Henry Louis Wallace

Brutal Rapist and Serial Killer

Henry Wallace
Mug Shot

Henry Louis Wallace is a serial killer who raped and killed nine  women in Charlotte, North Carolina between 1992 and 1994.

Early life

Henry Louis Wallace was born on November 4, 1965 in Barnwell, South Carolina to Lottie Mae Wallace who was a single mother. Wallace, his older sister (by three years), his mother and his great-grandmother shared a small, battered home that had no plumbing or electricity.

There was a lot of tension inside Wallace home. Lottie Mae was a strict disciplinarian who had little patience for her young son. She also did not get along with her mother and the two argued constantly.

There was very little money in the home, despite the fact that Lottie worked long hours at her full-time job. As Wallace grew out of whatever clothes he had, he would be given his sister's handy-me-downs to wear. 

When Lottie was tired and she felt the children needed to be disciplined, she would make Wallace and his sister get a switch from the yard and whip each other.

High School and College

Despite his volitile home life, Wallace was popular at Barnwell High School. He was on the student council and since he 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 at 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.

Navy and Marriage

With nothing holding him in Barnwell, Wallace joined U.S. Naval Reserve. From all reports, he did what he was told to do and he did it well. 

In 1985, while he was still in the Navy, he married a woman that he had known in high school, Maretta Brabham. Along with becoming a husband, he also became a step-father to Maretta's daughter. 

Not long after he was married Wallace started using drugs, his drug of choice being cocaine. To pay for the drugs he began burglarizing homes and businesses.

In 1992 he was arrested for breaking-and-entering. When the Navy found out he was given an Honorable Discharge, due to his near perfect record, and sent on his way. Shortly after that Maretta left him.

Having lost the two most important things in his life: his career and his wife, Wallace decided to move back to his mother's home, which was now in Charlotte, North Carolina.


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.

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. By that time, his marriage had fallen apart, and he was fired from his job as Chemical Operator for Sandoz Chemical Co.

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 1992, he relocated to Charlotte, North Carolina. He found jobs at several fast-food restaurants in East Charlotte.

In May 1992, he picked up Sharon Nance, a convicted drug dealer and prostitute. 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 girl-friend. 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 Murder Offspring, a Charlotte-based support group for parents of murdered children.

On June 22, he raped and strangled coworker Audrey Spain. Her body was found two days later.

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 some time later strangled and stabbed her in front of her oldest son.

That October, his only child was born.

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.

On March 8, 1994, Wallace robbed and strangled Betty Jean Baucom. Baucom and Wallace's girlfriend were co-workers. Afterwards, he took valuables from the house, then he left the apartment with her car. He pawned everything except the car, which he left at a shopping center.

Wallace went back to the same apartment complex on the night of March 8, 1994, knowing that Berness Woods would be at work so he could murder his girlfriend, Brandi June Henderson. Wallace raped Henderson while she held her baby, and then strangled her. He also strangled her son, but he survived. Afterwards, he took some valuables from the apartment and left.

The police beefed up patrols in east Charlotte after two bodies of young black women were found at The Lake apartment complex. Even so, Wallace sneaked through to rob and strangle Deborah Ann Slaughter, who had been a co-worker of his girl-friend, and stabbed her some 38 times in the stomach and chest. Her body was found on March 12, 1994.

Arrested

Wallace was arrested on March 13, 1994.

For 12 hours, he confessed to the murders of 10 women in Charlotte. He described in detail, the women's appearances, how he raped, robbed and killed the women, and his crack habit.

The Trial

Over the next two years, Wallace's trial was delayed over choice of venue, DNA evidence from murdered victims, and jury selection. His trial began in September 1996. 

On January 7, 1997, Wallace was found guilty of nine murders. On January 29, he was sentenced to nine death sentences.

On Death Row

On June 5, 1998, Wallace married a former prison nurse, Rebecca Torrijas, in a ceremony next to the execution chamber where he has been sentenced to die.

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Montaldo, Charles. "Henry Louis Wallace." ThoughtCo, Jan. 3, 2016, thoughtco.com/serial-killer-henry-louis-wallace-973140. Montaldo, Charles. (2016, January 3). Henry Louis Wallace. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/serial-killer-henry-louis-wallace-973140 Montaldo, Charles. "Henry Louis Wallace." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/serial-killer-henry-louis-wallace-973140 (accessed December 15, 2017).