Monday, May 17, 2021
Families in Texas have been hard at work the last two years, responding to the deaths of loved ones in Dallas-area senior-living communities who may have been killed by a serial murder suspect. Organizing under the name "Secure Our Seniors Safety," they have pressed for an array of legislation to compel care-giving communities to provide greater accountability, including reporting suspicious activity such as employee concerns, where there is potential risk to vulnerable adults. One of the bills, "Marilyn's Law," or HB 723 was named after one of the suspect's victims. Marilyn's daughter had initially been told her mother, who was living in a care center, had died of "natural causes." The death certificate was later amended, but the daughter only learned from news reports that her mother may have been one of the suspect's victims, suffocated with a pillow.
From a recent Dallas News article:
The first bill filed in response to a string of slayings at Dallas-area senior living communities passed the Texas Senate on Thursday and now awaits Gov. Greg Abbott’s signature.
For the families who say their loved ones were killed by a serial murder suspect, it’s a moment more than two years in the making. . . .
The bill passed Thursday is named for Pangburn’s mother, Marilyn Bixler. Marilyn’s Law, or HB 723, was introduced by two Collin County lawmakers — Sen. Angela Paxton and Rep. Jared Patterson — after The Dallas Morning News first reported Pangburn’s story.
The new law will require officials to notify next of kin if a cause of death is amended.
The bill was signed into law by the Texas Governor on May 15, 2021.
Chemirmir, a suspect in at least 17 murder, theft or attempted murder cases, awaits trial because of delays related to Covid-19, according to news reports, including national news profiles.
For more on related legislation pending in Texas, see "Death Certificate Bill Filed in Response to Chemirmir Case Passes in Austin."