61 year-old William Reece is facing trials for the 1997 murders of Laura Smither, Jessica Cain and Kelli Cox in Galveston and Brazoria counties.
GALVESTON COUNTY, Texas — The little girl sitting on then-20-year-old mom Kelli Cox’s lap in an old photo is all grown up.
“She’s 26 now,” said Kelli’s mother, Jan Bynum.
She told us the family’s waited a long time to see confessed serial killer William Reece finally face justice in the Lone Star State.
“I want him convicted in Texas,” Bynum said.
Reece was brought back to Texas this week to stand trial for Kelli’s murder in Brazoria County and the murders of Laura Smither and Jessica Cain in Galveston County. All three victims were killed in 1997.
The cases went unsolved for nearly two decades before Reece finally confessed a few years ago.
“It’s about time,” Bynum told us. “And I’m very, very thankful that we got him back here.”
Reece was convicted last year in Oklahoma for the kidnapping and murder of 19- year-old newlywed Tiffany Johnston. She was also killed in 1997 as Reece went back and forth between the Houston area and Oklahoma to hunt for his victims.
Laura was just 12 when she was grabbed while jogging in her Friendswood neighborhood. Her body was found weeks later in a Pasadena detention pond.
“It’s been one nightmare after another,” said mother Gay Smither over the phone. “There’s no such thing as closure. The best you can get is resolution.”
“I want him convicted in Texas.” Confessed serial killer William Reece (convicted of murder in OK) is back in TX to face justice in the deaths of Jan Bynum’s daughter, Kelli Cox, and two others dating back to 1997. I’ll have more: @KHOU at 6:00 https://t.co/H32tHvrbO6 #khou11 pic.twitter.com/r6TRM1NPHS
— Jason Miles (@JMilesKHOU) March 9, 2022
Reece led authorities to the remains of Jessica and Kelli in 2016 following an indictment and confession.
Friendswood police told us Reece is being cooperative and that he will likely be taken from its jail to the county jail in Galveston in the coming days.
Families will then wait for the next chapter.
“Whether it’s trials, whether it’s pleading guilty or whatever the case may be, I want him held accountable, officially, in Texas,” Bynum said.