Nearly seven years ago, someone beat an 83-year-old former Texas Tech professor to death, ransacked his home and stole several of his valuables. Although police have never stopped looking, Professor Haskell Taylor's killer, or killers, remain at large.
Haskell Taylor was known to most in the Texas Tech Accounting Department as Mr. Texas Tech. He founded the Tech Accounting Society, has several endowments in his name and worked at the university for more than 50 years.
Nearly seven years after the murder, police are still puzzled by this case. But, new forensics testing that wasn't available in 1996, could help to get this case out of the unsolved file for good. "He was just one of these guys who knew everybody in town and had known their parents," says Texas Tech Director of Accounting Programs Dr. Robert Ricketts.
Dr. Ricketts says everyone who knew Professor Taylor, admired him. That's why his murder came as such a shock. "I can't imagine that anyone who knew Haskell would intentionally hurt him," says Dr. Ricketts.
Taylor was murdered on October 29, 1996 at his home in central Lubbock. LPD Sgt. John Gomez has painstakingly worked on this case from the very beginning. "The suspects entered the residence to commit a burglary and in the process of committing that burglary, Professor Haskell Taylor was murdered," says Sgt. Gomez.
Taylor died from a skull fracture after being struck in the head, but Sgt. Gomez says they have never found a murder weapon.
Taylor carried around a roll of cash, and some friends believe he was at the grocery store just before his murder. Their theory? That the killer followed Taylor home from the grocery store and killed him for a roll of cash likely worth no more than $100.
"Nothing has been ruled out. And we're gonna continue to investigate this and continue to spend as much time and man-power as necessary to solve it," says Sgt. Gomez.
"It must have been random because no one who knew him would have a finger to hurt him," says Dr. Ricketts.
Sgt. Gomez says the most telling piece of evidence stolen from Taylor's home that morning was a console style television. Gomez says at least two people would have had to carry the television out, which means there is a good possibility there are at least two suspects.
The police have the serial number of that television and could match it. If you have any information about this case, call Crime Line at (806) 741-1000.