What Are The Texas Killing Fields? This Mystery Will Keep You Up At Night
Over the past 40 years, one desolate strip of land in South Texas has become synonymous with the disappearance and killing of young women and girls. This region has an unusual and dreadful history, and once you ask “What are the Texas Killing Fields?” you will instantly wish that you didn’t know the answer. The bone-chilling name given to this rugged 25-mile piece of land bordering the Calder oil field and League City is something out of a real-life horror tale. Four corpses have been discovered within its limits, about a mile from the I-45. The Texas Killing Fields are a portion of a 50-mile stretch that runs along Interstate 45, between Houston and the Island city of Galveston, Texas, called the “highway to hell.” There have been 30 corpses discovered in this haunted area since the early ‘70s.
The remote rugged wasteland that lies between deserted oil fields and the interstate has been interpreted as the excellent dumping ground for a serial killer. There is a minor opportunity that a sufferer could avoid their attacker or that their cries could even be heard. "It's a sort of environment that's sultry and sinister, easy to get to. You jump off of I-45. You drive down one of the dirt rutted roads. You dump the corpse. And you're gone for good," Texas Monthly reporter Skip Hollandsworth told CBS in an interview.
The killings started in June 1971, when 13-year-old Colette Wilson went missing after getting off at a bus stop after school. She was discovered in the Killing Fields some five months later, dead from a gunshot wound to the skull. Throughout the '70s the killings of adolescent and teenage girls proceeded, all dead from a gunshot wound, all discovered in and around the Killing Fields. The fragmented police from the neighbouring little towns believed the spree to be the work of a serial killer. Suspects came forward, but the police required proof to relate them to the killings.
The heap of unsolved cases rose through the '80s and '90s. Some corpses were discovered, some ladies simply went missing, cars abandoned nearby, never to be glimpsed again. The killings and mysterious disappearances continued through 2006 when unexpectedly an eerie quiet descended on the wasteland.
In 2012, a breakthrough happened. Then 45-year-old Kevin Edison Smith was given life without parole for the 1986 killing of 13-year-old Krystal Jean Baker. Smith was related to the crime after he was caught in Louisiana for an irrelevant incident in 2010. A DNA test performed on Smith fitted samples taken from Krystal's underwear and dress. To this day, Smith is the only conviction linked to the Killing Field murders, though investigators wish he may give some key data for other cases.
The history of this distressed region has been featured in the 2011 drama Texas Killing Fields and a haunting edition of CBS's 48 Hour Mystery. The projects track several women between the ages of 10 and 25 that have vanished from around Galveston, Texas, and the cops trying to solve the cases before they go cold. Though the fields have stayed quiet for the past 10 years, the mystery of Texas' most infamous killing rampage is far from over.