January 29, 2015
Robert Charles Ladd was executed sometime after 6 pm CST on Thursday, January 29, 2015, at the Walls Unit of the Huntsville State Penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas. Robert was 57 years of age. He was executed for the murder of 38-year-old Vickie Ann Gardner on September 25, 1996, in Tyler, Texas. Robert has spent the last 17 years on Texas’ death row.
As a child, Robert was abused. He spent time in foster homes while his parents were imprisoned for criminal neglect. He was also abused while in foster homes. Although Robert did not graduate from high school, he did earn his GED.
The body of Vickie Ann Gardner was discovered by firefighters on September 25, 1996, after they responded to a fire at her apartment. Vickie was lying on the floor with her wrists bound. Vickie had been severely burned and suffered head injuries. The cause of death was determined to be strangulation. DNA testing revealed that she had been raped before her death. Vickie’s apartment had also been robbed of several electronic devices and jewelry.
Robert Ladd was linked to the crime by Johnny Robertson, to whom Ladd had sold several of the items stolen from Vickie’s apartment. Additionally, Ladd was forensically linked to the crime scene. Ladd had met Vickie at a rehabilitation center where they both worked.
Ladd had previously been arrested and served timed for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. In 1980, Ladd was arrested for the murder of Vivian Thompson and her two infant children, Latoya and Maurice, which was nearly identical to the murder of Vickie. Ladd spent 12 years in prison for the murder of Vivian and her two children. He was released on parole in 1992.
Please pray for peace and healing for the families of Vickie and Vivian. Please pray for strength for the family of Robert Ladd.