Last week we talked about the find of a skull in Bossier parish near the site that Carol Ann Cole was found at along with both Henry Lee Lucas and John Chesson both being considered murder suspects or persons of interest to the investigation.
It has since come out that during Bossier parish’s search of the Haughton property where the skull was found that more remains were discovered. They also found a pair of jeans and a wallet with identification. The ID belongs to a 28 year old Webster parish man missing for three years now and very unlike to have any link either to the murder of Carol Ann Cole or New Bethany Home for Girls. Unrelated coincidence is what it looks like now. There’s more information on the discovery of additional remains at KTBS.com.
Now onto the case: the early days of the investigation yielded no solid leads apparently. In fact, due to the inexact science of forensic reconstruction back in the early 1980s investigators initially ruled out the missing Carol Ann Cole as the identity of what was then named ‘Bossier Doe’. Others missing around the same time were also ruled out. In those days there was no database of missing adults such as the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NAMUS). Many records on missing persons in that time would have been at a state or local law enforcement level, not national or state-to-state. Disappearing from Texas and turning up dead in Louisiana would have complicated matters even if Carol Ann did contact her family from Louisiana.
Due to the advanced decomposition of the body and missing soft tissue of the face they could not determine the victim’s eye color or facial features. Many of the internal organs were missing because of animal activity between the day of the murder and discovery of the body. A method of death was fully established early on, she was stabbed in the back multiple times and a serrated steak knife thought to be the murder weapon was discovered near the body. The knife held no usable finger prints upon further examination and subsequently was destroyed in the fire of the facility holding evidence in Bossier parish coroner’s cases.
From what evidence the coroner’s report yielded they knew that their unidentified victim was a young woman with blonde shoulder length hair of average height and weight with no distinguishable marks or tattoos. There was nothing to indicate who this girl was. An official dental exam and chart was also done, but with no match to any of the dental records available on missing women from that area. Conclusively identifying her would take DNA evidence, but to even start that process they had to first come up with some idea of what she looked like in life. That would come many years later as the science of forensic reconstruction advanced.
The first attempts at reconstruction were crude and led to no one coming forward to claim this lone girl.
The coroner’s report mentions that he believed that she was of Native American heritage with no explanation for this finding.
What is missing from the initial police report is supporting evidence that Carol Ann was killed where she was found. None of the reports mentions a blood pool or the condition of the ground indicating any blood was spilled in the immediate vicinity. But perhaps the weeks between the date of death and the discovery of the body any blood evidence could have been washed away by the sometimes torrential rains that parts of Louisiana are prone to have.
Another curious fact is that many of the organs of the abdomen were missing from Carol Ann but the jeans she was found with had no stains or bodily fluids on the waistband. There are things that raise questions in this case that cannot be answered, but I suspect many of these contradictions are due to human error more than any grand conspiracy.
What we do know is that the autopsy does not gibe with some of the statements by Frances Chesson Aucoin. She claims that when she found the body with her brother John Jr. that it was a skeleton, yet the autopsy contradicts this directly. We talked last week about her allegations that Carol Ann Cole lived with her family for a short period of time before being murdered by her father John Chesson Sr. But if one looks at the autopsy report and the initial police report much of what she claims does not fit at all with either document. Unless law enforcement has undisclosed evidence it’s very unlikely that he was involved with Carol Ann’s murder. Frances is not mentioned as being present in the initial police report.
With the limited investigational tools and evidence they had it’s likely that the initial officers handling this case knew it wasn’t likely to be solved. After the inability of local agencies putting together that the missing persons report filed by Carol Ann’s Michigan family with the discover of the body in Bossier parish were connected it’s likely they worked what leads they had and it led nowhere, moving to the bottom of the priority list as new cases happened in the area. She was unclaimed, unmourned, unknown, just another throw away kid in a sea of many missing in that time from runaways escaping bad home situations through kids that were sent away to troubled teen homes.
I remember seeing a documentary on HBO back a few years after Carol Ann’s murder about the many possible victims of serial killer Henry Lee Lucas and being shocked by the statistics on how many unclaimed and unnamed young murder victims were out there in the early 1980s and late 1970s. A tsunami of nameless young adults on the fringes of society.
It’s not likely that law enforcement ever seriously looked at any possible links with nearby New Bethany Home for Girls. In those days Mack Ford and New Bethany enjoyed a hands-off policy from the state of Louisiana. More about that next week when we take a look at Mack Ford and his influence in North Louisiana.
If anyone has any information on the murder of Carol Ann Cole or knows how Carol Ann got to Louisiana from Texas please contact the Bossier Parish Sheriffs Dept at 318.965.2203 Please give Carol Ann Cole’s family the peace that comes with closure. This is still an unsolved open case being investigated.
In the meantime if you wish to contact anyone at NLQ about what happened to Carol Ann Cole, or with your own story please drop me an email at SuzanneNLQ@.
Suzanne Titkemeyer is the admin at No Longer Quivering. She’s been out of the Quiverfull Evangelical world for nine years now and lives in the beautiful Piedmont section of Virginia with her retired husband and assorted creatures. She blogs at Every Breaking Wave and True Love Doesn’t Rape. She can be reached at SuzanneNLQ@
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