Texas Execution Information Center

Execution Report: William Murray

William Murray
William Murray
Executed on 17 September 2008

William Alfred Murray, 40, was executed by lethal injection on 17 September 2008 in Huntsville, Texas for the rape and murder of a woman while burglarizing her home.

On 10 February 1998, Murray, then 30, entered the Kaufman home of Rena Ratcliff, 93. While he was rummaging through Ratcliff's bedroom, looking for things to steal, she woke up. Ratcliff snuck up behind Murray and hit him on the back of his head with her cane or walker. Murray then began beating Ratcliff on her head. He also pulled her clothing down and raped her. He also tied an Ace bandage around her neck and stuffed the ends into her mouth. He then stole some change from a jar - about $10 - and a small knife, and left.

Murray was being questioned about another burglary in the area when he told the officer that he wanted to confess another crime. He then admitted to Ratcliff's murder.

Evidence at Murray's trial showed he was responsible for at least a dozen burglaries in Kaufman County. He had been convicted for one of them and given a 10-year prison sentence, but he was released only four months later on "shock probation" in November 1997. He also had a 1992 conviction for marijuana possession. While in jail, awaiting trial, he sexually assaulted two other inmates, and also escaped.

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