Detectives in Texas are reaching out once again for tips from the public as they continue to hunt for one of the most savage murders they’ve seen of a teenager found bloodied, beaten, and mutilated over three decades ago.
Investigators are reopening the case file and revealing additional information to the public in hopes that someone could come forward with a tip that could solve this 32-year-old crime.
It was over three decades ago when Houston Community College student Jacqueline Michelle Graham moved to a new apartment in the spring of 1988. She had recently broken up with her boyfriend and moved out of the apartment they shared together.
On the evening of April 7, 1988, Graham pulled out of the parking garage and drove to a friend’s house in Steeplechase. Jacqueline and the friend got ready to enjoy a night on the town, and drove over to the 6th Avenue club near Highway 6 and West Little York.
Jacqueline’s ex-boyfriend showed up at the bar and the two were seen having an argument, according to police. Graham left the bar after midnight.
On the morning of April 8, 1988, a worker was unloading merchandise behind an Academy store along FM 1960 when he spotted something. At first, the dockworker thought it was a mannequin.
“He approached it and saw blood,” said Sergeant Abraham Alanis, a cold case investigator for the Harris County Sheriff’s Office. “[The dockworker] ran inside, told the manager: ‘Hey, there’s something outside. You need to come look.'”
What the manager and the worker found was not a mannequin – it was the bloodied, beaten and mutilated body of 19-year-old Jacqueline Michelle Graham.
Not far from the nightclub where Graham had been the night before, authorities discovered her bloodied clothes discarded in a gas station dumpster.
Investigators say the murder was one of the most vicious, savage, and cold-blooded they had ever seen – then or now.
According to police reports, Graham had been shot twice, stabbed over 20 times, had been run over and dragged, as well as sexually mutilated.
“Someone hated her,” Sheriff Alanis said. “There was a lot of anger there. I’ve been in homicide eight years and I’ve worked a lot of cases – a lot of gruesome cases. Looking at this one…this one’s bad.”
Cold case investigators say detectives interviewed a lot of people at the time as they expanded the search net.
Naturally, Graham’s ex-boyfriend was a prime suspect. Detectives interviewed him several times, in addition to many other people.
For weeks after Graham’s death, investigators tracked everyone who had been close to the teen. Detectives even attended Jacqueline’s funeral, taking notes on those in attendance. They checked out everyone who had signed the guest book at her wake.
Cold case investigators submitted DNA recovered from Graham’s bloodied clothing to a testing lab in 2007 with the hopes that improvements in DNA technology could provide the ID of the killer.
Nothing was found.
Sheriff Alanis is hopeful someone from the public might know something. “We’re just hoping for that one lead that’s going to open the case back up.”
Authorities are urging anyone with information that might provide assistance in this case to call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.
You can also submit an anonymous tip to P3 Tips, a site that anonymously shares information with Crime Stoppers programs and law enforcement entities.