This episode of Murder Calls examines the attack on Albert Benitez and his girlfriend Elizabeth Reynolds. He was shot six times when a gunman invaded his home and she was seemingly abducted.
August 9, 2003, in Texas and former police officer Albert Benitez was in his apartment with his girlfriend Reynolds. The pair heard a knock at the door and when Benitez opened it he was confronted with a man brandishing a gun and asking if he was Albert.
He managed to slam the door shut and shouted for his girlfriend to call the police. Benitez held the door as the unknown assailant tried to push his way in, the pushing stopped but then he was shot from behind.
The garage apartment was attached to his parents house and after trying to get in through the door, the attacker had seemingly came in through the internal door. Benitez was shot two more time and then managed to run out of the apartment and back into his parent’s house, where he hoped ot call 911.
Inside Benitez was shot again before making it to the back porch, where he was shot twice more. Remarkably he survived and he told responding police officers that the last thing he saw was the man driving off with his girlfriend. He managed to give a good description of the man and told the investigators that they’d gone in his Crown Victoria car.
Later the same day a very distressed Reynolds approached a police officer and told him her boyfriend had been shot and she’d been abducted. Reynolds said the man had been wearing a ski-mask and that he’d jumped out of the car of the highway at high speed.
Texas Rangers investigating the case became suspicious and found that Reynolds’ story did not match up with the evidence. She’d claimed to have placed a 911 during the attack, but there was no record of even a partial call. They did find a shirt by the side of the highway she said the shooter had been wearing, but it was undamaged.
Further investigation revealed that between July and September 2003 Reynolds had made over one hundred calls to a number registered to Sara Perez. She had a son called Francisco Perez and Reynolds had transferred money to him the day after the attack.
She was arrested and the jury found her guilty of criminal solicitation of capital murder. She was given a life sentence and ordered to serve at least 60 years before being eligible for parole. Reynolds later appeal against the conviction was denied.
Reynolds had met Benitez through a course he was teaching and she’d really fallen for him, reportedly getting plastic surgery and even changing her hair color to make him happy. Investigators believe that she decided to have him killed after finding out he was seeing other women.
Murder Calls – Death at the Door airs at 4:00 PM on Investigation Discovery.
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