Austin, Texas, known for its vibrant nightlife is facing a grim narrative that's stirring unease among its residents after 10 bodies have been discovered at a nearby lake, sparking rumors of a potential serial killer.


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The latest chilling find—a woman in 20 feet of water near Rainey Street—has only intensified these concerns. Despite the growing body count, the Austin Police Department remains skeptical of the serial killer theory, insisting there's no linking evidence between the victims. 


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Assistant Chief Jeff Greenwalt's dismissal of the serial killer allegations, as reported by KXAN in April 2023, hasn't quelled the whispers of the "Rainey Street Ripper" circulating in true crime circles.

Lady Bird Lake, a six-mile stretch through Austin's heart, constructed in 1960 and reaching depths of 18 feet, is a hub for recreation but not without its perils. With swimming banned due to past drownings and strong currents from the connecting Colorado River, the lake's dangers are well-known. The past 20 months have seen a disturbing pattern: ten bodies were retrieved from its depths, with two confirmed as accidental drownings by the Travis County Medical Examiner.

Among the deceased, the stories vary—from tragic accidents to sinister homicides, like Josue Moreno's death, which culminated in a dramatic arrest. Yet, with cases like Clifton Axtell's, where death's cause remains a mystery, speculation about a serial predator continues to thrive.


The Austin Police Department's advice in light of these tragedies focuses on safety, particularly highlighting the risks of alcohol near the lake's accessible yet perilous points. Their statement underscores the importance of adhering to park hours to prevent further tragedies.

As Austin grapples with these unsettling events, the city's image as a safe, lively metropolis faces challenges. The community's vigilance is heightened, and the mystery of Lady Bird Lake remains unsolved, leaving a haunting question: Are these deaths mere coincidence, or is there a predator in the midst casting a shadow over Austin's bright lights?

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