MY SURPRISE INTRUDER IN MEAN DALLAS
Two kind and patient police detectives delivered the two toddlers and me to the
downtown police station in Dallas. They held the childrens' hands and directed us to the
room, next to where the lineup was to take place. They gave them books and toys to play
with and we told them I needed to go into the next room to see some people, but I would
be right back. They seemed content to stay and play.
I went into a room that was dimly lit with an elevated stage with lights. There were
numbers printed on the wall above the stage with arrows that pointed down. There were
numerous chairs situated to accommodate people to see the show. I was apprehensive to
be in the same room with the intruder. I told them I was sure I could identify him if he
was there. But I was concerned that he would see me. They assured me that there was no
way he would be able to see me because the room was set up so that the lights on the
men would highlight them, but hide me because I would be in an almost dark area. They
also explained that five of the guys were people I was not familiar with. Usually, they
chose the phony guys from around the station, with officers included. So, they knew if I
did not choose the perpetrator whom they arrested for the crime, and instead I chose
someone else, more than likely they had the wrong guy.
I walked into the dark room and looked up at the empty stage. After a few
minutes, in walked six men. Each of them lined up under a number. As a group, they
were dressed similarly. They wore short sleeve casual shirts and dark trousers. As I
scanned the group I was careful to study the face of each and every one of them.
Then I went back over them again with my eyes to make sure. I don’t remember
which number he was standing under, but I picked him out of the crowd, just the
As it turned out, they told me that I indeed chose the man who was the only
one, not a member of the staff. They said they felt good about it, but the next
thing they had to do was to call in the other woman who had the similar
experience. I don’t know if she followed me that day or if she came in
the next day. But the police called me after a couple of days and told me
they had their man. Not only did the other woman select the same man in the
lineup as I did, but the man made a confession. He also confessed to other crimes.
He admitted to raping one woman and committing indecent exposure on at least
two times. After hearing that, I felt lucky that my surprise intruder did not commit
any of those crimes with me. The detectives who called me said that the DA’s office
would be getting in touch with me later. They told me they would need my statement
that verified that I had identified the intruder that walked in my home and threatened
me several months earlier.
In October, when the Oklahoma University and Texas University game was
planned, the DA’s office called and said they needed me to come to the Dallas County
Court House to make my statement in which I had identified the surprise intruder.
It was to be on Friday before the Saturday game. My parents were coming to town from
Oklahoma City, to see the big game the next day. They told me they would accompany
me to the Court House. When we got there many people were waiting for trials,
depositions and whatever business they had related to crime. It was a very busy
place and difficult to find our way around and to get information. There were obvious
criminals in chains and witnesses and they all seemed to be treated alike. The bureaucratic
workers treated us all like criminals. They were rude and appeared disinterested
in guiding us anywhere. Eventually, I found my place to do what I had gone there
to do. I was certainly glad to finish and get away from there.
Somehow I heard later that the intruder was convicted and sent to prison.
But afterwards, I thought I saw him from one time to another. Once, I did call the
police station and ask someone if the intruder had been released
from prison and whomever I talked to said, “No, he hasn’t and he won’t be out
for sometime.” Perhaps that is a typical response from a victim, always looking
over her shoulder. I can imagine how bad it is for a victim who was really
hurt. It has to be a terrible feeling. I was indeed blessed that I wasn’t
We only stayed in Dallas a few more months. We never felt comfortable there.
Five years later when President Kennedy was shot, my husband said, “I bet his killer
is from South Dallas, or Oak Cliff. Sure enough he was and that is where he was
After all these years, I’ll never forget the day I had a surprise intruder in “mean
Dallas.” And I’ll always know I was lucky to be unharmed. And we were all lucky
that the police were concerned enough to find the criminal and take him off the streets.