Mardis confession ends decade-old missing person case - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Mardis confession ends decade-old missing person case

(WMC-TV) - A convicted murderer confessed to killing a Baltimore doctor Tuesday during a sentencing hearing on a federal hate crime conviction.

Prosecutors said Dale Mardis, who was in court on federal hate crime charges for killing Memphis Code Enforcement employee Mickey Wright, confessed to also killing Henry Ackerman, a Baltimore doctor, in 1998.

Ackerman earned his doctorate from the University of Memphis in 1992, and was listed by the Tennessee Board of Examiners of Psychology as a psychological examiner.

He failed to re-new his state license in 1996.

While in Memphis, Ackerman lived on Hillshire Drive in a house built on what is now an empty lot.  The house was sold in 1995. According to neighbors, it burned down eight years ago in a fire that claimed the life of the owner.

Ackerman's wife, Velma, died of Leukemia at age 38 on July 23, 1994. Soon after, he left Memphis and moved to Baltimore.

He does not have any children.

In 1998, Ackerman's sister reported him missing in Baltimore County, and the case went unsolved until Tuesday.

During a federal sentencing hearing, prosecutors said Dale Mardis had admitted to killing Ackerman at his Lamar Avenue shop in 1998, taking his body to a Mississippi field, and burning it.

"Justice delayed is not justice denied,"  U.S. Attorney Edward Stanton said.

Mardis told prosecutors he killed Ackerman with a hammer over an old debt when Ackerman returned to Memphis to purchase a truck.

Prosecutors said Ackerman's sister now lives in New Jersey. The new murder will go through state court, where investigators must build a case on a murder that has already been solved.

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