On the Case With Paula Zahn, the mystery documentary that airs on the Investigation Discovery Channel, takes notice of those whose lives are taken suddenly, telling their story to the entire community and parts of the world.
Debbie Whorton Wilson was a senior at Bastrop High in 1981 when her older sister by two years, Kathy, was abducted, raped, shot and left dead in a pecan grove one late night in Monroe near ULM.
Morehouse Parish District Attorney Jerry Jones can't forget the case, one originally closed shortly after the murder when two notorious serial killers, Henry Lee Lucas and Ottis Toole, confessed to the murder of Wilson and others across several states.
“Lucas confessed to every murder in America,” Jones said cynically to the Enterprise in August of last year.
DNA, not belonging to Kathy, was later connected to her murder, when it was matched to the hair of Anthony Wilson after he was arrested on a a petty crime charge and put into the CODIS system. Jones would not try the case, though, saying that DNA alone was not enough evidence.
Through it all, Kathy and her family held deer to their faith, and it paid off. Anthony Wilson was later arrested for the theft of a bottle of cologne.
Because he was a habitual offender, he was not allowed to bond out. An attorney filed the habitual offender act against him and a judge ruled in favor of it. In the end, Anthony Wilson was sentenced to life in prison because of his habitual crimes, but not for murder.
“He'll remain in prison for the rest of his life over a bottle of cologne in the end,” Debbie said.
With his arrest for cologne theft being a ray of light in this dark situation, Debbie used the ironic incident in the title her book, The Sweet Scent of Justice,' which she wrote, detailing her sister's story.
On the Case With Paula Zahn will describe the events of Kathy's case in Debbie's book . The show will air on March 10. It is titled “A long journey to justice.”
“Paula Zahn was very nice and down to earth, but she is also very forceful in getting the facts,” Debbie said. “After the interview, she told me off to the side that she wanted to tell Kathy's story as factually as possible. I want people to know what kind of girl Kathy was. She was a good girl and I want her story to give others hope.”