A week ago, we ran article soliciting the public's help in identifying a young woman who was found murdered in cold blood outside of Huntsville, Texas on All Saints' Day, 1980. Thank you to bloggers who linked to the article: InsanityBytes, Lone Star Parson, and Citizen Tom. If there were others, please let us know. Insanity Bytes posted an article of her own on the case.
To summarize the story briefly: our unidentified Sister was believed to have been 14-16 years old and from a Middle-Class background. She had a friend or relative in Huntsville Prison. She was probably from in or around Corpus Christi. Distinguishing features were a scar near her right eye and on her right elbow. She may have been left-handed. She's known currently only as 'Walker County Jane Doe.'
After the last article, some commentary came in mostly offering support and offering a theory or two. But one reader sent us a screenshot of an interesting conversation from Facebook roughly two years ago. The context of this discussion was whether or not WCJD possibly could have been in a Girls' Home. The subject of a now-defunct home called Rebekah House came up; and someone commented as follows:
For privacy reasons, we redacted the names here. However, our research seems to indicate that the woman posting this is indeed a real person and was in fact an alumni of Rebekah House.
Rebekah House was located in Corpus Christi and was affiliated with the Independent Baptist denomination. I mentioned at IB's blog that I'm about the same age and from the same general area as WCJD---and what I remember of Rebekah House was that it was one of those kinds of places where frustrated mothers threatened to send their daughters when they were angry. It was strict, although most of the horror stories about it are probably urban legends directed against the pastor who founded it. That minister, whose name was Lester Roloff, was somewhat like the Doug Wilson of the 1980's: controversial, charismatic, and a magnet for politically-motivated enemies.
Rebekah House had a reputation for straightening out even the most rebellious of young women. Not all of the young ladies at Rebekah however were bad girls or at-risk youth. A few were members of the church who attended as part of their education. A few others were orphans or wards of the state. WCJD was probably either connected to the church or referred to foster care. If she'd had a juvenile record, police could have identified her by fingerprints. She must have been removed by family or legal guardians before she became a runaway. Rebekah House always reported runaways; and no reports from that time or place match WCJD.
We can't say for sure that this is a positive lead yet; but it's credible enough to be considered. If any women reading were in Rebekah House circa 1978-1980 and this girl looks familiar, let us know. Also, there is the possibility that she was from a family connected with Reverend Roloff's church; so if any members of the Independent Baptist denomination remembers someone like her who went missing: again get in touch. Or call directly if you prefer, the Walker County Sheriff's Office at 936-435-2400.