This is Part 2 of this write-up. Please read part 1 first. This is the link: https://www.reddit.com/UnresolvedMysteries/comments/143r7l9/felix_vail_the_pedophile_serial_killer_caught/
Born on the 7th of December 1965, Annette Craver was intelligent and creative. At 15 she was a singer-songwriter and in her senior year at a private school that specialized in medicine. Her dream was to become a midwife. http://charleyproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/vail_annette6.jpg
(A photo of Annette Craver.)
In the summer of 1981, she and her mother, Mary Rose greeted people at a friend’s yard sale in the Montrose neighborhood in Houston, Texas. They had just returned from a vacation in Mexico, and Annette felt heartsick, still infatuated with a boy named Adolfo, who was unable to join her in America. VAIL MEETS ANNETTE
While people browsed the sale, Vail pulled up on a motorcycle and spoke with Annette. He was 41 and had done some carpentry work in the area. “When I saw her, I thought, ‘That’s going to be my new girlfriend,’” he said about the 15-year-old.
In April 1982, Rose and her daughter invested in a Tulsa home that had a rental cottage behind it. Rose began renovating both. After graduating from high school, Annette joined her mother in Tulsa. Vail appeared a few days later, and convinced Annette to leave with him on his motorcycle. They lived off the $500-a-month Social Security check that she received from her father’s death 3 years prior. It would be over a year before Mary Rose would see her daughter again.
That fall, Annette (who was still 15)
would fall pregnant, and Vail would force her to have a painful abortion.
Jerry Woodall, reportedly friends with Vail later recalled an embarrassing scene, where the 42-year-old Vail was in a sleeping bag, having public sex with a 16-year-old Annette, only 20 feet away from him and his then-wife Meredith McMackin. Annette grinned and waved at them. Woodall and McMackin did their best to ignore them.
McMackin would later say that Vail had “this coldness and controlling aspect to his personality. Annette was so open and alive, but I think he just totally dominated her. He would try to convey that he was this higher form of being. At first, I thought maybe he was evolved, but then I realized it was this arrogant act.”
Later that summer, police in California would arrest Vail for violating probation a dozen years earlier. Annette telephoned Woodall, who gave her $200. After Vail walked free from prison, he and Annette decided to get married. However, as a 17-year-old she needed permission.
Annette told her mother that she loved Vail, that they were already “spiritually married” and that they would travel to Mexico and get married there if she refused. Not wanting to lose her daughter completely, Rose said OK.
On August 15th, 1983, in Bakersfield, California, the couple were wed. AFTER THE MARRIAGE
Four months after the marriage, Annette turned 18, allowing her to collect more than $98,000 ($293,500 today) from life insurance policies on her late father. Accompanied by Vail, she withdrew all the money in cash from a San Antonio bank. She bought a Fiat convertible that Vail liked and paid for his dental work.
In April 1984, Rose returned home to find Annette waiting at her door. She told her she wanted to divorce Vail, and enroll in college. She talked about Vail’s temper, including an incident where he had broken his hand trying to punch his wife. He missed and hit a wall.
A few weeks later, Vail showed up. The couple fought constantly, and Vail left after a few days. Mary Rose said that Vail was “insanely jealous” and would become furious when Annette spoke of her desire to go out with younger men.
She and Annette worked on renovating the two homes after Vail left, enjoying their time together. The 2 even started a garden together.
Annette received a letter from Vail, who vowed their time apart would fuel their love. He wrote to her: “After we hung up, I went out to a park and ran and hung and talked with God and smoked some and shot some pool and rode with the top down out through the marsh playing ‘Iron Butterfly’ [“In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida”] and bathing every inch of your body-spirit being with love.”
He referred to being away from Annette as “deprivation jail” and to her ego as “his jailor.”
“The idea of her cutting away ego’s “feeder roots and creating roots between your spirit and the cosmic ground of loving makes me hot for you. My mind is kissing you everywhere.”
After that, Vail would return to Annette’s life. Rose said, “Annette told me, ‘Felix is the wisest person in the world, and I can’t make decisions without him.’” His influence on Annette had only grown stronger. According to Rose, she even compared Vail to God, a comparison Vail agreed with.
After this, the couple angrily insisted that Rose move out and deed the house to Annette. Accompanied by suicidal thoughts brought on by Vail’s continued control over her daughter, Rose left for California to stay with family and friends, deeding the house to Annette for $7000 ($21,000 today) before she did.
Annette would add Vail to the deed, and a month later had deeded him both homes, leaving him as the sole owner. ANNETTE’S DISAPPEARANCE
Mere weeks after deeding the houses to Vail, the couple told neighbors they were leaving on vacation. When Vail returned in October, he was alone.
Vail told a neighbor that Annette had a lot of money wither her when he’d left her, and that she was likely visiting friends in Denver.
Upon learning that Annette hadn’t come back with Vail, Mary Rose called him. “He told me that while they were camping, Annette had a sexual dream about being with other men in Mexico, and she wanted to go there,” she recalled to an investigative reporter years later. “He claimed that the dream made them both realize that she should have her freedom.” The next day, Vail told her he had put Annette on a bus with $50,000 ($150,000 today) but didn't elaborate.
On Oct 22, 1984, Rose filed a missing person’s report. She told the Tulsa Police Department that each person who spoke with Vail “gets a different story about the amount of money that Annette took with her and where she might be. We all believe that he knows where she is or has done something with her.”
On January 22, 1985, Detective Dennis Davis and another officer questioned Vail at his home (This is obscenely late to start questioning him). By this point, Vail had filed for divorce, citing an inability to find her after a “diligent search.” Davis said her mother, Mary Rose, mentioned her daughter had received more than $90,000 from her father’s estate. Vail confirmed this was true, saying the couple had spent much of that money traveling in foreign countries. He said they kept their money in cash because they didn’t trust banks and that he had found about $10,000 in cash when he returned home.
The next day, Vail called a lawyer, who promised to talk with the officers and tell them to “leave me alone,” as he wrote in his journal.
When Davis returned five days later, Vail had a detailed alibi: The couple left Tulsa between noon and 3 p.m. on Sept. 13, 1984, and stayed the night in a hotel in Claremont, Oklahoma. After two nights of camping on the river, Annette woke up and told Vail she had decided to leave him. He took her to the Trailways Bus Station in St. Louis and left before she bought the ticket. (There is no Trailways Bus Station in St. Louis, and there has never been a Trailways Bus Station in St. Louis.)
He told the officers that she had told him she was headed for Denver, where she planned to get a fake ID card and leave for Mexico. When asked if he would take a lie detector test, Vail said no.
After Davis left, he wrote a letter to Rose. He blamed her for the “bad things” about Annette, told her that after the couple had returned from Costa Rica Annette had been “seeing friends and relatives --- completing her relationships with them for the purpose of getting ready to drop everybody and start over.” He wrote that Annette “disappeared herself from you” because Rose kept imposing her “value system” on her, and said Annette viewed her mother, grandmother, and herself as “zero self-image whores for approval.”
He explained the 2 had no plans to communicate, he did not know where she was, and that “I also assure you that even if I did know, I would not tell you.”
When Rose returned to Tulsa in April 1985, she entered the cottage Annette used to live in, only to find almost all the young woman’s belongings were gone, including her clothes and her diary.
Inside a Barbie suitcase, Rose found a photograph of her daughter and several of her identification cards. She also located things that Annette had written, including a Feb. 17, 1984, note that contradicted Vail’s claim that the couple had spent most of her inheritance on their travel to Mexico and Central American countries.
Instead, the note detailed how they used the money to buy the Fiat, pay off all of Vail’s loans, and deposit $36,000 into Louisiana Savings. It said that as of that day, they had $41,600 ($125,000 today) in cash.
Rose shared the information with the police. Detective Davis showed up again, and Vail told Davis the couple divided the money into smaller cashier’s checks, contradicting his earlier statement that they kept the money in cash.
After a while, Davis left, and despite the (seemingly obvious)
suspicious behavior of Vail, closed the missing person’s case. AFTER ANNETTE’S DISAPPEARANCE
Rose kept calling Vail after this and was finally able to reach him on September 14th 1985.
When asked about Annette’s whereabouts he refused to tell her.
When asked about Annette’s missing clothes he said he gave them to charity.
When asked about the insurance money, Vail told her ‘That’s all she really cared about.’ Rose hung up.
Two years later, fed up with the lack of progress in Annette’s case, Rose would return to Tulsa. She spent thousands of dollars on private investigators to locate Vail. When that failed, she simply went and found him herself.
Tipped off that he was staying at someone’s house, she went there with a friend and found him sitting outside. When asked where Annette went, he replied “Mexico.” When asked where in Mexico, he said the 2 had made a pact to contact each other every 5 years, contradicting his statement that the 2 didn’t have plans to communicate. Rose didn’t believe a word of it.
The whole time Vail never looked up, never stood up and never looked her in the eye. BETH FIELD
Some time after this, Vail began dating Beth Field. Soon the couple had began arguing, and Vail would call her a “whore.” During a December 1987 argument, he would strike her so hard he ruptured her ear drum. She told Vail there was no justification for violence, to which he responded, “If you quit behaving like a whore, I’ll quit hitting you.”
In August 1988 Beth received a call from Rose, sharing details about the disappearance of her daughter, Annette. From that point forward, Field said she began to examine Vail’s words more closely, realizing that he had likely murdered her.
Four months after the call, he entered her home unannounced. Already drunk, he accused her of “imagined promiscuity,” according to a court order. He slapped her, struck her, and threw her across the bedroom. She asked if Vail was going to kill her, to which Vail replied, “It depends on what you tell me.”
A judge gave her a protective order, requiring Vail to keep his distance. Two weeks later, the sheriff reported that Vail was nowhere to be found.
While Field was visiting a meditation center in Texas in 1990, Vail arrived. After composing herself, she told him “There is a part of you that goes off, and it’s sick and it’s dangerous.”
He looked at her and asked, “Really?” She said “yes, really.” This time, the message seemed to go through. Vail left the next day, and with a single exception about five years later, she never saw him again. MARY ROSE LEARNS ABOUT THE OTHER 2 CASES
In the summer of 1991 (6 years after Annette's disappearance), Rose drove over 2000 miles to Canyon Lake, Texas to speak to Sue Jordan, Felix Vail’s sister. Jordan said that Vail had told her that Annette wanted to leave, that he took her to a bus station and that she left with some Mexican men, heading for Mexico. Jordan also mentioned that Vail’s first wife had drowned, which was news to Rose.
Before she left, Jordan also told her, “Oh, you know, there was another woman that disappeared. I remember her mother calling my mother for years, checking to see if they’d heard from her. I think her name was Sharon.”
After the conversation, Rose sat down at a typewriter, writing every word she could remember. She also called the public library in Lake Charles.
The librarian remembered the 1962 drowning of Vail’s first wife, Mary Horton. She told Rose that he had taken out life insurance policies on his wife prior to her drowning and that the insurance companies were suspicious and didn’t pay the full value. The librarian made copies of newspaper articles and mailed them to her.
After reading them, Rose reached out to Mary’s family in Louisiana, speaking to Will Horton. He shared her suspicions about Vail and a copy of the 1971 National Enquirer article made after Vail's son Bill reported him to the police. When she read it, she learned that Sharon’s last name was Hensley.
In 1994, she read in the newspaper about Dolores Strehlow’s disappearance from Medford, Oregon, seven years earlier. Police had just arrested her husband, thanks to the work of Detective Terry Newell. She contacted Newell, who helped her find the family of Sharon Hensley. When Rose dialed the Hensley family, Sharon’s mother, Peggy, answered. Rose asked if Peggy knew a Felix Vail. Peggy replied with "you bet I do" THE INVESTIGATION HEATS UP… AND COOLS DOWN
The detective who helped Rose before, Terry Newell, contacted Jim Bell, a national expert in serial killings working for the FBI. When Rose talked with Bell, she felt like she'd finally gotten somewhere. He was interested in working on the Vail case if he could swing the time. He still remained busy with active serial killer cases, helping train task forces across the U.S. Vail’s son, Bill, told Rose that he was willing to testify, as long as authorities provided protection to his family. Both the Tulsa police and the district attorney’s office in Lake Charles revived their investigations into Vail, now considered a suspected serial killer.
Bell suggested the victims’ families gather with authorities at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia, to share information on Vail. He was unable to work on the case and left the FBI in 1995. The meeting in Quantico never materialized, and the cases involving Vail grew cold once again. A QUICK RUN DOWN OF EVENTS
In the fall of 1997, family and friends held a mural for Annette.
Diagnosed with esophageal cancer, Vail’s son Bill heard from doctors that he didn’t have long to live. He’s quoted saying “now I’ll get to be with my mom.” Months before passing away in 2009, Bill talked about his father in a recorded interview with his pastor at Grace Church in Overland Park, Kansas.
On Jan. 3, 2009, Bill died, and Vail wrote in his journal, “I feel a large empty hole in my being where his life presence has been for 47 years,” before writing about getting a good haircut. He drove to Kansas but didn’t attend his own son’s funeral. If he had, he would have heard the recording, with his son detailing how he had overheard his father talk about murdering Bill's mother, Mary.
When Vail learned of the recording, he wrote to Pastor Tim Howey, asking for a copy. He blamed his son’s statements on “false memories,” saying, “I have not known about it until now and am stunned.”
In 2012, while attempting to confront Vail with reporter Jerry Mitchell whom she had contacted to write about Vial, Rose was stopped by Kaye Faulkner, Vial’s sister. She told Rose and Mitchell of the recording and urged Mitchell to get a copy of it. She also said that she believed Vial had murdered Mary Horton, Sharon Hensley, and Annette Craver.
She gave the reporter Vial’s number, as well as the numbers of her other brother, Ronnie, and her sister, Beth. Vial didn’t answer those calls, so Mitchell left a message. Ronnie promised to speak to his brother on his behalf. MITCHELL INVESTIGATES
Mitchell arrived in Lake Charles and stopped by the Southwestern Louisiana Genealogical and Historical Library, which shared copies from old city directories. He began tracking down people who had lived in the Maree Apartments with Felix and Mary.
Many described Mary’s fair of drowning. A close friend of Vails, Judson McCann II described Vial as a ladies’ man, and insinuated he was a cheater. “Many nights, his car wouldn’t be home, and Mary would be there with the lights on. When Felix was gone, it wasn’t because he was trotline fishing.”
Another close friend, Bob Hodges described Vial’s story of Mary ‘falling’ in the river as “horse manure.”
A college roommate of Mary, Sandra Sudduth Pratt, said “Nobody believed it was an accident.”
Mitchell shared Mary’s autopsy report with pathologist Dr. Michael Baden of New York City, who concluded that foul play had taken place in her death.
The report showed large bruises with bleeding into tissues on the left side of the neck, which he said suggested she suffered forceful neck trauma before entering the water. There were hemorrhagic bruises to the right calf and left leg above the knee, which he said were consistent with a struggle before her submersion. But most convincingly of all was the scarf authorities found around her neck that extended 4 inches into her mouth, which suggested traumatic asphyxia before entering the water.
“Somebody had to push that scarf into her mouth. She had to have that scarf wedged in her mouth before she was put in the water.”
A cousin put Mary’s brother Will Horton in touch with former detective “Rabbit” Manuel, who had headed up the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Office’s investigation back in 1962. He had never forgotten Mary’s death. “Felix’s story just didn’t add up. The fishing tackle was dry. The trotline was dry. The boat was dry. Even Felix’s cigarettes were dry, despite him telling the deputies he dove straight in the water to save Mary.”
He and Manuel met with “Lucky” DeLouche, who directed an elite task force unit that investigated homicides. Three young detectives took notes as they talked. Manuel shared details from the case, saying deputies (officers) wanted to prosecute, but the district attorney wouldn’t let them. Horton shared the autopsy report, Vail’s letters and his belief that Vail was a serial killer. Horton said DeLouche replied, “This absolutely fits the profile of a serial killer,” to which the other detectives agreed.
Shortly afterwards, DeLouche left the task force, and for seemingly the hundredth time, grew cold again.
After Mitchell posted a story about Vail titled “Gone” (It’s nearly 9,000 words long, and the precursor to the 35,500 word story I have drawn heavily from) a man named Wesley Turnage contacted him. He told him of a conversation he had had with Vail in 1963 during a car ride.
According to Turnage, Vail called Mary a bitch and said she thought another child would help solve their marriage problems. He quoted Vail as saying, “She wanted to have another kid. I didn’t want the one I got. I fixed that sorry bitch. She will never have another one.”
Mitchell would make another discovery. District Attorney Salter Jr. had ordered that the judge dismiss 882 criminal cases — more than three cases for each working day.
Will Horton told Mitchell the original detectives in the case told him that Salter wouldn’t allow them to present the evidence they had collected against Vail. That matched the stories Mitchell had heard from grand jurors’ families.
Horton then contacted District Attorney John DeRosier, who said he would be willing to reopen the case if there was enough evidence.
Then came an interesting wrinkle in the story. Finding Vail.
He’d disappeared, returning on Labor Day weekend 2012 to sell his property, before disappearing again. Luckily, another reader of "Gone" came to the rescue. He phoned Mitchell, telling him where Vial was. Canyon Lake, Texas.
Mitchell then contacted Enzo Yaksic, founder of the Serial Homicide Expertise and Information Sharing Collaborative. Yaksic then contacted Armin Showalter, acting chief for the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit, which specialized in serial homicide investigations.
Yaksic shared a copy of GONE with Showalter, who in turn called Calcasieu Parish Deputy Randy Curtis, now taking on the Vail case. Curtis phoned Mitchell to find out where Vail was. A few days later, he called back to say the FBI had discovered Vail purchased property at 737 Shadyview Drive in Canyon Lake.
On Jan. 18, 2013, Curtis decided to confront Vail. He found him at that address, living in a storage shed. Curtis said he read Vail his rights before asking him about the death and disappearances of the women. Vail refused to say anything, accusing families and The Clarion-Ledger (Where "Gone" was published) of lying about him. The whole time, Vail couldn’t stop smirking.
Will Horton gave Mitchell the number of his cousin, who was a caretaker for 90-year-old Isaac Abshire Jr. When Mitchell sat down with the man, he shared a haunting story.
Abshire had worked with Vail and offered him a room to rent out. Once Vail and Mary were married, Vail had moved out. Abshire viewed himself as “a big brother” to Mary, calling her “a sweet little girl.”
After the marriage, Vail had become angry at work, talking about how ugly his wife was when she was pregnant, and how he didn’t like his baby. On the Friday before she was killed, the couple visited Abshire, bringing Bill, who was still an infant. Mary privately asked Abshire if he thought Vail could take her baby away.
Two days later, Mary was dead.
Abshire and two other workers went out the next day to drag the river. The next morning, Oct. 30, 1962, he returned with one of them, Jimmy May, to continue dragging.
Abshire said while they were talking, “something popped up. A guy with binoculars asked, ‘Does she have blonde hair?’ I said, ‘Yes, that’s her.’”
They recovered the body, and Abshire could never forget what he saw. Her body was rigid, and a scarf was wrapped around her neck before going into her mouth. Blood boiled on the boat, everyone voicing the same opinion. Vail had killed Mary.
Abshire had kept photos from that day for over 50 years. He said he had given them to Deputy Curtis as well as a copy of the 1962 sheriff’s report, which listed 15 points suggesting Vail’s guilt.
Despite being behind on major bills, Vail had managed to pay an entire year’s premiums in advance for a $50,000 ($150,000 today) life insurance policy on his wife. He had a second life insurance policy on her for $8,000 ($24,000 today), which promised to pay double if she died by accident.
It was almost as if he knew she was about to die.
Deputies had reported witnesses claims that Vail had told them he didn’t love his wife, that she looked stupid and vulgar, and that he had had sexual relations with multiple women, and at least one man.
Vail told deputies that his wife was wearing an off-white leather jacket when she went into the water. But she wasn’t wearing the jacket when her body was recovered. Inside his boat, deputies found two life preservers. Mary had not been wearing one, despite her fear of drowning. As for the trotline the 2 were supposedly running, deputies found it still inside Vail’s tackle box.
Most witnesses the Deputies had spoken too felt that Vail was capable of killing his wife.
When asked if he believed Vail killed his wife, Abshire said “Oh, my God, yes.” THE CHASE & THE FINAL CLUES:
Ever since Vail had sold his Mississippi property, Mary Rose had wondered if he would eventually sell the Tulsa property, the one she and Annette had lived in. He did. Vail sold it for $149,000. Rose asked the question on the mind of everyone investigating. “What is he going to do with all that money? --- He could be running.”
On April 30th Mitchell got a call saying that Vail had left Texas. He was pulled over by police in Columbus, Mississippi after hopping the fence of his now dead brother Ronnie’s property. Curtis told Mitchell that the Columbus police were sending him a photo of Vail and the white pick-up truck he was pulled over in. He once again warned Mitchell that Vail could be running.
Vail’s sister called again, saying she heard her brother was heading to Montpelier. She wondered if he was driving to the home of possible witness Wesley Turnage.
Mitchell called Turnage to let him know that Vail might be headed his way. Turnage replied “If he sets foot on my property, there won’t be no trial.” He called Mitchell back later, saying no one in Montpelier had seen Vail.
Private Investigator Gina Frenzel, who had questioned Vail herself, including pretending to be his girlfriend, called Mitchell with good news. Vail had contacted her and told her he was back in Canyon Lake. Mitchell informed Curtis. On May 17th 2012, authorities arrested Felix Vail for the murder of his wife Mary Horton.
In telephone calls from the jail in Lake Charles, he shared his explanation of what happened the night of Oct. 28, 1962, when Mary died.
He referred to his first wife as a “coon-ass lady,” saying she was “half kneeling” on his feet when she “saw one of the float buckets that were on the line.” He said the boat was “going real slow along the edge of the bank when the boat hit a stump ... and it dumped her right out.” Vail said he shut off the motor and dove in “where she had plopped in the water. I mean, nothing. The river had sucked her right in.” He said he “dove around until I was exhausted, and came in immediately to the police station in town and reported the accident and that was it.”
This story differed greatly from his story in 1962 when he said his wife was sitting on top of a boat seat when she fell out, not that she was kneeling on his feet. Back then, he said nothing about hitting a stump — just swerving to miss it.
It also differed from the story he had told his son, where a wave from another boat had dumped Mary out.
Vail told Frenzel that the case “has been an avalanche coming down the mountain all that time, waiting to hit my head, and it finally has.”
He blamed the families and Mitchell, “an evil, shrimpy reporter,” for what had happened, calling the charges “fabricated” and insisting that “a large amount of money, hate and political ambitions are behind them.”
At Vail’s request, Frenzel returned his truck to his home and went inside to take care of a few tasks. While there, she spent 16 hours photographing all his journals, more than 2,400 pages. She also photographed letters, documents, photographs and business cards, some dating back to the 1960s. She found a collection of women’s jewelry, old buttons, pins, and even a glass dildo.
Disturbingly, if at this point unsurprisingly, she found a photograph of a naked 3-year-old girl. Frenzel later spoke with the girl, now a woman. The journals revealed that Vail had stalked her for years.
Frenzel discovered the birth certificate of Annette Craver, who had used it for previous trips to Mexico.
Mitchell and Frenzel poured through the journals she had photographed. They noticed gaps in them that lead them to believe Vail had ripped pages out, including times when he should have been with Sharon and Annette.
His journals were dominated by sex, dreams of sex and reflected an obsession with children. In a March 27, 1986, entry, Vail wrote about the visit of a woman and her daughters in his home. “The little girls were delicious --- We massaged some, hugged & kissed some & it was 12 (midnight) & time for them to go.”
On Aug. 29, 1992, Vail walked into the Wal-Mart in West Point, and as he wrote in his journal “a 1-year-old white girl looked in my eyes loving me like there was no age difference between us.”
When Mitchell interviewed Kert Germany, a co-worker of Vail in 1977 he said that Vail attracted women wherever he went, and that Vail had told him the best sex of his life had been with 2- or 3-year-old girl.
It was that this time that Alexandra Christianson, Vail’s ex-wife called Mitchell and told him her story. She also put him in contact with Bruce Biedebach, the man she had been on a date with when she left with Vail. Biedebach would tell Mitchell that during a party in 1965 that turned into a “boast-fest” Vail had boasted about something he had done, that no one else had done.
Killed his wife.
He told the men at the party that he had held his wife’s head underwater until she drowned.
Biedebach then put Mitchell in contact with Rob Fremont, who had bicycled around California with Vail when he was 13. He said that while riding with Vail, he had told him that he hit his wife on the head and drowned her. Fremont never rode with him again after that.
With as much evidence as they could possibly gather, the case went to trial.
Vail’s trial began on August 8th, 2016.
District Attorney John DeRosier laid out the evidence clearly.
He spoke of the evidence against Vail about Mary’s murder on October 28th, 1962.
He spoke about Vail swearing to Sharon Hensley’s mother that she wanted to start a new life in 1974.
He spoke about his letters to Mary Rose, telling her he wouldn’t tell her where her daughter Annette was “even if he knew.” Vail smirked at that one.
Finally, he spoke to the jurors.
“Mary Horton Vail is gone, Sharon Hensley is gone,” DeRosier said, “and Annette Craver Vail is gone.”
“You’re going to write the last chapter, and it’s simply going to read, ‘And justice was finally done. William Felix Vail, guilty as charged.’”
Prosecutors called all three families to testify.
Will Horton told jurors of his sister, “Mary was the kind of person you would want as a friend.” He broke while talking about visiting his nephew after he death in 1962. “I just wanted Bill to know how much his mother loved him.”
Brian Hensley told jurors that he last saw his sister, Sharon, with Vail before the pair left Bismarck, North Dakota, in 1972. Other than a telephone call and letter in the months that followed, he said no one had seen or heard from her since.
When Mary Rose took the stand, Vail bowed his head.
This was the woman who had been working for 32 long years to bring him into this court.
This was the mother who had waited 32 years for this moment.
She called Annette “a huge light in my life. We were always loving toward each other.” She testified that Vail ran off with her daughter on his motorcycle and married her. She testified that Annette, who inherited nearly $100,000 and received two homes, disappeared weeks after deeding those homes to Vail.
Wesley Turnage, Rob Fremont, and Bruce Biedebach swore under oath that Vail said he killed his first wife. Biedebach said he asked Vail if Mary was a bitch, to which Vail had said yes. Vail laughed in court as he told the story.
The current coroner, forensic pathologist Dr. Terry Welke, testified that in most drownings, the body comes up in a “dead person’s float,” with the back of the head surfacing first and the limbs hanging down in the water.
After sharing a series of pictures to show it, he showed the court two black-and-white photographs of Mary Horton when her body was recovered on Oct. 30, 1962, less than two days after she reportedly drowned. Her body was stiff, with her hands over chest as if she was in a coffin.
They also saw the videotaped testimony of Isaac Abshire Jr, who had died in 2014. He said her body was stiff when it surfaced either sideways or face up when she bobbed up in the Calcasieu River.
That testimony helped contribute to Welke’s homicide conclusion. So did the unbroken grease-like stain across her Chi Omega sweatshirt, which he believed could have come from a tarp covering her. Welke concluded Mary was dead and stiff before her body went into the water, explaining why rigor had set in.
Testimony was heard of Vail not paying for his own wife’s funeral, despite having made thousands from her life insurance.
The jury didn’t even take a half hour to reach their verdict.
William Felix Vail Sr was unanimously found guilty of murdering Mary Horton. He was sentenced to life in prison.
After the verdict, the prosecutor also revealed that the FBI had found out that Vail had molested a child over 30 years ago. They were unable to put him on trial for it, as the statue of limitations had passed.
Finally, nearly 54 years after she was murdered, Mary Horton had found justice.
Finally, 42 years after her disappearance, Sharon Hensley had found justice.
And Annette Craver, with the help of her mother Mary Rose’s tireless efforts, had finally found justice after 32 years. https://content.api.news/v3/images/bin/f75084c7dce4fb08e12e45ccba5e40a1
This a photo of Mary, Sharon and Annette. I felt it was fitting to end off with. May they all rest in peace. MY SOURCES: https://www.namus.gov/MissingPersons/Case#/8284?nav https://charleyproject.org/case/annette-michelle-craver-vail https://www.clarionledger.com/story/news/local/felixvailgone/2016/12/29/felix-vail-gone-one-wife-dead-two-other-missing-jerry-mitchell/95895894/ https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/5796622/mary-elizabeth-vail https://charleyproject.org/case/sharon-hensley https://www.namus.gov/MissingPersons/Case#/20525?nav
really hyped for the new video, what are you guys favorite work from the master?
Mine are: Quarters, PDA, FMB covers ( all of them but these are killers); Vancouver 22', San Diego 22', Micro Tour 21' and Brisbane 2nd night posters ( there are a LOT of top tier ones); Ya Love, FFF, People-Vultures videos.