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Suspect identified in murder of George H.W. Bush’s former doctor

Fox News

Houston Police announced Wednesday they had identified a suspect in the murder of a prominent cardiologist who once treated former President George H.W. Bush.

Police Chief Art Acevedo told reporters that an arrest warrant had been issued for 65-year-old Joseph James Pappas, who investigators believe shot and killed Dr. Mark Hausknecht as he rode his bicycle to work on the morning of July 20.  

A photo of Joseph James Pappas, the suspect in the killing of cardiologist Dr. Mark Hausknecht.

“We need to find this guy,” Acevedo said of Pappas, who he described as armed, dangerous and possibly suicidal. “If he’s committed suicide, we need the body. If he’s alive, we need to find him.”

Investigators believe that Pappas held a grudge against Hausknecht after his mother died while the doctor was operating on her more than two decades earlier. Acevedo said that officers had searched Pappas’ home early Wednesday and obtained additional evidence tying him to the murder.

“We believe that this absolutely is the killer,” Acevedo said.

Acevedo said Pappas hadn’t been seen in 36 to 48 hours. He said the last anyone had heard from Pappas was in a Tuesday morning text message in which Pappas wrote that he was going to kill himself.

Acevedo said the department received tips identifying Pappas as the gunman after authorities released new surveillance video Monday of the suspect riding his own bicycle through a neighborhood moments after the shooting. The footage showed a man wearing a ball cap, a short-sleeved polo shirt and khaki shorts.

Investigators said the shooter passed Hausknecht from behind and rode at least a block ahead before turning around and firing three shots at his victim.

“There was a lot of planning that went into this,” Acevedo said of the murder. “There was a lot of planning and, sadly, some skill … The shots that he took, took some skill.”

The chief told people living in the area to be on the lookout for a Schwinn ten-speed bicycle that he said Pappas rode “extensively and almost exclusively.”

In 2000, Hausknecht treated Bush for an irregular heartbeat after the 41st president complained about lightheadedness. After Hausknecht’s death, Bush called him “a fantastic cardiologist and a good man.”

Click for more from Fox26Houston.com.


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9 Responses to Suspect identified in murder of George H.W. Bush’s former doctor

  1. Volthair says:

    I wonder if this guy has some form of dyslexia.

  2. Martist says:

    Suspect was described as early 30’s in composite sketch, man wanted is 65…

    Sounds like Oklahoma city. 2 suspects become 1.

  3. Charles Walker says:

    dr. killed his mama.

  4. CaptainObvious says:


  5. Ed Teach says:

    I seen the videos.
    I find it hard to believe anyone made this guy from the video or as someone passing on a bike.

  6. Bluwater says:

    “…if he’s committed suicide…”

    With a little ‘help’? 2 shots to the back of the head? While handcuffed?

    Dead Men Tell No Tales…right, JR?

  7. Angel-NYC says:

    “Man suspected in doctor killing left ‘Last Will and Testament,’ boxes of ammunition in Westbury home”

    “Suspect in Houston doctor’s killing commits suicide as police confront him, chief says”

    “HPD: Suspect in doctor’s murder committed suicide in southwest Houston”

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