When Dallas police investigators finally came face to face last month with the 300-pound convicted sexual predator who they say brutally killed an SMU coed more than 23 years ago, the state prison inmate’s reaction was telling. “He made a comment that this was probably going to ruin his chance for parole,” lead Detective Linda Crum said of her nearly hourlong interview with Donald Andrew Bess. Bess, 59, was charged last week with capital murder in the October 1984 slaying of Angela Samota, 20, who was found raped and stabbed repeatedly in her condominium near campus. Investigators matched preserved DNA evidence from the crime scene to Bess through a national database.
Detectives Crum and Ken Penrod questioned Bess last month at a state prison in Huntsville, where he’s serving a life sentence, with the possibility of parole, for multiple rape convictions in the Houston area. They say he showed little remorse when confronted. “My personal opinion only is that he knew that we got him,” Detective Crum said. “He said, ‘You just ruined my day.’ He said he thought he couldn’t eat that day.” Detective Penrod said the convicted rapist’s “only concern was for himself.” Bess will be brought to Dallas to face the new charge in the next few weeks. Prosecutors will decide soon whether to pursue the death penalty.