Charles Frederick Albright, the Texas Eyeball Killer, was from Oak Cliff. I’d never heard of this accused serial killer until a recent episode of the Investigation Discovery channel’s series “Evil, I.”
The episode titled “Eyes are my Prize” starts in Oak Cliff with the killing of 33-year-old Mary Lou Pratt in December 1990. She had been picked up from a motel on Eighth Street, and her mutilated body was found on Beckleyview.
Former assistant district attorney Toby Shook and Lt. Regina Smith of the Dallas Police Department are interviewed in the show, which airs again at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 31.
Albright, who had learned taxidermy as a child, was accused of surgically removing his victims’ eyeballs. He was arrested in March 1991 after a prostitute flagged down Jefferson Boulevard beat cops and told them she had maced a guy who had tried to kill her in his battered brown station wagon. The cops drove around with her until she spotted the same station wagon parked on El Dorado Avenue.
Dallas Morning News stories from the time describe Albright as a “north Oak Cliff carpenter.” He grew up in Oak Cliff, graduated from Adamson in 1949, and he lived in the 1000 block of El Dorado Avenue at the time of the killings. Friends testified during Albright’s trial that he was “a good friend and neighbor who often gave gifts and did free electrical work,” according to newspaper stories. Skip Hollandsworth wrote about Albright for Texas Monthly in 1993 in a story subtitled “How does a perfect gentleman become a vicious murderer?”
Albright was convicted in December 1991 of murdering 41-year-old Shirley Williams. He is now 80 and likely will die in prison.