Just when you thought the long string of Netflix true-crime docs was slowing down, the streamer dropped another riveting mystery that you're definitely going to want to watch. Crime Scene: The Texas Killing Fields, a three-part docuseries featuring 50-minute episodes, tells the story of the unsolved murders of four Texas women that occurred in the 1980s and 1990s. And this new series also marks the third installment of previously released shows, The Times Square Killer and The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel.
With all the buzz that followed the trailer, true-crime fans already have a ton of questions about what actually happened at the so-called "killing fields," including who the victims were, if there were suspects, and whether the murders were ever solved. Spoiler: The cases are still open to this day.
If you're curious to know all the details while watching the story unfold in realtime, keep reading.
What are the Texas Killing Fields?
The "Killing Fields" is a term used to describe a 25-acre stretch of an abandoned oil field located in League City, Texas. The area got its name after the bodies of four young women were found there between 1984 and 1991.
Who were the victims, and what happened to them?
The women's bodies were discovered over the span of seven years. The first was discovered when a dog running in the fields returned with the skull of Heide Villareal Fye, a 25-year-old waitress, in its mouth in 1984, per The Washington Post.
Two years later, two children were riding their dirt bikes in the same area when they smelled something terrible, the trailer shows. That smell led them to the body of a 30-year-old woman, who was called "Jane Doe" for more than 40 years until 2019, when she was finally identified as Audrey Lee Cook, the Post said. (Detectives had used modern technology to create a visual of what Cook would have looked like and got a call from her aunt, Shirley Love, per ABC 13).
Cook was found with a gunshot wound in her her back and several broken ribs.
While investigating the area where Cook's body was discovered in 1986, the police found more remains—this time it was the body of 16-year-old Laura Miller, per The Washington Post. Miller had been missing for a little over a year by the time she was found, per ABC 13.
The last body was found by two horseback riders in 1991, and was only identified in 2019 as Donna Prudhomme, a 34-year-old mother of two, per The Washington Post.
Who were the suspects?
For many years following the discoveries of the bodies, detectives worked tirelessly to find leads on potential suspects, but they kept hitting dead ends.
The first possible suspect was a felon who tried to falsely confess to the killings from prison in 2001. The second was a man who owned a horseback-riding stable in a nearby lot, but there wasn't enough evidence to press charges against either person, according to The Washington Post.
Was the killer ever found?
Despite the efforts of the families and law enforcement, the four murders were never solved, and all four cases remain open to this day.
In 2019, Detective Gina Vogel with the League City Police Department revealed they had interviewed over a dozen people who knew Cook, the second victim found in the "Killing Fields."
"Everyone talks about 'The Killing Fields' and how it stretches along the I-45 corridor," Vogel told ABC 13. "Well, these are our four girls, and they're important to League City. They're important to us, so I want to do everything I can to solve this case."
New information has yet to surface, but the docuseries is out now on Netflix.
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