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The Taco Bell Strangler Was Born in This S.C. Town

In 1994, black women were becoming victims of violent rapes and murders in Charlotte, N.C. In fact, there were 11 victims to be exact of Henry Louis Wallace, who was eventually called The Taco Bell Strangler.

Henry Louis Wallace was born in Barnwell, South Carolina. He was raised by his mother, Lottie Mae Wallace, who was known to be a very strict disciplinarian and an extremely critical person. His father was absent after having left when his mother got pregnant with him. He was a married schoolteacher. It's reported that Wallace experienced various types of abuse and neglect by his mother, and as a teenager, he witnessed a brutal attack on a woman.

Wallace did well in school and was even on the student council at Barnwell High School. His mother wouldn't allow him to play football, so he became the only male cheerleader in the school. People remarked that he was nice, funny, and charismatic. He eventually married his high school girlfriend, Maretta Brabham.

Wallace later became a DJ at a radio station, went to several colleges, joined the Navy, got discharged from the Navy, and was in and out of jail for various offenses before committing murder.

He committed his first murder in Barnwell, S.C., and later dumped her body in a lake. Her name was Tashonda Bethea. He was questioned about her murder, but was never formally charged and eventually moved to Charlotte, N.C. the following year. He got various fast-food jobs and became good friends with many women and their families during this time.

Wallace, like many serial killers, was so nice and charismatic, that no one would ever suspect he would be a murderer, much less a serial killer. He used that to his advantage to sneak up on his victims since they were unsuspecting.

After 9 Charlotte murders, the authorities decided to compare people who had access to the victims' houses and close inner circle. Henry Louis Wallace's name graced all the family's lists, and that's how he was eventually caught. Unfortunately, he was able to commit yet another murder, bringing his body count to 11, even while the police were hot on his trail. At one point in 1994, he killed 3 women in 3 days and 2 women from the same apartment complex in one night. That night he also strangled a toddler, but his father found him in the nick of time, and he was able to survive after being taken to the hospital. Sadly, his mother was not so lucky.

Luckily he was caught, and he confessed in depth about all the murders down to the smallest details in his police interrogation. In January 1997, he was found guilty of 9 murders and got 9 death sentences. He is currently in jail in Raleigh, N.C. He has appealed his death sentence saying that his confession was coerced, but his appeals have been denied.

This case is controversial because many in the black community feel that the murders were ignored due to the victims being black. Wallace was able to rape and violently murder 10 victims in the same vicinity in Charlotte from 1992-1994. However, police assured the public that the reason the murders weren't connected was due to Wallace's ever-changing M.O. According to authorities, it didn't come on their radar that the murders were connected until the 3 murders in 3 days in 1994.

Written By: Jennifer


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