Walker County Jane Doe was a teenager or young adult found murdered on November 1, 1980. She is believed to have been seen alive hours before her body was found, requesting directions to a local prison.
Some claimed to have seen the victim, who claimed she was a runaway from Aransas Pass or Rockport, Texas. The victim said she wanted to go to the Ellis Prison Farm to see a "friend." All three witnesses who saw the victim have died.
She was seen by the manager of the South End Gulf Station and two employees of the Hitch 'n Post truck stop. A waitress at the truck stop asked the girl if her parents knew where she was. The girl replied, "Who cares?"
On the morning of November 1, 1980, a trucker called the police to report the finding of a nude body along Interstate 45. The victim wore only a necklace; red sandals were discarded nearby.
The victim had been beaten severely and strangled with pantyhose, which were lodged in her vaginal cavity. She had been sexually assaulted in both lower-body cavities with a blunt object; it is unknown if she was conventionally raped, as no biological evidence was recovered. A deep bite mark was located on one of her shoulders.
After her autopsy, it was determined she was likely from a middle-class household, as she was not malnourished and had excellent dental health. The examination failed to conclusively prove whether she received orthodontic care, but her teeth were "perfectly" aligned.
Early in the investigation, Henry Lee Lucas was considered a possible suspect in the Walker County case. However, bite marks on the victim's back could not be matched to Lucas. One investigator suggested she may have been murdered by a woman.
After news reports about the murder were released, witnesses from the gas station and truck stop came forward. They identified the decedent as a girl asking for directions to the Ellis Prison Unit. No inmates or staff at the prison could identify the victim.
In January 1981, her remains were buried after the investigation stalled. In 1999, the body was exhumed for DNA information and to obtain a clearer estimation of the victim's age.
The sandals found at the scene were later tested for traces of DNA. The results have yet to be released.
She may have been killed by the same man as Debra Jackson, previously known as "Orange Socks," who was found around the same day a year before. Both were strangled, sexually assaulted and left nude by a highway, except for footwear. Henry Lee Lucas confessed to killing Jackson but later recanted; he was working in Florida the day Jackson was murdered. He confessed to thousands of murders in the country that he did not commit, resulting in coercion by detectives or for fame.
Another theory indicates the victim could be one of four other victims. The list included Harris County Jane Doe (October 1980) and Harris County Jane Doe (December 10, 1980), who were left along Interstate 45. Each victim was strangled and some were victims of sexual assault. One of the women was identified.
- She had brown hair, cut in a "wing" style.
- Her eyes were hazel but could have been brown.
- She painted her toenails a light pink.
- She was at a healthy weight.
- She had one or more dental fillings.
- Her right nipple may have been inverted, according to one news report.
Clothing and accessories
- She was found wearing a thin gold necklace with a pendant containing a smoky or blue-colored stone.
- This necklace was mysteriously lost and was never photographed
- She was found alongside a pair of high-heeled, strapped red sandals.
- She was found with pantyhose, which appeared to be the murder weapon.
- She may have worn a yellow pullover sweater.
- She may have worn blue jeans.
- She may have worn a white blouse.
- She may have been killed by a serial killer connected to the Texas Killing Fields.
- She may have also been a victim of the theorized "I-45 Killer."
- She may have known the prisoner she was seeking to visit through a prison pen pal program.
- She may have been from the Gulf Coast region of Texas.
- She may have run away from the New Bethany School for Girls or a similar institution.
- Her name may have been Cathleen/Kathleen, Kathy/Cathy or Katy.
- In late 2015, a picture of a possible runaway from Corpus Christi surfaced that resembled the victim.
- She may have been "Kitty", a 17-year old girl who was living in Galveston youth shelter and whose photo - featured in 1980 documentary "Runaways"- shows resemblance to the victim. It's also possible that Jane Doe, "Kitty" and "Kathy/Cathy" mentioned above are the same person.
- Her sketch and morgue photographs appear in Karen T. Taylor's Forensic Art and Illustration.
- Walker County Jane Doe on Wikipedia
- Walker County Jane Doe at NCMEC
- Walker County Jane Doe at NamUs UNCENSORED POSTMORTEM WARNING
- Walker County Jane Doe at the Texas Department of Public Safety
- Walker County Jane Doe at the Doe Network