How a Plano Grandma Could Have Stopped a Suspected Serial Killer – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

While the trial of suspected serial killer Billy Chemirmir prepares to get started in Dallas, the family of a woman who survived an attack shares their mother’s story for the first time.

A mother of six, a grandmother and great-grandmother, Mary Annis Bartel lived her faith.

“She went to Mass every day and she always tried to help people,” said her son Rick Bartel. “She was just generous, kind and loving.”

In 2018, at the age of 91, Mary Annis enjoyed living at the Preston Place Retirement Community in Plano. She was in good health, had an active social life and still drove to the grocery store.

“She set a good example because she was still so vital,” Bartel said.

Until everything changed on March 18, 2018 – the day a stranger knocked on her door.

“The guy went in and said ‘Do not fight with me,'” Bartel said. “Took her into the bedroom. She lay down on the bed. [He] put a pillow over her face, strangled her, left her for dead, took some jewelry and then left. “

A friend found Mary Annis Bartel unconscious, yet alive, and called 911.

The responding officer initially dismissed her story of an attacker, assuming she had just fallen and injured herself, even though her wedding ring and other jewelry were missing.

“They thought she might have fallen,” Bartel said. “That her friends came in and maybe stole her jewelry – which we thought was the most ridiculous thing we’ve ever heard.”

Her sons insisted that a detective talk to their mother, and after she told him about her attack, Bartel said the detective realized a crime had been committed.

“[The detective] said, ‘We have a problem here because someone is attacking older women,’ Bartel said.

Within 24 hours, Plano police arrested Billy Chemirmir for the attack on Mary Annis.

Eventually, Chemirmir would be indicted on 18 charges of capital murder for the deaths of elderly women in North Texas, as agencies began re-investigating hundreds of unattended deaths that had originally been identified as natural causes. Chemirmir maintains his innocence on all charges.

“I would like to think a lot of people were saved because she survived,” Bartel said.

Rick Bartel said his mother was moved when the Plano police department honored her with a Citizen Hero Award. During a packed private ceremony, the city recognized the 91-year-old’s role in capturing a suspected serial killer.

Still, the attack took its toll on Mary Annis. According to her son, the news coverage of the case caused stress and health problems. A few months later, Mary Annis Bartel died.

Bartel says his mother was at peace and had even forgiven the man charged with her attack, including him in her daily prayers.

Her story of survival now lives on in the pages of a book written by her family, entitled “Saved.”

“My mother lived 91 years, so this last chapter of her life was not the best, but she made the best of it,” Bartel said.

Before she died, Mary Annis Bartel recorded a video decision that could be used in future lawsuits if necessary.

Billy Chemirmir maintains his innocence on all charges and remains in Dallas County Jail with bail set at $ 11.6 million. His lawyer has refused to be questioned, but has called evidence in the cases clues.

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