In 1991, Dallas authorities convicted Charles Albright, also known as the Texas Eyeball Killer, for the murder of Shirley Williams. Investigators suspect he killed two other women, Mary Lou Pratt and Susan Peterson, between 1990 and 1991. Albright was born in 1933, and Fred and Delle Albright, who lived in Amarillo, Texas, adopted him as an infant. Fred Albright owned a grocery store, and his wife was a teacher.
Delle Albright abused Charles both psychologically and physically when he was a child, locking him in dark rooms and hitting him for minor offenses, like spilling milk. She also taught him taxidermy, which led to his obsession with eyes. He cut out the eyes of the women he allegedly killed, all of whom were sex workers. Believing that his birth mother was a prostitute (she was actually a nurse), Albright preyed on these women after his adoptive mother died. As of August 2017, Albright is serving out his life term in Lubbock, Texas, at the John Montford Psychiatric Unit.
Delle taught her adoptive son taxidermy when he was child, showing Albright how to use the tools to properly prepare and stuff the dead animal for display. However, she refused to pay for the standard glass taxidermy eyes that made the animals look truly alive. Instead, she forced him to use buttons and marbles. Sometimes, she would make him sew the eyes shut so that the animals looked like they were blind. Albright later removed the eyes of his victims.
Delle physically abused her son throughout his childhood. If Albright spilled milk, she would spank him. She also went beyond spanking on some occasions, such as tying him to his bed when he refused to take a nap. Other times, the abuse was psychological. When Albright was around a year old, he chewed on her tape measure. In response, she locked him in a room with the lights out, making him sit in the dark.
For reasons that remain unknown, Albright's mother dressed him in girls' clothing when he was a child. She made him wear dresses and forced him to play with dolls, especially if his aunt was visiting.
While Albright was a 16-year-old freshman at North Texas State College, he became involved in a student burglary ring. He and several of his classmates broke into local stores and stole merchandise, some of which authorities found in his dorm room. He claimed that he hadn't stolen anything and was merely holding onto it for his friends. They didn't believe him and promptly prosecuted Albright for the crimes.
When his mother caught wind of his arrest, she went around to the store owners and offered to reimburse them for what he'd stolen. At his sentencing, she tried to stand in as his lawyer and even told the judge she'd serve his prison time for him. He served six months of a two-year term in jail.