Austin’s Rainey Road revelers weigh in on potential serial killer: ‘Individuals are ending up within the lake lifeless’

Austin police insist they’ve discovered no proof of a serial killer after 4 males have been discovered lifeless within the metropolis’s downtown Woman Chook Lake in a span of weeks.

However impartial investigators, involved residents, net sleuths and tens of hundreds of members of a Fb group intently following the string of incidents have voiced issues of a potential assassin on the free, concentrating on males on Rainey Road, which is house to a strip of bars a block or so from the water’s edge.

So Alokito Mymensingh 24 Digital went down Friday evening to ask individuals on Rainey Road straight what they thought concerning the rumors.

Some shrugged off the rumors. Some had issues. 


WATCH: Austin residents on the potential for a serial killer on Rainey Road

“Everybody appears shook,” one man instructed Alokito Mymensingh 24 Digital. “Each particular person I’ve talked to round right here has been actually upset about it.”

That included Uber drivers, bartenders and metropolis council members, his good friend added. 

“All I do know is that it is like a spate of our bodies has been discovered, a excessive quantity in a brief time period,” stated one other lady.

Police patrolling down Rainey Street

Police patrolling alongside Rainey Road after a number of our bodies have appeared in a close-by lake. (Matteo Cina/Alokito Mymensingh 24 Digital)


Are their fears well-placed? Police for weeks have sought to reassure the general public that they’ve seen no indicators of foul play.

“Nothing has come to mild that may point out that there’s a serial killer in Austin,” town’s chief of police, Joseph Chacon, instructed FOX 7 Austin Thursday. He added that the latest deaths gave the impression to be the outcomes of accidents or suicides.

The division didn’t instantly reply to a request for extra data on these conclusions.

Clive Bar Rainey Street

Clive Bar on Rainey Road, the place one of many males was final seen earlier than his physique washed up. (Matteo Cina/Alokito Mymensingh 24 Digital)

Metropolis officers have met a number of instances on the problem and mentioned different methods to boost security within the space – even when there isn’t a killer.

Proposals have included including lights, cameras and extra patrols from regulation enforcement and park rangers. Short-term fencing has additionally been put in in locations to stop individuals from falling into the water.


The latest public listening to, on Monday, noticed mates of the victims and even Rainey Road bartenders talking out, FOX 7 Austin reported.

“Because the final time we spoke, as soon as once more, one other physique has been pulled out of Woman Chook Lake,” a person named Josh Gale, who recognized himself as a good friend of one of many victims, reportedly instructed officers. “I do not understand how we are able to pace this up, to place within the requests, to get these to cease.” 

Mounted police patrolling down Rainey Street

Mounted police patrolling down Rainey Road in Austin. (Matteo Cina/Alokito Mymensingh 24 Digital)

Police had a visual presence on Rainey Road over the weekend, and have been out in drive alongside the strip.

The Austin Police Division’s mounted unit, which confronted a risk of defunding two years in the past, helped spearhead the brand new push for elevated security.

Austin police recognized the latest sufferer final week as John Christopher Hays-Clark, 30. He was pronounced lifeless on the scene close to a dam about two miles down river from the place the others have been discovered, nearer to Rainey Road.

Jason John holds a white dog

This undated picture is of Jason John, whose physique was present in Woman Chook Lake in Austin on Feb. 13, 2023.

Police discovered Jason John, 30, lifeless in Woman Chook Lake in February, per week after he was final been seen on Rainey Road.


Clifton Axtell, 40, was recognized as the person discovered lifeless on March 5 on the other riverbank.

Clifton Axtell smiles in a tuxedo

This undated picture is of Clifton Axtell, whose physique was present in Woman Chook Lake in Austin on March 5, 2023.

Jonathan Honey, 33, was discovered on April 1, a day after he was final seen at a meals truck on Rainey Road.

Partly, issues of a serial killer are fueled by rumors of roofie assaults concentrating on Rainey Road drinkers.

“Rainey Road is Roofie Metropolis,” one bar-goer claimed.

Drink-spiking medication have been used for years to incapacitate victims, to allow them to be robbed.

Jonathan Honey holds a freshly caught fish

This undated picture is of Jonathan Honey, whose physique was discovered on April 1, 2023, in Woman Chook Lake.

Extra not too long ago, thieves had added a high-tech layer to such crimes. 

Police in New York Metropolis final month introduced a number of indictments and arrests in reference to a sequence of robberies that concerned drugging victims at bars and utilizing facial recognition know-how to unlock their telephones and drain their accounts. 

Wooden fencing along the edge of a paved trail

Picket fencing traces the sting of the path between Rainey Road in downtown Austin and the Woman Chook Lake waterfront, the place a number of males have been found lifeless this yr. (Matteo Cina/Alokito Mymensingh 24 Digital)

A number of victims died because of overdosing on the medication used to knock them out, in response to police. Some have been robbed of tens of hundreds of {dollars}.

“People who find themselves coming, I imply, it is like enterprise journeys,” one other Rainey Road reveler instructed Alokito Mymensingh 24 Digital Friday. “Individuals listed below are coming to spend some huge cash.”

A drone shot of hike and bike trail along Lady Bird Lake

A hike and bike path alongside Woman Chook Lake is toes from the top of Rainey Road on Sunday, April 2, 2023, in downtown Austin. (Aaron E. Martinez/American-Statesman/USA At this time Community)

Individually, the Austin deaths share eerie similarities to claims of a possible group of “Smiley Face Killers” who some investigators imagine could have been liable for dozens of drownings of younger males within the Midwest starting within the late Nineteen Nineties.

“Simply from the sheer quantity and the truth that there’s so many in a brief time period, I do not imagine that it is unintentional,” stated Kevin Gannon, a retired NYPD detective who investigated the “Smiley Face Killers” concept as a non-public eye.

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Police have to date disagreed, however they are saying they’re nonetheless investigating. 

“Though these instances are nonetheless beneath investigation and proof is being analyzed, at the moment, there isn’t a proof in any of those instances to help allegations of foul play,” Austin police stated in an announcement. “Whereas every incident has occurred on the lake, the circumstances, precise places, and demographics surrounding these instances range.”

Peter Johnson