Fears a Texas serial killer could be on the loose have been reignited following the discovery of two more bodies in Lady Bird Lake, Austin

A bartender on Austin’s famous entertainment strip has claimed a patron told him he was the rumored Rainey Street Ripper ‘killing homos’ in a nearby waterway.

Locals have for one year feared a serial killer was on the loose as a dozen bodies were pulled from the Colorado River and Lady Bird Lake nearby.

Two more were found in the past two weeks, both of which are not yet identified, but like all but one of the others were ruled not suspicious by police. 

Police insist there is no killer at large, but rumors of a ‘Rainey Street Ripper’ have continued to swirl as the bodies pile up.

One unnamed bartender believes that the supposed killer, or someone falsely claiming to be, confessed to the crime while knocking back beers last month.

Fears a Texas serial killer could be on the loose have been reignited following the discovery of two more bodies in Lady Bird Lake, Austin

Fears a Texas serial killer could be on the loose have been reignited following the discovery of two more bodies in Lady Bird Lake, Austin

Cliff Axtell, 40, was found in Lady Bird Lake on March 5 after he went missing near Stubb's in downtown on February 25. His death has been ruled 'undetermined'

Cliff Axtell, 40, was found in Lady Bird Lake on March 5 after he went missing near Stubb’s in downtown on February 25. His death has been ruled ‘undetermined’

He wrote on social media that the regular customer was chatting with him, and ‘suddenly started talking about “killing homos” from [Lady Bird Lake] that he found from [Rainey Street]’.

‘He was clearly angry and was saying it in a low voice. But I know what I heard… Do people lie about these things?’

The man, who did not say what institution he worked at, added that the ‘confession’ came after the bartender mentioned being interested in swimming in the lake.

According to the bartender, the patron was described as a white man in his 40s, about 5’10 tall with a muscular build, brownish light hair, and facial hair – which he acknowledged described a lot of people.

The bartender called Austin Police and left a voicemail on a homicide tip line, which they said was never followed up on, and planned to make a statement in person.

Bar management appeared uninterested in looking into the incident either.

Four bodies were found in Austin's Lady Bird Lake in 2023 including, 33-year-old Jonathan Honey (pictured) who was found dead on April 1

Four bodies were found in Austin’s Lady Bird Lake in 2023 including, 33-year-old Jonathan Honey (pictured) who was found dead on April 1

Jason John, 30, was found on February 13,2023 after he was last seen on Rainey Street a week earlier. His parents believe there is more to the story behind his disappearance

Jason John, 30, was found on February 13,2023 after he was last seen on Rainey Street a week earlier. His parents believe there is more to the story behind his disappearance

The first of the most recent bodies was found under South 1st Street Bridge on April 9 and was described as a ‘cardiac-arrest’ style event. However, police continue to probe the death.

Just five days later, a fisherman called in a report of another corpse near 515 S. Pleasant Valley Road. The death was not being investigated as a homicide. 

Cops ruled out foul play in some of the deaths connected to the reservoir, stating they are most likely accidental drownings due to the lake’s proximity to popular nightlife spots.

These include that of Ricky Parks, 59, whose body was found first in July 2022 and who is thought to have drowned.

The deaths of Christopher Gutierrez, Kyle Thornton, 56, and Christopher Hays-Clark 30, were also not deemed suspicious.

Two of the deceased, Jason John, 30, and Jonathan Honey, 33, were deemed to have drowned accidentally. Both men were last seen on Rainey Street.

One man Josue Moreno was shot while driving and his vehicle plunged into the reservoir, cops said.

The death of Clifton Axtell, 46, who was found in March 2023 was ruled as ‘undetermined’. The remaining bodies were not being investigated as homicides. 

The death of dad Christopher Hays-Clark, 30, (pictured with son) was not deemed to be suspicious

The death of dad Christopher Hays-Clark, 30, (pictured with son) was not deemed to be suspicious

Rainey Street is a vibrant area in Austin known for its night life and offerings of bars, food trucks and restaurants. Lady Bird Lake is about 1.8 miles, or 35-minute walk away from the street. There are no cameras around the lake

Rainey Street (above) is a vibrant area in Austin known for its night life and offerings of bars, food trucks and restaurants. Lady Bird Lake is about 1.8 miles, or 35-minute walk away from the street. There are no camera’s around the lake

Another local bartender told the US Sun she had a hard time accepting that there was not something more sinister at play.

‘The amount of people who have been found dead is huge,’ she said. ‘We now have police patrols on the street pretty regularly.

‘It’s an odd place for people to go, too. I find it hard to see how people could leave Rainey and end up at the lake. You have to walk blocks to get there.’ 

Last year, the City of Austin increased safety measures including lighting and fencing around the lake.

The city was also considering stationing park rangers around the water as well as more surveillance cameras. 

Former Austin Police Department forensic director Mark Gillespie previously stressed in an interview with KVUE that the public should believe the police when they say that there is no foul play.

‘They’re looking for foul play, and so when APD comes out with the statement that at the current time, they don’t suspect foul play, I promise you they were looking for it, and they were looking very hard for it, so I respect that,’ he said.

In an interview with KXAN, Dr Carsten Andresen of St Edward’s University, said the rumors around the Lady Bird Lake deaths were similar to conspiracy theories being spread in cities across the country.

A memorial left by near to where Chris Hays-Clark's body was found in Lady Bird Lake

A memorial left by near to where Chris Hays-Clark’s body was found in Lady Bird Lake

Last year, the city of Austin announced that further safety measures including lighting and fencing around the lake

Last year, the city of Austin announced that further safety measures including lighting and fencing around the lake 

Lady Bird Lake is a popular Austin destination for water activities, including kayaking

Lady Bird Lake is a popular Austin destination for water activities, including kayaking

‘Human nature has always looked at things and sort of looked for patterns that may or may not exist. But also, social media and the ability to just sort of put these rumors online and sort of have them go out like wildfire,’ he said.

Andresen pointed out that Austin has a reputation as a city where people go to drink and cut loose.

‘I don’t think that we’ve seen anything that would lead one to conclude that there’s a serial killer out there. But we do know that people drink to excess in Austin, and that men often engage in at-risk behavior,’ he added.

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