Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Texas Cadet Murder Case

Sunrise on Seeton Road

Little did Gary Foster know that this particular Monday morning would be indelible in his memory. His house, set far back on Seeton Road, was only a mile and a half west of Joe Pool Lake.

At 45 years of age, 6-foot-2-inch, 200-pound Gary was a broad-shouldered, gentle man. By seven o'clock he had his cup of coffee, took care of his morning routine, and prepared to leave for his draftsman's job with the buildings department of Zell, a large jewelry retailer.

On his way to work, Gary made a point of driving his pickup by a particular spot where he retrieved his mail, to make sure that the barbed-wire gate to his field was closed. He did not want to lose cattle through the gate so it was well worth his while to check it every morning.

On this particular morning, as Gary was picking up his mail, something caught his attention. A piece of cloth---that matched a rip in Adrianne Jones' shorts---was caught on the barbed wire fence, fluttering in the breeze. Gary then noticed that the barbed-wire gate was open when he was sure that he had shut it the night before. He and his uncle had used the gate when driving up the grassy lane, going in and out of the field while hauling hay. Sure enough, it was open now.

Inching the car forward, Foster pulled up even with the gate, and it was then that he saw the young woman on the grass just behind it. He slowly came to the realization that she was dead. The body was lying right in the middle of the grassy lane, just on the other side of the barbed-wire gate.

Peter Meyer, in his novel Blind Love, provides a good account of confusion and fear that a man such as Gary might feel upon spotting a human figure in his field:

Instinctively, he looked left and right, glancing also in the rearview mirror, double-checking that the car doors were locked. This could be a trap, he thought. The womannow he was sure it was a womanwas bait, meant to lure him out of his car so accomplices hiding in the bushes could jump him.

For a time Foster did nothing. The morning was as still as if the woman weren't there. The cattle were still chewing. White wisps of smoke were puffing from a couple of chimneys. A bird breezed by. Nothing was out of the ordinary--except for this figure on the ground beyond the gate. That scared him.

Surrounding the upper part of her body was a carpet of blood that had soaked into the ground. The crime scene investigator would take shovels of the blood-soaked earth as evidence. The blood on her face looked so bright in the morning light, and she looked so alive, that he was terrified that the killer or killers might still be close-by.

Foster sped back to his house to call 911. Running through the front door of the house, Gary shouted, "Somebody dumped a body at the garden!" Fearing that the killer was still in the area, after he called the emergency number, he called his cousin, a Dallas policeman, who lived down the road. Asking his cousin to meet him there until the police arrived, only then did he and his wife head back to the site.

When they all arrived, the three of them looked over the fence. Peter Meyer describes the impact on Gary and his wife, Vickie, upon looking at the body:

"It was almost like she was posed," recalled Gary.

"Like they placed her that way," said Vickie.

"You wouldn't think she'd just fall that way, but I suppose anything is possible."

"I don't see how you're going to turn around and fall flat on your back like that," Vickie later remarked. "But I guess it's possible. Anything's possible. I wasn't about to go up to her."

"It was one of those deals where you didn't want to look," recalled Gary, "but you had to because you knew you'd be asked questions about what it looked like. So you wanted to look enough to be able to describe it, yet---even looking at her, we missed details. We were just shocked."

Vickie averted her eyes. "It was a weird, eerie feeling, seeing someone lying there, knowing they're not going to get up. The first thing I thought," she recalled, is 'That's somebody's kid.'"

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