Friday, May 7, 2010






BACKGROUND: The editor of the Texas Tribune says in a note that "Hank Skinner is set to be executed for a 1993 murder he's always maintained he didn't commit. He wants the state to test whether his DNA matches evidence found at the crime scene, but prosecutors say the time to contest his conviction has come and gone......We told the story of the murders and his conviction and sentencing in the first part of this story." Reporter Brandi Grissom, author of the Tribune series on Hank Skinner, writes: "I interviewed Henry "Hank" Watkins Skinner, 47, at the Polunsky Unit of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice — death row — on January 20, 2010. Skinner was convicted in 1995 of murdering his girlfriends and her two sons; the state has scheduled his execution for February 24. Skinner has always maintained that he's innocent and for 15 years has asked the state to release DNA evidence that he says will prove he was not the killer."


PUBLISHER'S NOTE: It is an extraordinary document. Hank Skinner has taken to the Internet via The Texas Death Penalty Blog, to answer his detractors point by point. It is heartening to know that the Government of Texas is so determined to take his life - without testing DNA evidence which may show he is innocent - it is unable to stifle his voice.


"More fun!,"
the April 10, 2010 rebuttal begins.

"It has been brought to my attention that some false and undocumented « adverse » allegations, about me and my case are currently circulating on the web," it continues.

"Ordinarily I ignore things like this but I want to expose these coward allegations, usually raised by the haters, so it provides me a unique and excellent opportunity to counter this once and for all. In the future, any of my supporters or others inquiring on these topics can be referred to this NHHN article and it will save me the time and effort of having to repeat myself.

1/ Henry Watkins “Hank” Skinner – the Hype

No, dummy, it’s the facts, sans hype.

2/ When one reads all the media-driven innocence hype about Hank Skinner, one can be instantly coerced into believing that Skinner is truly innocent of the ghastly murders of Twila Busby and her two mentally-impaired sons.

No one is coercing anyone. The facts speak loudly for themselves. Two the most prestigious innocence projects in America both say I’m likely innocent and the evidence that remains needs to be tested.

3/ After all, Skinner is a cause de celebre around the world – a poster boy for “justice denied”. How could he have possibly done what a jury convicted him of?

Needs no comment.

4/ Hank’s jailhouse “wife” (a French anti-death penalty activist in real life) and Hank have done a great job at putting together a website calling into question aspects of how Hank has been treated over the years. There was, according to Hank and Mrs. Hank, a massive criminal/judicial conspiracy involving the police, prosecutors, judges and even Hank’s original trial attorney.

Sandrine Ageorges-Skinner is not my “jailhouse wife” but my wife in every respect, legal and otherwise. We are legally married in both Texas and France. The President of France and his Foreign minister made a diplomatic entreaty to the Governor of Texas, Rick Perry, on our behalf, asking Perry for a 30-day reprieve of execution and to conduct the DNA tests. That’s how legal our marriage is. I have our marriage license and certificate. I can produce it upon request to any who doubt me.

No one ever said there was any massive criminal conspiracy. I said, merely, the pigs didn’t like me for various reasons, there was animus against me and it provided them a motive to frame me, which they most certainly did. It was caused by small town, small minded authorities who possess exactly the same mindset as the person who authored this mess I’m now responding to. My trial attorney was an ex D.A. who’d previously prosecuted me.

5/ But the simple question remains: did Hank Skinner kill the Busby family?

No, I most certainly did not. The hairs ‘clutched’ in the victim’s (Twila’s) hand, sticking out from between her knuckles and caught under her ring, the D.A. says she pulled those hairs “from the head of her assailant during the struggle for her life, which she ultimately lost”. John Mann at first lied and said those hairs were mine. Subsequent DNA testing of the hairs at first produced a “mixed profile” alleged to contain my DNA. Further testing revealed this result was due to contamination in the wellplate caused by loading my standard sample too close to the evidentiary sample of Twila’s. Further testing proved that the blood flakes off the hair are solely Twila’s own blood and, subsequent mitochondrial testing of the hairs themselves are from an unknown male individual. I am absolutely and unequivocally excluded. See my letter 01/07/10 to D.A. Lynn Switzer and accompanying exhibits P2, P3 & P4 which are available on my website (legal documents section, DNA issue paragraph). It is beyond obvious that the person making these allegations is not at all well acquainted with the facts of the case but just hating and mud slinging.

6/ Was Skinner the murderer, or was it some faceless, nameless (or conveniently dead) person who poisoned Skinner with codeine (something to which Skinner was “deathly allergic”) before killing the family while Skinner slept?

See 5 above. He’s not faceless or nameless. We have his DNA profile! He’s not “conveniently dead”, just dead. In 1996/97 my investigator of that time confronted Twila’s uncle and told him he believed he was guilty. Bob Donnell had a confirmed incestuous relationship with Twila and probably killed her because of it. According to the state’s own witnesses Donnell had the means, motive, opportunity and animus to have committed the murders. The criminalist who viewed the jacket said it had medium velocity impact blood spatter on the cuffs and forearms of the sleeves meaning it was likely worn by the assailant. Only Twila had injuries which would cause impact spatter.

7/ In order for Skinner not to have been the killer, one has to ignore or dismiss an extraordinary set of events. Skinner would also have to be taken at his word on many of the events of New Year’s Eve, 1993.

This preface is a total lie. You don’t have to ignore or dismiss anything – this is truly “hype”. You don’t have to take my word for anything. That’s why the evidence and affidavits of scientific experts and forensic tests are so extensively presented on my website – like I say, it all speaks for itself but, you have to take time to read and review it, which this person obviously did not.

8/ Here are some of the things one would have to believe

Not true. See 9 and 12 below.

9/ some anonymous person spiked Skinner’s drink, before the murders, for whatever reason

No, they probably did not. I will not knowingly take codeine because it makes me sick. I’d not had any R’s for codeine. All my friends who’d been to our house that afternoon and evening knew I was allergic to codeine and that I avoided it studiously. I used to think someone must have poisoned me because I wouldn’t take codeine voluntarily.

A few years ago I learned that truth from a toxicologist who testified in another guy’s case, here. He says that once you reach a certain level of intoxication you go colorblind. Twila was always putting pills in her drink and sipping that one drink all evening. I later learned her girlfriend (G.S.) had given her 13 Fiorinal #4 codeine that she’d put in her drink. Twila and I had identical glasses but hers was Fuschia pink, mine was baby medium blue. I vaguely remember seeing the dregs of pills in the bottom of my cup and getting sick, passing out. I couldn’t figure out how it got into my cup. So I thought someone must have poisoned me. I think now I was just too messed up and colorblind to tell our cups apart anymore, I accidentally got Twila’s cup and drank from it, thinking it was my cup.

10/ A comatose Skinner “slept” through the murder (and possibly rape) of his beloved girlfriend, and the stabbing of her kids

I was comatose. I didn’t “sleep” through anything, I was out cold. Howard Mitchell, one of the two of the State’s star witnesses, testified that he came over to pick us up, I was out of it, he grabbed my arm and jerked on it until he pulled my torso off the couch but he got no response from me at all, even while screaming and hollering in my face “Come on Hank, Let’s go! Get up! Come on!” See the legal documents section, DNA issue paragraph, exhibit Q to my letter to Lynn Switzer on my website - Interview of Howard Mitchell by D.A.’s investigator.
My recitation of the facts and what I believe happened and why are presented just so I can tell the facts and how I believe they fit together, to give you the whole picture in a coherent fashion. But each item has a link to the evidence that backs it up, so you don’t need to take my word for anything. Review the evidence and let it speak to you of its own volition.

11/ Skinner could only to be roused by the girlfriend’s stabbed and mortally-wounded mentally-impaired son

“Skinner could only to be roused by”? That sentence makes no sense. “could only to be”? Well, Scooter got me off the couch over two and a half hours after Howard tried to and failed, he did so by sprinkling water in my face. He was mortally wounded. He helped me up to get dressed, we left the house together after checking on Randy and (Scooter) finding he was dead. Scooter and Randy were not “mentally impaired”, “mentally challenged” or “retarded”. Twila’s mother, Beverly, was a nursing home manager/administrator. She was a master at milking the federal system for $ to care for her wards at the old folks home. She employed the same tactics for Scooter and Randy. They were getting social security disability checks every month. Scooter was listed as mentally retarded and suffering muscular dystrophy; Randy as mentally retarded. Mann discovered this subterfuge of Beverly’s and decided to employ it for his own purposes. I was 5’9”, 145 lbs at the time. Scooter was 6’6”, 245 lbs. Randy was 6’1”, 180 lbs. There was no way any jury was going to believe I overpowered and killed Scooter and his mother in my condition at the time of the murders. So Mann turned them into “poor little retarded boys” and tried to get the Medical Examiner at autopsy to diminish their heights and weights. I don’t know how Randy was stabbed in his bed, either. I only know that’s supposedly where he was found according to the pigs. But the M.E. says both Randy and his mother’s bodies were moved prior to her in situ inspection.

12/ After this rousing, he managed to stumble around through the crime scene in a “stuporous” state, getting his handprint all over everything, and all the victim’s blood all over him

That’s not true. First, the person who wrote this garbage tries to paint in overly broad strokes and weakly implies some inculpatory evidence results from it. For example: “getting his handprints all over everything”. My handprints were never detected or identified as being “all over everything”, but I’m sure my prints were all over items in the house because (DUH) I lived there. Most importantly though, my fingerprints are not on any of the three murder weapons and it is not my print on a black plastic trash bag that contained one of the murder weapons. I am not linked forensically to the murders at all. More importantly still, I did not have “all the victims’ blood all over me”. Two stains were tested on my clothes and determined to be only contact stains. As the State’s own experts at trial explained, those stains proved only that I either came into contact with a victim at a time after they became bloody or, I came into contact with a surface upon which one of the victims deposited blood; again at a time after they became bloody. So you see, that evidence does not prove me guilty of anything at all but is totally consistent with my defense that I fell at the scene after getting off the couch, after the murders occurred, when leaving the house. Only Scooter and Twila’s DNA was on my shirt and pants, two spots. Randy’s blood/DNA was not on me at all. So again “all the victims’ blood all over him” is a blatant lie.

13/ Skinner’s website ( spends page after page pushing out the testimony of a toxicologist who claimed that, because of the level of codeine and alcohol in Skinner’s system, Skinner would have been unable to commit the murders

I spend “page after page pushing out the testimony of a toxicologist” blah-blah-blah. Well, if this hater had read that “push-out”, he/she would know that toxicologist is a 27-year experienced FBI agent whose testimony was unrefuted and that the State’s own expert confirmed as correct his testimony, blood alcohol and blood codeine timeline profiles and his retrograde analysis as to how much alcohol/codeine was in my system and when I took it.

14/ But there is a big question: when did Skinner really take (or ingest) the drugs? 15/ A toxicology study can tell, given the level of drugs/alcohol in one’s blood at the time the study is performed, what the intoxication levels were between the time the drugs were taken and the time of the testing 16/ A toxicology study cannot tell when one actually ingested a substance. So we have to rely on Skinner to tell us when he ingested the codeine

That is a lie. No, again you do not have to rely on my word about when I took the codeine. This hater here just totally overlooks the evidence. The toxicologist, Dr Lowry, allows the State’s witnesses to tell him when I ingested the codeine and the evidence proves it unequivocally. Twila and I called Howard to come get us at 9:15 – 9:30pm and I was drunk but coherent. Howard got there 45 minutes later at 10:15pm and I would out cold, comatose, unrousable by any external stimuli. Dr Lowary knew alcohol alone would not have put me under that deep because he knew what my B.A.C. was at that time. Andrea testified that I did not consume any pills or drink, any alcohol while I was at her home. Once again, the State’s experts totally agreed with these findings so it’s not a matter in any dispute at all, despite what this hater would attempt to lead you to believe, otherwise. So, there is no question or dispute that I ingested the codeine before 10:00pm but after 9:15pm, before the murders, not after them.

Also there is no question of tolerance to codeine. First of all, I never took codeine, my Rx records clearly show I never had any Rx for it; so I could not have been tolerant of it. Secondly my condition at the time of the murders is described by the State’s two star witnesses, Andrea Reed and Howard Mitchell. See (legal documents section, DNA issue paragraph) exhibits Q & R. Andrea’s recantation testimony is also available from the federal evidentiary hearing on my website. I’d urge you to read it in its entirety and especially view John Mann’s diatribe against her telling the truth at a previous grand jury proceeding where he openly threatens her and then later urges the court reporter not to record it – but he did, anyway.

17/ AHH, THE CODEINE – Skinner’s website says (in the 2nd paragraph) “Skinner was also subjected to a near lethal dose of codeine and passed out some time before 10:15pm…” The website goes on to drive home the point home about how “severely allergic” Skinner is to codeine.

View the blood codeine profile-timeline graphic display that was presented at trial. There is no question that I was subjected to a near lethal dose of codeine between .8 mg per liter and 1.35 mg per liter. View the affidavit of Dr Harold Kalant on my website. Dr Kalant is probably the world’s foremost recognized expert on this issue.

18/ See, if Skinner knowingly taken codeine that his allergy to which (again according to the website) had been documented in “his medical reports since the age of 19”, and made Skinner “deathly ill” one might tend to ask why he took it, right?

I accidentally ingested it. I wouldn’t have voluntarily or knowingly have taken the codeine. There is a range of intolerance to codeine. The lightest is, it makes you itch. Most people have that reaction to it. The worst if anaphylactic shock, which is a histamine reaction that can easily be very deadly. My level of intolerance is one step down from anaphylactic shock, termed moderately severe: extreme lethargy, vertigo, nausea and vomiting, colorblindness – every thing turns kodachrome shades of red and green tinted with black, difficulty breathing – my lungs feel like they’re full of cotton and my throat feels constricted; impaired balance and gait. When you add that on top of the vodka and Xanax I’d knowingly consumed that night, it is not easy to see why I’d be comatose and utterly incapable of committing these murders?

19/ So in order for Skinner’s story to work, somebody else would have had to have poisoned Skinner.

It’s not “Skinner’s story”. The evidence speaks for itself. No, somebody else probably had nothing to do with my being poisoned by codeine. See 9 above.

20/ So Skinner’s website says “… it is believed that (Skinner) was either accidentally or intentionally poisoned by the addition of the pills to his drinks (…) Hank was comatose during the commission of the murders…”

See 9 above.

21/ So when did Skinner ingest the codeine and who spiked his drink?

See 16 above.

22/ If Skinner (as his website claims) was already “passed out” from the codeine at 10:15 (when Twila Busy left with a close friend to go to the party), does this mean the faceless/nameless alleged murderer had already been in the house before 10:15 spiking drinks in preparation for the stabbings and beating that were to come?

See 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15 and 16 above.

23/ Skinner, who apparently couldn’t stand for a photo at the police station, didn’t seem to have much trouble standing up and hiding from the police in his ex-girlfriend’s closet at the time of his arrest (a detail that curiously isn’t mentioned on Skinner’s website)

See Sheriff Stubblefield’s deposition in the federal proceedings available on my website. He admits I was not “hiding in the closet”. That detail curiously, certainly is mentioned on my website in more than one place. When the police showed up at Andrea’s, she put me in the front bedroom which had a bare mattress on the floor and it was dark. She told me to stay there until the police left. The closet was shallow and full of clothes. It had no doors. When the police stormed into the room with guns drawn and flipped on the light, I stumbled backwards off the edge of the mattress and fell back against the clothes in the closet. My knee joints hyperflexed and locked. My butt was jammed against the clothes, my feet jammed against the edge of the mattress. I couldn’t get up. But I was at all times in plain sight and not attempting to “hide” at all. I just didn’t want to be shot. They kept screaming “Get down! Get on the ground!” but I couldn’t move. So the D.A.’s investigator stepped forward, I held out my hands and he pulled me forward onto the mattress.

24/ Was Skinner selectively comatose: comatose during the murders, then lucid at his ex’s house, but comatose again at the police station? A little bit of an inconvenient question for Skinner isn’t it?

Covered above and in Andrea Reed’s recantation testimony, not worthy of any reply.

25/ Perhaps it’s more likely that Skinner heard the police coming through the front door of his ex’s house, so he hid in the closet, pulled a handful of codeine pills out of the pocket of his blood-soaked clothes, and popped them in his mouth in an attempt to commit suicide.

Covered above. I didn’t have “blood soaked clothes”. The spots on my clothes are covered above in 12. It truly amazes me, the liberties people take in telling their little false stories about this case, even some elements in the media embellish the blood and gore in order to try to make me look guilty. “Blood caked on his clothes. The killer…”: Allan Turner of the Houston Chronicle. “Blood drenched clothes”, “blood soaked clothes”, “he was covered in the blood of the victims”, “He had their blood all over him”. None of that is true. What makes people lie like that? It’s true, I had some blood on my clothes, mostly contact stains from falling at the scene, some dripped blood from my hand wound. My clothes were hanging on the furniture during the commission of the murders and I’m sure that being right next to where Twila was murdered, they got blood spatter on them somewhere. This produces one other thought, a question I’ve always wanted to ask people. If you were in my condition on the night in question and trying to get dressed and get out of there with Scooter, would you be even thinking about getting blood on you? I could’ve cared less. I was pretty much hysterical, in shock, scared to death and too intoxicated to think anything like that. I don’t remember much of what we did, just bits and flashes, but I think Scooter was frantic to go and I went with him. That seemed to be his main theme “We gotta go. We gotta get the hell outa here”. So we did. It never once entered my mind that I can think of “oh, don’t touch that. Don’t get that on you, they’ll blame you”. One last thing on this issue, I’ve never denied being there. I had every right to be there, it was my home. Under Texas law, mere presence doesn’t prove guilt.

26/ The fact is: there is no evidence (except Skinner’s word) that he was passed out from codeine at 10:15. The only thing anybody knows is that Skinner didn’t take codeine between the time he was arrested and the time he was tested.

That is a blatant lie. Once again, you don’t have to take my word – take the word of the State’s second star witness Howard Mitchell! See Exhibit Q to my letter to Switzer on my website. At 10:15pm I was out cold, he says. He testified to that at trial. It’s irrefuted and undisputed!

27/ AAH, THE BLOOD-SOAKED CLOTHES. Here is another detail that, curiously enough, seems to have escaped on Skinner’s website.

Nothing has escaped mention. See Exhibit F to my letter to Switzer on my website.

28/ Skinner, according to police reports, was found standing in a closet at his ex-girlfriend’s house wearing clothes soaked in the victims’ blood some 3 hours later.

More lies. See 25 above.

29/ Let’s add a quote from Skinner’s website: “Three hours after their initial search of the crime scene, the police traced Hank to his neighbor’s house and immediately arrested him”. What?

Police didn’t “trace” me anywhere. They went to Andrea’s looking for Connie, my ex-wife. They found me instead.

30/ The “inseparable” and distraught Hank Skinner certainly called the police to report the murders, didn’t he?

The phone cord was jerked out of the wall. Nobody could call from our house. Scooter tried.

31/ Neither Skinner nor his ex-girlfriend, were apparently distraught enough to call the police. Skinner was, however, lucid enough to hide from them, in a closed, in blood-soaked clothes when the police came along.

Andrea wasn’t any longer my ex. We hadn’t been together in over 10 years at that time. We were friends but we weren’t associating at that time because she quit drinking and I had not. See 25 above.

32/ AAH, “INSEPARABLE” Skinner frequently refers to Twila Busby, and himself, as inseparable. They were, according to Skinner, madly in love. They were always together.

That’s true.

33/ However court testimony painted a different picture. Skinner was abusive and violent, not only to Twila Busby, but to her sons as well.

Court testimony painted no such picture at all. Twila and I never fussed or argued. See John Mann, D.A.’s memo 01.10.94 Bates stamped pages #94, 95 & 96 out of the D.A.’s file. Beverly, Twila’s mother, stated that I was very good to Twila, Scooter, Randy and Lisa. She’d never seen Twila happier than when she was with me. Twila’s mother had direct contact with her every day and talked to her every night before bed.

34/ But they weren’t the only targets of Skinner’s wrath. Skinner has even more violence in history. To quote Skinner, again, from his website: “I have one probation for aggravated assault on a police officer.”

Danny Lance beat the shit out of me at the city jail. Danny was Pampa P.D. In order to try to cover up his beating me, he alleged an injury and instead claimed I assaulted him. Detective Alan Smith however told the truth in his statement: I heard Skinner cry out. I turned to see Skinner flying backwards into the drunk tank with Officer Lance going in and on top of Skinner. Later Officer Lance said Skinner kicked him but I did not see any assault.”

On 01.05.94 in a recorded statement, the sheriff acknowledged that Harold Comer, then D.A., was supposed to terminate my probation but failed to do so. Thus rather than it showing as unadjudicated offense it shows as a felony conviction. I was arrested in the summer of 1992 for an outstanding revocation warrant on this non-existent probation, I was immediately released but the improper conviction was never remedied.

35/ More accurate: Skinner had a 1998 felony conviction for aggravated assault on the cop for which he initially received probation. Skinner’s probation was revoked and he was sent to prison after two subsequent felony convictions for motor vehicle (UUMV).

See 34. More lies.

36/ According to the Texas Attorney General, “Skinner was also arrested in Gun Barrel City on two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and became violent and abusive with arresting officers.”

People can allege anything. How odd that the “charges” were never formally filed and I was released after the alleged witnesses were found to be lying.

37/ But according to Skinner’s website, it’s all a big conspiracy. Everything was against him. The police, the district attorney, the judge, the Texas Attorney General, all the people at the crime labs – even Skinner’s own court-appointed attorney who Skinner (according to his website) embarrassed on multiple occasion in Skinner’s role as an “able paralegal worth a proven track record for caring and standing up for the rights of the people he barely even knew.”


38/ But, hey, we’re getting off on a bit of tangent here. The real murderer. So who does Skinner claim was the faceless/nameless family murderer?

See 5 and 6 above.

39/ Twila Busby’s dead uncle. Quoting Skinner’s website: “Robert Donnell, Twila’s maternal uncle, had a history of violence and was seen stalking Twila at a neighbor’s New Year’s Eve party on the night of the crime. Donnell had twice raped Twila in recent past and was known to have a propensity for knives.”

True. There’s far more.

40/ Skinner’s website suggests that not only did Uncle Robert stab the kids and bludgeon Twila Busby to death, he raped her, too.

The medical examiner’s testimony supports that she was raped too, yes. Her vaginal rim was reddened and chafed indicating recent sexual activity and she had possible semen in her panties.

41/ All of this happened, of course, when Skinner lay “comatose” on the sofa after consuming the drink that Uncle Robert must have spiked hours earlier.

See 10, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18 above.

42/ It should be noted that Robert Donnell had no convictions, nor had he ever been arrested, for violence, illegal weapons or sexual assaults – ever.

Rober Donnell had a long history of violence and that was testified to extensively by a long line of witnesses at both trial and the federal evidentiary hearing. Donnell attempted to kill Jimmy Hayes with a knife, he strangled California Rim while pregnant. He bragged to anyone who’ listen about how he killed a guy at pool hall in Oklahoma in a knife fight. He carried guns, knives and other “illegal weapons” everywhere he went. He tried to kill Doug Ward, Twila’s brother, Bob’s own nephew. He tried to rape Sherry Barnett-Baker and she testified at trial about it. See, again, Howard Mitchell’s interview with D.A. investigator Bill McMinn 09.24.94 (Exhibit Q of my letter Switzer on my website and investigator’s Cliff Carpenter affidavit about Donnell).

43/ But hey, even so, things could have unfolded exactly the way Skinner said they did in his 17-page diatribe: Skinner was simply a loving boyfriend, a talented paralegal, who stuck it to The Man and stood up for the rights of the wronged, and who happened to be a victim, himself, in the wrong place at the wrong time in the wrong condition.

A slew of reputable people have testified to my character, legal ability and activism on behalf of others and, in the community in general. A lot of it was covered in the newspapers. I don’t need to toot my own horn.

44/ Because believing that Hank Skinner was a sociopathic ex-con with a documented history of felonies and violence toward others, and who killed a mother of 2 children then hid from the police in a neighbor’s closet wearing clothes soaked with his victims’ blood would really be a stretch!

Bullshit! It certainly would be a helluva stretch, because the uncontested record evidence says otherwise. Truth will out.
The truth hurts, don’t it? I sure wish these people had the balls to identify themselves. Go back to your little drawing board and try to dream some new lies. I’ll be waiting to further introduce you to truth and reality.

Best regards,


This rebuttal can be found at: