193

That’s how many times Susan Wright, a shy suburban mother of two, stabbed her husband in their bed before burying him in the backyard. In a wild trial that had all of Houston buzzing, she was convicted of murder and sent to prison. But what the jury didn’t know six years ago may soon set her free.
193
Susan Wright, photographed at the Hobby Unit, in Marlin, on November 23, 2009.
Photograph by Matthew Rainwaters

Susan Wright, the blue-eyed butcher of the Houston suburbs, is still a lovely young woman, still as polite and well-mannered as she was seven years ago, when she grabbed a knife, stabbed her husband at least 193 times, and buried him facedown in their backyard.

Hi,” she said softly as she walked into the visiting room of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s Hobby Unit, in Marlin, shaking my hand and ducking her head shyly. She was wearing dark-red Covergirl lipstick, which she keeps in a box for special occasions. She smelled nice too; just before my arrival, she had taken a couple perfume samples from a fashion magazine she receives in the mail and rubbed them across her neck. Her hair, blond at the time of the murder, had returned to its natural auburn shade. It was still damp from the shower she had been allowed to take an hour earlier. She settled into a chair at a table and nervously began to smooth out the wrinkles in her white uniform.

How are you?” I asked. “Oh, I have nothing to complain about,” she said. “I live in a dormitory area with other women, and I have a photo of my children on a wall next to my pillow. Every morning I wake up and look at them.” For a moment, she stared at the floor and pressed her lips together. “Can you believe my son, Bradly, has turned eleven, and my little Kaily is almost eight?”

Bradly was only four and Kaily was not even two on January 18, 2003, when a lawyer named Neal Davis walked into the district attorney’s office and said that he represented a client who’d led him to believe that a body could be found at a small patio home in the heart of the White Oak Bend subdivision, in northwest Harris County. He refused to give any additional details, claiming attorney-client privilege. When police officers arrived at the address, they discovered the nude body of 34-year-old Jeffrey Wright, a 220-pound carpet and flooring salesman. He was partially visible in his grave because the Wright family’s dog had dug him up. Jeffrey had been stabbed all over the front of his body. Neckties were knotted around his wrists, and a bathrobe sash was wrapped around one of his ankles. Inside the house, blood was splattered throughout the master bedroom, including on the bed, the floors, the walls, the ceiling, and the

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