13 UNSOLVED: HCC student's killer never found after savage murder

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Monday, May 14, 2018
UNSOLVED: Investigators work to solve case of student killed in 1988
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What investigators are doing now to help solve the murder of an HCC student killed in 1988.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- On April 8, 1988, the body of Jacqueline Michelle Graham, 19, was found bloodied, beaten and mutilated. It was clear she had been murdered. There was no sign of the killer. Her death was so violent, so sadistic, it would haunt detectives for three decades.

That April morning, a worker unloading merchandise behind a former Academy store along FM 1960, spotted what he thought was a mannequin.

"He approached it and saw blood," said Sergeant Abraham Alanis, who investigates cold cases for the Harris County Sheriff's Office. "(The worker) ran inside, told the manager: 'Hey, there's something outside. You need to come look.'"

Graham had been shot twice, stabbed more than 20 times, run over, dragged and sexually mutilated.

This murder was one of the most vicious, savage, coldblooded investigators had ever seen -- then and now.

"Someone hated her. There was a lot of anger there," Alanis said. "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."

For the first time in decades, investigators are reopening the case file to show ABC13 Graham's final moments.

"You read through and you can actually see the story unfold," Alanis said, flipping through pages in a binder packed with notes and reports that are 30 years old.

Dive into an interactive experience that tells the story of unsolved murder cases in the Houston area through videos, pictures and first-hand accounts of the families and detectives trying to solve them.

Hours before the Houston Community College student was killed, Graham left her garage apartment in Spring. She had just moved there a few weeks prior, after breaking up with her boyfriend and moving out of the apartment they shared together.

She then drove to her friend's house in Steeplechase. The two got ready for a night out and headed to the 6th Avenue Club near Highway 6 and West Little York. The bar no longer exists.

"At the bar, she was seen having an argument with her ex-boyfriend," Alanis said.

After midnight, Graham left. Hours later, she would be dead.

Her bloody clothes were eventually found in a gas station dumpster not far from the club.

Detectives interviewed Graham's boyfriend several times, as well as many other people. For weeks after her death, investigators tracked those closest to the teen, even keeping notes at her funeral. Alanis showed ABC13 photocopies of the guest book at her wake.

"(Detectives) spoke to a lot of people," Alanis said.

In 2007, Graham's bloody clothing was resubmitted to a crime lab. Investigators hoped new technology would reveal the killer's DNA, but nothing was found.

"We're just hoping for that one lead that's going to open the case back up," said Alanis.

If you have any information about this cold case, call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.