Travis County SO Tommy Joe Kelley, the slasher
Police claim that Kelley used all those fake names and numerous dates of birth to confuse police as he committed "hundreds if not thousands" of slashings in Austin's tony Hyde Park area over the last 16 years. There seemed to be no rhyme nor reason to his crimes. Unlike some slashers, this one never taunted police or left other messages behind. Residents were outraged and frustrated as the crime spree dragged on and on -- they even started a Web site dedicated to catching him.
If you are wondering why you haven't heard of this serial slasher, that's because Kelley's victims were not human.
Nope. Kelley is instead accused of being a Michelin mauler, a Goodyear gasher, a stabber of steel-belted radials. Police caught him with his weapon, a homemade metal tool Kelley allegedly fashioned into a tire-popper.
Kelley now stands accused of four felony counts of unlawful use of a criminal instrument. Police say that he has been nabbed going Norman Bates on NTB products at least five times since 1994, and has had more than 500 "involvements" with Austin police over that same time. Police also say he has been arrested 57 times in three states. Hyde Park residents claim that Kelley did over $16,000 in property damage before he was caught.
His bail is set at $50,000.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.