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Thread: 1974 cold case rape & murder of Carla Jan Walker (17) solved with familial DNA; Glen Samuel McCurley (77) arrested

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    1974 cold case rape & murder of Carla Jan Walker (17) solved with familial DNA; Glen Samuel McCurley (77) arrested

    An arrest has been made in a Fort Worth cold case that went unsolved for nearly half a century.

    Police said 77-year-old Glen Samuel McCurley was in custody Tuesday in connection with the 1974 murder of Carla Jan Walker, who was 17-years-old when she was abducted, held captive and sexually assaulted before being murdered and left in a ditch after a Valentine's Day dance.

    Investigators said the abductor snatched the young woman from the passenger seat of her boyfriend's car in a bowling alley parking lot. Her boyfriend, Rodney McCoy, told police the man pointed a gun at him and threatened to kill him before something hit him in the head, knocking him unconscious. McCoy said he later woke up to find Walker was gone and blood coming from his head.

    Three days later Walker's body was found dumped in a culvert near Benbrook Lake. Police said she had been beaten, raped, strangled and tortured alive for two days after her disappearance. The medical examiner also ruled that the killer injected her with morphine.
    NBC 5 learned on Tuesday that DNA evidence recovered from clothing and a bra worn by Walker on the night she was killed was sent to Othram, a private lab in the The Woodlands which uncovers genetic identities "through DNA, rootless hair and decades-old bones." Using a new process, detectives said the company was able to develop, for the first time in this case, a full DNA profile of a potential suspect.

    That DNA profile was then used to narrow the search to three brothers with the last name McCurley.

    McCurley was the name of a possible suspect in Walker's case file. Police said during the initial investigation of Walker's death, Glen Samuel McCurley had been identified as a person of interest in 1974 because he owned a gun, a .22 Ruger, that matched a magazine found at the crime scene.

    Nearly two months after Walker's disappearance and murder, McCurley was picked up and interviewed by detectives about the case. McCurley told detectives in 1974 that his wife had gone to West Texas to visit family and that his .22 Ruger had been stolen about six weeks earlier (around the time of the murder) and that he didn't report it because he was an ex-con who'd been to jail for car theft.

    McCurley also told investigators that on the day of the murder he worked until 4:30 p.m. as a truck driver and had been off work the following day. Detectives did not again pursue McCurley following the 1974 interview until the DNA profile match was found in GEDMATCH.

    On July 7, 2020, investigators collected trash from a bin in front of McCurley's residence and items from that bin were sent for analysis. On Sept. 4, 2020, police learned an item found in the trash matched the male DNA profile found on Walker's clothing.

    On Sept. 10, 2020, police said they returned to McCurley's home and were invited inside where they spoke to both he and his wife. McCurley told the same story to investigators in 2020, that he'd spoke with detectives in 1974 because of the gun he owned, that he said had been stolen and never recovered, and that his wife was out of town at the time visiting family. He said he didn't kill anyone and did not know Carla Walker.

    He was asked if he'd provide a DNA sample and he agreed and signed a consent form. Two swabs were taken and sent to a lab for analysis. Six days later, on Sept. 16, police said they were notified the swabs matched the DNA found on Walker's bra.

    A warrant for capital murder was then obtained and McCurley was taken into custody without incident. Jail records showed McCurley was being held in the Tarrant County Jail on a charge of capital murder with bond set at $100,000.

    During a news conference Tuesday afternoon, detectives with the Fort Worth Police Department said they believe the assault and murder were random and that Walker and McCurley didn't know each other. Over the last four decades, police said it appears McCurley had led a relatively normal life, was married and had two children. Police said Tuesday that McCurley is not a suspect in any other crimes.

  2. #2
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    Glen McCurley Changes Plea to Guilty in Carla Walker Murder Trial

    After maintaining his innocence for more than four decades, the man accused of kidnapping and killing 17-year-old Western Hills High School junior Carla Walker in 1974 waived his right to a jury trial and changed his plea to guilty Tuesday morning.

    About 8:40 a.m., 78-year-old Glen Samuel McCurley entered Judge Elizabeth Beach's Tarrant County courtroom, was sworn in, and soon after changed his plea from not guilty to guilty.

    Beach began the third day of the trial by saying she had received a document in which McCurley had confessed to Walker's kidnapping and murder. She asked McCurley if he understood that he had a right to proceed with the jury trial but that by signing the agreement he was waiving his right to that trial and was proceeding with a guilty plea.

    He responded to the judge that he was "guilty" and was immediately sentenced to life in prison and the trial was concluded.

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