Suspect in murder of former President Bush personal doctor dead of suicide

The man suspected of killing a Houston-based cardiologist who used to be former President George W. Bush’s personal physician has taken his own life.

As CrimeOnline previously reported, police identified Joseph Pappas as the suspect in the fatal July 20 shooting of Mark Hausknecht, who was killed while riding his bike in Houston. The suspect was also on a bike.’

Investigators believe that Pappas killed Dr. Hausknecht because he was treating his mother 20 years ago when she died during heart surgery. He is believed to have held a longtime grudge against the doctor before plotting his murder.

Police warned earlier this week that Pappas should be considered armed and dangerous, and said that he had reportedly spoken of suicide during phone calls with unknown individuals.

Pappas reportedly shot himself in the head just as police were closing in on him in Southwest Houston, according to Click2Houston. An employee of the Brays Bayou Greenway Trail reportedly approached the suspect, who then fled, leaving his wallet behind. It was then that the employee recognized the Pappas, who had been at large, and contacted police, helping them stay notified of the suspect’s whereabouts.

Pappas was wearing a bullet-proof vest, and shot himself just as officers were approaching.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner released a statement Friday about the apprehension of the suspect, obtained by Click2Houston.

“The potential threat to the City from an accused murderer considered armed and dangerous is now over, closing another chapter of this horrific tragedy. And once again it involved heroic acts by frontline officers of the Houston Police Department, which has my gratitude for how it has handled this case and so many others.

“But they could not have succeeded in this case without information and support from members of the public. I encourage everyone who has information about pending and future cases to come forward and help our city save lives.”


[Feature image: Joseph Pappas/Houston Police Department]