The Trail Went Cold – Episode 110 – The Mary Morris Murders

October 12, 2000. Houston, Texas. After leaving her home, 48-year old Mary Henderson Morris does not show up for work and her body is discovered inside her burned-out car on a remote road later that afternoon. Four days later, another Houston woman, 39-year old Mary McGinnis Morris, is discovered shot to death inside her car under eerily similar circumstances, but other than their name, there doesn’t appear to be any link between the two victims. However, the investigation uncovers potential suspects in Mary McGinnis Morris’ murder, including her husband and a hostile co-worker, which leads to speculation that Mary Henderson Morris’ murder may have been a botched contract hit in which the wrong person was killed. Was Mary McGinnis Morris the intended target all along? If not, then how are these two crimes connected? On this week’s episode of “The Trail Went Cold”, we chronicle “The Mary Morris Murders”, the bizarre story of two women with the same name from the same city who happened to be murdered within days of each other.

Additional Reading:

This episode of “The Trail Went Cold” is brought to you by “Murder Book”, a new true crime podcast hosted by bestselling author Michael Connelly, available on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen.

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The Trail Went Cold is produced and edited by Magill Foote.

All music is composed by Vince Nitro.

One thought on “The Trail Went Cold – Episode 110 – The Mary Morris Murders

  • I was hoping you would do this case, as I find it intriguing. Firstly I don’t believe that the murder of MHM was any kind of mistake. As you indicated, a hit-man would have known her address, workplace, licence-plate, and probably seen a photo too. Also, why the phone-call about “They got the wrong Mary Morris”?

    To me that leaves two alternatives. The first is that the murder of MHM was the real intention, and the murder of MMM was mere misdirection. If the murder of MMM was the real goal, what happens if the police take the phone-call seriously and put MMM under surveillance? Basically you’ve wrecked your own plan, but if the MMM murder was planned as misdirection, what have you lost? You’ve still pointed the police in the wrong direction. You said that you couldn’t see any motive for the murder of MHM, but there’s one thing I thought was a little odd: when her office called her home and her husband said she was at work, why didn’t the caller tell him that she wasn’t? What I wondered was if MHM had told her workmates she was having an affair, and they thought that she might be off with a boyfriend, and didn’t want to rock the boat by rousing her husband’s suspicions.

    The second possibility is that someone wanted to get rid of MMM, and when they heard about the death of MHM they saw their opportunity: they made the phone-call about the “Wrong Mary Morris” and then murdered MMM, so that people would link the two crimes. This could have been the husband, but it could also have been the daughter – not in person, but perhaps she had a boyfriend who carried out the attack. It seems unlikely that the husband could have found and briefed a hit-man in the few days between the two murders, but persuading a boy-friend would take much less time! I heard that MMM’s insurance policy was in favour of the daughter rather than the spouse, which provides a motive, and it would explain her having the ring. It’s also possible that the daughter borrowed her father’s phone to call the boyfriend – phoning the victim’s mobile is the sort of idea that might occur to a couple of teenagers. This may have been why the father was so protective of his daughter.

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