The Mary Morris Murders

On the 12th of October, 2000, Mary Lou Henderson Morris, a 48-year-old bank loan officer left for work in the city of Houston, Texas, where she resided with her husband, Jay.

Throughout her day, Mary didn’t respond to Jay’s messages or calls like she usually would. Mary did not even arrive at work that morning. After Mary had left the house that morning, she was never heard from again.

Just three miles down the road from her home, a very badly burnt body had been found in the remains of a burnt car. It was later determined that the burnt body belonged to Mary Lou Morris. Due to the extent of the burns, the coroner was unable to determine the exact cause of death.

Mary Lou Henderson Morris. Credit: Findagrave

Just three days after Mary Lou Morris’s body was discovered, the body of Mary McGinnis Morris was found in the exact same location as Mary Lou’s body, under the almost exact same circumstances.

The medical examiner found that Mary McGinnis had died from being beaten and shot. Her death had been staged to look like a suicide, but investigators found blood on the passenger side door, which had been left open, and the keys to the car were left outside.

Mary McGinnis Morris worked as a nurse practitioner, and she was in charge of several clinics for major cooperation.

Police found that Mary was scared of a man that she worked with, and one day she found her office in a mess with all of her photo frames being turned over. Mary also noticed that the man’s desk had “Death to her” written on it. Feeling scared, Mary told her husband, Mike Morris, that she wanted a gun for protection. After being shown how to use it, Mike placed the gun under her car’s driver seat.

Just a few weeks after this, Mary McGinnis’s friend, Laurie Gemmell, met Mary at the clinic to have an allergy shot. Laurie said that Mary seemed normal and that Mary planned on staying at the clinic for a few more hours, before running a few errands and then heading home to make dinner.

Just a few hours after this, Mary made a panicked phone call to Laurie, saying that someone in the pharmacy had given her the creeps and that she was going to go back to the clinic to sign off her computer and then head home.

Just twelve minutes later, Mary made a distressed 911 call. During the call, she claimed that she had been attacked and abducted by an unknown person. Sadly, Mary was found deceased not long after this call.

Mary McGinnis Morris. Credit:

Police had two suspects in the murder of Mary McGinnis: Her co-worker, and her husband, Mike Morris.

Mary’s husband is considered a prime suspect as he refused to take a polygraph test, and he would not let his daughter, who he claimed he was with at the movies at the time of Mary’s death, be interviewed by police. Mike hired an attorney very soon after Mary’s death.

Investigators found that Mike and Mary had been having issues in their marriage. Not long before Mary’s death, Mike had confronted her over a supposed affair she was having with a friend.

To add to their suspicions over Mike, police found that Mary had a $700,000 life insurance policy, in which he would be the sole beneficiary. Mike also called Mary at the time of her death, and the call lasted around 4 minutes. Police believe that Mike was calling the killer.

Mike claims that he did try to call Mary at that time, but she didn’t answer, and the 4-minute length of the phone call was a mistake on behalf of the phone company.

Many people believe that due to the similarity in the cases, and the same names, Mike hired a hitman to kill his wife, Mary McGinnis Morris, but the hitman accidentally killed Mary Lou McGinnis first, in a case of mistaken identity. This theory is in part supported by a mysterious phone call that a Houston newspaper received. The caller said that they had gotten the wrong Mary Morris the first time.

To add more to this theory, both Mary’s wedding rings were not found on their bodies. However, months after her murder, Mary McGinnis’s ring was seen being worn by her daughter. Mary McGinnis’s husband claims that “they found the ring.”

Both Marys also lived quite close to each other and had somewhat of a similar appearance, so it is possible that a hitman could have confused the pair.

Both of the families believe that the cases are connected, whereas investigators have said that they do not have any evidence to believe that the cases are connected, and instead think that the murders are just coincidental.

Mary Lou Morris and Mary McGinnis Morris. Credit: Texas Public Corruption

If the cases aren’t connected, police believe that Mary McGinnis’s co-worker, the man she was scared of, may have been involved in her death. Aside from the death threat, the co-worker had left his job on bad terms after trying several times to discredit Mary. Police have also said that they have evidence connecting him to the murder.

In terms of suspects for Mary Lou’s murder, police do not have any.

It is interesting to note, though, that six months after Mary Lou’s murder her husband, Ray, received a bill for $2,000 for his wife’s phone. The phone was traced to a young, sixteen-year-old girl in Galveston, which is just over 50 miles from Houston.

The young girl told police that she found the phone in a purse that had other belongings in it outside of a Galveston convenience store. Friends and family of Mary Lou have said that they do not recognise the purse as belonging to Mary.

At around the same time as the discovery of Mary Lou’s phone, her husband Jay received three phone calls asking for Mary. It is unknown who the caller was, and if the caller was in some way connected to Mary Lou’s death.

Who was responsible for the death of Mary Lou Morris and Marry McGinnis Morris? Was it the same person? Or was it just a co-incident?

Mary Lou Morris and Mary McGinnis Morris. Credit: Texas Public Corruption


Unsolved, Murder, Homicide, Investigation, True Crime, Mystery, Houston, Texas, 2000, Mary Lou Morris, Mary McGinnis Morris, Strange Circumstances, Unsolved Murder, Unsolved Homicide, Mysterious Circumstances, Unsolved Mystery

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