The city of Fort Worth in Texas was left petrified when 17-year-old high school junior Carla Jan Walker was kidnapped and murdered in 1974. Although Glen McCurley was looked at as a person of interest during the investigation, officers did not have enough to charge him back then. ‘Dateline: After the Dance’ chronicles the brutal murder of Carla Walker and showcases how genetic genealogy helped officers close down on Glen McCurley and shut the case several decades later. Let’s dig into the details of the case and find out where he is at present, shall we?
Who Is Glen McCurley?
Glen McCurley is a Fort Worth resident who was considered a person of interest during the initial investigation into Carla Walker’s murder. According to the show, Carla’s boyfriend, Rodney McCoy, said that the couple was sitting in his car near the west side of the city on February 17, 1974, when an unknown person walked up to the vehicle. The man forced open the passenger side door and yanked Carla out. When Rodney protested and tried to fight the intruder off, the man took out a pistol and began pistol-whipping him brutally.
With Rodney unconscious on the ground, the attacker kidnapped Carla and made his escape. For days, Carla remained missing while her loved ones and the police carried out a frantic search. Finally, three days after the kidnapping, Carla’s deceased body was located in a ditch near Benbrook Lake. An autopsy revealed that she had been tortured, beaten, and raped before being strangled to death, while officers found foreign DNA evidence on the victim’s bra and clothing.
Initial investigation into the murder was relatively slow as the police had no leads to work with. However, authorities eventually discovered a bullet cartridge believed to be fired by the perpetrator. Although the bullet cartridge led law enforcement officers to Glen McCurley, he outright denied his involvement when questioned. Glen was considered a person of interest, but the police could not force their hand or get an arrest warrant as they had little to no evidence against him.
The case lay untouched without any progression for several decades. However, detectives reopened the cold case in 2019. After realizing that the victim’s bra and clothes had foreign DNA, they sent them in for testing. The lab was able to construct a complete DNA profile from the garments. Then, by using the advanced method of genetic genealogy, the authorities narrowed down the suspect list to three McCurley brothers. With only Glen being considered a person of interest in 1974, officers focused on him and brought him in for questioning.
Where Is Glen McCurley Now?
Upon being questioned, Glen McCurley again insisted on his innocence and denied his involvement in the murder. He stated that on the night of February 17, 1974, he was walking along a parking lot when he noticed a girl screaming inside a vehicle. Glen claimed that he went to the girl’s help and rescued her from the boy she was with. However, authorities weren’t convinced with his statement and decided to push further. Thus, Glen broke down under further interrogation and confessed to kidnapping, raping, and murdering Carla Walker.
Following Glen’s confession, he was arrested and produced in court. However, Glen decided he wanted a jury trial and pleaded not guilty, much to everyone’s surprise. Nevertheless, in a sudden turn of events, the suspect had a change of heart which made him change his plea to guilty as charged. His confession automatically qualified him for a life sentence without any possibility of parole in 2021. Thus, Glen McCurley is now spending his days behind bars at the Gib Lewis Unit in Woodville, Texas.
Read More: How did Carla Walker Die? Who Killed Her?