Enucleated: A Case Study of Charles Albright, the Eyeball Killer

Enucleated: A Case Study of Charles Albright, the Eyeball Killer
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1Module 1
Recorded on: 2021-10-14
Unit 1Presentation Materials: Enucleated
Unit 2Transcript: Enucleated
Unit 3Workbook: Enucleated
Unit 4Recording: Enucleated

Three dead bodies were discovered in three separate incidents between December 1990 to March 1991 in Dallas. They were all women who worked as prostitutes and their eyes all found to be enucleated during the autopsy. This webinar will discuss the details and facts from the Charles Albright “the Eyeball Killer” case.

Back on Justice Clearinghouse is Judge Brandon Birmingham. Judge Birmingham is elected Judge of the 292nd Judicial District Court, a felony trial court, in November 2014. He is currently the presiding judge of the Felony Domestic Violence Court program and the Criminal District Courts Dallas County. His current passion project, the podcast A Murderous Design, reviews some of the most notorious cases in history to have a better understanding of the lessons from these.

Specifics of this session involved:

  • The timeline of the three crimes – from the death of Mary Pratt in December 1990, Susan Peterson in February 1991, and Shirley Williams in March 1991.
  • The details of the crime – how each of the victims were discovered, findings from their autopsy, and how their autopsy revealed that each of them have been enucleated.
  • The common thread between the victims in their line of work.
  • How the physical and external objects analysis of the dump site location and the wounds provided clues in terms of the motive of the suspect and familiarity with the area.
  • The homicide chain that studied the facts of the crime scene and utilized intelligence coming from the neighborhood canvas which ultimately led the investigators to Charles Albright.
  • A brief backgrounder on Charles Albright’s character that revealed his extraordinary intellect, talents, interests, and eccentricities.
  • Trace Evidence: Matching hair and fibers found in the victims’ bodies, the dumpsite, and the blanket found in Charles Albright’s truck.
  • How the trial unfolded
    • Starting with trace evidence testimonies presented by the state.
    • The defense of alibi that was leveraged to get Albright off the hook – which only worked on the fourth victim.
    • Testimony from Charles Albright’s wife, Dixie that aimed to prove her husband’s alibi and innocence.
    • Testimony from Willie Upshaw, Charles Albright’s friend that asserted Charles owned a semi-automatic pistol.
  • The pieces of evidence found in Charles Albright’s house and a gas station he frequented which eroded the defense of alibi.
    • Aluminum bullets that matched the ones used on the victims.
    • Condoms – which Charles didn’t use with wife Dixie.
    • Amount of gas station receipts that disavowed Charles Albright’s claim that he never drove except to his newspaper delivery and back home.
  • How the character of Charles Albright was impugned by the testimonies from prostitutes who knew of him and shared stories of being with Albright and his violent tendencies.
  • The guilty verdict for Charles Albright for the murder of Shirley Williams.

Questions from the audience were about:

  • What Albright did with the eyeballs and insights as to why he removed the eyeballs.
  • The unusual aluminum bullets that were found on the victims and were also found at Charles Albright’s house during the search.
  • Evidence of sexual assault and violent trauma on the victims.
  • Charles Albright’s history of behavioral issues.
  • The choice for the placement of the bodies in the dumpsite.

 

 

Webinars with this Presenter:

 

Resources and Handouts

 

Audience Comments

  • “It was a fascinating topic, forensic stories are a personal interest .”– Teresa
  • “This was an amazing webinar! Thank you Judge Birmingham, and thank you Justice Clearinghouse.” — Kathy
  • “Really enjoyed the detail of the overview of the case by Brandon, he did a marvelous job!!!” — Steven
  • “Fascinating webinar. Judge Birmingham is your best presenter! I don’t even get credit for these trainings, I just like to watch his presentations. Thank you.” — Michael
  • “Judge Birmingham has great insight on this subject. Enucleated. I love hearing cases and ones where justice prevailed. The most valuable thing I learned is unknowingly you can pick up fibers from anywhere. It is like a footprint.” — Dawn
  • “Thank you for a great webinar. Hearing about historical cases is really really interesting and a nice change of pace for learning.” — Lila
  • “Great insight into the questions investigators ask about the victim and items at the crime scene, and how canvassing can be effective.” — Michelle

 

Additional Resources
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After the Webinar: Enucleated – A Case Study of Charles Albright, the “Eyeball Killer.” Q&A with Brandon Birmingham
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