Fort Worth

Cold Case: Who Tortured, Raped and Killed Carla Walker?

Carla Walker was just 17 years old when she was abducted, held captive and eventually murdered. It happened back in 1974 and to this day there have been no arrests.

Forty-three years ago, the Ridglea Bowl parking lot in Fort Worth was a hub of activity – a place where all the young west-siders would escape for entertainment. Certainly no one ever imagined what would happen the night of Feb. 17, 1974.

"The doorbells just started ringing frantically. I mean, it was just banging, banging, banging," said Cynthia Stone, Carla Walker' sister.

Stone says it was then that her family's living nightmare began. Stone was just 18 when her younger sister, Carla, vanished.

Investigators say the abductor snatched the petite blonde from the passenger seat of her boyfriend Rodney's car in the bowling alley parking lot. Rodney told police he was hit over the head, knocked unconscious. When he woke up, he said Carla was gone.

"He had blood just streaming down his face, screaming, 'They got her, they got her, they took her!'" Stone said.

All Rodney could remember were Carla's last words.

"I know she was terrified and for her to say, 'Go get help, I'll go with you, don't hurt him,' that was the kind of person she was," Stone said, of her sister.

The first 48 hours were agonizing, as tireless search efforts turned up nothing – no phone calls, few leads.

"We just waited for her, we kept thinking honestly someone would drop by in the middle of the night and push her out of the car," Stone said.

In reality it would be much worse. Carla's body was dumped in a culvert near Benbrook Lake three days later. Police say she was beaten, raped and strangled, tortured alive for two days after her disappearance. Then there was a puzzling discovery. The medical examiner ruled that the killer injected her with morphine.

"In 1974, that was not a drug an addict would use. I don't think I ever even heard of morphine," said Stone.

Who would have such access to a powerful drug like morphine? Did the suspect have a medical background? Over the years detectives asked those and many other questions and honed in on several suspects. DNA evidence collected from the crime scene turned up nothing. Stone believes much of it was tainted. Just imagine, all these years later, not knowing – a case gone cold.

"I want justice for her," Stone said. "It's time."

Fort Worth police say Carla Walker's case remains open and active. Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Cold Case Unit at 817-392-4307.

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