Murder of a Texas Teenager: 'Someone Hated Her' Jan 17, 2019 3:33:06 GMT -5
Post by Graveyardbride on Jan 17, 2019 3:33:06 GMT -5
The Murder of Jacqueline Graham: ‘Someone Hated Her’
Around 8:15 on the morning of Friday, April 8, 1988, a man unloading merchandise behind the Academy Sports + Outdoors store at 13300 FM 1960 Road, W. (now occupied by Henry Hudson’s Pub), noticed what he thought was a mannequin. As he approached, he saw what appeared to be blood, realized he was looking at a female body, and rushed inside the store to get the manager. “Hey, there’s something outside,” he called out. “You need to come look.”
When Houston (Texas) law enforcement officers arrived, they found the bloody, mangled corpse of 19-year-old Jacqueline Michelle Graham. What the killer had done to the woman was so disturbing one man said the first thought that came to his mind was “What could a girl that age have done to evoke such hate?” The savagery of the frenzied attack left an indelible imprint on the minds of all who saw it.
The medical examiner later determined the young woman had been shot twice, stabbed in excess of 20 times (some law enforcement officers say as many as 50 times), run over at least twice by a motor vehicle, dragged and sexually-mutilated. The murder was one of the most violent and cold-blooded investigators working the case had ever seen – before or since.
Back in 1988, the attractive redhead was studying interior design at Houston Community College. On the day preceding her death, she left her garage apartment in Spring, where she had recently moved after breaking up with her boyfriend and leaving the apartment they had shared. She drove to a friend’s house in Steeplechase and from there, the two headed to the 6th Avenue Club (no longer extant) at 6100 Highway 6.
At some point during the night, Graham’s former boyfriend turned up at the club and according to Sgt. Abraham Alanis, cold case investigator for the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, the two were seen arguing. The friend had gone home earlier, but it was after midnight when Graham finally left the bar. The last time anyone other than her killer saw the young woman alive was around 2:20 a.m. when she was observed sitting in the cold – the temperature dropped to 52° that night – on a bridge abutment near the intersection of West Little York and Highway 6, a little more than four miles from the location where her body was found. The girl’s bloody clothing was recovered from a dumpster at a service station not far from the club.
Graham’s former boyfriend was one of the first interviewed by investigators, but there was nothing on which to hold him. For the next several weeks, detectives tracked those closest to the teen, even at her funeral – there are photocopies of the guest book in the file. Because she was on probation for a 1986 drug conviction, officers also checked out local dealers in case the murder was the result of a drug deal gone wrong.
Commenting on the cold case seven years ago, Sgt. Dean Holtke of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, said, “I’ve been dealing with death cases now for 17 to 18 years and it’s the worst one I’ve ever seen. ... She’s seen on Highway 6 just sitting there by herself. I mean, it could have been anybody that came by and picked her up.”
But others are convinced the brutality of the killing rules out a stranger. “Someone hated her. There was a lot of anger there,” Alanis insisted. “I’ve been in homicide eight years and I’ve worked a lot of cases, a lot of gruesome cases. Looking at this one ... this one’s bad.”
In 2007, cold case investigators submitted Graham’s bloodstained clothing to a crime lab, hoping new technology would reveal the murderer’s DNA, but, thus far, there are no suspects. Nevertheless, advances in DNA testing could lead to an identification in the future. “We’re just hoping for that one lead that’s going to open the case back up,” Alanis added.
If you have any information about this cold case, please call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-8477.
Sources: Courtney Fischer, KTRK, May 14, 2018; Robert Arnold, KPRC-TV, November 21, 2011; The Port Arthur News, April 10, 1988.