Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Texas Cadet Murder Case

A Mysterious Caller

Still not home by eight o'clock in the morning, Adrianne missed her ride to school, so uncharacteristic. Rumors had circulated that occasionally she slipped out of the house at night to attend the faddish, controversial "rave" parties or to go on midnight excursions, but she never missed school because of any of her extra curricular activities. She had always returned home by morning; although, once her father caught her coming in through the window very early one morning so he nailed the window shut, but apparently this did not deter Adrianne from sneaking out of the house at night.

Like any vivacious, energetic teenager, Adrianne tended to push the limits somewhat, but she was not a rebel. Having strict house rules, she was not allowed to talk on the phone after ten o'clock in the evening and, if she went to a movie or to Six Flags Over Texas in nearby Arlington, her father had been known to check up on her by asking her to produce a ticket stub.

"I truly felt that if we had some rules that kept her away from teenage temptations," Jones said, "we'd be okay." It was only since autumn that they allowed Adrianne to stay out past nine o'clock on weekends. Studious and responsible, Adrianne was a good kid.

After calling Bill to tell him to come home, Linda called the police station to file a missing person's report. All the while, she tried to remember the events of the night before, in case there was some clue to her daughter's disappearance. She remembered that she and Adrianne had gone for a workout together at the local gym, arriving home about 10 o'clock. Then she and Bill reluctantly permitted Adrianne to talk on the telephone with her new boyfriend, Tracy Smith, at 10:30 that evening, beyond her usual 10 o'clock time limit.  Tracy had just returned from a weekend with his parents, hence the late phone call.

The Joneses had met Tracy, but they did not know him very well, only that he attended a high school in the nearby town of Venus, was a bodybuilder, and that Adrianne had just met him a few months ago at the Golden Fried Chicken, where she was a part-time employee. They didn't like the fact that he was 19 years old, too old for Adrianne.

Linda remembered that a few minutes into her phone call, she heard her daughter say, "Hold on, there's someone on the other line." Pushing the call-waiting button, she spoke for about a minute on the other line, and then finished talking with Tracy.

Later, Linda asked Adrianne, "Who was that who called in?"

"Oh, that was David from cross-country," Adrianne replied, "and he's upset about something." Then she went off to her room.

Linda recalled seeing Adrianne ironing her pants for school a short while later, describing Adrianne as acting "sort of antsy." Linda told her daughter to turn off the lights and go to bed. A few hours later, Adrianne had surreptitiously slipped out of the house.

As Bill and Linda Jones waited to hear about the status of their missing person's report, they tried to piece together Adrianne's movements from the previous night. Linda telephoned Lee Ann Burke, the cross-country coach at Mansfield High, to ask if she knew anyone called David on the cross-country team.

"Well, there's David Graham," the coach replied.

"Adrianne's missing, and I think he called her last night," said Linda.

The coach told Linda that she knew little about David: he was a senior, an average cross-country athlete, and was best known for his position as battalion commander of the Junior ROTC program. Aware of Linda's mounting apprehension, the coach located David, sending another student to his math class to ask him if he had spoken to Adrianne the previous night.

David Graham allegedly replied to the student, "Did I talk to Adrianne? No. Why would I?"

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