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Tuesday, June 21, 2022

The Isaac Tiharihondi Mass Murder Case

     Uganda native Israel Ahimbisibwe, after being ordained in the Episcopal Church of Uganda, came to the United States where he earned three masters' degrees and a Ph.D. His masters' degrees came from the Theological Seminary at Princeton University, Harvard Divinity School and Rice University in Houston where he earned his doctorate after completing graduate research at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

     The 51-year-old Reverend Doctor held the position of Vicar of the Redeemer Episcopal Church in Houston. He resided in a west Houston apartment complex with his 47-year-old wife Dorcus and their son Israel Ahimbisibwe Jr. who was five. Pastor Ahimbisibwe's 17-year-old son Emmanuel attended a private school in California. Isaac Tiharihondi, his 19-year-old son, graduated in 2014 from Houston's Memorial High School.

     Isaac told his father that he had joined the Marines and would report for duty on February 6, 2015. The pastor didn't believe his son and this led to an argument and bad feelings between the two of them.

     On Sunday evening February 1, 2015, Redeemer church members Keever Wallace and his wife Brooke knocked on the pastor's apartment door after the vicar, his wife and their son failed to show up that morning for church. No one came to the door that morning and the pastor did not return calls to his cellphone.

     The next day, at nine in the morning, Brooke Wallace returned to the Ahimbisibwe apartment. When no one responded she contacted the manager of the complex who had a key.

     The building manager called the Houston Fire Department and waited for the arrival of the emergency personnel before entering the Ahimbisibwe apartment. When members of the fire department discovered three dead bodies inside the dwelling they notified the police.

     In one of the bathrooms, Houston police officers found the bodies of the vicar, his wife and their 5-year-old son. The parents had been severely beaten to death with a lamp, baseball bat and hammer. The boy had been bludgeoned and stabbed in the neck and back.

     Investigators found no evidence of forced entry and no indication that the killer had taken anything from the apartment.

     On Wednesday February 4, 2015, in Jackson, Mississippi 350 miles from Houston, police arrested Isaac Tiharihondi, the vicar's 19-year-old son on a Texas warrant charging him with triple murder. Officers booked the suspect into the Hines County Detention Center in Raymond Mississippi where he would await extradition back to Houston.

     Isaac Tirarihondi had been staying at a Jackson Mississippi motel. His mother had told friends that she was worried about him. He had lied about the Marines and was depressed.

     On February 1, 2016 Isaac Tiharihondi pleaded guilty to three counts of capital murder. The judge, pursuant to the plea agreement, sentenced Tiharihondi to life in prison without the possibility of parole. On the day of his sentencing, the unemotional killer remained silent as to why he had committed such a horrific crime. 

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