In 1946, a series of murders in and around Texarkana sent the Texas town into a panic. In February that year, the “Phantom Killer” started attacking couples at dusk on the weekend, beginning with Jimmy Hollis and Mary Larey, who both survived. The next attack, just 4 weeks later, took the lives of both Richard Griffin and Polly Ann Moorer, while another couple, Paul Martin and Betty Jo Booker, met the same fate 3 weeks later. In response, residents armed themselves, police increased patrols, businesses closed early, and the Texas Rangers investigated. After the “phantom” attacked Katie Starks and killed her husband Virgil, the murders stopped – but would live on by inspiring the film, The Town that Dreaded Sundown (1976).

Posted by Carrie Dean

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