‘Crime Scene: The Texas Killing Fields’ Ending Explained: Who Dumped the Bodies on the Killing Fields?
Welcome to the Ending Explained for Crime Scene: The Texas Killing Fields, a new Netflix investigative documentary directed by Jessica Dimmock that tells the story of the terrible series of crimes committed in the area known as the Killing Fields near Houston, Texas. The place became infamous as a number of serial killers ended up dumping the bodies of their victims in the field, only to be discovered years later by the police. The documentary focuses on a number of specific cases, but the number of cases was much larger.
The documentary serves as a very approachable entry point to the subject. As we previously pointed out, the documentary itself focuses on a very small number of cases. The episodes make use of interviews with the families of the victims to expand on the information that has already been released by the authorities, who also made an appearance in the documentary. This is very nice, as sometimes authorities don’t like being participants in these sorts of projects. The investigators compel the audience to provide any sort of information they have related to the cases that haven’t been solved.
The following paragraphs contain spoilers for Crime Scene: The Texas Killing Fields. Read at your own risk.
How The People Discovered The Bodies In The Killing Fields?
The Killing Fields is a patch of land located in League City, Texas. The patch of land receives this name because, from the year 1971 to the most the recent year 2006, it had become the dumping place for a young woman who had been terribly murdered. A number of serial killers transformed the place into the most expected place to find dead bodies for almost four decades. The patch of land received its nickname after the release of the 1984 movie “The Killing Fields”, directed by Roland Joffé, and starring Sam Waterston.
The documentary places its earliest case in 1971, with the discovery of the bodies belonging to Maria Johnson and Debbie Ackerman. The two 15-year-old girls were last seen together on November 15 of that year, only for their bodies to be discovered in Galveston, Texas. The two were best friends and did everything together. Their finding of death together could be one of the devastating stories in the documentary, but the case is not expanded beyond being just an example of how the area was becoming a playground for murderers.
The documentary proposes the thesis that during this period, Houston was becoming a huge city. Its development as a city was becoming fast and big, and opportunities to find jobs were massive. So, as a result of this golden age, the state became the home for thousands of newcomers. Many people arrived in Texas looking for a better place to live, a new job to have, and a new start in life. However, along with all these people finding new homes, the road also brought a lot of bad people, drifters, who came and went, and criminals who saw the influx of people as their newfound marketplace.
As more and more girls started to disappear and then be found around the state, it was clear that this was the work of a very vicious serial killer, or worse, it might be not just one, but many.
Who Dumped The Bodies On The Killing Fields?
Other than proving the historical context for the killings, the documentary also focuses on that particular patch of land, where at least four bodies were dumped throughout the years. The person responsible hasn’t yet been found, even when there are clear suspects. One of these suspects, and the one the documentary focuses on the most, is Clyde Hendrick. The man’s file with the police is thick with all sorts of crimes. And yet, even when convicted, he has been released from prison since then in a move that has left baffled every single person with a vendetta against him.
Hendrick is one of the most relevant suspects in the case, and he was only convicted of the manslaughter of Ellen Beason. Tim Miller, whose daughter was also one of the victims from many decades ago, believes that Clyde is responsible for his daughter’s death as well. The documentary presents the involvement of Clyde’s stepdaughter, who also suffered abuse at his hands. It is all pretty terrible, but it is just another example of a justice system that is flawed and that no one is really trying to improve upon.
Besides Hendrick, the documentary also focuses on the figure of William Reece, who tried to kidnap a girl on the road but failed to do so. When the girl approached the police, and they started their investigation, it was clear that Reece was more than just a kidnapper. He was convicted of the murder of Tiffany Johnson, and after many years sentenced to death, which he avoided by pleading guilty to the deaths of two more girls. If Reece has more victims up his sleeve, it is unknown, but what it is known is that we might never know who killed each one of the girls dumped on the Killing Fields.