Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Treva Throneberry: The Girl Who Refused to Grow Up

A Nightmarish Youth

Treva was the youngest of four sisters born to Carl and Patsy Throneberry of Wichita Falls, Texas, on May 18, 1969. When Treva a little girl, she and her family moved 32 miles westward to the small town of Electra. It was there that she allegedly experienced sexual abuse that would haunt her for the rest of her life.

Electra & Wichita Falls, Texas
Electra & Wichita Falls, Texas

Chris Lydgate reported in a Willamette Week Online article that Treva and her three sisters were "repeatedly molested by their uncle" who is now deceased. The sexual abuse continued throughout their teenage years, yet the girls never spoke of it to anyone. Hollandsworth said that the three older girls all got married in their teens to escape their uncle's advances but Treva, "the sweetest and the quietest of all the Throneberry girls," remained behind and purportedly endured the worst of the abuse.

Then in December 1985, after suffering silently for years, Treva's emotional pain surfaced. She went to the police station and accused her father of holding a gun to her head and raping her. It was a charge her father vehemently denied and her family couldn't accept as true. Nevertheless, it resulted in Treva being placed in foster care even though the charges against her father were ultimately dropped for lack of evidence.

Wichita Falls State Hospital
Wichita Falls State Hospital

Treva went to live with the Gentry family of Wichita Falls and before long she was enrolled in the local high school. Hollandsworth said that Treva "developed a reputation as a diligent, thoughtful student" who "regularly read her bible and wrote poetry." Even though she seemed to be adapting well to her new environment, inwardly Treva was undergoing emotional turmoil, which was likely a result of years of abuse. Once again, the bottled up pain resurfaced.

Arlington Heights High School
Arlington Heights High School
Treva started to tell stories of being kidnapped by Satanists, who tortured her by forcing her to watch them kill animals. The stories, which were never confirmed, were likely signs that she was experiencing delusional thoughts. During that time she also talked often about killing herself. Concerned for her psychological well-being, social services admitted Treva to a Wichita Falls State Hospital where she remained for five months and received therapy and medication for a inexplicable "character disorder," Hollandsworth reported. 

Following Treva's discharge from the hospital she was sent to live at the Lena Pope Home for troubled girls located in Fort Worth, Texas. Bernadette Pruitt stated in her article in The Dallas Morning News that Treva enrolled at Arlington Heights High School where she eventually earned her degree in 1987. At the age of 18, she left the girl's home and rented an apartment. Pruitt said that Treva supported herself by taking a job cleaning motel rooms in Arlington, Texas. After a while, Treva left her job and began to travel around the county. At some point thereafter, she stopped being Treva Throneberry and began taking on new identities in a quest to remain forever young.



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