The Texas Killing Fields Story- Unsolved Ritualistic Murders

A detailed article documenting the Texas Killing Fields, a chilling chapter in Texas history.. A field surrounding Interstate Highway 45 in League City, Texas, connected to more than 30 brutal killings. All of which were mainly young women.

The Texas Killing Fields Story- Unsolved Ritualistic Murders

*Warning: This article entails potentially upsetting content.*

The East Texas Region

The 1970s and 80s. The Lone Star State had a remarkable spike in population growth. Borders the south of it, the astonishing Galveston coastline was teeming with tourists who flocked to its island for its breathtaking beaches, vibrant counterculture, and an array of outdoor summer pursuits. The era marked a drastic rise in the oil and construction industry, a spring-up evolution leading to a ripple to build some of the nation's largest refineries. Sadly, there was a sudden and alarming rise in crime rates, along with societal and cultural changes. According to the crime report observations, in 1984, a major crime took place in Texas every thirty-three seconds, and among those, a murder every four hours and twelve minutes.

Theories suggest that media and public fascination with serial killing unintentionally boosted the narcissism of mentally unstable individuals. It is also presumed that the development of the interstate highway system allowed the geography of opportunistic killers. And the lack of communication between different jurisdictions significantly impacted the investigation of the Texas Killing Fields cases.

The Texas Killing Fields is a 25-acre lonely patch of land characterized by its swampy terrain and overgrown vegetation, and it became a notorious place that rendered a lot of tragic stories in League City, owned by Robert Abel, a former scientist and engineer for NASA. An isolated stretch located a mile from I-45, between Houston and Galveston, its secluded location has made it a chilling backdrop for over 30 slain women; a plague of unsolved murders disturbed the area and confused law enforcement officers. Even though most were named after the field, many bodies were discovered in different surrounding areas. The Texas field killings imply the vicinity surrounding the Interstate Highway 45 corridor southeast of Houston.
The period of the killings in the Texas Killing Fields ranges from the early 1970s to the year 2006. It is believed that it had been the work of more than just one serial killer.

The Victims

The 1970s

13-year-old Colette Anise Wilson - Credit: Valley Morning Star/ Archived by The

The first disappearance was of Colette Anise Wilson, a 13-year-old student attending a band camp at Dulles High School in Sugar Land. On June 17th, 1971, her band director dropped her off at Highway 6 and County Road 99. But when they arrived to pick her up, Colette was nowhere to be found.

After they could not find any sign of her, they assumed she had gotten a ride with someone else.

They contacted all her friends living nearby, but none had any information. Authorities initially labeled her a runaway. The Wilson family organized volunteers who searched the area for the next few weeks.

Alice Killough, her younger sister, remembers how agonizing that time felt. They knelt around her bed and prayed for her return, which held them together for five long months before they knew what had happened.

On November 24th, 1971, a man stumbled upon a body 35 yards near the Addicks Reservoir in west Houston, inflicted with a gunshot wound to the skull, but that was not the first incidence; a few days earlier, the man had stumbled upon the body of 19-year-old Gloria Ann Gonzales.

14-year-old Brenda Kaye Jones - Credit:

On July 1st, 1971, a 14-year-old resident of Galveston, Brenda Kaye Jones, attended holy rosary catholic school. Brenda had visited her aunt at the hospital. She took the bus back home. Dropped off at Avenue 1 and 31st Street, she was last seen by the bus driver walking toward her apartment at the terrace public housing. Unfortunately, the next day, her body was found floating in Galveston Bay near Pelican Island, with the cause of death being strangulation.

14-year-old Rhonda Johnson (left) and 14-year-old Sharon Shaw (right) - Credit: Houston Chronicle

14-year-old Rhonda Johnson and Sharon Shaw of Webster disappeared on August 14th, 1971. The pair were reportedly hitchhiking to Galveston to visit a surf shop. They spent the day on a beach. Eyewitnesses reported last seeing the girls walking on Seawall Boulevard.

On January 3rd, 1972, two young boys fishing in Clear Lake made a chilling discovery as they stumbled upon a human skull.

Six weeks later, a search team discovered the rest of the body, along with another, in a Marsh near the lake. The grim reality began to unfold as dental records confirmed the skull belonged to Sharon. A crucifix, found entwined around the jawbone, was recognized by Sharon's mother as her daughter's.

In a heartbreaking revelation, the other body found in the marsh was identified to be Rhonda.

In the same area in early September of the same year, the headless body of a teen male was also found.

16-year-old Adele Margaret Crabtree - Credit: Daily News NY- Jan 28, 1973

Presumably, a runaway, 16-year-old Adele Margaret Crabtree, a cocktail waitress and service station attendant from Cincinnati, Ohio, and living in a hippie commune in Houston, disappeared after hitchhiking a ride from her commune in November. Adele had been shot twice by the perpetrator using a shotgun. Very little is known about her case.

19-year-old Gloria Ann Gonzales - Credit: Houston Chronicle

19-year-old Gloria Ann Gonzales was a bookkeeper who lived on Jacquelyn Street in Houston. Gloria was last seen on October 28th, 1971, near her home. After being reported missing, she was discovered three weeks after, near Addick's Reservoir in west Houston, within 35 yards from where the body of Colette Wilson was located months earlier, with the cause of death being a blunt trauma to her head.

21-year-old Linda Faye Sutherlin - Credit:

21-year-old Linda Faye Sutherlin of Brazoria, a bartender, was a keypunch operator and former bartender. She was last seen on November 4th, 1971, at Telephone Road after leaving a bar.

Linda's body was discovered on November 7th, 1971, in a Pearland ditch near a ravine bridge crossing County Road 89. Her body was riddled with buckshot. She had also been beaten and strangled.

Authorities had initially suspected a boyfriend with a history of aggression. However, they identified the culprits as Harry Andrew Lanham, a 24-year-old with a criminal record, and his associate, Anthony Knoppa, a 24-year-old ex-convict.

12-year-old Alison Craven's picture - Credit:

12-year-old Alison Anne Craven had disappeared on November 9th, 1971. Alison's mother left their Galveston apartment to run errands and when she returned, Allison was nowhere to be found.

On January 29th, 1972, three months later, her partial remains were found in a field near her home, and the rest of her skeleton was found on February 25th, 1972, 4 miles away from Linda Faye Sutherlin's body.

15-year-old Debbie Ackerman (Left) and 15-year-old Maria Johnson (Right) - Credit:

15-year-old Debbie Ackerman and Maria Johnson have been inseparable as friends since childhood, both students at Ball High School in Galveston. They were planning to travel to Houston, Texas, and part of the plan was to hitchhike. They were seen by residents on November 15th, 1971, near an island ice cream shop, tagging down passing vehicles.

According to eyewitnesses, they entered a white van with a man. Unfortunately, that was the last time anyone ever saw Debbie and Maria alive. On November 17th, after two days of a statewide search for the missing girls. Debbie and Maria's deceased bodies were eventually discovered in Turner's Bayou, both having been bound and shot.

15-year-old Margaret/Mildred Jo AnnKnighten, a junior high school pupil of Pasadena, very little is known about the case, but when she left her parent's home on the evening of October 20th, 1972, she hadn't returned. Three days later, her partially covered body was discovered lying on the side of the road near a construction site in Pasadena. She had sustained more than 50 stab wounds.

16-year-old Kimberly Rae Pitchford - Credit:

January 3rd, 1973, 16-year-old Kimberly Rae Pitchford didn't return home after taking a driver's education class at Frank Dobie High School in Houston. She was supposed to call her parents for a ride home, but the call never happened. Law enforcement worked tirelessly on her case but to no avail. Two days later, her partially clad body appeared 30 miles away, floating in a canal in Brazoria County on Road 65, Iowa Colony, Texas.

Edward Harold Bell has claimed responsibility and says he picked her up near Gulfgate Mall in Houston.

12-year-old Brooks Bracewell and 14-year-old Georgia Caroline Geer

Dickinson, Texas, in 1974, 12-year-old Brooks Bracewell and 14-year-old Georgia Caroline Geer were best friends, their houses connected by a short trail through tall pines along Dickinson Bayou. Both girls attended MacAdams Junior High School; they walked together to the bus stop but decided against attending their classes that day.  On September 6th, 1974, Georgia and Brooks were seen at El Rancho motel. Eyewitnesses reported seeing them later Hitchiking along County Road 517.

On April 18th, 1976, a roughneck working for a Houston drilling company found two skulls and multiple bones in a drainage ditch area at a Philips Oil site. Investigators questioned suspect Henry Lee Lucas about the killing but later cleared of suspicion. Edward Harold Bell claimed he was responsible for the deaths of two high school girls.

12-year-old Suzanne "Suzie" Bowers

12-year-old Suzanne "Suzie" Bowers disappeared on May 21st, 1977, walking on her way back to her home from her grandmother's house.

Her mother drove day and night the routes she might have taken searching for her daughter, but unfortunately, to no avail.

On March 25th, 1979, Her skeletal remains were found 22 months later in a vacant field in Alta Loma.

Henry Lee Lucas confessed to her slaying in 1984.

The 1980s

15-year-old Tina Linn Clouse and 19-year-old Harold Dean Clouse Jr.

Harold Dean Clouse Jr. and Tina Linn Clouse were a couple living in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. They both met in 1978. The couple's daughter, Holly Marie, was born on January 24th, 1980. Both were described as devoted parents by those around them. In the summer of 1980, the Clouses moved with baby Holly to the suburb of Lewisville, Texas, in the Dallas metropolitan area.

The Clouses were last seen alive in Lewisville, and their families lost all contact with them in October 1980. On January 12th, 1981, their bodies were found in undeveloped and swampy woodlands north of Houston, 250 miles from their last confirmed address. Dean's death resulted due to blunt trauma, while Tina's cause of death was due to strangulation.

In a surprising development in 2022, Holly Marie, the daughter of Harold Dean Clouse Jr. and Tina Linn Clouse, was discovered alive in Oklahoma.

"Finding Holly is a birthday present from heaven since we found her on Junior's birthday. I prayed for more than 40 years for answers and the Lord has revealed some of it... we have found Holly." Said Donna Casasanta (Holly's grandmother).

14-year-old Sherri Ann Jarvis - Credit:

14-year-old Sherri Ann Jarvis of Stillwater, Minnesota, was in state custody due to truancy. It didn't take long before Sherri ran away, but she didn't return home. Instead, she ended up outside of Texas.

She was last seen at the Hitch 'n' Post truck stop alongside Interstate 45, where a waitress drew her a map providing directions to the prison farm, which she then handed to the girl. Believing she was a runaway, confused, the waitress asked her about her age. The young woman claimed to be 19 from Rockport or Aransas Pass, Texas, but after expressing doubt, she asked her whether her parents knew her whereabouts, but the girl replied, "Who cares?".

On November 1st, 1980, a truck driver observed a body in a grassy area adjacent to the side of the road while navigating I-45 just outside of Huntsville. He reported the sighting to the sheriff's department. Unfortunately, the scene indicated a vicious assault and beating. The young woman had no identification. The Harris County medical examiners assigned her as Walker County Jane Doe, with the cause of death being asphyxiation. Her identity remained a secret for more than four decades.

Searching for contacts led to deadends, but few witnesses had reportedly interacted with her, suggesting she had been asking for directions to get to the Ellis prison unit. Others reported her hitchhiking near a truck stop. However, the lack of evidence set the investigation to a halt despite efforts to determine her identity using facial reconstructions.
In 1999, the body was exhumed for DNA testing, but skeletal remains failed extraction.
In 2015, the case was officially reopened, and regardless of the challenges, Detective Thomas Bean of Walker's County Sheriff's Office determined to employ advanced DNA testing had worked tirelessly on identifying her. In 2020, despite the chances being low, Miraculously, Othram's laboratory scientists performed testing to collect enough information to build the DNA profile with a paraffin-embedded tissue suggested by Detective Bean enabling her identification. Soon after matching potential family members, the positive identification of Jane Doe as Sherri Ann Jarvis was concluded.

15-year-old Michelle Angela Garvey

15-year-old Michelle Angela Garvey from Connecticut was a teenage girl murdered in Texas shortly after running away from her home on June 1st, 1982. Her body was discovered near Dean and Tina Clouse in Baytown, Texas, a month after she went missing.

Michelle was strangled to death and believed to have been assaulted by the killer. She remained unidentified until 2014 after an amateur Internet researcher suggested a connection between the Texas unidentified decedent and Connecticut missing-person data.

20-year-old Susan Lee Eads

20-year-old Susan Lee Eads, a resident of Seabrook, Texas, vanished on August 30th, 1983, after concluding her shift at Charlie's Bar in Nassau Bay.

Her lifeless body was discovered the next day, August 31st, 1983, in a vacant lot near the crossroads of NASA Road 1 and Elam Street, as stated by DPS officials.

Her vehicle, a 1976 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, was found in the parking area of Gulf States Yachts boat store, close to the site where her body was found.

The cause of death was determined to be strangulation. For nearly 40 years, her murder remained unsolved.

In May 2020, the offender was identified in this case. After an exhaustive investigation, by the Texas Rangers, Seabrook Police Department, and the FBI, Arthur Lee Davis, 35, has been named as the killer of Susan Eads. DNA research, including scientific examinations by the Texas DPS Crime Lab, played a crucial role in closing this case.

Arthur Davis was killed in a one-vehicle traffic crash in January 1984, approximately four months after the murder.

23-year-old Heide Marie Villarreal-Fye

The disappearance of 23-year-old Heide Marie Villarreal-Fye, a cocktail waitress who worked at a local bar named Texas Moon, resided right around the area.

On October 10th, 1983, Heide Fye left her parents' place and walked to a local gas station, where she made a phone call. The store owner last witnessed her exiting the store back towards her home, but no one had heard from her again.

On April 4th, 1984, a resident near Calder Road discovered her pet dog carrying a human skull. The authorities were alerted, and a search led to the recovery of Heide's remains. The state of the remains suggested sexual abuse, with the cause of death being determined to be blunt force trauma to the head. This tragic discovery marked the end of a six-month-long search for the missing young woman.

14-year-old Sondra Kay Ramber - Source: Texas Department of Public Safety.

14-year-old Sondra Kay Ramber of Santa Fe, Texas, mysteriously disappeared on October 26th, 1983, and has not been seen since.

On the day of her disappearance, the door to her home was left open, and the oven was still on.

Although initially believed to have gone to the store, she never returned.

Other reports suggest she vanished while on her way to school.

Despite being classified as a runaway by authorities, the circumstances of her disappearance remain unclear. Investigators speculate that Sondra may have carried a new identity and started a new life, but little evidence exists to support this.

The later disappearance of Michelle Thomas in 1985 and Suzanne Rene Richerson in 1988 is assumed to have a connection to Sondra's case. But it still hasn't been determined by Law enforcement.

16-year-old Laura Lynn Miller

On the evening of September 10th, 1984, 16-year-old Laura Lynn Miller disappeared not far from her residence in Texas. She had requested her mother to take her to a payphone for a conversation with her boyfriend. The Millers had recently moved into a new house in League City, and their phone lines weren't set up yet. She was supposed to return home walking after the call, but Laura never made it.

Tragically, her remains were discovered over a year later on February 2nd, 1986, in an area near Calder Road, 60 ft away from where police had found Heide Villarreal-Fye the year before. Fye's remains were discovered in April 1984, while Miller's were found in 1986. The body of another woman was discovered. Sadly, she could not be identified immediately and was referred to as Jane Doe. However, in 2019, Jane Doe was finally identified as Audrey Lee Cook, a mechanic aged 30, who was last seen alive in December 1985.

The case of Laura Miller has garnered substantial attention after its feature in the Netflix series Crime Scene: The Texas Killing Fields. Laura's father, Tim Miller, has been searching for his daughter and hunting for justice since she disappeared. Frustrated by the lack of progress in the official investigation, he took matters into his own hands.

In 2000, he founded Texas EquuSearch (TES), a volunteer organization dedicated to assisting in the search for missing persons. As of publishing, TES has worked on over 2,500 cases and has been instrumental in locating nearly 436 individuals alive and recovering 341 bodies.

Tim Miller is a hero, along with all the families of victims involved in suffering at the hands of predators.

Please consider supporting Texas EquuSearch Search And Recovery Non-Profit.

Texas EquuSearch Search And Recovery Non-Profit
Texas EquuSearch is a non-profit organization that provides search and recovery services to families of missing persons and law enforcement.
30-year-old Ellen Rae Simpson Beason - Credit: Galveston County- The Daily News

A 30-year-old resident of League City, Ellen Rae Simpson Beason, was last seen alive at a nightclub where she and her friends gathered at the Texas Moon Club in League City, where she met a man.

She held significant popularity among her community and circle of friends due to her kindness and generosity. Although the exact date of her disappearance is not publicly specified, she went missing in July 1984 after visiting the same bar. When it was time to return home, she asked her friends to leave without her. Ellen and the stranger made plans to swim in a nearby lake.

In the wake of Ellen's disappearance, her family, fraught with worry, organized a search party, combing through every area she might have visited, including the lake where she was supposed to go. The local police force also joined the search, leaving no stone unturned in their investigation.

Ellen's decomposed remains were eventually discovered hidden under a sofa in a wooded area beside Old Causeway Road in Galveston County. At the time, the medical examiner was unable to ascertain the cause of death. However, a subsequent exhumation of her remains in 2012 revealed that she had suffered severe skull fractures. It became clear then that Ellen had been struck on the head with a blunt object before she drowned.

The investigation led to a stranger in question, later identified by her friends as Clyde Hedrick, a local League City resident and construction worker. Hedrick maintained an alibi that the young woman's drowning was an accident. Overwhelmed by panic and fearing accusations of foul play if he took her to the hospital, he chose to dispose of her. Since the cause of her death couldn't be determined at the time, the only charge he faced was abuse of a corpse. He was found guilty of this charge and received a one-year prison sentence.

His far-fetched version of the story and after a report by his ex-wife, officials conducted a second autopsy, which brought out the undeniable evidence of blunt force trauma. He was later convicted in 2014 for involuntary manslaughter in connection with Beason's death.

Clyde entered a plea of not guilty, yet he was ultimately found guilty of involuntary manslaughter. Despite being sentenced to 20 years, Hedrick served only eight years and was released due to a Texas law from the 1980s that allows for early release based on good behavior. Clyde was granted an early release from the Estelle Supermax Penitentiary in Huntsville in early October 2021.

"I just want to make sure no one forgets," said Josie Poarch, Fye's sister.
17-year-old Michelle Doherty Thomas

On October 5th, 1985, 17-year-old Michelle Doherty Thomas left her home in Santa Fe with two friends. She had just returned from her job at a gas station in Galveston, Texas. She was seen leaving with Carlos Garcia Jr. and Warren Lyn Richardson, planning to spend the evening at a nightclub on Galveston Island, but Michelle never arrived.

Garcia and Richardson later recounted that they had stopped at a convenience store on the way to the club. They claimed Michelle left their company to join two unknown men in a different car. That was the last time anyone saw Michelle. After two days without any word from her, her family reported her missing on October 7th, 1985.

The timing of her disappearance was heart-wrenching, as it happened two days before her infant son's first birthday.

By December, Garcia and Richardson were facing charges of aggravated kidnapping in connection with Michelle's disappearance. Their story changed, now claiming that Michelle was taken by force from her vehicle at an intersection. However, the case against them never went to trial. There was not enough evidence to prosecute. Investigators began to draw connections between Michelle's case and the disappearances in Galveston.

Earlier that year, Michelle and her husband had been working with law enforcement as informants in a drug operation. Facing burglary charges, Michelle had agreed to provide information to the authorities in exchange for leniency. By the time of her disappearance, she had reportedly been hearing rumors of a threat against her life, likely connected to her role as an informant.

Despite the belief of law enforcement that Michelle was likely abducted and possibly killed, the absence of solid proof has left her case unsolved. There is some discrepancy regarding the exact location of her disappearance, with some records indicating it was Alta Loma, Texas.

30-year-old Audrey Lee Cook - Credit: The Cinemaholic

Originally from Memphis, Tennessee, 30-year-old Audrey Lee Cook moved in 1976 to the Houston/Channelview area, Texas, where she worked as a mechanic. Known for her generosity and kindness and described as a "free-spirited" motorcyclist, she had started a new life, although it is alleged that there was a side of her story involved with drug dealing and abuse.

She communicated with her family regularly through letters and emails. However, the last time she contacted them was via email in December of 1985, after which she disappeared.

The remains of Cook were discovered in a field on Calder Road's 3000 block on the same day as Laura Miller's body was found nearby. The bodies of the victims were not interred but were instead concealed from sight. The manner of death showed that she had been shot in the back and had several broken ribs as a result of blunt force trauma, but the exact cause of death couldn't be confirmed due to decomposition.

19-year-old Shelley Kathleen Sikes -  Source: The Charley Project

19-year-old Shelley Kathleen Sikes, a college student at the University of Texas, was last seen on May 24th, 1986. After finishing her shift at Gaido's Seafood Restaurant on the Galveston beachfront, she began her journey home about fifteen miles from her workplace, but in a tragic turn of events, she never returned home.

Her vehicle, a Sikes's blue 1980 Ford Pinto, was located the following morning on May 25th abandoned and trapped in the mud along an Interstate 45 access road south of the Galveston Causeway. The driver's side window had been broken, and bloodstains were discovered on the door and the driver's seat. There was no trace of Sikes at the scene.

John Robert King called the police department in El Paso, Texas, in June 1987, over one year after Sikes's disappearance. He claimed that he tried to commit suicide the night of the call and that he and a friend, Gerald Peter Zwarst, in a vehicle veered Sike's off the road, abducted and murdered her in 1986. Even though they were sentenced to life imprisonment, the location of Shelley remained unknown. Both men passed away in jail without disclosing the whereabouts of her remains. Shelley is presumed to have died.

The 1990s

22-year-old Suzanne Rene - Source: The Charley Project

22-year-old Suzanne Rene Richerson had relocated to an apartment in Galveston for three weeks. She had begun a new relationship with an ex-student from College Station.

On the early morning of October 7th, 1988, Suzanne was doing her job working as a night clerk at the Casa del Mar Hotel condominiums on Galveston's seawall, and out of nowhere, she vanished without an eyewitness. Her belongings were left behind, along with a borrowed car parked outside.

Bystanders claimed to have heard a female scream followed by a car speeding away. Despite the tireless efforts of her parents, university officials, fellow students, and the police, no substantial leads were found.

In the aftermath of her vanishing, an unidentified person contacted the Austin Crime Stoppers, alleging to be one of the kidnappers. This led to unavailing searches for her remains in secluded fields along FM 2004 in Brazoria County.

As time passed, three individuals became persons of interest, but due to insufficient evidence, no arrests were made.

Nearly 16 years later, a new witness came forward, alleging to have observed two men relocating Richerson's remains. The police discovered fragments of bone at the purported site, but it was unclear whether they were human.

34-year-old Donna Marie Prudhomme - Credit:

34-year-old Donna Marie Prudhomme, a mother of two from Port Arthur, Texas, was seeking a fresh start after escaping an abusive relationship. She had moved to Nassau Bay and was last seen by her family in July 1991. Despite her frequent relocations, she had always kept in touch with her family. Her sudden silence raised alarms, so they reported her missing, sparking a thorough search by law enforcement and volunteers.
On September 8th, 1991, the body of a female victim was discovered by two people riding horses in a field near Calder Road.
The detectives and the Medical Examiner's Office attempted to identify the victim, but after a thorough investigation, they were unable to.
The Medical Examiner's Office named her case "Janet Doe."
According to the League City Police Department,
the Cold Case Detectives involved genetic genealogy and DNA phenotyping, rendering a close representation of what the victims looked like at the time of their death, which later led to the positive conclusion that the body was of Donna in 2019.

14-year-old Lynette Bibbs (Left) and 15-year-old Tamara Fisher (right) - Source:

14-year-old Lynette Bibbs and 15-year-old Tamara Fisher were two teenagers murdered in La Porte, Texas. They were last seen at a Houston nightclub and a motel on February 1st, 1996.

A couple of days later, unfortunately, two bodies were discovered off a dirt road near Cleveland, Texas. Both girls didn't have identification. However, investigators found Lynette's uncle's phone number at the scene. A subsequent call to him provided further identification.

Lynette was the first to be killed, and when Tamara attempted to escape, she was shot in the back of her head. Lynette had been shot in her face and head. Fishermen found their bodies floating in Turner's Bayou in Texas City. Both girls had been shot twice and dumped in the water, their hands and feet bound and partially clothed.

Despite the efforts, the tragic case of Lynette Bibbs and Tamara Fisher remains unsolved.

Because different types of bullets were found in the wooded area where the girls were killed, investigators believe two assailants were involved.

13-year-old Krystal Jean Baker 

13-year-old Krystal Jean Baker from Galveston County was the great-niece of Marilyn Monroe. Her case had gained nationwide media attention. On March 5th, 1996, following a dispute with her grandmother, she left her home. Unfortunately, she was abducted outside the residence in Texas City. Two hours later, her body was found discarded under the Trinity River Bridge along Interstate 10 in Chambers County. She was sexually assaulted and murdered by strangulation.

For many years, the case remained unresolved. However, in April 2012, a breakthrough came when Kevin Edison Smith was arrested and convicted for her murder, 16 years after Krystal's body was discovered. The key to solving the case was when a Chambers County sheriff's officer decided to resubmit her dress for analysis, which led to the identification of her killer. It took 26 years for her killer to be brought to justice.

Kevin Edison Smith, a 45-year-old man from Louisiana, was apprehended at his refinery workplace in Groves, Texas. He was arrested on a warrant issued by the Chambers County Sheriff's Office, which charged him with the murder of Krystal Jean Baker.

12-year-old Laura Smither

A 12-year-old resident of Friendswood, Laura Smither, tragically disappeared on April 3rd, 1997. As mentioned by Cinemaholic, she is remembered as a brilliant, lively, and cheerful young girl who lit up any room she walked into. She was passionate about ballet, Girl Scouts, and scuba diving, and Laura was beloved in her community.

On the fateful day, she had asked her mother's permission to go for a quick jog before breakfast. Usually, Laura would return home within half an hour at most. So when she didn't arrive as expected, her parents and neighbors began combing through several areas.

Despite the tireless efforts of her family, volunteers, and law enforcement canvassing the area, Laura remained missing. Tragically, seventeen days later, her family's fear became true when her body was found near a retention pond in Pasadena, about 12 miles from her home. It was determined that she had been deceased for several days before the discovery.

The investigation into Laura's murder was initially challenging due to a lack of leads or suspects. Eventually, Suspected serial killer William Reece has been charged with this crime.

William Reece's scrutiny extended beyond this, as he was suspected of also being involved in the killings of Jessica Cain and Kelli Cox, all of whom vanished from the same vicinity in 1997. He was also under suspicion for the 1997 homicide of Tiffany Johnston, a resident of Bethany, Oklahoma.
Regrettably, due to a lack of additional leads or information, the case remained slow until 2015. That year, Oklahoma investigators employed sophisticated DNA tracing techniques to connect William to the murder of Tiffany Johnston. William confessed in 2021 to the killings of Jessica and Kelli. He guided the police to their remains, and the investigators observed similarities between these murders and Laura Smither's. Subsequently, William had a change of heart and pleaded guilty to Laura's murder. As a result of his confession, he was found guilty of three counts of murder and received a life sentence in 2021.

William is serving his sentence at the Allan B. Polunsky Unit in West Livingston, Texas. Prison records indicate that he will be eligible for parole in 2047. However, it has been reported that he has been condemned to death for Tiffany Johnston's murder and will be transferred to Oklahoma's death row upon release.

20-year-old Kelli Ann Cox - Credit: The Cinemaholic

A 20-year-old resident of Farmer's Branch, Kelli Ann Cox, was a Criminal Justice student at the University of North Texas and a loving mother known for her caring nature and vibrant personality. On July 15th, 1997, she traveled to Denton, Texas, for a police department field trip. Reported indicate that she had parked her car opposite the station, and after mistakingly locking herself out of the car, she called her boyfriend around noontime, but when he arrived, she was nowhere to be found.

Despite search efforts, Kelli remained missing until her remains were found in 2016 in Brazoria County, near Houston. The cause of death was undetermined due to decomposition.

The investigation led to William Reece as the perpetrator.

The 2000s

17-year-old Jessica Lee Cain - Source: Houston Chronicle

17-year-old Jessica Lee Cain from Liberty, Texas, had just left a Clear Lake area restaurant to drive home on August 17th, 1997, where she was celebrating her role in a high school musical. Her car was discovered deserted near I-45, the highway leading to her Tiki Island home, but Jessica was nowhere to be found.

In February 2016, a breakthrough came when search investigators discovered her remains pointed by William Reece in shackles in a field on East Orem Drive in southeast Houston.

DNA testing confirmed the identity. William Reece was also convicted of Jessica's murder.

57-year-old Tot Tran Harriman - Credit: Murder, She Told podcast

57-year-old Tot Tran Harriman grew up in Tay Ninh, Vietnam. In 1968, she met with Clinton H. Harriman, who would become her husband. Together, the Harriman's moved to Maine in 1974. Tot was a hardworking woman recognized for her warm hospitality, culinary skills, and contribution as a translator for Vietnamese refugees at local hospitals.

In 2001, Tot decided to relocate to Texas to be closer to her children. Searching for real estate opportunities along Route 35 between League City and Corpus Christi.

On July 12th, 2001, she had an appointment with a realtor scheduled. She set off from her son's home near League City in her car, but sadly, she was last to be seen that morning. Despite numerous reported sightings of her car, neither Tot nor her vehicle were ever found. The prevailing theory suggests that she may have been the victim of a robbery and possible homicide. Still, the circumstances surrounding her disappearance remain unsolved.

23-year-old Sara Ann Lewis - Source:

23-year-old Sara Ann Lewis, from Algoa, went for a bike ride on the night of July 12th, 2002, but unfortunately, she never returned home.

Sara was seen for the last time at about 11 p.m. Friday near the Algoa Baptist Church on Orange Street. The bicycle Trusty was last seen riding was found the next morning in the church's foyer. Her wallet and purse were left in a travel trailer at her home, and her cell phone was inside her house.

The story took a heart-wrenching turn when two weeks later, on July 28th, 2002, A body found in Texas City was positively identified yesterday as that of Sara. Sara's lifeless body was found on a dike near the floodgates on Skyline Drive that separated Moses Lake from Galveston Bay when recreational fishermen discovered the body. The once vibrant 23-year-old had met a tragic end.

It is believed that she was abducted during her late-night bike ride and subsequently murdered. The chilling circumstances surrounding her disappearance and death remain shrouded in mystery.

16-year-old Terressa Lynn Vanegas - Source:

Dickinson young woman, 16-year-old Terressa Lynn Vanegas's life was tragically cut short in 2006. She went missing after attending a party on Halloween night. Terressa was reported missing by her family the following day.

Her body was discovered three days later in an abandoned athletic field across from Dickinson High School. Despite extensive investigations and DNA evidence, the case remains open with no leads.

Terressa's mother, Jeanette Vanegas, and sister, Amanda Vanegas, have been tirelessly seeking justice for Terressa. They have made public appeals for anyone with information to step forward.

If you have information and would like to submit a tip, please consider contacting your Local Crime Stoppers Organization or call the Tip Line at 1-800-252-TIPS.

They will be remembered as heroes.

The Suspects

How many killers operated within the grounds along I-45  is assumed to be more than two based on their methodology. But concerning the concept of a serial killer who deemed it to be his symbolic hunting ground, probably not more than one.

He acted on his fantasies using demand, with a choice of victims based on his preference. He understood their vulnerability and used a methodical approach to lure them into his bait.

The staging of the killer's crime reflected in posing the victims nude against trees with their arms folded; this disturbing pattern was him showcasing his power as a trophy. He wanted them to be discovered. The desolate area and news circulating may have allowed unidentified copycat crimes to occur with different orders and sometimes motives, as discarding in an active place might conceal and confuse the investigation.

The I-45 killer had similarly abducted at least two victims, with the fashion being young women in an area unfrequented by bystanders who could use a form of transportation "hitchhiking," two of his victims, both Laura Miller and Heidi Fye, were making a call at the payphone at a Local gas station's convenience store. His upper ground was exploiting hitchhiking as a practice by putting himself in the right situations. He might have changed his discarding sites around the area and expanded his range to reduce the odds of being caught.

However, there's a resemblance between the locations where he operated his modus operandi, which urges him to reconsider the crimes unfit with the same setting and manner of killing. All the locations where he baited his victims were areas where young people tended to gather, which gave him a selection of young women to suit his needs. These hunting places were familiar to him, and the areas where he committed the crimes were obscured, instilling boldness and confidence in him and a feeling of being unstoppable. His confidence escalated his thrill.

He used his signature of posing the victims near each other to assert his dominance and showcase his work to mark himself as having control and to attribute his portfolio.

Edward Harold Bell

Born in southern Texas, Edward Harold Bell's life was anything but ordinary. A graduate of Texas A&M University, a licensed diver, and a father of three with a very sinister reality. His childhood was marked by frequent moves surrounding Houston due to his father's job as an oil field worker. Edward claimed to have endured physical abuse at the hands of his father, scoutmasters, and a cousin. Bell alleged that his father had urged him to engage in violent criminal activities, which included bank robberies and sexual assaults. He also claimed that his father had pushed him towards suicide. Despite this, Bell managed to carve out a seemingly ordinary life for himself; he married his university colleague, with whom he had three children, and settled down on a ranch in Terlingua, Texas, working as an itinerant pharmaceutical salesman.

His life took a turn when he was arrested in 1966 for exposing himself to two young girls in Sudan, Texas. He was then sent to Big Spring State Psychiatric Hospital for treatment. He was arrested again in 1969 for a similar offense. To avoid prosecution, he was interned at the University of Texas Medical Branch and was supposed to be subjected to further treatment, but he continued to romance underage patients. Upon his release, Bell, now divorced and barred from seeing his children, married a 17-year-old female patient. Together, they relocated to a beach house in Galveston.

Bell was repeatedly arrested for flashing and masturbating in front of young girls in Lubbock, Pasadena, Plainview, Bacliff, Houston, and Gretna, Louisiana, but the cases never led to convictions.

On August 24th, 1978, while driving his truck around Pasadena, Bell stopped in front of a group of young girls, pulled down his pants, and began flashing himself in front of them. 26-year-old Larry Dean Dickens, a Marine with a young daughter, saw Bell and got hold of his keys to prevent him from fleeing. Bell pulled out a pistol and fired at Dickens, who stumbled into his mother's garage, collapsing on the floor. His mother, who had witnessed the entire incident inside the house, attempted to soothe Dickens. Still, mercilessly, Bell retrieved a rifle from his vehicle, approached the wounded Dickens, and shot him in the forehead before making his escape. The police apprehended him shortly after, and he was detained pending trial with a bail set at $125,000. Bell didn't attend the trial and was subsequently declared a wanted fugitive.

He was Captured in Panama City, Panama, in 1993, and was extradited, convicted, and sentenced to a 70-year term for the murder of Larry Dean Dickens. While in prison. According to excerpts obtained by the Houston Chronicle, he admitted to the murder of  Debbie Ackerman, Gloria Ann Gonzales, Colette Anise Wilson, and eight other girls. He later recanted the claims.

Despite his confession in a letter sent to Harris and Galveston county prosecutors from his maximum security cell in Huntsville 17 years after the crime in 1998, the cases are still officially unsolved. Bell blamed his sick desires on being brainwashed, his confessions were inconsistent and lacked details, and he later recanted them. He died in prison in 2019. Bell allegedly fits the profile of a psychotic killer who is motivated by delusions. He was reported to have a history of mental illness, with it being paranoid and delusional. His motive for killing them was likely a combination of sexual gratification and religious fanaticism.

Clyde Edwin Hedrick

Clyde Edwin Hedrick's childhood and background are not documented. He moved from Florida to Texas as a young adult and worked as a roofer in the construction industry. He resided near Calder Road. Despite his reported deceitfully charming persona, Hedrick had an extensive criminal record, including offenses against minors, strangers, former partners, and the state.

When the body of 29-year-old Ellen Rae Simpson Beason was found on a dirt road in Galveston County in 1984, Hedrick was convicted of abusing a corpse and sentenced to a year in jail. In 2014, after gathering considerable evidence, Beason's death was ruled as a homicide, and Hedrick was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Clyde Hedrick maintained his innocence and entered a plea of not guilty to the charge of murder. Despite this, in 2014, a jury in Galveston County convicted him of involuntary manslaughter.

His character is often associated with manipulative traits. Hedrick disregards laws and social norms by habitually breaking them at any chance given. Ignoring any involvement or responsibility suggests a lack of remorse for his actions and a disregard for the rights of others without empathy. He avoids any responsibility while manipulating his narrative using deceit.

Tim Miller, the father of Laura Miller, firmly believes Hedrick is the man responsible for his daughter's murder. He had known both Fye and Miller and had a history of violence against women. However, he denied involvement, and his DNA did not match the evidence at the scene. In October 2021, Hedrick was granted release from the Estelle Supermax Penitentiary in Huntsville due to his good behavior.

"As time goes by and the more information I get and the more information I am continuing to get, I have no doubt in my mind Clyde Hedrick is responsible for Laura's murder." - Tim Miller told the KPRC 2 News, as documented by Newsweek.
William Lewis Reece

William Lewis Reece was a truck driver from Oklahoma. He grew up in Yukon and Anadarko. William was a convicted kidnapper and rapist who confessed to killing four women in 1997, including two whose bodies were found in the Texas Killing Fields. He also led the police to the remains of two other missing women in 2016. He is currently on death row, awaiting trial for the 1997 murders.

William left school after ninth grade and worked as a farm laborer. In 1979, he married Judy Flaming when she became pregnant. Reece joined the Oklahoma National Guard but didn't stay long. His marriage ended in divorce within a year, but he persuaded Judy to remarry him. Reece's heavy drinking and physical abuse led Judy to report him to the police in 1982 after he threatened her life with a knife and shotgun. She divorced him again. Reece went on to remarry, but his second marriage also ended in divorce within a few months.

In 1986, Reece kidnapped a woman after luring her with the promise of driving her to a payphone. He tied her up and assaulted her, but she escaped him. He was arrested but released on bail. A month after his release, he committed another assault and was re-arrested. He was sentenced for both rapes to 25 years in prison, but due to procedural errors, his sentence was reduced and he was paroled in 1996.

After moving to Texas, he became a suspect in the kidnapping and attempted sexual assault of Sandra Sapaugh in 1997.

In May 1997, Sandra was at a gas station in Webster using a pay phone, but unbeknownst to her, she had caught the attention of Reece. Sandra returned to her car only to realize a few minutes later that one of her tires was flat. As she pulled over, Reece, following her in his white truck, stopped by and offered assistance. Under the guise of help, Reece managed to lure Sandra into his truck. Once inside, he overpowered her, binding her wrists, and dove off along I-45. Despite the situation, Sandra managed her strength to break free from her restraints and jumped from the moving truck, sustaining severe injuries. She was rushed to a nearby hospital, where she contacted the police. Although her memory was hazy, she was put under hypnosis, which allowed her to recall Reece's license plate number, leading to Reece's arrest when Sandra identified him in an array of photos.

His first victim was 12-year-old girl Laura Smither. On April 3, 1997, Reece claimed to have accidentally hit Laura with his car on a rainy day in Friendswood. He hid her body in a lake, later confessing to strangling her.

A few months later, on July 15th, 1997, Reece was driving from Oklahoma to Houston. He stopped at a gas station in Denton to buy whiskey, where he got into a physical altercation with Kelli Cox, a 20-year-old student at the University of North Texas. In the heat of the fight, Reece strangled her. He buried her in the woods of Brazoria County.

On July 26th, 1997, Reece stopped at the Sunshine Car Wash in Bethany to clean his truck. He accidentally sprayed a teenager named Tiffany Johnston. Seizing his opportunity, Reece dragged her into his trailer and sexually assaulted her at gunpoint. He struck her over the head with a horseshoe and attacked her. He confessed to strangling her and leaving her body in the woods by the side of a road, where it was discovered the next day. Reece knew Tiffany's mother, Kathy Dobry, who lived in Anadarko. She had once helped him renew his expired driver's license after he got out of jail and was a friend of his mother and other family members.

On August 17th, 1997, 17-year-old Jessica Cain disappeared. She was last seen alive after leaving a Bennigan's in the Clear Lake City suburb of Houston. Her car was found abandoned on an interstate highway later that day. Reece claimed he had approached her outside the restaurant, but she rejected him. Angered, he followed her vehicle until she was forced to stop and confront him. He admitted to beating and strangling her.

He was identified by DNA evidence that matched the cases of Jessica Cain, Laura Smither, Tiffany Johnston, and Kelli Cox. He confessed to the crimes and led the authorities to the locations of the bodies. He was sentenced to death in Oklahoma and life imprisonment in Texas. Reece was a calculating, narcissistic individual who held hatred toward women and blamed them for his problems, a sign earlier demonstrated by domestic abuse. It was likely that he considered it as a form of revenge, as he felt rejected and humiliated by women.

Anthony Michael Knopp (Left) and Harry Andrew Lanham (Right)

Anthony Michael Knoppa was convicted for the murder of Linda Faye Sutherlin, a young 22-year-old woman. Knoppa was sentenced to 50 years behind bars.

The gruesome details of the crime scene still haunt the county - Sutherlin's death, having been riddled with 72 bullet wounds. The pair was also accused of the murder of Adelle Margaret Crabtree.

In 1971, Knoppa found himself under investigation for the deaths of six women across Montgomery, Harris, and Brazoria counties.

In the summer of 1971, a housewife named Huebner vanished without a trace from her home in Houston, Texas. A year later, a chilling confession emerged from his accomplice, Harry Andrew Lanham, a tow truck driver with a dark past stained by convictions for rape and assault. He admitted to the heinous act of violating and ending Huebner's life.

They were convicted in 1972 of the murder of Linda Sutherlin; Lanham was sentenced to 25 years in prison and Knoppa to 50 years.

The authorities suspected that Lanham's trail of terror extended beyond these six victims, possibly claiming as many as nine lives. However, he was never formally accused of Huebner's presumed murder. In a twisted game of deception, Lanham twice led the authorities to locations where he claimed to have discarded Huebner's body. Both times, the police's hopeful searches yielded nothing but disappointment, and Lanham confessed to fabricating the locations of the remains.

However, due to a shocking turn of events, After serving 15 years of his sentence, the case fell apart when Harry Andrew Lanham, Knoppa's alleged accomplice, was shot dead in the Harris County Jail when Lanham lunged for an officer's gun in the Harris County Jail. The officer shot Lanham to death, eliminating the witness against Knoppa. Taking with him the testimonies against Knoppa.

Before the murder that led to his incarceration, Knoppa had already been convicted in a rape case. Court records reveal a horrifying account of a young woman taken to an auto salvage yard and subjected to repeated sexual assault. The victim was so traumatized that Knoppa managed to plead guilty to a lesser offense.

Even behind bars, Knoppa continued to instill fear, threatening to kill several officers. He rejected offers of parole. After serving 15 years of his sentence, Knoppa was released, leaving authorities on high alert due to the threats he made in the past.

Arthur Lee Davis was incriminated in the murder of Susan Eads, a 19-year-old woman from Seabrook, Texas.

On August 30th, 1983, Susan tragically vanished. Her body was found in a vacant lot on Nasa Road, and she had been sexually assaulted. The investigators speculated that her killer might have been a patron at the bar where she worked, who followed her after she left her job.

The case remained unsolved for 35 years until it was reopened by a cold case unit in 2017. Initially, the investigators considered the possibility that the murderer was serial killer Anthony Shore, also known as The Tourniquet Killer. However, DNA analysis revealed that he wasn't a match.

The breakthrough in the case came when the FBI submitted the DNA to a genealogy website, which led them to Arthur Davis. Despite this discovery, Davis could not be brought to justice as he had died in a one-vehicle car crash in January 1984, just four months after Susan's murder. The crash occurred less than a mile from where Susan was killed.

Michael Lloyd Self

Michael Lloyd Self was a local gas station attendant in Galveston, Texas. He was charged with the murders of Rhonda Johnson and Sharon Shaw in 1972 and was convicted of Shaw's murder in 19751. The two teenage girls had disappeared in Harris County, Texas, on the afternoon of August 4, 1971, and their skeletal remains were discovered in early 1972 in and around Clear Lake near Galveston Bay.

Self's conviction was controversial, and it had every reason to be. In 1998, convicted killer Edward Harold Bell confessed to both murders.

Bell's confession, coupled with statements from law enforcement and prosecutors suggesting that Self's confession had been coerced into a false confession, led many to believe that Self had been wrongfully convicted. Despite these doubts, Self remained in prison until he died in 2000.

Even after Self's imprisonment, the murders continued, which led to speculation about whether the crimes were the work of multiple serial killers.

Mark Roland Stalling

Mark Roland Stallings worked as a ranch hand. He had a life marked by crime. In 1991, he was convicted of burglary and theft, leading to an 18-year prison sentence. He obtained parole due to good behavior, but he couldn't stay away from criminal activities. He was charged with aggravated assault and possession of a firearm by a felon in 1996.

He was convicted of all charges in 1997, resulting in a 50-year prison sentence.

In 1998, while serving this sentence, Stallings attempted to break out of jail. He had a fellow prisoner smuggle in a firearm, which he used to threaten three police officers and take one of them hostage. However, he surrendered after about an hour and a half and was taken into custody. This led to him being charged with a single count of aggravated kidnapping and three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, resulting in two life sentences and two 75-year sentences in 1999.

In 2016, while behind bars, Stallings learned about the recovery of four bodies from the Calder field between 1984 and 1991. He confessed to being involved in the murder of the fourth victim, who was still unidentified at the time. He claimed he kidnapped the victim and asphyxiated her with a seat belt. However, with no evidence to tie Stallings to the crime, authorities didn't take the confession seriously, and he was never charged with murder. Regarding the other three victims, Stallings refutes any involvement in their murders.

The body was later identified as that of Donna Prudhomme in 2019 through genetic genealogy and DNA phenotyping. Despite his confession, Stallings has never been charged with her murder. He remains behind bars at the Coffield Unit in Tennessee Colony, Texas.

Robert Abel - Credit: Texas Monthly

Robert Abel is a former NASA aerospace engineer who moved from Houston into a middle-class neighborhood in League City in June 1983.

In 1989, he married Cindy Jacobs, an accounting firm secretary. However, the marriage was short-lived, ending after just 41 days.

A year later, in 1990, upon his retirement from NASA, he married Paula Kay Myers, a pretty NASA secretary whom he had dated three years prior. Not long after their marriage, he acquired an eleven-acre plot of land adjacent to the oil field. He began laying the groundwork for Stardust Trailrides, a small horseback-riding business just beyond the outskirts of League City.

Some investigators suspected his involvement in the oil field murders concerning the four bodies uncovered between 1986 and 1991. Owning the land where the crimes occurred and his proximity to the crime scene led to the suspicion. During the summer of 1993, the investigators had a breakthrough when they received a call from Paula, Abel's wife, mentioning how their marriage had ended the previous year due to him verbally threatening her in a fight and described Abel as having periodic fits of rage, asserting that while he never laid a hand on her, she had witnessed him hitting horses with pipes and chains until they obeyed his orders and that he also left dead horses to rot in his field, such an act might indicate a fascination with death and corpses, this domineering demeanor and harsh treatment of animals only heightened the existing suspicions, but Abel further denied those claims, blaming his ex-wives for their rage.

No physical evidence has ever been found linking him to the murders.

According to Texas Monthly, he had a fascination with helping solve the murders, collecting an assortment of news articles regarding the investigation and a narrative from the Houston Chronicle about the serial killer. After the fourth body was discovered, he was eager to aid the police, helping them clear the brush in the area and allowing the use of his backhoe and fourteen horses at no cost.

Although there was circumstantial evidence linking Abel to the murders, it is crucial to consider that, as intelligent as Abel should be, he would incriminate himself by discarding his victims in his backyard. But not to dismiss the possibility that it might have been a part of his plan, reversing the accusation by exploiting an excuse.

He was never formally accused or incarcerated for these crimes. The absence of concrete proof didn't prevent his life from being devastated by the attention drawn from the accusations made against him.

Abel eventually left League City due to his infamy and relocated to another part of the state to live with a relative. In 2005, Abel reportedly committed suicide by steering his golf cart into an approaching train.

Henry Lee Lucas - Credit: StMU Research Scholars

Henry Lee Lucas, also known as the Confession Killer, was a notorious serial killer who confessed to hundreds of murders across the country, including some in the Texas Killing Fields, but later retracted most of his confessions.

He was found guilty of taking his mother's life in 1960 and two more lives in 1983. His notoriety grew while serving time for these offenses, as he made false admissions to Texas Rangers and other law enforcement authorities, claiming responsibility for around six hundred additional homicides.

He was convicted of 11 murders and sentenced to death, but his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment due to doubts about his guilt. He died of natural causes in prison in 2001. He was never charged with the Calder Road murders, and his DNA did not match the evidence found at the scene. His false confessions led to numerous unsolved cases being closed, which forced a re-evaluation of investigation procedures and awareness of the possibility that serial killers claim more victims when the walls close on them to gain more infamy.

Kevin Edison Smith

Kevin Edison Smith was an itinerant refinery welder arrested in 2012 for the 1996 murder of 13-year-old Krystal Jean Baker, whose body was found in 1996. He was identified by DNA when a Chambers County sheriff's officer took Krystal's dress from a dusty evidence envelope and resubmitted it for analysis. The evidence matched him to a minor drug offense he committed in 2010.

Smith was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Smith was an impulsive, disorganized killer who acted impulsively, left evidence behind, and had poor social skills. Smith was described as a loner who had a history of drug abuse and had a history of assault. His motive for the killing was likely sexual gratification. He may have also been driven by anger and frustration.

John Robert King (Left) and Gerald Peter Zwarst (Right)

John Robert King and Gerald Peter Zwarst were convicted of aggravated kidnapping in 1998 for the abduction and murder of 19-year-old Shelley Sikes in 1986.

On Memorial Day in 1986, 19-year-old Shelley finished her midnight shift as an island waitress. And on her way along Interstate 45 towards her boyfriend's home, King and Swartz had been tailing her in a Ford pickup truck, and once she neared the causeway leading to the mainland. They forced her car off the road. The two men abandoned their truck advancing towards her car. King shattered the driver's side window with his bare hand. He then reached into the car, flung open the door, and dragged the young woman out of her vehicle.

Several eyewitnesses watched it unfold as the woman was dragged by her hair and forced into the truck. A passerby, concerned by the unfolding scene, stopped to offer assistance, only to be confronted with the claim that it was a family dispute and none of his concern. This witness noticed a second man at the scene but couldn't identify him due to the poor lighting and distance.

Additional witnesses observed the young woman's desperate struggle to escape and heard her cries for help. However, none of them immediately reported the incident to the police.

The abducted woman was later identified as Shelley Sikes. After thirteen months of investigation, King tried to commit suicide, and upon questioning him, he told the El Paso authorities some of the facts surrounding the abduction of Sikes. Confessing to the kidnap and assault.

Shelley was beaten to death with a shovel, but her body was never found. They were sentenced to life in prison.

King and Zwartz died in 2015 and 2021, respectively.

Derrick Todd Lee

Derrick Todd Lee, also known as The Baton Rouge Serial Killer, was convicted of the brutal slayings of seven women in Louisiana between 1998 and 2003. He was also suspected of killing four more women in Texas, including two whose bodies were found in the Texas Killing Fields. He was identified by DNA evidence that matched the cases of Carrie Yoder and Pamela Goss. He was sentenced to death in Louisiana, but he died of heart disease in prison in 2016.

Lee was a married man. He settled with his wife after graduation, working blue-collar jobs. On the outside, Lee seemed like an average, friendly person. But he had a dark side which he could not contain. A habit of stalking and peeping through houses. Lee was organized and calculating. He left the scene without visible signs of forced entry and knew how to not get caught. The act of voyeurism fed his sadistic fantasy, and it probably thrilled him that he could be discovered at any moment.

Anthony Allen Shore - Credit: San Antonio Express-News

Anthony Allen Shore, also known as "the Tourniquet Killer," was a serial killer and sex offender from South Dakota convicted of killing four women and girls in Texas between 1986 and 1995. He was also suspected of killing two more women, whose bodies were found in the Texas Killing Fields.

He was identified by DNA evidence that matched the cases of Maria Del Carmen Estrada and Dana Sanchez and charged with four counts of capital murder in the deaths of 15-year-old Laurie Lee Tremblay, 21-year-old Maria Del Carmen Estrada, 9-year-old Diana Rebollar, and 16-year-old Dana Sanchez. He confessed to the crimes and led the authorities to the locations of the bodies.

Shore was a person of interest behind the deaths of Heidi Villareal Fye, Laura Miller, and two unidentified women whose bodies were found in the so-called "Calder Road Killing Fields."

Shore exhibited antisocial behavior from a young age. He was born into a military family who were abusive, and he moved frequently, which made it difficult for him to make friends. He claimed that his mother sexually abused him and that his father frequently would beat him regularly. Which contributed to him constantly harassing his classmates. He was also reportedly cruel towards animals, killing a neighbor's cat at a young age, a common trait among many serial killers.

Shore married in 1997 but abused his wife, and she divorced him. His daughter testified that their father had drugged and assaulted his children.

Shore's criminal modus operandi was strangulation, which indicates how personally motivated those attacks were. He used a ligature with either a stick to tighten or loosen the ligature. His victims were usually young females, and he would often sexually assault them before killing them. Shore was a demented, manipulative, and ruthless monster. He was sentenced to death in Texas and was finally executed by lethal injection on January 18th, 2018.

If you have information regarding any case presented and would like to submit a tip, please consider contacting your Local Crime Stoppers Organization or call the Tip Line at 1-800-252-TIPS.

Please consider donating to Texas EquuSearch.

Texas EquuSearch Search And Recovery Non-Profit
Texas EquuSearch is a non-profit organization that provides search and recovery services to families of missing persons and law enforcement.

Home | NamUs (

Heide Fye Murder: How Did She Die? Who Killed Her? (

Laura Smither Murder: How Did She Die? Who Killed Her? (

Kelli Ann Cox Murder: How Did She Die? Who Killed Her? (

The Killing Fields — FBI

Why were there so many serial killers in the 1980s? - BBC News

It is her birthday today. Colette would... - Forgotten Angels | Facebook

Confessions of a cold-blooded killer (

Colette Anise Wilson (1957-1971) - Find a Grave Memorial

The Texas Killing Fields Victims: A Complete Timeline (

April 11th, 2013- South Belt-Ellington Leader (

Attorney General Paxton's Cold Case and Missing Persons Unit Locates Woman Who Has Been Missing for Over 40 Years, Shortly After Creating the Unit | Office of the Attorney General (

'Texas Killing Fields': What Happened to Laura Miller and Was Her Killer Found? (

Ellen Beason Murder: Where Is Clyde Hedrick Now? (

Family of Killing Fields victim still hopes for closure 30 years later | Local News | The Daily News (

Audrey Cook | Unidentified Wiki | Fandom

Murder, She Told: Maine and New England True Crime Podcast (

'Texas Killing Fields': Who Is Clyde Hedrick and Where Is He Now? (

Pamela Huebner – The Charley Project

Murderer who vowed revenge now free and looking for police - UPI Archives

Where is Killer Mark Stallings Today? Update (

Is Robert Abel Getting Away With Murder? – Texas Monthly

Texas Killing Fields: What Happened To Suspect Robert Abel?

( v. State, 782 S.W.2d 906 | Casetext Search + Citator

The Missing Piece Episode 7: Sherri Ann Jarvis (Walker County Jane Doe) (

Subscribe to The Daily Tattle

Don’t miss out on the latest issues. Sign up now to get access to the library of members-only issues.