Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Bones to Talk With


During the appeals process, Massey fought to have his trial transcripts reviewed, claiming that he had been found guilty of only one count of capital murder and should not therefore be eligible for the death penalty.  He issued statements to online Web sites to the effect that his attorney was incompetent and "was trying to get me killed by default."

Jason Massey's car
Jason Massey's car

People fighting on his behalf, such as the Canadian Coalition Against the Death Penalty, claimed that other suspects were never investigated properly, that one witness had seen more than one person in the car that Brian King had entered on the night of his murder, and that the prosecution's expert evidence technician "was a man with a record of mental illness, alcohol and drug abuse."  They also said that the defense had failed to hire anyone to testify as to Jason's state of mind at the time of the crime, and they did not get adequate funding for their own DNA analysis.  Not only that, the judge, they claimed, "appeared bored and disinterested throughout the proceedings," and the search warrant that had produced some of the significant items was questionable.

The case went to the appeals court on 24 separate counts of trial error.  These were thrown out on the grounds that the submitted record was inaccurate and incomplete.

Massey gave interviews from prison, telling a reporter from the Ennis Daily News that he had changed.  "As we grow, we change.  I have a lot of anger about the stupid mistakes I made and at the same time I recognize anger is just an emotion."  (There is no explanation as to why this indicates that he's no longer a danger.)

Then it was over.  All of his appeals were exhausted and none had worked.

Execution room, Huntsville, TX
Execution room, Huntsville, TX

On the evening of April 3, 2001, Massey was taken to the execution chamber and strapped to a gurney.  Before he was executed, he offered his final words in a statement.  Strapped to the death chamber gurney, he looked directly at Christina's family and said:

"I do not know any of y'all and that is unfortunate, because I would like to apologize to each and every one of you individually.  I can't imagine what I've taken from you.  I want you to know I did do it.  I'm sorry for what I have done.  I want you to know that Christina did not suffer as much as you think she did. I know you guys want to know where the rest of her remains are.  I put her remains in the Trinity River."

Then he turned to his parents and grandmother and said to them: "All of this pain has brought us closer together and all of this suffering that we have been through brought us closer to the Lord, and in the end that is what counts.  Tonight I dance on the streets of gold.  Let those without sin cast the first stone."

As the lethal drug was injected, Massey recited a biblical verse.  He gasped slightly and eight minutes later, at 6:20 p.m., he was pronounced dead.  Jason Eric Massey was just twenty-eight years old.

Born Bad by Bill Cox
Born Bad by Bill Cox

Although another search was made along the riverbanks, Christina's head and hands were not recovered. 

"It's impossible to assign a motive to a case like this," said Clay Strange in an interview.  "I think he did it because it was pleasurable to him…he's as evil as anybody I've ever encountered.  I've met a lot of people meaner, but no one more evil."

He was only twenty when he committed these crimes.  How did he become so depraved?  Cox includes numerous entries from Massey's repetitive death journals in Born Bad, but he does not offer much in the way of insight.  Let's examine the influences and circumstances.


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