November 30, 1988
Arlington, Texas
5-year-old Lottie Margaret “Maggie” Rhodes is abducted from her home, sexually assaulted, and killed

In the early morning hours of November 30, Jackie Barron Wilson (21) broke into Maggie Rhodes’ bedroom window, put her in his car, drove her to a remote location approximately 5 miles from her home, raped her, strangled and suffocated her, and ran over her body with his car as he left the area. Rhodes’ body was found in the morning, face down in a ditch.

Maggie Rhodes
via Find A Grave

Witnesses reported seeing a Mercury Cougar — which had been spray painted red — outside the Rhodeses’ apartment on the night of the murder. The distinctive car led police to Wilson who admitted to driving the car on the night in question as well as knowing the Rhodes family, though he denied involvement in Maggie’s abduction or murder. Evidence suggested otherwise, however: several pieces of glass from Maggie’s broken window had Wilson’s fingerprints on them; 19 strands of human hair matching Rhodes’ were found in Wilson’s Cougar while 38 matching strands were found on the car’s undercarriage; and two distinct types of tire impressions were found at the location of Rhodes’ body, both of which matched the two different patterns of tire on the Cougar. Additionally, Wilson had sexually assaulted a woman in the Rhodeses’ apartment complex on the same night as Maggie’s murder. The victim awoke during the attack and chased Wilson away, though she did not report the crime.

Wilson was convicted of Rhodes’ murder and sentenced to death in September 1989. His conviction was later overturned on a technicality, though he was re-tried and re-sentenced to death in June 1994. Wilson was executed on May 4, 2006, proclaiming his innocence until the end.

Find A Grave. Accessed: November 30, 2019.
Delfino, Michelangelo and Day, Mary E. Death Penalty USA 2005-2006. Tampa: MoBeta Publishing, 2008
“Man convicted in ‘88 murder of 5-year-old is put to death.” Austin American-Statesman. May 5, 2006
Lozano, Juan A. “Irving man to be executed in 5-year-old’s rape, murder.” My Plainview. May 3, 2006. Accessed: November 30, 2019.

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