Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive videos, breaking news, sweepstakes, and more!
Highschool sweethearts Rodney McCoy and Carla Walker had just left a high school Valentine’s dance on Feb. 17, 1974 when a stranger opened their car door, slammed McCoy with the butt of a gun and dragged Walker off into the night.
The popular high school cheerleader would never be seen alive again — and it would take more than four decades to bring her killer to justice.
McCoy recalled the final horrific moments he spent with his girlfriend in a new interview with NBC’s “Dateline,” airing Friday at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT.
“We started making out and doing what teenagers do,” McCoy said of their last few minutes together in the parking lot of a local Fort Worth bowling alley where they'd stopped to use a bathroom after the dance. “When he opened the door, he nailed me pretty good with the butt of the pistol. She said, ‘Stop hitting him, I’ll go with you.’”
As McCoy was about to lose consciousness, he recalled his girlfriend’s final words to him.
“She screams ‘Rodney, go get my dad’ and that’s the last words I heard her say,” McCoy said.
Her body was found three days later in a ditch.
She had been strangled to death and sexually assaulted, according to Oxygen’s “The DNA of Murder with Paul Holes,” which featured the case in 2020. Authorities also found traces of morphine in the 17-year-old’s system.
Investigators were able to link McCurley — who was 77 years old at the time of his arrest — to the murder through DNA recovered from stains on Walker’s clothing.
McCurley had been interviewed by Fort Worth detectives back in 1974 because he had owned a .22 Ruger, which matched a magazine found at the scene of the crime, but he was never pursued as a suspect.
McCurley proclaim his innocence after his arrest in 2020, but dramatically switched his plea to guilty last year in the middle of his trial.
He told police that, the night he killed Walker, he had been out drinking when he noticed the couple in the parking lot of the bowling alley.
Although McCurley initially said he had seen the couple fighting and only intervened to “help her out,” he later admitted to abducting, torturing and killing her.
Walker’s older sister, Cindy Stone, described her sister to “The DNA of Murder with Paul Holes” as a “little spitfire” and said she had a “great relationship” with McCoy, who was the starting quarterback for the high school football team at the time.
Although McCoy was injured during Walker's abduction, some people had questioned his account of what happened that night for decades until McCurley’s arrest finally affirmed the young man's story.
“It’s been 47 years,” McCoy told local station KXAS-TV after McCurley pleaded guilty. “I had a cloud of suspicion on me for all those years. That’s torment.”
Even though he was not responsible for what happened to his girlfriend, McCoy said he still feels guilty that he wasn’t able to save her.
“I just felt I let Mr. Walker down,” he told KXAS-TV last year of his girlfriend's father. “His ‘little flower.’ ‘Take care of my little flower.’”
To learn more about the case, tune in to “Dateline” on Friday at 9 p.m. ET/ 8 p.m. CT.
Crime News is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxygen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for Oxygen Insider for all the best true crime content.