365 Days of Texas True Crime: Stay Hidden
In mid-November of 1980, Jeanne Marie Pardue hadn’t been feeling herself, she was having some fainting spells. Luckily she and her son, Carey, lived in the same small town, Kermit.
Just as an aside, when I first began my career in radio the first time I was on remote by myself it was to broadcast live from Kermit in 2005 when Kermit the Frog visited the town as a launching pad…get it pad…for “Kermit’s World Tour”. It was also to commemorate and celebrate his 50th birthday. When I say this town went all out...they went ALL OUT!
I was so nervous but it was really cool to see Kermit do his thing live.
Everyone I spoke to was so nice and very quick to help and I never forgot that.
Jeanne Pardue lived a few blocks from her son Carey and his wife, Molly and their children. Since she was having these unexpected fainting spells she and her 10 year old son and 15 year old daughter, and a friend of her daughter, went to spend the night with her daughter-in-law Molly and her kiddos at 806 Robinson. Her son was a roughneck in the oil field and was out on a job at the time.
It was a house full even without Carey though. Molly had two small children as well.
On the night of November 16th, 1980, Jeanne Marie Pardue (divorced), her 10 year old son and her 15 year daughter LeAnn Wallace, her 16 year old friend, Molly Ann Wallace and her two small children were all fast asleep in the small house at 806 Robinson.
That was the last night they would ever spend together. Early on the morning of November 15th, around 4 a.m., a man broke in, presumably for the purposes of robbery. It is thought that he didn’t realize there was so many people home that morning.
Police were called to the house to find a desperate scene. Jeanne Marie Pardue was found sprawled in the doorway of the front bedroom. Her daughter-in-law, Molly Ann Wallace was found on the bed in the front bedroom. LeAnn Wallace was found slumped against a back bedroom door. Behind that door was the 16 year old friend of LeAnn and the caller who alerted authorities to the house on Robinson.
A man had broken in to the house. He stabbed Jeanne and LeAnn in the heart and Molly in the mouth, neck and breast. Molly was still alive and rushed to the hospital. Pardue’s 10 year old son was unharmed and told police that he saw a man run through the living room. Molly’s two children also went undetected. LeAnn, despite having been stabbed in the heart, managed to stumble to back bedroom door and whisper to her friend “stay quiet”, “stay hidden”, before she collapsed and died. LeAnn was able to save her friends life with the last moments of hers.
Authorities kept the name of the 16 year friend out of the news and any information regarding her or the case as hush as possible. Molly spent some time in the hospital but survived.
It only took four days for authorities to track down a suspect, 19 year old Victor Carrasco Velasquez, who lived at 806 Magnolia, just one street away. Velasquez once worked for Jeanne, who was, at the time, a ranch hand, and had previously been acquitted of attempted rape.
Police believed that Velazquez had broken in with the intention to burglarize the home, not realizing there was so many people home at the time, and just started stabbing people on his way out. Velasquez initially denied any involvement in the crime but days later he had the jailer call Jerry Morris, the man heading the investigation, to speak with him. Velasquez was brought to into Morris’s office where he said “I want to make a statement”. He was read his rights before giving a written statement and then led the officer to a pasture across town from the house on Robinson. That’s where the blood-stained butcher knife was found tucked away in the weeds.
After some investigating the theory about what Velasquez was doing in the house changed. Molly Ann Wallace was normally home alone with her two young children while her husband worked. They believed that Velasquez was actually there to rape Molly and didn’t realize that her mother-in-law, her 10 year old son and the two teenage girls were also in the home. Molly told police that she woke up with a man laying on top of her.
After some questioning of Velasquez’s acquaintances it was found out that on that night he and two friends were out drinking at a couple of topless bars. Later than night he was involved in a disturbance at an Odessa fast food restaurant. According to statements made by the two friend they ate and then went back to Kermit and to their respective residences. Velasquez originally told police that he did go home at first but then decided he wasn’t sleepy so he went to a friend’s house. The friend, who lives close to the murder scene, said that around 4:30 a.m. Velasquez showed up and kicked in a window at the front of the house trying to get in. He was told to come in through the back door and then slept the rest of the morning on a couch.
Because of the publicity that the case was receiving the trial was moved to Big spring. February 17th, at about 5 p.m. the judge stopped the proceedings, declaring a mistrial but no explanation was given as to why. Turns out Velasquez wanted to avoid a possible death sentence. He plead guilty and was sentenced to two life sentences and one 99-year-sentences on two counts of murder and one count of attempted capital murder. The state agreed to drop the death penalty in exchange for the guilty plea. As a result the previously withheld confession to the murders given two days after Velasquez’s arrest then became court record.
In the confession Velasquez says he came into the house through the back door. He grabbed a butcher knife from the kitchen and then went into a bedroom and closed the door behind him, without knowing who was in the room. According to what he told investigator Jerry Morris, Velasquez ran out of the room when he heard someone scream. He told the investigator that someone grabbed him as he ran out of the room and he just started stabbing and cutting. Velasquez said “there was a lot of screaming”. He said he then ran from the house and threw the knife in a yard before he went to a friends house. He came back two days later to retrieve the knife and toss it in a pasture across town. He told the investigator that he didn’t even see the women he stabbed.
A motive was one thing that was not found in the confession. Velasquez was quoted as saying “I don’t know why I did what I did. I had been drinking.” He confessed, reportedly, because he knew he had done wrong.
Velasquez’s defense attorney was quoted in the paper as being pleased with the plea bargain and saying that he could possible gain release from prison in eight or nine years “if he is a good prisoner.”…..wow.
Victor Carrasco Velasquez is currently incarcerated at Roberson Unit in Abilene. He is 60 years old. He was denied parole in January, 2021 and is up for parole again In December, which seems a little odd that he was denied and then is up again for parole in the same year.