Family member, neighbor of doctor's accused killer speak about bizarre twist

HOUSTON – There are still many questions as to who Joseph Pappas was and what triggered him to kill a prominent doctor 20 years later.

He was not married, didn’t have any kids and was not close with extended family.

A family member of Pappas spoke with KPRC Channel 2 News over the phone. They asked to remain anonymous but said the last time they spoke with Pappas was 20 years ago, after his mother died.

The family member said they had a falling out with him after his mother died. They said Pappas told them they couldn’t attend her funeral or else they would be escorted out by police.

“I was shocked,” said the family member about what Pappas was accused of doing.

They said the relationship with Pappas was so estranged, they didn’t even know he was an officer at one point.

His relative said Pappas even had a falling out with his sister after their mother passed away because he wouldn’t allow her to collect keepsakes from their parents' house.

“I’m sure there’s a lot of relief for the entire city that it’s over,” said the family member after the news broke that Pappas had killed himself. “It’s very unfortunate he had to take someone’s life before he took his own.”

Neighbor reacts to Pappas news

Last week, Colman Ryan made signs of the sketch composite of the suspected killer and walked around the medical center asking panhandlers if they saw the man accused of killing Dr. Hausknecht. Fast forward a week, and the man he was looking for had been his neighbor.

"But it just blows me away someone can be like that and maintain a house like this and maintain the quintessential friendly neighbor that looks out for all of his other neighbors, yet he puts all this effort into this well-planned execution of this doctor,” said Ryan.

He said he’s known Pappas for about 10 years. Ryan said he would see his neighbor walk past his house. He said a year ago, Pappas was worried someone was trying to track him for information as a commercial real estate agent. Ryan said he’s a private investigator and helped him out.

Looking back, Ryan said he is shocked by what’s unfolded over the past two weeks.

“I never would have believed he had the capacity to do that,” said Ryan. “From what I knew of him, he was very polite, nice guy. Like I said, in hindsight, I never saw him smile. I realized that today, He always seemed very serious though. Like I said, he never smiled. Friendly and polite, but never smiled.”