areas where he was stationed while in the Navy. All these victims fall into the same age and economic range as the nine victims he is known to have murdered in North Carolina. His wife divorced him in 1991.
Less than a year after returning to South Carolina, Henry Louis Wallace had murdered Tashonda Betha, kidnapped and raped a 16 year old girl, lost a good job, lost his wife, and had been arrested countless times for burglary and under investigation a dozen more times for violent crimes. And never charged. Never sentenced. Rarely jailed. The ACLU can hardly accuse North Carolina police of “picking on black folks every time a crime is committed”. Too bad they didn’t. Too bad the Navy didn’t act. Honor Above All.
In May, 1992, Wallace picked up a Sharon Nance, a convicted drug dealer and hooker. When she demanded he pay her for her services (which hookers tend to do, as do dope dealers), Henry Wallace beat her to death. Her body was found less than a week later dumped along a section of railroad tracks. Carolina Love would be his next victim.
He had one girlfriend pregnant while residing with another and keys to another girlfriend’s house, Sadie McKnight and her roommate, Carolina Love, both of whom worked at a restaurant called Bojangles. On June 19, 1992, Wallace let himself into Sadie and Carolina’s apartment. Sadie was out. Carolina was not. She should have been. She would have lived a bit longer. Not by much since Wallace had planned to rape and kill her for some time. Just because he felt like it. Wallace was now heavy into crack cocaine.
It is highly unlikely that Sadie was naive about Henry Wallace’s behavior or his attentions towards her roommate but Wallace’s statement to authorities was that he had to kill Carolina Love because she spurned his advances that day and threatened to tell all his other girlfriends what he was really about. Thus he felt the need to brutally rape her repeated times, including while he strangled her to death with her curling iron. After taking Carolina’s body to his car, in broad daylight and unnoticed in a sizable apartment complex near a high traffic area of town. With the corpse of Carolina Love wrapped in all the bedding where she was violated and murdered, stuffed into a bright orange trash bag, Wallace drove to the outskirts of town and dumped into a storm ditch.
Henry Wallace went back to the apartment to see if Sadie had arrived home yet. She was next on his list that day. Since she had not, he took a roll of quarters to do his laundry and left the premises. Later that evening, Wallace was thoughtful enough to accompany Sadie McKnight and Carolina’s sister, Kathy Love, to the police department to file a missing persons report. They didn’t notice one thing unusual in the apartment when they got home that would lead either to believe that Wallace had raped and murdered Carolina Love. Of course, fear of him might have led them to lie about that and file the report to cover his sorry rear after cleaning up the mess he left behind. Two days after her murder, Wallace returned to the ditch where he dumped Carolina to make certain the body had not been discovered and to check on the condition of the corpse (meaning: he took the body out of the trash bag, unwrapped it, and stayed awhile to admire his work and to visit with his dead friend). He checked on matters again a few days later, going through the same routine, and found only skeletal remains. Satisfied, he moved in with Sadie.
In February, 1993, Henry Wallace (still residing with Sadie) stopped by to visit a young friend, Shawna Hawk, one of his Taco Bell employees. Shawna, wanting something more from life than Taco Bell and welfare checks, was attending a local community college. Her dreams ended that afternoon at the hands of her employer, Henry Louis Wallace. Claiming he had been fighting constantly with Sadie and was about to end their relationship, Wallace put the moves on Shawna who began to cry. Wallace, excited over her fear and tears, dragged Shawna into her bedroom where he violently raped her several times. The final time being while he choked her to death. He then ran a hot bath for her, dumped her corpse into the tub, burglarized her apartment, and left. Her mother and boyfriend found her body the next morning.
Four months after the murder of Shawna Hawks, Henry Louis Wallace dropped by to visit a former Taco Bell employee, 24 year old Audrey Spain, who had just returned from vacation. Demanding both the safe combination from the restaurant where they both used to work as well as the account numbers for her personal banking accounts and being refused the information on both, Wallace raped and murdered Audrey Spain, tossed her body into the shower to wash off any evidence then ransacked her apartment for credit cards and the financial information she had refused to supply, not that doing so would have saved her life. It would not have. Not with Wallace nor with others exactly like him. Given that in 1993 there were 122 reported murders in the Charlotte area which were still marked as “unsolved” by the time Wallace went to trial, it is highly probable that Wallace did not put as time between victims as it would appear from the time frame between that of his nine known victims.
Six weeks after the murder of Audrey Spain, Wallace had another plan. He dropped the home of one of his sister’s friends, Valencia Jumper. After threatening him with telling his sister of his behavior towards her, which she attempted to do by phone, Henry Wallace choked Valencia Jumper from behind, dragged her into the bedroom where he raped and killed her, soaked her corpse in rum, pulled the battery out of her smoke alarm, ransacked her home, set her on fire, stole her jewelry to pawn, and walked out, closing the door behind him.
Autopsy results revealed that Valencia did not die from carbon monoxide poisoning as they should have shown if she perished in her house fire. Rather than mark her death certificate as “suspicious death”, which would have resulted in a more intense investigation of the cause, the coroner listed the cause as “thermal burns” and closed the case. It was not reopened as a homicide until after Wallace’s arrest for multiple counts of murder, and upon the insistence of her family and Wallace’s sister.
On September 15, 1993, five weeks after the murder of Valencia Jumper, Henry Louis Wallace paid a visit to 20 year old Michelle Stinson, the mother of two toddlers, ages 3 and 1. The last child is purported to be Henry Wallace’s. After a brutal attack preceding an equally brutal rape, Henry Wallace stabbed Michelle Stinson to death. The murder was witnessed by her 3 year old toddler. The home was, literally, a bloody mess which Wallace, after ordering Michelle’s child back to bed, attempted to clean up, including the telephone in the kitchen he ripped off the wall. With the children screaming after finding their mother “asleep” on the floor, Wallace tossed the knife and cleaning rags over a fence into a backyard near the apartments where Michelle Stinson lived. Neighbors called the police upon hearing the frantic cries of her children. Three months after murdering Michelle, Henry Wallace fathered another child, just not with Sadie McKnight whom he still lived with.
When arrested on February 4, 1994, for shoplifting from an area mall, Henry Louis Wallace had not only amassed a vast criminal history or assorted violent crimes (including rape and kidnap at gun point) but was known to have murdered (in this particular spree in this particular state and country) five women and young girls running the age and race gamut. He was booked on the shoplifting charges, given a court date, and released. He failed to turn up for his court date and court records do not show that any attempt was made to locate and arrest Henry Louis Wallace for Failure to Appear. Had this been done, as it should have been, Wallace’s killing spree would have stopped. Sixteen days later, Wallace killed again.
On February 20, 1994, Wallace visited Vanessa Mack, the sister of one of his employees who worked with two of his previous victims. Demanding money and bank account numbers with which to purchase drugs, Wallace battered and raped Vanessa, choked her to death with pillowcase he brought with him, called a cab and went to an ATM a few blocks from Vanessa’s apartment where he attempted to drain her account dry. Vanessa’s mother found her daughter’s body the following morning.
Less than two weeks later, on March 8, 1994, Wallace murdered Betty Jean Baucom, a co-worker of his live-in girlfriend, Sadie, at Bojangles. He ransacked her apartment and headed to his favorite pawn shop, another habit of his which local pawn shop records clearly detail. He also stole Betty’s car and, after leaving the pawn shop, headed for the mall. That night, Henry Wallace raped and murdered Brandi June Henderson, the mother of two small children. While holding her crying infant son to her chest, Wallace raped and murdered Brandi Henderson. He then strangled her young son, leaving him for dead. The child survived. Less than 12 hours passed between these murders. On March 11, police located Betty’s stolen and abandoned car. Wallace’s prints were found all over it.
Police beefed patrols at The Lake Apartments where Brandi and several other of Wallace’s victims lived, but those patrols failed to save the life of Deborah Ann Slaughter, who was also murdered on March 8, 1994. Wallace then left to visit an area crack dealer. He returned to Deborah’s apartment where he smoked up the crack in the bathroom while setting next to Deborah’s body, conversing with her. Her body was found March 12 with 38 stab wounds. Henry Louis Wallace was arrested and charged with multiple counts of murder and rape on March 13, 1994.
Henry Louis Wallace went on trial in September, 1996. He was convicted of multiple counts of murder on January 7, 1997. On January 29, 1997, he was handed nine death sentences. He currently sits on Death Row in Raleigh, North Carolina.
On June 5, 1998, Henry Louis Wallace married prison nurse Rebecca Torrijas, 23 years older than him. They were married in a room next to the Execution Chamber. He has not been given an execution date. Fourteen years at taxpayers expense and Henry Wallace is still breathing and doing exactly what he pleases — except rape and kill, and the rape may now be part of his prison “exercise” rights.
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