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Thread: TX - Mildred JoAnn Knighten, 15, murdered in Pasadena, 1972

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    TX - Mildred JoAnn Knighten, 15, murdered in Pasadena, 1972

    This thread is dedicated to finding out any information about my Aunts JoAnn's death. I know it happend almost 40 years ago but her case has never been solved. Any additonal information that can be added to helping me research & find information is greatly appreciated. I never knew her as she was killed 2 weeks after my brother was born & 5 years before I was born. I have often been compaired to JoAnn with our personalities & our locks of curls. Since I was never able to meet her in person I have found myself dedicated in trying to help solve her murder. Below is some of the info I have already found posted. I am currently waiting to hear back from Pasadena Police Dept as I am trying to gain access to her Cold Case/murder file. Her death seems to often be associated with the Texas Killing Fields when I have researched online. Any info is much appreciated no matter how small or big.


    On October 23, 1972 the body of Mildred Joann Knighten was discovered lying on the side of the road. The victim came to her death as a result of stab wounds. The death of Mildred Joann Knighten was ruled a homicide by the Harris County Medical Examiner’s Office. The victim was discovered by a truck driver making a delivery. An extensive investigation was conducted resulting in numerous interviews. Additional information is needed to bring this case to a close.
    Galveston Daily News
    Wednesday, October 25, 1972

    GIRL'S BODY IDENTIFIED

    Pasadena TX (AP) The body of a young girl found slain in a ditch near here was identified Tuesday as Jo Ann Knighten, 15, of Houston.

    <modsnip>

    The body stabbed at least 50 times and nearly decapitated was found Monday in a ditch near Texas 225. The body was clad only in a shirt.

    <modsnip>


    The Baytown Sun
    Wednesday, October 25, 1972

    MURDER VICTIM WAS ON WAY TO LA PORTE

    Pasadena TX (AP) A girl found stabbed, slashed and almost beheaded in an industrial area here has been identified as Mildred Jo Ann Knighten, 15, a junior high school pupil, police said.

    Her body, clad only in a brown corduroy shirt, was found Monday morning. Relatives identified it Tuesday.

    Police Chief Ellis Means said the body bore 61 stab wounds in the back and nine about the face plus slashes on the legs, and the throat was slashed repeatedly.


    <modsnip>
    Last edited by bessie; 02-13-2014 at 05:31 AM. Reason: snipped to comply with copyright rule

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    Hello Tara,

    I grew up with JoAnn on Globe street in Freeway Manor. There were at least 15-20 girls on our street and you could always find JoAnn playing outside any time of the day or night. I think we all stayed outside from the time our feet hit the floor until it started getting dark. Your mom didn't live there, but I remember how beautiful she was when she came to visit. I was sorry to hear of her recent passing. There were very few boys on the block so George Jr hung out with his friends elsewhere. Nancy Knighten worked nights at the post office and George Knighten... well... I believe he was probably on disability and didn't work.

    Life was so simple then. We had slumber parties, tea parties, pool parties, sprinkler parties and hopscotch parties every single day. In 1972, Almeda Mall opened its doors and it became our new playground. Shortly thereafter, JoAnn and her parents moved out of the house on Globe street and into apartments on Old Galveston Road (Hwy. 3).

    We had seen JoAnn at the mall with a few friends a week before she went missing. We were shocked, horrified, terrified and traumatized by JoAnn's murder. It did happen during the time of the Texas Killing Fields murders, however, I do not recall any of those victims being as savagely and brutally attacked the way JoAnn was. It was personal, it had to be, and I have always believed she knew her killer.

    I hope and pray you find Justice for JoAnn. May she Rest in Peace.

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    ....if she left with a friend to go to LaPorte, wouldnt that friend notice her abscence from the vehicle.....Im just saying????

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    They had only just moved into the apartment around August, so she had to change schools. I suspect she didn't know the friend who picked her up very long or very well since she was new to the area.

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    http://dollarscholar.com/the-2-kille...ere-right-now/

    above is a link to a story of two high school girls killing another high school girl in a brutal manner. they stabbed her 50 times and nearly decapitated her. they lured her to the murder site. their motive was supposedly that they didn't want to be friends with her. now, this is a recent crime and these girls cannot be involved in the murder of Mildred JoAnne Knighten.

    But, it makes me think that maybe the police need to look very, very closely at the girls she knew. maybe they were jealous of her or who knows what.

    speculation and moooo

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    It seems TeraT has not posted in some time. I hope she will come back and/or is getting the information and assistance she needs somewhere else. Hope she can find her answers.

    December, when I read the opening post here, I could not help but think of you and your cousin Kathy.

    I found this, which I believe is probably the same as RobinHood's link: http://thepolicenews.net/html/tpnapr10.pdf

    The link is to a pdf of the April 2010 issue of The Police News out of Texas, and this case is mentioned on the page-9 jump from a front-page article headlining another murder and mentioning several others:


    ...Yet the body of another Pasadena ISD student,
    Mildred Knighten, 15, was found stabbed to death at a construction site
    in Pasadena, Texas....

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    Quote Originally Posted by December View Post
    http://dollarscholar.com/the-2-kille...ere-right-now/

    above is a link to a story of two high school girls killing another high school girl in a brutal manner. they stabbed her 50 times and nearly decapitated her. they lured her to the murder site. their motive was supposedly that they didn't want to be friends with her. now, this is a recent crime and these girls cannot be involved in the murder of Mildred JoAnne Knighten.

    But, it makes me think that maybe the police need to look very, very closely at the girls she knew. maybe they were jealous of her or who knows what.

    speculation and moooo
    Interesting theory.

    I didn't note in any of the (rather spare) coverage any mention of her being sexually assaulted, did anyone else? I wonder, though, if she might have been.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Backwoods View Post
    It seems TeraT has not posted in some time. I hope she will come back and/or is getting the information and assistance she needs somewhere else. Hope she can find her answers.

    December, when I read the opening post here, I could not help but think of you and your cousin Kathy.

    I found this, which I believe is probably the same as RobinHood's link: http://thepolicenews.net/html/tpnapr10.pdf

    The link is to a pdf of the April 2010 issue of The Police News out of Texas, and this case is mentioned on the page-9 jump from a front-page article headlining another murder and mentioning several others:
    Yes, it seems if the media can get another murder they like better, they lose all memory of the previous murder.

    So, it makes it hard to get information to sleuth by. In the early days after a murder, I understand we might get in the way. But, so many years later... it seems someone could write an article or two about JoAnne. Who knows, someone might realize the importance of what they saw all those years ago and call police and give them the very break that is needed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Backwoods View Post
    Interesting theory.

    I didn't note in any of the (rather spare) coverage any mention of her being sexually assaulted, did anyone else? I wonder, though, if she might have been.
    It kind of sounds like she wasn't. I wish we knew for certain. (I hope she wasn't.)

    I was just surprised how much the other murder sounded like JoAnne's. And the police wouldn't really look at teenaged girls because that's not who's out doing serious crime usually.

    I think some of the stories of the friends are a little sketchy. But, that might be just because there is so little coverage.

    Still, if the wrong guy hit on JoAnne and the wrong girl became jealous of her...

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    Hello again.

    I became a little confused reading all of your posts because I wasn't sure if your comments were all about JoAnne. Lifetime Movie Network made several movies (based on true stories) of jealous girls who lure the single girl to a remote location then douse her with gasoline and set her on fire, or hit her with a baseball bat then hold her underwater til she stops breathing. All because the boy they liked spoke to her in the hallway at school.

    The scenario is plausible, but I don't believe this was the case in JoAnne's murder. Growing up in the 70's, was all about Peace & Love - not War. Bullying basically didn't exist in the form that it does today. If you were not popular or not liked by other girls (or boys), then you were simply ignored - and you put up with it. I saw very few fights between girls in high school, and when I did, it was usually the tomboy girls fighting amongst themselves.

    The temptations of an evil society have grown with technology, but it wasn't around every single corner back then. All the kids in our neighborhood had 2 parents in their home and everybody got whuppins - every single day - right out in our front yards for one thing or another. We didn't lock our doors, we never wore shoes except to school and church, and we had no clue other cultures existed. It was a very simple and worry free time.

    My dad was in law enforcement so my sisters and I grew up learning what meditated and pre-meditated crimes were and how they are committed. Statistically, when a person is stabbed less than 2-3 times during a murder, it was done by a stranger. Stabbed more than 3 times points to a parent, spouse, sibling, child, neighbor, or someone close to the family. It's much more personal than what a stranger would do, and JoAnne was stabbed 70+ times.

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    Did anyone have a reason to be angry with her, any rumors flying around afterward, anyone suddenly move ? it does seem very personal , although the i45 murderer could have been angered in a way he hadnt before, is there any listed description of the car she got into?, was the sister aware she was planning the visit ? Im sure all of this has been asked.

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    I had to snip the articles in the opening post because we can only copy and paste up to 10% of published material. The articles can be read at these links.

    Murder victim was on the way to La Porte

    Girl Found Knifed


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    Quote Originally Posted by Texbaby View Post


    My dad was in law enforcement so my sisters and I grew up learning what meditated and pre-meditated crimes were and how they are committed. Statistically, when a person is stabbed less than 2-3 times during a murder, it was done by a stranger. Stabbed more than 3 times points to a parent, spouse, sibling, child, neighbor, or someone close to the family. It's much more personal than what a stranger would do, and JoAnne was stabbed 70+ times.
    70+ times would be overkill, so like you said someone who knew JoAnn and was angry when they did this or it could be sexual, someone known or unknown using the act of stabbing to get their sexual gratification.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Texbaby View Post
    Hello Tara,

    I grew up with JoAnn on Globe street in Freeway Manor. There were at least 15-20 girls on our street and you could always find JoAnn playing outside any time of the day or night. I think we all stayed outside from the time our feet hit the floor until it started getting dark. Your mom didn't live there, but I remember how beautiful she was when she came to visit. I was sorry to hear of her recent passing. There were very few boys on the block so George Jr hung out with his friends elsewhere. Nancy Knighten worked nights at the post office and George Knighten... well... I believe he was probably on disability and didn't work.

    Life was so simple then. We had slumber parties, tea parties, pool parties, sprinkler parties and hopscotch parties every single day. In 1972, Almeda Mall opened its doors and it became our new playground. Shortly thereafter, JoAnn and her parents moved out of the house on Globe street and into apartments on Old Galveston Road (Hwy. 3).

    We had seen JoAnn at the mall with a few friends a week before she went missing. We were shocked, horrified, terrified and traumatized by JoAnn's murder. It did happen during the time of the Texas Killing Fields murders, however, I do not recall any of those victims being as savagely and brutally attacked the way JoAnn was. It was personal, it had to be, and I have always believed she knew her killer.

    I hope and pray you find Justice for JoAnn. May she Rest in Peace.

    Hi, Texasbaby. Your neighborhood sounds a lot like mine. I was just reading through this thread again, and I noticed that in two posts you mention that you're sure Joann's murder was personal. Was there someone in Joann's life who others around her suspected was the killer? I'm really curious about the acquaintance she left with in the car, and if that person was ever located and questioned. It just seems that if someone in her life was capable of killing Joann in such a horrible way that others around her would have some idea who that person might be.

    I believe you're right about the "Killing Fields" victims. As far as I know, those victims were shot or strangled. I don't know of another who was stabbed so brutally. Reading about Joann did remind me of the unsolved stabbing deaths of teenaged girls in Wisconsin that occurred around the same time, and I just wonder if her murder could be related. I know of at least three, though there might have been others. In June, 1971, Terri Erdmann, 15, was stabbed over 50 times. Then in August, 1972, Elizabeth Flannery, 17, was sexually assaulted, stabbed 30+ times and miraculously survived. I believe the last victim in the series was 15-year-old Tina Davidson. She was stabbed over 61 times in the chest and neck. It might seem a little far-fetched, but one thing many serial killers have in common is a transient lifestyle, with victims in multiple states. So it's not that much of a stretch. Anyway, it's just a thought. I hope TeraT will post again and let us know if she's learned anything new.
    __________________________________
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    stabbed 30+ times? Geez. How close to her house was this industrial area where Mildred was found?

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