Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

T. Cullen Davis: The Best Justice Money Can Buy

"Cullen shot me!"

The fight gave Priscilla a chance to flee, which she did, screaming Cullen shot me! over and over. The struggle didnt last much longer as the killer pumped four more slugs into Farrs body. He dropped to the ground and the killer took off after Priscilla.

She managed to make it outside the mansion before falling. Lying on the ground, she looked up at the gunman, who stood over her. He was dressed all in black and wore a womans black wig over his head. His hands were inside a black plastic bag and were holding a .38 caliber revolver. Priscilla identified the man as T. Cullen Davis. She called out to him.

Cullen, I love you, she pleaded. Please, lets talk.

The man reached for her legs and started dragging her inside the house.

Cmon, was all he said, never acknowledging Priscillas words. For reasons never disclosed, the man abruptly dropped Priscillas legs and started to go back to where Stan Farr lay dead.

As this was happening, a young couple sauntered up the path toward the house and into the carnage. They heard Priscilla tell the gunman she loved him. In the moonlight, the woman, Beverly Bass, a teenage friend of Priscillas older daughter who was staying at the mansion, whispered to her companion.

Bubba, thats Cullen! she said.

The gunman heard the whisper and turned toward the couple, firing a shot that hit 22-year-old Gus Bubba Gavrel Jr. in the stomach and lodged next to his spine. Wounded, Bubba fell to the ground and watched helplessly as the man came toward Beverly.

Adrenaline pumping, Bass turned on her heels and headed down the driveway with the gunman in pursuit, oblivious to the moaning boy on the ground. She managed to put some distance between her and the killer and Beverly reached Mockingbird Lane with enough time to flag down a passing car.

Meanwhile, Priscilla managed to run more than a half mile to the nearest neighbor, where she screamed Cullen is up there killing my children. Hes killing everyone.

By the time police arrived, the killer had disappeared into the night.

Back at the mansion, police found 30-year-old Stan Farr dead in a pool of glass and blood in the kitchen of the home and 12-year-old Andrea Wilborn murdered in the basement. Bubba Gavrel survived his wounds, although the bullet damaged his spine and left him unable to walk without the help of crutches. Priscilla Davis, 35, also survived the gunshot to the chest.

Larry Hagman as J.R. Ewing
Larry Hagman as J.R. Ewing (AP)
Within hours, police had a description of the killer and a single suspect T. Cullen Davis, one of the richest men in America and the model for the villainous J.R. Ewing on the nighttime soap opera Dallas. Beverly was able to tell the first police on the scene that it was Cullen who came down the driveway and opened fire on her and her boyfriend. After they emerged from surgery, both Priscilla and Bubba corroborated Beverlys story. Bubba was the only witness to the shootings who did not know the name of the man police suspected, but he was able to identify a photograph of Cullen.

Cullens older brother, Ken, was the first to call the suspect at his girlfriends house. It was about 4 a.m., and Cullen and Karen Masters would later swear they had been in bed since before midnight. When Ken Davis woke his brother to tell him of the murders at his mansion, Cullens reaction was surprising.

Well, I guess Ill be going back to bed, Cullen said, hanging up the phone.

Thats where authorities found him when they showed up about a half-hour later and took him to Fort Worth police headquarters for interrogation. One of the most expensive murder investigations and trials in Texas history was about to begin.

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