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Jeffery Allen BARNEY





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Rape
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: November 24, 1981
Date of birth: March 1, 1958
Victim profile: Ruby Mae Longsworth (female, 52)
Method of murder: Strangulation with a microphone cord
Location: Harris County, Texas, USA
Status: Executed by lethal injection in Texas on April 16, 1986


Jeffery Allen Barney

One day in November of 1981, an innocent woman’s life came to a sudden end as a result of what was believed to have been a simple argument. Jeffrey Allen Barney, a 28-year old Ohio native, was to blame.

Barney, who had an extensive juvenile record, had been release from jail for auto theft shortly before the murder. Pasadena minister, John Longsworth, befriended Barney when he was released and helped him find a job.

On Nov. 24, 1981, while visiting the Longworth’s home, Barney and Ruby Mae Longsworth, the minister’s wife, got into an argument that led to her death. Barney was convicted of repeatedly raping her before strangling her with a microphone cord.

While in Harris County Prison, Barney was befriended by Freddie Weir, the prison chaplain. Barney asked him to be his spiritual advisor. Weir would be the only outside person to have any interaction with Barney before he was put to death.

During the trial, prosecuting attorney Donald Smyth described Barney as “a nice enough guy,” saying that he would occasionally joke around with them. Smyth also called him “a real talented artist.” He would sit at his table during the trial and draw very menacing pictures, consisting of grim reapers and graveyards. One of the headstones even had Smyth’s name on it.

When the attorneys finished with their closing arguments and the jury left to deliberate, the trial took a turn for the worse. One of Barney’s fellow inmates tipped off prison officials that Barney had smuggled in two prison made knifes, one similar to an ice pick and the other, a razor blade melted into a Bic pen handle, into the trial. Apparently, he was planning to stab the guard, slit his throat and make an escape when everyone had left the courtroom. Thanks to the inmate, his plot was foiled.

Smyth used Barney’s confession and other physical evidence to get him convicted. The microphone and cord that was still wrapped around the victim’s neck when she was discovered had his fingerprints on it. The prosecution was also able to prove that the victim was still alive when she was sexually assaulted, which allowed the case to be tried as capital murder while committing sexual assault.

After being found guilty, Barney received his one mandatory appeal and demanded that no more appeals be filed, against the advice of his attorney, Mary Moore.

Wier said that during the course of their meetings, Barney had accepted responsibility for his actions and has accepted the Lord and asked Him for forgiveness. He is quoted by the Houston Post as saying, “I mean, if someone had done that to my mother, there never would have been enough punishment.”

On April 16, 1984, Barney was led into the death chamber at about midnight and strapped to the gurney. He then said his last words and closed his eyes. He was administered the lethal injection and at 12:22, was pronounced dead.



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