Texas Execution Information Center

Execution Report: Terry Hankins

Terry Hankins
Terry Hankins
Executed on 2 June 2009

Terry Lee Hankins, 34, was executed by lethal injection on 2 June 2009 in Huntsville, Texas for the murder of his wife and stepchildren.

On Sunday, 26 August 2001, Hankins, then 26, shot his 34-year-old wife, Tammy, in the head with a .45-caliber pistol while she was sleeping in their trailer home in Mansfield, near Fort Worth. The next day, Hankins killed his stepchildren, Kevin, 12, and Ashley, 10, in the same manner.

On Wednesday, 29 August, Tammy's mother, Linda Sheets, learned that Tammy had failed to open the restaurant she managed. Sheets then went to the childrens' schools and learned that they had not been in class since the previous Friday. Sheets and Tammy's sister, Melissa, went to the trailer and found the bodies. Each of them had been covered with bedding or clothing. Police officers found a pistol on the coffee table and an empty box for another handgun in the closet. They immediately suspected Hankins, because they had repeatedly been summoned to the home in recent months for domestic disturbances, fighting, and breaking and entering.

The next morning, Tammy Hankins' car was located in the parking lot of the apartment complex where Terry Hankins' girlfriend lived. Hankins was arrested there after a five-hour standoff. In the girlfriend's apartment, police recovered a pistol, a note from Hankins to the girlfriend, and a black notebook.

After his arrest, Hankins confessed to killing his wife and stepchildren. In addition, he confessed to the earlier murders of two other family members. In 2000, Hankins killed his half-sister, Pearl "Sissy" Stevenstar, 20, by bludgeoning her in the head with a jack stand. He then placed her body in a storage tub and hid it in a car at his father's shop. Stevenstar was the father of one of Hankins' children and was pregnant with another. Hankins also shot his father, Earnie, 55. Following Hankins' directions, police found the bodies of Earnie and Sissy. Their injuries matched Hankins' account of how he said he killed them.

Hankins also admitted murdering his stepchildren in an interview with a reporter, in which he described himself as a serial killer.

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