Monday, June 17, 2013

Andrew Pixley: Takes Longer to Kill Evil

On an August night in 1964 Andrew Armandoz Benavidez, aka Andrew Pixley, brutally killed two young girls in a hotel in Jackson, Wyoming. His crime is considered the worst ever committed in the state. 

He was the youngest prisoner, 22 years old to be executed in the Wyoming gas chamber. 

It takes the average condemned prisoner three minutes to die after the pellets hit the acid; Pixley lived twice as long, it took him six minutes to die. 

The Wyoming Frontier Prison or Wyoming State Penitentiary is considered to be very haunted. Pixley’s ghost is just one spirit that haunts this former prison. Tragically, it appears his two young victims also haunt the building.

Pixley born in Las Cruces, NM was a misfit. He dropped out of high school and never held a job. He served two years in the U.S. Army after a warrant for his arrest for passing bad checks was issued. 

After his short stint in the army, he mostly worked as an itinerate dishwasher in the Pacific Northwest. Just two weeks before the murders he was arrested for possession of a stolen car--he was cleared of these charges.

Judge Robert McAuliffe’s family from Illinois were vacationing in Jackson on the night of August 5/6, when he and his wife Betty left their daughters in their second-floor motel room to watch a show put on by the resort. 

Pixley broke into the hotel by climbing a stack of firewood in the back and breaking a screen out of a window. When the couple returned they found Pixley lying in a drunken daze on the floor. Mr. McAuliffe grabbed and pinned him down. His wife found two of their three daughters dead in their beds.

The girls Debbie 12 and Cindy 8, had been sexually assaulted. Debbie was bludgeoned with a rock, and Cindy was beaten and had been strangled. Their youngest child Susan 6 was unharmed but she witnessed the assault of her two sisters. 

Some sources also state that Pixley cannibalized the two young girls as well. 

When arrested he told police despite being covered in blood, “ I didn’t do it.” An angry mob outside the motel called for him to be lynched, so he was taken to Wyoming State Penitentiary in Rawlings, Wyoming where he could be held securely.  
Up to his execution, he claimed that he didn’t remember anything.

At his trial, Dr. William Karn Jr. who had examined Pixley stated he was sane but an “incurable sociopath”. 

When he mentioned “that it meant a lot more to Pixley to kill the girls while they were awake” Robert McAuliffe flew at Pixley at which point he was restrained. 

Pixley laughed after the judge announced he was to be executed on December 10, 1965. This judge did not allow an appeal to be filed to commute his sentence to “life imprisonment”. 

The McAuliffe’s divorced, and the father remarried and had a son. Both parents have passed. Susan their youngest child is married and has five children.

The Wyoming Frontier Prison closed down in 1981. Today it is run as a museum. 

Many paranormal investigations have been conducted in this former prison. Before Pixley was executed he was considered a very violent prisoner. Today many have picked up his very "angry energy". 

One lit candle that sits under his photo in his former cell never flickers but when tour guides mention him the ones around it do. Some wonder if his ghost is trapped in his former cell. EVP's have been recorded in this cell and in and around the gas chamber.

One female sensitive, who joined an investigation sat on the gas chamber chair. She asked the spirits she sensed if they knew how they died. She didn’t hear a response, but later in a recording, she was disturbed to hear the voice of a young female child wail and reply to her question, “no”. 

Other witnesses have heard the sounds of young girls crying coming from this gas chamber. 

Another spirit that is seen is that of a ghost cat. This black cat was executed in the gas chamber as a “test run” to make sure the chamber had no leaks before Pixley’s sentence was carried out.

The following video has interviews with several people who work at the museum who have encountered both the cat and Pixley’s ghosts.

No comments: