On the southern edge of Fortune Lane in South Oak Cliff, you’ll find a relatively quiet, established street with mature trees and neighbors who’ve known each other for decades.
That’s why news of a break-in and subsequent murder has left people on edge.
“It’s real disturbing. It makes me think that the neighborhood is getting bad,” said Teresa Hanks.
From her home, Hanks can see the house where 87-year-old Anita Thompson was found murdered on July 6.
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Dallas Police said she died of homicidal violence, and they’re asking the public for help finding the person responsible.
Hanks, the president of the Neighborhood Watch Association, said she spoke with Thompson by phone the day before about an attempted break-in.
“It happened the night of the Fourth. When she got up the next morning, there was glass by her backdoor. And I asked her if she took pictures or anything. She said, ‘No baby. I’ve already had it fixed. I’m waiting on the police to come out.' And that was the last time I talked to her,” said Hanks.
Dallas Police confirmed Thompson did call 911 to report the crime. But when a dispatcher gave her an option to expedite the call by making the report over the phone, they said she did.
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Hanks said she also put in a call to a beat officer. But at the end of the busy holiday weekend, she didn’t hear back.
Now, she wonders if more could have been done.
“I was hoping that maybe they would come and at least take fingerprints,” said Hanks.
Hanks said many along the street watched out for Thompson, who’d been an active part of the Neighborhood Watch Association for years.
She said Thompson lived alone after her son died a few years ago.
“She was so sweet. She was, you know, a joyful person,” said Hanks.
While her group continues to push for patrol in the area, she hopes the tragedy will encourage more neighbors to step up and watch out for each other.
Anyone with information related to Thompson’s murder is asked to call Dallas Police Detective Wheeler at 214-671-3686.