A suspected serial killer who may have taken more than a dozen victims going back to 1982, Raul Meza Jr. confessed to two recent murders after simply dialing the city of Austin's 311 line.
Police in Austin, Texas have arrested 62-year-old Raul Meza Jr. after he called them and confessed to two murders. He’d already been convicted of one murder in 1982, though police now say that this suspected serial killer may have taken more than a dozen victims in total.
Raul Meza Jr.’s Long History Of Chilling Crimes
From murder to theft and beyond, Raul Meza Jr. has an extensive criminal record dating back to when he was just 15 years old.
According to KVUE, Meza’s first run-in with the law came on December 31, 1975. Meza, alongside three accomplices, robbed a convenience store in Austin and shot the store manager in the back.
Luckily, the manager survived the attack and testified against Meza. Though he was handed a hefty prison sentence of 20 years, Meza ultimately only served five.
Only a year after his release, Meza went on to commit his most heinous crime.
On January 3, 1982, eight-year-old Kendra Page was riding her bike at an elementary school playground in south Austin when Meza suddenly grabbed her.
Police soon found Page’s naked body in a school dumpster. She had been sexually assaulted and strangled.
The crime shocked the city of Austin and put parents on high alert until Meza confessed to the murder a few days later.
Meza ultimately took a plea deal and received a 30-year sentence. However, as was the case with his previous crime, Meza was released after serving only a small portion of his sentence. In this case, good behavior and time served meant that he was only behind bars for 11 years.
“At the time of his sentence in 1982, if he was a model prisoner and received good conduct time, he was given credit for that, and that credit was mandatory. And that therefore effectively reduced his sentence,” retired Travis County judge Charlie Baird told KXAN.
By 1993, Meza was a free man again, and he wasted no time jumping back into a life of crime.
In 1994, Meza violated his parole by ignoring his curfew and went back to prison. Then, in 2002, Meza was back on the streets once more.
The Recent Murders That Now Have Meza In Custody
In 2019, police found the body of 66-year-old Gloria Lofton inside her home in Austin. At the time, they did not suspect that her death was a homicide.
Four years later, on May 20, 2023, police did a welfare check at a house in Pflugerville, a suburb of Austin. Inside the home, police found blood, knives, and the body of 80-year-old Jesse Fraga with a belt wrapped around his neck.
Four days later, Austin police received an eerie call:
“My name is Raul Meza, and you’re looking for me,” the caller said to Det. Patrick Reed of the Austin Police Department, as reported by FOX7.
On the phone, Meza then confessed to killing Fraga, who had once been a probation officer and had even lived with Meza for some time.
“Meza then went on to detail his relationship with Jesse Fraga and detailed the manner in which he murdered Mr. Fraga,” Reed told FOX7.
Afterward, Meza also admitted to killing Gloria Lofton before abruptly hanging up the phone.
The Capture Of Raul Meza Jr. Before He Could Kill Again
After the phone call, Austin police sprang into action. They knew that Meza often frequented hotels along the I-35 freeway, so police began their search — “Going door to door, going hotel to hotel,” said Deputy U.S. Marshal Brendan Filla to Fox7.
Eventually, on May 29, police apprehended Meza at a hotel in North Austin and took him into custody.
“They approached, surrounded him and took him into custody within a blink of an eye,” Filla said.
At the time of his arrest, Meza had a bag filled with zip ties, duct tape, a flashlight, a gun, and ammo. Because of these items, police are confident that Meza was planning to kill again imminently.
With Meza in custody, police are hopeful that they will find answers to other unsolved cases in which he is a potential suspect.
“It was a travesty of justice,” Austin Assistant Police Chief Bruce Mills told Fox7, regarding Meza’s light term in the Page case. “We don’t know how many more people he killed or would have killed.”
“We have between eight and ten cases that kind of fit these similar circumstances that we’re looking at. But that could obviously grow,” Detective Katy Conner of the Austin Police Department told Fox7.
Many people in the Austin community are angry that the court system gave Meza so many chances.
“I don’t think our judicial system did its job. I really don’t,” Kendra Page’s brother Kevin told KXAN. “So now these other families have to deal with the same pain we went through.”
After reading about the crimes of Raul Meza Jr., discover the story of Todd Kohlhepp, a serial killer who was caught after posting disturbing reviews on Amazon. Then, dive into the chilling story of Ángel Maturino Reséndiz, the train-hopping serial killer who murdered up to 23 people in the 1980s and 1990s.