In 1974, Carla Walker was abducted in a bowling alley parking lot in Fort Worth, Texas. Days later, police found her strangled body near a lake. Walker had been beaten, raped, tortured, and killed.
Forty-five years later, the Texas teen’s murder — and the identity of her killer — is still a mystery.
But police are hoping that a cryptic letter, anonymous and handwritten by someone claiming to know who killed Walker, will lead them to the cold case’s killer nearly half a century later. Last week, Fort Worth Police Department circulated the old letter that was addressed to detectives shortly after Walker’s death.
The letter, which seems to redact the name of the accused killer, reads, “(Blank) kild (sic) Carla Walker in Benbrook.”
The author signs off with, “PS: It is hard to say but it is true.” Before and after this last line, the letter reads, “Sign 10100.” According to The Dallas Morning News, “10100” could be a police code for “dead body.”
Cold case detectives shared a copy of the mysterious letter in a press release circulated on social media asking anyone with any information about the letter's author to come forward. Police are hoping the author of the letter knows who killed Walker and can help investigators solve the cold case.
“Maybe the author of this letter can come out and say, ‘Here’s what I know — I didn’t want to say anything then, but here’s what I know now,’” Fort Worth Police spokesperson Graciano Calzada told Oxygen.com.
Today, most of the investigators who worked on Walker’s case have either died or retired, Calzada said, including the late detective Oliver Ball, who the handwritten letter was addressed to. Calzada said that cold case investigators decided to release the letter publicly now as a last ditch effort to track down the letter’s author.
“With the use of social media now and how we can kind of get things out to a ton of people, [within] a very quick time,” Calzada said. “Let’s get this letter out that’s been in this file and see if anybody with the use of social media can assist us. We just want something positive for the family.”
Walker was reportedly seated in a car with her then-boyfriend, Rodney McCoy, at the time of her parking lot abduction in 1974, according to ABC affiliate WFAA-TV. She was taken after McCoy was beaten unconscious and pistol whipped by Walker’s kidnapper. When he came to, Walker was gone.
"She was such a sweet girl," McCoy told the ABC affiliate in 2018. "I remember we were in the front seat of the car. Her back was against the passenger door. She was falling out. I went to grab her, and he started beating me over the head with a pistol."
The last thing McCoy remembered Walking shouting was, “Go get dad,” according to WFAA.
Jim Walker, Carla Walker’s younger brother, is one family member who's still traumatized by her disappearance.
“We never got a chance to form the brother and sister bond,” he told Fort Worth Star-Telegram reporter Mitch Mitchell.
Walker's murder prompted Jim to attempt a career as a police officer, according to the Star-Telegram, but vision issues ultimately prevented him from serving in law enforcement. Today, however, he’s still actively searching for his sister’s killer.
“She was 17 and I was 12, the annoying little brother,” he added. “But the things she did for me let me know that she loved me.”
Jim didn’t respond to a request for comment from Oxygen.com.
Walker's murder is one of nine cold cases between 1970-1979 that Fort Worth detectives are actively investigating. And the mystery of Walker's death is one that evidently continues to haunt the community.
“It broke all of our teenager hearts and still leaves a hole,” wrote Mikki Love, an organizer of a 2008 Change.org petition in Carla's memory. “Carla always smiling and laughing a sweet young girl taken by an EVIL PERSON from her family and friends. All of Ft. Worth should be outraged this could of have been anyone’s daughter or sister.”
“Carla was a very sweet girl,” echoed another commenter, Joyce Dickson Jones, on the online petition. “She should have gotten to grow up like the rest of us.”
Calzada, the Fort Worth Police spokesperson, urged anyone with any information on the identity of the author of the handwritten letter referencing the murder to call 817-392-4307. As of yet, he said, investigators haven’t received any concrete tips.
“The Walker family is still dealing with this every Christmas, every holiday, every family meal,” added Calzada. “Her family has been steadily looking for some kind of closure, and that’s what we’re doing with this cold case: We’re trying to provide some closure to the family.”
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