Texas Execution Information Center

Execution Report: Jamie McCoskey

Jamie McCoskey
Jamie McCoskey
Executed on 12 November 2013

Jamie Bruce McCoskey, 49, was executed by lethal injection on 12 November 2013 in Huntsville, Texas for the abduction and murder of a 20-year-old man.

At approximately 6:00 or 6:30 p.m. on 13 November 1991, Michael Dwyer and his 19-year-old fiancee returned to their Houston apartment from a brief trip to the grocery store. Dwyer went upstairs and unlocked the apartment door, leaving it open while the couple brought their groceries inside. When they came back upstairs, they were confronted by McCoskey, then 27, standing in their doorway. McCoskey unzipped his jacket, revealing a hunting knife in a scabbard in the waistband of his pants. When asked what he wanted, McCoskey answered that he wanted a ride, and they were going to take him where he needed to go. Dwyer argued with him, but eventually agreed to give him a ride, provided that his fiancee could stay behind. McCoskey insisted, however, that she come with them.

McCoskey climbed into the back seat of Dwyer's two-door car, and the couple got in front, with Dwyer driving. McCoskey instructed Dwyer to go to a gas station and put gas in the car, which he did. Two or three blocks from the gas station, McCoskey had Dwyer pull over so he could switch places with the woman - whose name is not given in court documents or news articles - so that he could flee quickly if they were pulled over by police.

Next, McCoskey instructed Dwyer to drive east on Interstate Highway 10. Along the way, he made several contradictory statements about what he planned to do, from killing the couple to stealing the car, to merely getting a ride from them. He said he knew how to kill people using martial arts techniques.

Eventually, McCoskey instructed Dwyer to exit I-10. He continued to order Dwyer around, and with some uncertainty in direction, they ended up in the middle of a field in a neighborhood. After the car was stopped, McCoskey took the keys. He walked over to a sports utility vehicle parked nearby and told its occupants that they were on private property and had to leave. The SUV drove off. McCoskey then returned to Dwyer, grabbed him around the neck, pulled him down to the ground, and put the knife to his throat. He ordered the woman to handcuff Dwyer's hands behind him. McCoskey then opened the trunk, moved some coats from the trunk into the back seat, and placed Dwyer in the trunk. He then got in the driver's seat. He ordered the woman to get in the passenger seat and remove her shorts, saying he did not want her to jump out of the car and run away.

McCoskey had difficulty finding his way back to the highway and had to stop and ask some construction workers for directions. When they got back on the highway, McCoskey began fondling the woman. When she started crying, he turned up the radio so "she would not get embarrassed and so her boyfriend could not hear." He then unzipped his pants and briefly forced her to perform oral sex on him. Dwyer, still in the trunk, told McCoskey that his fiancee was pregnant and asked him not to hurt her. McCoskey responded that he had better shut up and not make him mad.

McCoskey told the couple that he was going to leave Dwyer with some friends, then return the woman to the apartment. After he left the apartment, he would call his friends and instruct them to release Dwyer. As they got close to the apartment complex, however, McCoskey turned away.

He eventually came to an empty house near the freeway. He took the woman inside at knifepoint and raped her. He then returned her to the car and took Dwyer into the house. From the car, the woman heard Dwyer make a sound she described later as "if somebody hit you in the stomach and you get the breath knocked out of you." The woman bolted out of the car and ran across a gravel road, then through a field to a nearby house. The occupant of the house initially refused to let her inside, but when McCoskey appeared with a knife in his hand, the woman was allowed in. She then called 9-1-1. McCoskey fled in Dwyer's car.

The police found Dwyer's body inside the empty house. He had been stabbed approximately two dozen times.

McCoskey left Dwyer's car in front of an apartment complex where he once lived. While police were searching the car, a resident, hearing a description of the suspect, told them they were looking for Jamie McCoskey, whose 6-foot-7-inch frame and rectangular face had earned him the nickname "Lurch", after the character from the 1960s television show, "The Addams Family."

McCoskey was wearing knife scabbards strapped to both his belt and his right leg when he was arrested. The murder weapon was on the floor a few feet away. The rape victim then picked him out of a police lineup.

McCoskey had a previous conviction for kidnapping in Austin. In January 1983, he was given a 10-year sentence, but he was released on "shock probation" after less than five months. He was returned in October 1984 for committing an assault. He was released again in June 1987, then returned to prison again in October 1988. He was released early for the third time in May 1991, six months before Dwyer's murder. (At the time, early release was common in Texas due to strict prison population caps imposed by U.S. District Judge William Wayne Justice.)

While in the Harris County jail awaiting trial for murder, McCoskey struck another inmate on the head with a chisel, fracturing his skull.

Continued on Page 2

Privacy PolicyContactAdvertising