This month I will share stories on Black History Month – The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. History isn’t always pretty and sometimes we sanitize that which makes us uncomfortable. Here I will share all facets of Black History and try to focus on people not necessarily in the history books.
The Bad – Henry Louis Wallace
Henry Louis Wallace was born on Nov. 4, 1965 in Barnwell, South Carolina. He was the product of an affair between his mother and a married school teacher who abandoned her when she was pregnant. Wallace’s mother was a textile worker who constantly criticized him for the smallest mistakes. He graduated high school in 1983. He tried several colleges before joining the Navy where he was honorably discharged in 1992. In 1985, he married his high school sweetheart, Maretta Brabham.
Wallace began using drugs while in the Navy. He was a burglar and was arrested in 1988. He was released on probation, but rarely met with his probation officer.
In 1990, the body of Tashonda Bethea was found in a lake in Wallace’s hometown. He was questioned about the murder, but was never arrested. He was also questioned about the rape of a 16 year-old girl. While this was going on, his marriage fell apart and he was fired from his job. He moved to Charlotte in 1992 and worked at several fast food joints.
Sharon Nance was a sex worker and drug dealer. When she demanded payment for services from Wallace, he beat her to death and dumped her body by some railroad tracks. Later that same year, he raped and strangled Caroline Love, a friend of Wallace’s girlfriend. He and her sister filed a missing person report and it wasn’t until March 1994 before her body was found,.
On Feb. 19, 1993, he had sex with and then strangled his Taco Bell supervisor Shawna Hawk. He had the nerve to attend her funeral. On June 22, he raped and killed another coworker, Audrey Spain. Less than two months later, Wallace raped and strangled a friend of his sister’s, Valencia M. Jumper. He then set her on fire to cover up the crime and also attended her funeral. A month later, he went to the home of another Taco Bell coworker, Michelle Stinson. Stinson was a single mother working her way through college. Wallace raped her and then stabbed and strangled her in front of her oldest son. On Feb. 20, 1994, he went to the apartment of another coworker, Vanessa Little Mack, and killed her. Mack had two daughters, aged seven and four months. Weeks later he robbed and strangled Betty Jean Baucom. That same night he went to the home of his girlfriend Brandi June Henderson and raped her while she held her son. He then strangled her and her son, but his son survived.
Police started ramping up patrols in the area, but even then Wallace was able to sneak into the home of Deborah Ann Slaughter and rob and kill her. He was finally arrested on March 13, 1994. He confessed to 10 murders in the area. On Jan. 7, 1997, Wallace was found guilty of nine murders and he was later sentenced to nine death sentences. No execution date has been set.
Henry Lewis Wallace. (n.d.). In Murderpedia. Retrieved February 23, 2017, from http://murderpedia.org/male.W/w/wallace-henry-louis.htm
Henry Lewis Wallace. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved February 23, 2017, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Louis_Wallace