Austin, TX

Three Famous Texas Unsolved Murders

Surviving in Austin, Texas

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1. The Unsolved Murder of Tom Brown

18-year-old Tom Brown had it all: he was both class president and school football star, liked by everyone in the Texas Panhandle town of Canadian. Well, almost everyone. He disappeared the week of Thanksgiving in 2016, his remains not found until a couple years later.

The curious facts around the investigation into his death have even sparked a podcast, Austin-based Texas Monthly’s “Tom Brown’s Body,” in which the listener follows along with an investigative journalist working the cold case. Full of twists and turns, conflicting stories, and dismal, dishonest handling by law enforcement, the only thing clear is that someone has got to be lying. Is Tom’s murderer still living among them, undetected?

2. The Origin of the “Amber Alert”

Ever received an “Amber Alert” on your cell-phone? This system was put into place in all 50 states following the horrific killing of nine-year-old Amber Hagerman in Arlington, Texas, as a grieving public sought to prevent further killings by abductors. Amber had been bike-riding in an abandoned parking lot when a witness saw a man jump out of his truck and grab and take the screaming child. He called the police, who arrived almost immediately and began searching along with the community.

Four days later her body was found, naked and raped, near a creek. Forensic evidence had been washed away, leaving law enforcement without leads or suspects. To this day, the killer has never been found, though police refuse to give up looking for him.

3. Denton’s "Lost Innocence”

12-year old Suzie Mages, a loving and responsible honors student, was abducted from a Burger King in Denton, Texas, her body found ten days later submerged in water forty miles away from where she was taken. She was last seen by witnesses talking to a tall male stranger at the fast-food joint, and appeared to know him, chatting amiably. When her body was finally found, she had been re-dressed, indicating that there had been sexual assault. Chillingly, just days before her murder, Suzie had written a fictional story about a girl who was kidnapped and killed. Had Suzie had a supernatural omen about the fate that was about to befall her…?

Texas-based Gone Cold podcast explores the case in its meaty details, dedicating three episodes to the mystery behind her unsolved murder.

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