The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

the JTAC

The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

the JTAC

The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

the JTAC

The highway to hell

A dumping ground for the corpses of League City

A desolate oil field, originally known as Calder Field Road in League City, Texas along I-45 had been a dumping ground for the corpses of women for more than 20 years. Since the 1970s, at least 30 bodies have been discovered.

For decades, many people have wondered who committed the Texas Killing Field Murders, and  if there were multiple perpetrators. The world wants answers, but we may never know.

The 50-mile stretch of land intersecting Houston and Galveston had swampy and wet terrain. This was perfect for washing away any potential murder evidence, especially in the 70s with underdeveloped forensic technologies.

These unfortunate weather conditions along with Houston’s booming economic growth let criminals fly under the radar, proving to be deadly to the community of League City for several decades.

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The first known victim was 14-year-old Brenna Jones. She had suddenly disappeared in 1971 after walking to visit an aunt in Galveston.

The popular Netflix docuseries, “Crime Scene: The Texas Killing Fields,” also highlights the deaths of Heide Fye and Laura Miller.

On Oct. 10, 1983, 23-year-old bartender Heidi Fye vanished out of thin air after walking from her parent’s house to a convenience store. On April 4, 1984, a dog in the area discovered her remains.

After examining the body, it was determined that she had broken ribs and had died from blunt-force trauma to the head. 

In 1984, 16-year-old Laura Miller had asked her mother to drive her to a payphone to call her boyfriend. She planned to walk herself the short way back home.

Laura would never be seen alive again.

Investigators initially dismissed her case as a runaway rather than a missing person, despite the fact that she suffered from severe epilepsy and had left her medication at home. Years later in 1986, her body was located in the same field as Heidi Fye’s remains.

During the search, there was another gruesome discovery: yet another woman was found dead. Her corpse was unable to be identified, and she became known as Jane Doe.

For decades, this body, and a fourth Janet Doe would remain unidentified until a breakthrough in 2019.

Jane Doe was identified as Audrey Lee Cook, a 30-year-old mechanic working in various parts of Texas who had last been seen alive in December of 1985.

Janet Doe was revealed to be Donna Gonsoulin Prudhomme, a single mother of two who had left her husband after he allegedly abused her.

These murders, along with many others committed from the 70s up until the 1990s have remained unsolved. While there have been several suspects, there has been little in the way of concrete evidence.

Due to the sporadic nature of the Texas Killing Field murders, having occurred primarily from the 1970s, and picking up again in the 80s and 90s, many believe that there were multiple killers lurking in the distance.

These horrific crimes have continued to haunt League City, Texas as well as the loved ones of their victims.

In an interview with Texas Monthly, it was said that Heidi Fye’s father was unrelenting in his pursuit of answers, even on his deathbed.

Laura Miller’s father, Tim even founded the Texas EquuSearch in August of 2000, an organization dedicated to finding missing people according to local news outlet Click2Houston.

Whether there were one or multiple serial killers hiding their sins in the wide marshes along the “highway to hell,” one thing is certain. We can only hope that no one is next.

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Brooklyn McKinney
Brooklyn McKinney, Staff Writer

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