Naked City

Waters' Final Plea

Madalyn Murray O'Hair is coming home. On Wednesday, David Waters, the ex-con suspected of masterminding the plot to kidnap, rob, and murder the atheist, her son, and her granddaughter, agreed to show federal authorities where the victims are buried, says a source close to the investigation. Waters, 53, was scheduled to go to trial before U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks next Monday. The source said Waters agreed to a plea bargain one day after his attorney, Bill Gates, looked at some of the evidence federal prosecutors were planning to use at trial. In return for cooperating with federal authorities, Waters will be allowed to transfer out of Texas state prison and into a federal prison. Although sentencing won't be held until March 30, federal prosecutors have made no secret of their desire to put Waters behind bars for the rest of his life.

If Waters lives up to his end of the deal and the corpses are recovered, it will bring to an end to one of the longest murder mysteries in modern American history. It will also confirm Waters' savagery. In his effort to steal a half million dollars from the atheists, Waters apparently killed four people: the three atheists and another ex-con, Danny Fry, who was allegedly part of the conspiracy. Law enforcement officials believe Waters and accomplices dismembered the three atheists and buried their bodies in rural West Texas.

Madalyn herself could not have written a more gruesome ending for her life. But it appears she got her wish, or at least part of it. Writing in the American Atheist in November, 1986, O'Hair wrote that she when she died, she "didn't want any damn Christer praying over the body or even putting his hands on it." David Waters is many things. A Christer, he ain't.

Got something to say on the subject? Send a letter to the editor.

  • More of the Story

  • Naked City

    A farewell to Federal Judge Lucius Bunton III

    Naked City

    Politics News Items for the Week

    Naked City

    Historical Revision
  • Naked City

    City council lingers over matters including the fate of the Austin Music Network, the city's media system as a whole, and the proposed Mueller Airport swap.

    Naked City

    George W. Bush may have to testify in the influence-buying scandal known as Funeralgate, if attorneys for whistleblower Eliza May manage to convince a state court.

    Naked City

    Expect some upsets at the state housing agency, as Gov. Rick Perry and the state Sunset Advisory Commission implement changes in the scandal-wracked department.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More by Robert Bryce
If More CO<sub>2</sub> Is Bad ... Then What?
If More CO2 Is Bad ... Then What?
The need to reduce emissions collides head-on with the growing world demand for energy

Dec. 7, 2007

'I Am Sullied – No More'
'I Am Sullied – No More'
Col. Ted Westhusing chose death over dishonor in Iraq

April 27, 2007

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle