Connect with us

Season of Justice: Carla Walker

Season of Justice

Season of Justice: Carla Walker

Featured image courtesy kat wilcox from Pexels

Carla Walker was described by her family and friends as the typical “all-American girl next door.” She had a bubbly personality, was an above-average student and an active member of her school’s tennis club. When she was abducted from her boyfriend’s car in 1974, her entire town was rattled.

On February 16, 1974, 17-year-old Carla  was getting ready for the Valentine’s Day dance at her high school in Fort Worth, Texas. The Gone Cold podcast reveals that she put on a light blue dress that her sister let her borrow, curled her blonde hair and added blue eyeshadow to match her dress and her eyes. Her boyfriend, the senior football and baseball star Rodney McCoy, came to pick her up. 

Photo Credit: Justice for Carla Walker Facebook page

The dance was nothing out of the ordinary. The couple hung out with their friends and danced until nearly everyone left. Before leaving the dance, Carla stopped by to chat with one of her teachers. She thanked her for chaperoning and said, “See you on Monday!” Carla and Rodney then headed out the door. 

Not wanting the night to end, they stopped to get food, then drove to the bowling alley so Carla could use the restroom. It was then that the passenger door was flung open, and Carla was grabbed. Rodney, shocked and confused, tried to grab Carla out of the man’s hold. The man beat Rodney with his gun and even pulled the trigger three times, but no bullets were fired. Rodney was beaten unconscious. When he woke up, Carla was gone according to Inside Edition.

Hysterical, Rodney managed to drive back to Carla’s house. Blood gushing from his face, he told her parents what happened. They called the police, and Rodney was taken to the hospital. 

The description Rodney provided of the man unfortunately didn’t result in any major leads. A continuous search for Carla was conducted by foot, horseback, car and helicopter according to Heavy. Students from the school provided any information they could, but it seemed that no one had any idea who took the young girl. 

The Walker family agonized for days hoping that whoever abducted Carla would eventually ask for ransom money or just dump her back at the bowling alley where she was taken from.

Unfortunately, the worst-case scenario came true. Three days later on February 20, Carla’s body was found in a ditch near Benbrook Lake, not far from where she was originally taken. She was raped, tortured, injected with morphine and then strangled.

Detectives shifted their search to an investigation and immediately began looking for suspects. To their surprise, 21-year-old Tommy Ray Kneeland confessed voluntarily to the crime. Kneeland was on trial being accused of murdering two others, but he failed a polygraph and there was not enough evidence to convict him according to Heavy

Investigators then interviewed Glen Samuel McCurley as a suspect. At the crime scene, a gun was found and records showed that he recently purchased a handgun with the same caliber as the magazine found. NBCDFW reports that when questioned, he said the gun was stolen and denied any involvement. Since there was no further evidence and McCurley had an alibi, he was released. 

Three years later in 1977, Jimmy Dean Sasser told police that he killed Carla. Sasser was charged and indicted for the crime, but seven months later he was released from prison and admitted that he lied about it because his marriage fell apart. 

With a lack of new evidence and suspects, Carla’s case turned cold. 

In April of 2019, 45 years after her death, police decided to reexamine her case. Advancements in technology and genetic testing made the possibility of finding her killer far greater than it was in 1974. 

DNA evidence from clothing and a bra that was taken at the scene of the crime was sent to Othram, a private lab which uncovers genetic identities. Using this process, the company was able to develop a full DNA profile of a potential suspect. NBCDFW reports this led detectives to three brothers with the last name McCurley. 

Glen Samuel McCurley, having been previously interviewed decades ago, was the obvious suspect for detectives this time around. In July 2020, they collected trash outside of McCurley’s residence and sent in items for DNA analysis. When the DNA on those items matched, police returned to his home on September 10. 

McCurley invited investigators into his home and told police the same story that he did in 1974. This time, he agreed to provide them with a DNA sample. When sent to a lab, the DNA matched that found at the crime scene again. 

McCurley was arrested on September 21 and was charged with capital murder and held on a $500,000 bond Law and Crime reports. It is unfortunate that detectives were so close to her killer in 1974, but a lack of technology and evidence made it impossible.

Carla’s family says that they are praying for the suspect’s family and knows that what happened to Carla is not their fault but “prayers and forgiveness do not come with a get out of jail free card.”

SUPPORT STUDENT MEDIA

Hi, I’m Sara Crawford, a senior journalism student from Cleveland. I’m also the editor in chief of The Burr and the opinions editor for KentWired this semester. My staff and I are committed to bringing you interesting, humorous and hard-hitting stories that tap into current events, trends and the lives of those who have made a home in Kent, Ohio. We are full-time students and hard-working journalists. While we get support from the student media fee and earned revenue such as advertising, both of those continue to decline. Your generous gift of any amount will help enhance our student experience as we grow into working professionals. Please go here to donate.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

More in Season of Justice

Facebook

Trending

Staff Playlists

Playlists

Playlist: The End Of An Era

By December 12, 2020

Playlists

Playlist: The End of The World

By December 5, 2020

Playlists

Playlist: Moments In Movies

By November 14, 2020

Playlists

Playlist: Absolute Chaos

By November 7, 2020

Playlists

Playlist: Spooky Scary Skeletons

By October 31, 2020

Recent Stories

Strong Opinions

On Santa Deniers: A Christmas Meditation

By December 17, 2020

FEATURES

The Plight Of Student Workers

By December 16, 2020

Speakeasy Sounds

Final Speakeasy Sounds

By December 15, 2020

A Stonewall State of Mind

Growing Up Gay #3: The Creative Way

By December 11, 2020

FEATURES

More Than Just A Pen And Paper

By December 9, 2020

In the Queue

In The Queue #5: Female Empowerment

By December 9, 2020

FEATURES

I Never Left The Stage

By December 7, 2020

Season of Justice

Season of Justice: Carla Walker

By December 7, 2020

Playlists

Playlist: The End of The World

By December 5, 2020

GUEST BLOGGERS

Ending Where I Began

By November 20, 2020

Strong Opinions

Strong Opinions: The Bar Scene in Kent

By November 19, 2020

The Art Outlet

A Day in the Life of a Musical Theatre Major

By November 18, 2020

Speakeasy Sounds

Speakeasy Sounds #12

By November 17, 2020

The Egg Burner

The Egg Burner: Layered Taco Dip

By November 16, 2020

In the Queue

In The Queue #4: Comedic Break

By November 11, 2020

FEATURES

On Video Games and Escapism

By November 10, 2020

GUEST BLOGGERS

You Are Entirely Up to You

By November 10, 2020

Season of Justice

Season of Justice: Sherri Rasmussen

By November 9, 2020

GUEST BLOGGERS

Music to my ears (finally)

By November 6, 2020

Strong Opinions

Fellini, 2020

By November 5, 2020

The Art Outlet

How You Can Help Art Survive COVID-19

By November 4, 2020

Speakeasy Sounds

Speakeasy Sounds #11

By November 3, 2020

The Egg Burner

Egg Burner: Chicken Casserole

By November 2, 2020

Playlists

Playlist: Spooky Scary Skeletons

By October 31, 2020

A Stonewall State of Mind

Growing Up Gay: A Stonewall State of Mind Series

By October 30, 2020

Weekly Wellness

Weekly Wellness: Me vs. Hormonal Acne

By October 29, 2020

In the Queue

In The Queue #3: Halloween Edition

By October 28, 2020

Strong Opinions

Tolkien ‘Bout Sex

By October 22, 2020

Speakeasy Sounds

Speakeasy Sounds #10

By October 20, 2020

Playlists

Playlist: Feelin’ Good!

By October 17, 2020

A Stonewall State of Mind

The State Of Things

By October 16, 2020

Weekly Wellness

Weekly Wellness: Living with a Partner

By October 15, 2020

In the Queue

In The Queue #2: Scary Movies

By October 14, 2020
To Top