Investigation Discovery’s ‘Pandora’s Box: Unleashing Evil: Bloodlust’ chronicles how serial killer Henry Lee Jones was convicted of three murders in Tennessee and Florida in August 2003 and is a suspect in a fourth murder dating back to 2002. The Cleveland native had a long criminal record and was sentenced to 35 years imprisonment for robbery, kidnapping, and grand theft when he was only 18. He was a repeat offender even after his release after serving only half of his sentence and graduated to murder and assault.
Who Were Henry Lee Jones’ Victims?
In mid-July 2002, Henry Lee Jones introduced himself as “Bam” and allegedly befriended Keith Gross, 24, an employee at a local store named Kitchens to Go on NE Fourth Street in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. As per reports, the pair would often smoke weed together, but Keith’s employer, Ken Walker, had a nasty gut feeling about Henry. However, Keith was too embroiled in the new friendship to heed his friend and boss’ warning. On September 9, 2002, Ken had invited Keith to his Victoria Park residence to watch a Dolphins game together.
After Keith failed to show up for the game or at work the next day, Ken was worried. Keith had a short stint with the army, rendering him always punctual in the five years he had worked for him. He decided to drop in at his employee’s Sunrise Boulevard apartment to check on him. While peeking through a window, he found Keith’s naked, hogtied body on the floor. The police found Keith had been raped and murdered, with the killer tying a T-shirt around his neck and slitting his throat with a blade.
On August 22, 2003, Henry befriended a 20-year-old homeless sex worker named Tevarus Young, whom he paid to perform sexual acts. Afterward, the duo went on a road trip to Bartlett, Tennessee, where Henry had once resided. While driving by the Memphis suburb, they met the friendly couple, Clarence James, 82, and his wife, Lillian James, 64. According to reports, Clarence was a World War II veteran and had retired from the Memphis Park Commission.
Clarence met and married Lillian, a housekeeper at Methodist University Hospital in Memphis, late in life. Bartlett Mayor Keith McDonald reminisced how friendly and approachable Clarence and Lillian were, always waving to strangers driving by their residence. Taking advantage of the friendliness of the elderly couple, Henry offered to help them with their lawn mowing. Clarence politely asked Tevarus to move a lawn mower to the backyard, and Henry utilized this chance to his advantage of entering their home.
He proceeded to tie the couple, stab and strangle them, before slitting their throats with a pair of scissors. According to police reports, he ransacked the house and fled after stealing some jewelry. When Lillian failed to report to work on August 23, her 41-year-old daughter, Margaret Wilson Coleman, dropped in at their Bartlett Boulevard house to check up on the elderly couple. She was shocked to find their bodies and immediately called the police.
Carlos Perez, 19, left his father’s Wilton Manors apartment early in the morning of August 26, hoping to land a construction job through Dependable Temps in Fort Lauderdale. Henry had also applied for work at the agency, and the two were previously acquainted and went out to do drugs together occasionally. Henry and Carlos went to the Super 8 Motel in nearby Melbourne that day and booked a room for two. According to police reports, Henry hogtied, raped, and strangled Carlos before slitting his throat.
He left his body on the bed, wrapping it in a comforter. The motel housekeeper found the body the following morning and informed the police. The police conducted an autopsy to find multiple abrasions on Carlos’ anus, wrists, and ankles. The medical examiner also noted bite marks on his neck and strangulation marks around his wrists and legs. The autopsy report determined the perpetrator had slashed Carlos’ neck several times, with the deepness of each new cut eventually severing his jugular vein.
Henry Lee Jones is Still on Death Row
The investigators conducted a forensic examination of the room, determining the perpetrator had unsuccessfully attempted to rid of all DNA evidence. They found two pubic hairs at the crime scene that positively matched Henry’s mitochondrial DNA. The Melbourne police interviewed witnesses to find they had seen a black male driving a white four-door Lincoln Town Car, and he had used a credit card to buy gas at a local gas station. When the officers found the credit card was registered to Lillian James, they successfully connected the Tennessee double homicide with Carlos’ murder.
On September 16, 2003, Tennessee authorities filed first-degree murder charges and issued a nationwide bulletin for Henry’s arrest. He was spotted driving his car along Sunrise Boulevard, near Interstate 95, by Fort Lauderdale Police the following day. After an unsuccessful attempt to escape the authorities, the US marshals and local police arrested him near 24th Avenue. He was indicted for murder on October 7, with prosecutors intending to seek the death penalty against him.
Henry’s accomplice in the Tennessee murders, Tevarus, was also arrested. He pleaded guilty to two counts of facilitation of first-degree murder and was sentenced to 13-and-a-half years imprisonment. Henry was found guilty of the Tennessee crimes and sentenced to death in May 2009. Five years later, he was found guilty of the first-degree premeditated murder of Carlos and sentenced to death in Florida. However, Henry was never charged with Keith’s murder.
The Tennessee Supreme Court overturned his death sentence in 2014. Henry was again tried in May 2015 and was again found guilty on four counts of murder (two for premeditated and two for felony murder each) and given four separate death sentences. Ever since the 2015 sentencing, Henry had repeatedly tried to appeal against his conviction but was denied each time. According to official court records, the 59-year-old remains on death row at the Riverbend Maximum Security Institution in Nashville, Tennessee.