Anthony Allen Shore (June 25, 1962 – January 18, 2018) was an American serial killer and child molester who was responsible for the murder of one woman and three girls. He was active from 1986 to 2000, and became known as the "Tourniquet Killer" because of his use of a ligature with either a toothbrush or bamboo stick to tighten or loosen the ligature. The instrument was similar to a twitch, a tool used by farmers to control horses. Shore was sentenced to death in 2004, and executed by lethal injection on January 18, 2018.
He married Gina Lynn Worley in 1983; they had two daughters. The couple later divorced and Shore was given custody of his two young daughters. He married Amy Lynch in 1997, and divorced after Lynch accused him of abuse.
Murders and assaults
Laurie Lee Tremblay
Shore's first known victim was 14-year-old Laurie Tremblay, who was killed on September 26, 1986. Tremblay was walking to school when she was attacked. After attempting to sexually assault her, Shore strangled Tremblay. Her body was dumped behind a Mexican restaurant in Houston.
Maria del Carmen Estrada
Maria del Carmen Estrada, 21, was killed on April 16, 1992. She had been sexually assaulted and strangled. Estrada was a Mexican immigrant, working as a nanny. Estrada's body was found in the back of a Dairy Queen that same day.
On October 19, 1993, Shore entered the home of 14-year-old Selma Janske, then bound and sexually assaulted her; however, he did not kill her, and instead fled the scene on foot.
Diana Rebollar, 9, was killed on August 8, 1994. She had been beaten, sexually assaulted and strangled. She lived in the Houston Heights area of Houston, at the front of a small duplex. The day of her death, she was seen at a local grocery store. Employees saw her leave the store safely, but she never returned home. She was found the next day on a loading dock behind a building. One lead for police was given by a neighbor who described a van that frequented the area. She was connected to the Maria del Carmen Estrada case by the killer's modus operandi: a rope with a bamboo stick attached was found around her neck.
Dana Sanchez, 16, was killed on July 6, 1995. Shore offered her a ride in his van. He made advances to her, which she resisted; she was then strangled. Seven days later, an anonymous telephone call to a local news station, actually made by Shore, directed police to her body in a Harris County field.
In 1998, Shore was convicted of molesting his two daughters, Tiffany and Amber, and as a result he was required to provide police with a DNA sample. In 2000, detectives pulled Maria del Carmen Estrada's case from the cold files, tested DNA evidence from underneath Estrada's fingernails, and received a full genetic profile. The results were not immediately matched to Shore because of problems at the lab. As a result of an audit, the lab was closed in 2002; certain samples, however, including those taken from Estrada's nails, were sent to another laboratory for retesting. The results were not matched until 2003, which led to Shore's arrest for Estrada's murder.
Eleven hours into his interrogation, Shore confessed to the murders of Maria del Carmen Estrada, Diana Rebollar, and Dana Sanchez. He also confessed to the 1987 murder of fourteen-year-old Laurie Tremblay and the 1994 rape of a fourteen-year-old girl. Detectives had no way of linking this killing to the other three murders because Tremblay was strangled with a ligature. When asked why he switched to a tourniquet, Shore replied, "because I hurt my finger while murdering Tremblay."
Trial and conviction
Despite Shore's confession to the murders of four people and the rape of another, prosecutor Kelly Siegler decided to charge Shore for only Estrada's murder, because it contained the most forensic evidence. His trial began in late October 2004. The jury found Shore guilty of capital murder. During the sentencing phase, Shore's only surviving victim testified. After less than an hour of deliberations, the jury recommended that Shore be put to death, which Shore himself had asked for. He was sentenced to death on November 15, 2004.
Shore was executed by lethal injection on January 18, 2018, at 6:28 pm (CST), and was the first person executed in the United States in 2018. He was 55 years old. Before the execution he confessed that "I made my peace" and his last words were "Ooh-ee, I can feel that!".