10 Bodies Pulled from Austin Lake as Locals Fear Serial Killer on the Loose

Roschetzky Photography / shutterstock.com
Roschetzky Photography / shutterstock.com

Police in Austin, TX, have fished the bodies of ten young men out of a local lake in the past year. The discovery of so many bodies has locals wondering if there is a serial killer on the loose. The police say that’s not the case, but then again, investigators have not been very open about the nature and causes of the deaths of these men.

The body of water in question is Lady Bird Lake. It’s actually a wide section of the Colorado River as it runs through the historic district in Downtown Austin. 30-year-old Jason John was celebrating a promotion at work when he disappeared on February 5, 2023. His body was found in the lake a week later.

A few weeks later, the body of 33-year-old Johnathan Honey was discovered in roughly the same area. That set off a tidal wave of speculation among the public and true crime groups in the city.

Austin PD held a press conference last week to announce that another body—the tenth in the past year—had been pulled from the lake. Police didn’t say how the unidentified person had died or how long they had been in the water.

“Homicide is actively investigating this as a death investigation,” they announced. That’s oddly vague. It’s obviously a death investigation. Why are homicide detectives investigating it?

A local true crime group on Facebook is firmly convinced that a serial killer is at work in Austin. They’ve dubbed him the “Rainey Street Ripper.” All ten of the victims were relatively young men between the ages of 20 and 40, which seems like the least likely demographic to be falling into a lake and drowning.

Police say they haven’t discovered any evidence that suggests foul play in any of the deaths. The public, however, doesn’t seem to be buying that explanation.