Henry Louis Wallace Biography, Age, Education, Criminal background, Murders, Rebecca

Henry Louis Wallace Biography

Henry Louis Wallace, also known as “The Taco Bell Strangler”, is an American serial killer who killed ten women in Charlotte, North Carolina, and is awaiting execution at Central Prison in Raleigh. He was born in Barnwell, South Carolina, son of Lottie Mae Wallace and a married schoolteacher who walked out on Lottie when he found out she was pregnant. Wallace grew up with his mother working long hours as a textile worker. She was a harsh disciplinarian, constantly criticizing her son for even the smallest mistakes.

He attended Barnwell High School, where he was elected to student council and was a cheerleader. After he graduated in 1983, Wallace became a disc jockey for a Barnwell radio station. Wallace went to several colleges before joining the U.S. Navy in 1985. He married his high school sweetheart, the former Maretta Brabham, that same year. In 1992, Wallace was honorably discharged from the Navy.

Henry Louis Wallace Age

Wallace was born on November 4, 1965, in Barnwell, South Carolina, United States. He is 53 years old as of 2018.

Henry Louis Wallace Education

Despite his volitile home life, Wallace was popular at Barnwell High School. He was on the student council and since his mother would not allow him to play football, he became a cheerleader instead. Wallace enjoyed high school and the positive feedback he received from other students, but academically his performance was poor.

After graduating high school in 1983, he attended one semester at South Carolina State College, and one semester at a technical college. At the time Wallace was working part-time as a disc jockey and preferred to spend his energy doing that then trying to stay in college. But his radio career was short-lived after he was caught stealing CDs.

Henry Louis photo
Henry Louis photo

Henry Louis Wallace Criminal Background

During his time in the Navy, he began using several drugs, including crack cocaine. In Washington, he was served warrants for several burglaries in and around the Seattle metro area. In January 1988, Wallace was arrested for breaking into a hardware store.

That June, he pleaded guilty to second-degree burglary. A judge sentenced him to two years of supervised probation. According to Probation Officer Patrick Seaburg, Wallace did not show up for most mandatory meetings.

Henry Louis Wallace Rebecca Torrijas

Henry married a former prison nurse in a ceremony next to the execution chamber where he is to be put to death. Rebecca Torrijas, wearing a pale green dress covered with pink flowers and a pearl necklace, finally became Mrs. Henry Louis Wallace. The ceremony took place at the Central Prison in Raleigh, North Carolina, where Torrijas met Wallace after his arrest in 1994. He was convicted in 1997.

Wallace wore his red prison jumpsuit and black tennis shoes.
His court-appointed lawyer, Mecklenburg County public defender Isabel Day, served as an official witness and photographer. Also attending was the manager of the death-row unit at the prison.

The newlyweds were allowed to talk with one another for about 20 minutes in the room where they were married. They were reunited a few minutes later in another area, where they were separated by plastic glass and bars, and talked for about an hour. The bride, in her mid-50s, declined to comment, saying the ceremony was very personal. The groom cannot accept calls and can make only one a year.

A nurse who has worked with psychiatric patients, Torrijas resigned from her job at the jail after meeting Wallace. She visited him almost every week while he awaited trial.

Henry Louis Wallace Murders

  • In early 1990, he murdered Tashonda Bethea, then dumped her in a lake in his hometown. It was not until weeks later that her body was discovered. He was questioned by the police regarding her disappearance and death but was never formally charged in her murder. He was also questioned in connection with the attempted rape of a 16-year-old Barnwell girl but was never charged for that either.
  • In February 1991, he broke into his old high school and the radio station where he once worked. He stole video and recording equipment and was caught trying to pawn them.
  • In November 1991, he relocated to Charlotte, North Carolina.[2] He found jobs at several fast-food restaurants in East Charlotte.
  • In May 1992, he picked up Sharon Nance, a convicted drug dealer, and sex worker. When she demanded payment for her services, Wallace beat her to death, then dropped her body by the railroad tracks. She was found a few days later.
  • In June 1992, he raped and strangled Caroline Love at her apartment, then dumped her body in a wooded area. Love was a friend of Wallace’s girlfriend. After he killed her, he and her sister filed a missing person’s report at the police station. It would be almost two years (March 1994) before her body was discovered in a wooded area in Charlotte.
  • On February 19, 1993, Wallace strangled Shawna Hawk at her home after first having sex with her and later went to her funeral. Hawk worked at Taco Bell where Wallace was her supervisor. In March 1993, Hawk’s mother, Dee Sumpter, and her godmother Judy Williams founded Mothers of Murdered Offspring, a Charlotte-based support group for parents of murdered children.
  • On August 10, 1993, Wallace raped and strangled Valencia M. Jumper — a friend of his sister’s — then set her on fire to cover up his crime. A few days after her murder, he and his sister went to Valencia’s funeral.
  • A month later, in September 1993, he went to the apartment of Michelle Stinson, a struggling college student and single mother of two sons. Stinson was a friend of his from Taco Bell. He raped her and then sometime later strangled and stabbed her in front of her oldest son.
  • On February 4, 1994, Wallace was arrested for shoplifting, but police had not made a connection between him and the murders.
  • On February 20, 1994, Wallace strangled Vanessa Little Mack, one of his employees from Taco Bell, in her apartment. Mack had two daughters, aged seven and four months, at the time of her death.

Henry Louis Wallace Death Date

Since being sentenced to death in 1997, Wallace has been appealing to the courts to overturn the death sentences, stating that his confessions were coerced and his constitutional rights were violated in the process. The North Carolina Supreme Court upheld the death sentences in 2000. The U.S. Supreme Court in 2001 denied his appeal. In 2005, Superior Court Judge Charles Lamm rejected Wallace’s latest appeal to overturn his convictions and nine death sentences.

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