Mattress Store murders: Sex offender parolee serial killer arrested following crime spree that left 3 dead, police say

A Texas parolee who allegedly cut off his ankle bracelet was arrested Tuesday in connection with a rash of murders in the Houston area.

Houston police and the Harris County Sheriff’s Office announced Tuesday that they’ve arrested Jose Gilberto Rodriguez, 46, for his possible role in three murders, a home invasion, and a robbery and shooting. Rodriguez was found in Harris County after being spotted in a vehicle belonging to one of his possible murder victims, according to KTRK.

Officials told ABC News that Rodriguez’s arrest came following a car chase from Eldridge to Fallbrook.

The Houston Chronicle reported that Rodriguez’s criminal history dates back to 1989. Records show that June he was arrested for a theft in Montgomery County.

Three months later, Rodriguez was arrested on charges of burglary, attempted sexual abuse, and auto theft in Harris County. The trio of charges resulted in him being sentenced in the early 1990s to 25 years, 20 years and 10 years in prison, respectively. Meanwhile, he was handed a 10-year sentence for the theft in Montgomery County, according to the newspaper.

The sentences were ordered to be served concurrently. An imprisoned Rodriguez received another 10-year sentence for possession of a deadly weapon inside a penitentiary.

Rodriguez was paroled in September 2017. He returned to Harris County in December after briefly living in the Dallas area. According to the Chronicle, Rodriguez lived in a halfway house and worked at a factory.

KTRK reported that police are now accusing Rodriguez of committing the following crimes:

  • July 9: A reported break-in at a Harris County involving an elderly husband and wife who had returned home from dinner. Rodriguez allegedly held a gun to the man’s head before tying him up, placing a pillow on his head, and taking off with his wallet, phone, and SUV. The man’s wife was reportedly showering at the time.
  • July 13: Police found the bound body of Pamela Johnson, 62, in her Cypress home. The widow hadn’t been heard from July 10. However, it wasn’t until the 13th when a neighbor checked on her and made the grisly discovery. Police said Johnson had been shot to death and her vehicle was stolen.
  • July 14: Employees at a Mattress Store near Willowbrook Mall reportedly discovered manager Allie Barrow’s body between two mattresses in the back office. Police said the 28-year-old had also been shot to death. Additionally, Johnson’s stolen vechile was found near the Matress Store.
  • July 16: Police responded to a gas station along Quitman Street near Eastex Freeway early Monday following reports of shots fired. There, they discovered a 22-year-old bus driver who claimed he was shot and robbed as he got a drink and used the restroom. He was reportedly hospitalized in critical condition.
  • July 16: Later that day, Houston Police responded to another Mattress Store, where they reportedly found Eduardo Magana dead from gunshot wounds. A vehicle from the scene was also stolen, according to police.

So far, police have declined to reveal a motive or whether the victims were randomly targeted.

[Featured Image: Jose Gilberto Rodriguez/Houston police]