A Killer By Any Other Name

Walt Waldhauser who became Michael Lee Davis may be headed back to prison

Crowder acknowledges that he, Waldhauser and Wauhob all met while serving their sentences at the TDCJ's Diagnostic Unit in Huntsville in the late 1980s, but claims that he left Southwest Viatical before Waldhauser/Davis became involved with the company.

Waldhauser/Davis has apparently terminated his association with Southwest Viatical. A woman who answered the phone at Southwest Viatical last week stated that Waldhauser/Davis no longer works for the company. Instead, Waldhauser/Davis is now involved with First American Fidelity Corporation of Dallas.

By state law, parole officials are prevented from releasing the name of a parolee's place of employment. (Parole officials do confirm that Waldhauser/Davis no longer lives on Galena in Dallas. Instead, he now resides at 3336 Langston in Plano, a Dallas suburb.)

However, according to documents filed with the Texas Secretary of State's office, Waldhauser/Davis is the agent of record of First American, which was incorporated in April 1997. According to Crowder, Waldhauser/Davis's new company is a viatical "funder" -- a company that puts viatical brokers together with investors. The Press attempted to contact Davis at the phone number listed in Dallas information for First American. After receiving two recorded messages that the number of First American had changed, the Press eventually contacted Waldhauser/Davis who said he was unable to discuss anything with us.

Like Waldhauser/Davis, both Wauhob and Crowder are also on annual report, also known as postcard parole, as are hundreds of other ex-cons -- some of them violent offenders. Although the practice of placing parolees on annual report ended in 1995, the ban was not retroactive. Today those parolees, including at least 16 former death row inmates, are only required to touch base with the parole board once a year via the mail. It's a program that one critic calls the "ultimate 'trust me' syndrome."

Andy Kahan, director of the Houston Crime Victim Assistance Office, thinks everyone still on annual report should be brought back to monthly reporting -- especially violent offenders like Waldhauser.

"It's my opinion that the parole board has discretion to bring these people back under supervision at its whim," says Kahan, "because even though they are on annual report, they are still on parole. They are still under state custody. And obviously in Waldhauser's [Davis's] case, there's no doubt in my mind that at the very least, he should be brought back under monthly, in-person, reporting status."

Parole board chairman Rodrigues, however, is uncertain whether the board does in fact have such authority. He is also unsure if the board has the power to act on Kahan's recent request for the board to force Waldhauser/Davis to go back to using the name Waldhauser. In a November 9 letter to the chairman, Kahan cited the portion of the Press article that discussed how a Garland police officer, whom the ex-con had befriended, had difficulty determining Waldhauser/Davis's true identity.

"If law enforcement officers can be duped into not knowing they were dealing with a triple-murderer," wrote Kahan, "imagine how vulnerable the rest of us must be.

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