Reesa Trexler Murder: What Happened to Curtis Edward Blair?

In the episode titled ‘Suspicious Minds’ of A&E’s ‘Cold Case Files,’ we get a detailed account of the gruesome murder of a 15-year-old girl named Reesa Trexler in her grandparents’ house in the summer of 1984. The investigation resulted in the suspicion of someone close to the victim for several decades until new developments were made in the case. Featuring interviews with the suspects in the case and family members of the victim, the episode provides several insightful pieces of information about Reesa’s untimely demise and the aftermath.

Reesa Trexler Was Found Dead in a Room of Her Grandparents’ House

In Rowan County, North Carolina, Vickie Oakes gave birth to a little bundle of joy in the form of Reesa Dawn Trexler on October 11, 1968. A couple of years later, Vickie welcomed another daughter, Jodie Trexler Laird, making Reesa an older sister. Growing up next to their grandparents’ house in Salisbury, the two sisters shared a close-knit bond and shared everything with one another, including their room. As she found her people in school, the elder sister started to spend time with her friends. She would frequently call them over to her place to chill and hang out.

Jodie Trexler and Vickie Oakes

On June 15, 1984, just a few days into the summer vacation, Reesa had called a couple of her friends, Paul Rogers and Jim, to her place to watch TV together and hang out. At the time, only Reesa, her friends, and her sister Jodie were at the house. Soon, Paul and Jim left as they had to go run some errands. Not long after, when Jodie checked up on her sister, she could not find her anywhere in the house. Thinking that Reesa might have gone over to their grandparents’ place, she decided to take the trip to the next-door house and noticed that her grandfather’s car and truck were not on the property.

Thus, she assumed that her older sister might have left with one of them, which was not out of the ordinary, and came back home. Sooner rather than later, Jodie heard her grandfather, Walter Monroe, scream and went over to his house, running. There, she found Reesa covered in blood in the spare bedroom. When the police arrived at the crime scene, they found the 15-year-old girl without any clothes on, with multiple stab wounds, reportedly 18, across her body, and with semen in and on her body. The most severe stab wound was the one that damaged her spinal cord completely. DNA swabs of the victim were also taken for the record.

All Fingers Were Pointed at Reesa’s Sister Jodie

After collecting clues and evidence from the scene of the crime, the authorities directed their investigation to the next step — interviewing potential witnesses and loved ones of Reesa Trexler. Since Paul and Jim were two of the last persons to see her alive, the detectives interviewed them repeatedly, but they could not connect them to the murder. Several witnesses also informed the police that they spotted a black male on the run around the area at the time of the murder. Since the evidence was minimal at the time, the investigators did not hold back from seeing even her closest family members through the lens of suspicion, including her beloved sister, Jodie Trexler.

Jodie Trexler Laird

For decades, Jodie was considered the prime suspect in the murder of her sister, not only by the police but also by the community and her own family and friends. When social media became a thing in 2010 through the invention of Facebook, Jodie also became the primary subject of many people discussing Reesa’s murder. After being looked down upon for decades, she decided to feature in Dr. Phil in April 2018, where she took a polygraph test and passed. Following her appearance on the talk show, not only did the people’s opinions about her change, but the decades-long cold case was picked up again by a new detective who was determined to find all the unanswered questions. Jodie was asked to go through another polygraph test in the presence of officials and passed it.

The Case Was Cracked Open After More Than Three Decades

Curtis Edward Blair

Upon going through all the pieces of evidence again, the detectives found a break when they got a DNA profile from the semen they had collected from Reesa’s body more than three decades earlier. Thanks to the advancement in DNA testing, they used familial DNA testing and widened the search before coming to the conclusion that a man named Curtis Edward Blair, who had no connection to the victim or her family, was the one responsible for the murder, officially clearing Jodie Trexler of any involvement in the crime whatsoever. However, the detectives and the family of Reesa were disappointed to know that the perpetrator had already passed away. As per reports, Curtis was in his 40s at the time of the murder and worked at the Frito-Lay factory, which was just a few blocks away from Reesa’s house.

Curtis Edward Blair Passed Away in 2004

After committing the crime, Curtis reportedly moved to California at some point and got into trouble with the law. As the investigators dug deeper into the killer, they learned that he had a lengthy rap sheet. Apart from having a string of arrests in New York and California to his name, he had also served time for assault with a deadly weapon. In order to confirm the DNA testing reports, the authorities exhumed his body and proved that the DNA was a perfect match to that of the killer. He passed away in August 2004 in California due to acute ventricular failure and congestive heart failure. When the decades-long investigation finally came to a close, Reesa’s mother, Vickie Oakes, expressed her relief to WBTV News. She said, “So many nights laying on the bed wondering and wondering and wondering, and maybe now I can sleep.”

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