Carla Walker was a 17-year-old American homicide victim who was abducted from a bowling alley parking lot in Fort Worth, Texas on February 17, 1974.
Her body was found three days later in a drainage ditch just 30 minutes south of Fort Worth.
Walker was sitting with her boyfriend, Rodney McCoy, in his car in the parking lot of Brunswick Ridglea Bowl after attending a dance at Western Hills High School when an unknown assailant assaulted them.
McCoy was pistol-whipped and rendered unconscious, while Walker was abducted and later found dead.
Her body was found in a culvert in Lake Benbrook, Texas, and the medical examiner ruled that she had been beaten, raped, strangled, and tortured alive for two days after her disappearance.
The case went unsolved for nearly half a century until an arrest was made in 2020.
Glen Samuel McCurley, a 77-year-old man, was arrested and charged with her murder after new DNA evidence linked him to the crime.
Walker’s case is a tragic example of a cold case that went unsolved for decades, but ultimately resulted in justice being served.
Carla Walker’s kidnapping and murder
Walker was a 17-year-old American girl who was tragically kidnapped, tortured, raped and strangled to death in February 1974.
She was abducted from a bowling alley parking lot in Fort Worth, Texas on February 17, 1974. Her boyfriend witnessed the kidnapping.
Walker’s body was found three days later in a drainage ditch near Lake Benbrook, just 30 minutes south of Fort Worth.
She had been alive for two days following her abduction and had been beaten, tortured, raped, and ultimately strangled to death.
DNA evidence was found on Carla Walker’s clothes, which became a crucial piece of evidence in the case. However, the case remained unsolved for 46 years.
In September 2020, DNA evidence recovered from Carla’s clothing was sent to Othram Inc., a company specializing in forensic DNA analysis.
This breakthrough led to a major development in the case.
In March 2022, Glen McCurley pleaded guilty and was convicted of capital murder for kidnapping and strangling Carla Walker. This marked the resolution of the case after 46 years.
The kidnapping and murder of Carla Walker remained a cold case for decades, but advancements in DNA technology and forensic analysis ultimately led to the identification and conviction of the perpetrator.
The tragic nature of Carla’s murder and the long-awaited resolution of the case highlight the importance of perseverance and advancements in forensic science in seeking justice for victims of violent crimes.
Evidence used to solve Carla Walker’s murder
Walker was kidnapped, tortured, raped and strangled to death but her murder case remained unsolved for 47 years:
The case remained unsolved until Glen Samuel McCurley, Jr. was identified as the perpetrator using advanced DNA testing.
Here are the key pieces of evidence that were used to solve the case;
DNA evidence was found on Carla Walker’s clothes.
In 1974, forensic science could not glean much information from such evidence, but advanced DNA testing was used in 2020 to identify McCurley as the perpetrator.
Walker’s boyfriend witnessed her kidnapping. This testimony helped investigators identify potential suspects.
Admission of guilt
McCurley eventually admitted to killing Carla Walker after raping her. His admission of guilt was a crucial piece of evidence that led to his conviction.
Crime scene evidence
Police found Carla Walker’s partially clad body in a culvert near Benbrook Lake. Fort Worth lab technicians found semen on Walker’s underclothing.
These pieces of evidence were used to identify potential suspects and build a case against McCurley.
Investigators worked tirelessly for decades to solve the case, interviewing witnesses, collecting evidence, and pursuing leads.
The case was featured on Forensic Files and Dateline, which helped generate public interest and potentially new leads.
What did Glen Samuel McCurley do?
McCurley was involved in the murder of Walker in 1974. He was linked to the crime through DNA evidence.
He pleaded guilty to the capital murder of Walker and was sentenced to life in prison. McCurley was convicted of kidnapping and strangling Walker.
McCurley’s background includes being raised in West Texas as the eldest of three boys. His father served in World War II and later became an insurance adjuster.
He was sent to the Westview Boys’ Home in Oklahoma during his teenage years. He lived a quiet life in Fort Worth until DNA evidence connected him to the Walker murder.
It is worth noting that there is speculation that Walker may not have been McCurley’s only victim, as police suspect he may have been involved in other murders.
McCurley’s case has garnered attention and media coverage, and he is currently serving a life sentence in prison for the murder of Walker.
The motive behind McCurley’s crime is not entirely clear.
Walker’s family was present during Glen Samuel McCurley’s trial and sentencing. They expressed their relief that justice had finally been served after nearly 50 years of waiting.
Walker’s brother, Jim Walker, stated that the family was grateful for the hard work of the Fort Worth Police Department and the Othram team in identifying McCurley as the perpetrator.
Walker’s boyfriend at the time of her murder, Rodney McCoy, also testified during the trial and expressed his shock and horror at the events of that night.
During McCurley’s sentencing, Walker’s sister, Cynthia Wagner, addressed McCurley directly and urged him to take responsibility for his actions before he passed away from cancer.