October 26, 1979
Amarillo, Texas
Jay Kelly Pinkerton (17) rapes, murders, and mutilates Sarah Donn Lawrence (30) as her children slept down the hallway

Sarah was murdered between 9:30 and 11:30 pm while her husband David was away. He found Sarah’s body between the coffee table and sofa, the lower half of her body was nude, and the knife wound in her throat had blood still oozing from it. David also noted a large Bowie knife which had been displayed in the master bedroom was missing and was considered to be the murder weapon.

Five months after Sarah Lawrence’s murder on April 9, 1980, Pinkerton raped and killed Sherry Welsh, a crime which was tied to him due to bite marks he left in the flesh of her breasts. Both victims had been stabbed approximately 30 times.

John Alley, a fellow inmate, testified against Pinkerton who he claimed made several admissions of guilt to Alley during their 6 months together in jail. He stated the reason for testifying was because “I have got a little three-year-old girl and pretty little wife and I’ll be damned if I’m going to sit there and see somebody like that go free after he bragged for six months that he done it and it might be my wife or my daughter next time.” A portion of the testimony was as follows (WARNING: the intimate details of the crime may be graphic to some readers):

Q. What did he say to you specifically, sir, do you recall?

A. The first thing that I ever heard him say was that he cut her tits off and set them on the television and he started laughing about it and that was it.

Q. Did he say he had done anything else concerning the killing of Sarah Donn Lawrence?

A. Do you want the whole gruesome details of it?

Q. Yes, sir I wish you would tell the jury.

A. Sexually assaulted her.

Q. Is that what he said in those words sir?

A. Well, I’ll get to it.

Q. All right.

A. He cut her stomach open and fucked her in the wound until he cum and [then] he slashed her throat and he cut her breasts off.

Pinkerton was found guilty and sentenced to death which was carried out by lethal injection on May 15, 1986.

7 thoughts on “Teenager brutally murders, rapes, and mutilates a mother in her home

  1. I am against the death penalty but if this was my sister or friend that these despicable acts happened to, would I feel the same? These were heinous actions by a teenager. I still don’t think murders by teens should be eligible for the death penalty. Although he would have still known right from wrong and it wasn’t a solitary murder. Beyond my comprehension what leads a teen to this.


    1. How anyone can be against the DP for these evil men is beyond me. That said, Pinkerton and Bundy share similarities-both peeped in windows while young, both raped, mutilated and murdered their victims both before and after death. Both were sadistic serial killers and neither could ever be rehabilitated. I am glad they are both dead and salute the States of Florida and Texas for having the backbone to put them to death.


  2. I was a single young woman living alone when these murders happened..till this day I still remember the events and the horror that Amarillo Tx lived thru. Was scared to come home at night and enter yr apt. after working 2nd shift at LeviStrauss. Glad this young man got the DEATH Penalty!!!


  3. I was a Paramedic that ran both of those murder scenes. The second was at a Furniture Store in Wolflin Village at closing time. The brutality was some of the worst I encountered over my 3 decade career. I ran another call around the same time 4-5 blocks off of Georgia in an upscale neighborhood around 10 pm on a Wednesday night. A young, married female came home and was jumped by an intruder. She was stabbed 39 times on her front torso (I counted them for my EMS report). She survived but later committed suicide. The police told me on the scene said it was the same perpetrator (Pinkerton). I still have occasional nightmares about Pinkerton and his victims that I treated (or tried to). If anyone deserved the death penalty it was Pinkerton (it should have happened much sooner)


  4. I suspect it was Pinkerton as well. It must be very hard to arrive at scenes like those. Thank you for caring for the victims of these incidents and accidents. If Pinkerton’s family was responsible, they wouldn’t have allowed their oft incarcerated son to be out on the streets at all times of the night when he lived at home. He had a record of peeping into windows and burglary, but his mother was only hostile when the police arrived at her house the night Sarah Lawrence was murdered. Unbelieveably, the police were forced to let Pinkerton go after arresting him the same night and he went on to murder another woman at Wolflin Village.


  5. This case and this man haunts me to this day-as it does many who lived in Amarillo at that time. Things like this didn’t happen in this small town. And, to think, it was a teen? The guy was a horrible person. He was a typical serial killer in the make–killing and torturing animals etc., always in trouble, truant at school and a drop out….we just didn’t have words or widespread knowledge to identify behavior as we do now. The terror we all lived through was indescribable. They cancelled Halloween after the first murder and the whole city was paralyzed with fear. And in the aftermath, we kids tried to reconcile what we knew and our friendship with that kids siblings. I often think of the stigma associated with the last name and wonder how the siblings were able to go on with their childhoods or lives? I wish they could have killed this worthless POS twice. I wish they could have killed him in the way he killed those victims. I wish the town could have given him a death by a thousand cuts. Serial murders are made not Born, I believe. That overkill rage against women and his preference for relationships with women his moms age kinda tells you who helped make him what he was. I hope he’s in hell where he belongs.


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