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John M. Liggett: From Embalmer Extraordinaire to Serial Killer


Jay Bert Peck's homicide was not the only assault at the little ranch house at 1202 Melrose Street in Garland, Texas.  Almost five years later, on Tuesday, March 27, 1974, Jay Bert's wife Dorothy Peck was attacked by the mortician John M. Liggett, beaten with a hammer and left for dead. He erred in not double-checking to be sure she was dead before starting a fire under her bed with clothing he had stuffed under it, then running out the door.  Because Dorothy managed to regain consciousness and stumbled her way out of the fire to a neighbor's house to call the fire and police departments.  And she knew her attacker, John Melvin Liggett, because he had accompanied her home from a bar the night before.  Since she was able to wake up and leave the burning bedroom and identify him, John M. Liggett was arrested and subsequently investigated for several other Dallas area murders involving similar arson attempts to destroy any evidence left behind by the killer.

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