The Crimes-Picayune

The Missing and Murdered Women of Leesville, LA

January 02, 2021 Peyton Breaux
The Crimes-Picayune
The Missing and Murdered Women of Leesville, LA
Show Notes Transcript

Five women were murdered in Leesville, LA between 1980 and 1990. Four of their cases are still unsolved. 

If you have any information regarding these cases, please contact the Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office at (337) 238-1311. 

The Missing and Murdered Women of Leesville, LA 

Hey, y’all! I’m your host, Peyton, and for our first episode I’m going to tell you the stories of 4 women whose cold cases have haunted the residents of a small town in Louisiana for over 30 years. This is The Crimes-Picayune.

In the early morning hours of November 21st 1988, James Hill was sound asleep when he was awoken by frantic knocking and sounds at the front door of his home. When he opened the door, he was shocked to see his wife’s best friend, Tammy, and she was obviously in distress. She told James that his wife, Karen, was missing. It was then that James got into his car and raced to the Circle K gas station on Entrance Road in Leesville, LA where his wife had picked up a shift for a coworker that night.

When he arrived, officers at the scene informed him they had received a concerning call around 4:20 that morning stating the attendant was missing and the cash register was emptied, but her purse and keys were still on the counter. James was confused because he had just seen that her car was still in the parking lot. 

Inside the convenience store, they didn’t see any signs that a struggle had ensued but the store did not have cameras at this time so there wasn’t any footage they could go back and watch but the items Karen left behind led officers to believe she had been abducted. 

Karen Eads Hill was born January 30th 1967 in the midwest. She was raised by her mother, Jessie, and grew up with 2 brothers and a sister and her mother described her as being a tomboy. She and her husband, James, married in the fall of 1985 and had relocated to the Leesville area because her husband was a sergeant in the army and they were stationed at Fort Polk. This is where she met her best friend, Tammy. 

Now, to give you a little background information about the area, Fort Polk, like I said, is an army installation. It is located in the rural west-central part of Louisiana in Vernon Parish. If you’re unfamiliar with how the territories in the state work, parishes in Louisiana are just like counties in any other state and they’ve been that way since the early 1800s when Louisiana was ruled by both Spain and France and they divided the land by the church parishes. Fort Polk is about 2 hours south of Shreveport and about 5 hours northwest of New Orleans. 

The reason Tammy had stopped by the gas station so early that morning was so she could drop off a key to her home because Karen was supposed to watch her children while she was in the hospital having a baby. 

Tammy informed the officers at the scene that she and Karen had actually been on the phone for the majority of the night while Karen worked and helped her through her labor pains. She said Karen would just put the phone down when a customer came to check out and they’d go right back to talking. During an episode of “On the Case with Paula Zahn” Tammy specified that they talked from approximately 11:45 PM until about 3:40 that next morning when she hung up the phone to pack her bag and head over to the gas station to give Karen that key to her home, which means whoever came into the store only had about a 40 minute window to do so because police received that call around 4:20. 

According to a Facebook post by the Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office, they immediately set up roadblocks and began canvassing the area. Now, this specific Circle K doesn’t exist anymore and I couldn’t find where exactly where on Entrance Rd it was (I’m not sure if it was torn down or turned into another gas station/convenience store) BUT the road it sat on is only 2 ½ miles long and leads directly to the entrance of Fort Polk. My point being, that we know Karen was taken less than 2 ½ miles from an army base! Which is so terrifying to me! 

But unfortunately the search for the 21-year-old aspiring veterinarian would end the next morning when her body was found in a wooded area by a hunter roughly 10 miles from where she went missing. 

The initial report written by VPSO writes, “The victim was tied to a pecan tree. This tree is in the circle driveway that is the approach to the pond of water located in this area. The body appears to have been put in this area so that it would be found.” 

In the Paula Zahn episode, investigators described this gruesome scene they discovered that fall morning. They stated she was fully dressed and still had on her Circle K apron. She had been bound by a cotton boot-lace type of material  with her arms around the tree in front of her. 

It was later determined that Karen’s cause of death was a single gunshot wound to her left eye. Detective Kenny Williams with the Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office stated they believed she was standing up prior to her death and the impact of the gunshot caused her body to slump over into the position she was found in. He also noted that the gun was so close to her face that she had gunpowder burns around her eye. The autopsy revealed that before Karen had spent the last moments of her life staring at the barrel of the gun, she had been raped. 

As detectives were searching around the crime scene, a .22 caliber casing was found on the ground approximately 12-15 feet from where Karen’s body was. Det. Kenny Williams stated that it had appeared to come from the direction of where they believed Karen’s killer was standing. They also found tire tracks in the wet ground which were casted and sent off for analysis. The castings came back as belonging to a 1987 or 1988 GM product. And one would think that having these tire tracks would be a nice start for investigators but trucks in Leesville were FAR from uncommon at this time and they said they’d have to comb through 1000s of owners. 

So without any other leads to go off, investigators started their search for Karen’s killer within her closest circle; Karen’s husband, James, became the only suspect. When they took a look around James’ home they DID in fact find 3 weapons - they found 2 shotguns and a high powered rifle, though none of them fired anything that matched the casing found at the scene. He also took and passed a polygraph test and when his blood type didn’t match the evidence found during Karen’s autopsy, detectives knew he was not responsible for the murder of his wife. And, just a side note, but Karen’s mother, Jessie, was also interviewed by Paula Zahn and when she was asked why she was there when James took his polygraph he had asked her “are you here because you think I did it?” and she responded “No, I’m here because I know you didn’t do this.”

From here, the case essentially went cold. Although investigators did countless interviews and spent hours upon hours looking into the evidence they
did have, they just didn’t have any suspects. And when Det. Williams is describing the amount of work they put into solving Karen’s case to Paula Zahn, you can almost feel the dedication and work their office put into it. 

Detectives would feel like they were reliving Karen’s case when 6 months later on May 29th 1989 another woman in the area was reported missing. Pamela Miller had been hanging out at Instant Replay Lounge when around 11:30 she decided she was ready to head home. She was seen leaving, alone, and was wearing a mint green blouse, jeans, and black high heels. 

The lounge has since been closed but it used to sit on the main highway that goes straight through the middle of town. 

From there, she took a left and drove about 3 miles to a convenience store located on Kurthwood Rd and Hwy 28. A local, who happened to know Pamela, saw her using the pay phone. According to their statement, she put the phone back on the receiver, grabbed her coin, and walked back to her car. Several sources stated they believe she tried to call her boyfriend but he didn’t pick up. 

Her vacant car would be found by him an hour later in front of the gate to his home, about 8 miles from that convenience store. Her boyfriend, Billy, had a guest over that night (which is probably why he didn’t answer the phone when Pamela had called him) and when he was leaving to bring his guest home, he noticed Pamela’s car parked out by the gate; the windows were down and her purse was still there sitting on the front seat. 

Billy gave Pamela’s sister, Annette, a call but it wouldn’t be until around 4 that morning, several hours after he had discovered her car in front of his gate. He told her that Pamela’s car was there but he hadn’t seen Pamela and didn’t have plans to see her and that he didn’t know how long the car had been there. 

There’s not much information available about her case online, but from what I could gather, Pamela had a job working at Burger King as well as Ford’s Cleaners in Leesville. She had been staying with her sister for only about 6 months until her disappearance. Her sister knew immediately that something was wrong. She filed a missing person’s report in the early morning hours of May 30th 1989. 

The scene in front of her boyfriend’s home was comparable to the Circle K Karen worked at; it didn’t look like a struggle had taken place but you could tell that both women had definitely been there. Pamela’s sister, Annette, was also a part of the Paula Zahn episode that featured Karen’s story; she stated, “You could see her high heel prints from her car to the gate and then you saw a man’s size tennis shoe prints all around my sister’s car. Her prints just stopped.” 

It was as if the 5’4” 115 lb woman had vanished into thin air. 

The eyewitness account that spotted Pamela using the payphone just 8 miles away combined with the shoe prints found around her car allowed for investigators to put together what they believe to be an accurate timeline of events that night. They believe she was followed from that convenience store to her boyfriend’s house and after she turned off her car and removed her keys from the ignition, the man approached her from behind as she walked up to unlock the gate. 

This makes me wonder if Karen’s murderer had been sitting and waiting for his next victim to be alone in the convenience store just as Karen was, but spotted Pamela using the payphone and decided that she would unfortunately become his next target. 

Six months later and almost a year to the day since Karen’s abduction and murder, remains would be found by a hunter down a very rural highway in Sabine Parish. Sabine Parish touches Vernon Parish on its northwest corner. 

The discovery of these remains should be credited to rain caused by Louisiana’s hurricane season, which typically runs from June until November. The immense amounts of rain allowed the shallow grave to become disturbed, resulting in the remains washing down into view. And according to Detective Jordan with Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office, about 66 inches of rain had fallen in the months since Pamela’s disappearance. 

Due to the state of decomposition, the remains were sent to Washington DC and compared to dental records.  Several weeks later, VPSO got confirmation that Pamela Miller had finally been found. Though, authorities and family members were confident it was Pamela before receiving confirmation because shortly after the discovery of what was left of her body, a grid search was conducted and they found clothing, a necklace, and other jewelry, including an earring that Pamela’s sister recognized as a pair they bought together. 

Now, I want to tell you a little more about where her remains were found because when considering the location of where Karen Hill was found, there’s an eerie similarity. Although the two women were found 40 miles from one another, they were both dumped on two separate sites used by the Fort Polk army base for training. 

Karen was found tied to a tree within the Kisatchie National Forest limits. According to the USDA website, “The Kisatchie is a diverse forest with bayous, prairies, bottomland hardwoods and upland pine forest types.  The terrain across the forest is flat to gently rolling hills, with maximum elevations of approximately 400 feet.” This national forest is huge. It is made up of 5 districts located across 7 parishes and in total measures roughly 604,000 acres. The specific area that Karen was found is called Little Cypress Recreation Complex. Families usually come here to walk the trails, fish, have a picnic, and other outdoorsy things and when you are driving up you can see a circle drive and several trees scattered throughout this kind of flat welcoming area. Karen was left, tied to one of these trees just one mile from the main highway. If you were to continue straight down Forest Rd. 471, the road the recreation complex is on, you would eventually run into ranges/training areas used by Fort Polk. 

Her killer had access to tens of thousands of acres of grown-over land and creeks and (not to be morbid) but there were so many spots along the way from Entrance Rd that he could have left her, but he chose a spot he had to have known was frequented by civilians, hunters, and other army personnel for training. 

Pamela Miller’s remains were found north of Fort Polk down a highway used to access another training area. According to the Leesville Daily Leader, she was approximately 638 feet (about ⅛ of a mile) down Hwy 118 and another 60 feet or so off the roadway. 

If you were to start at her boyfriend’s house and drive back to the main  highway, Hwy 117, take a right, and drive 13 miles north (so, away from the city) and turn onto Hwy 118, you’d arrive at where Pamela was found. Using Google Maps, I was able to determine that Hwy-117 is most likely the route that soldiers would take from the army base to reach the training site, called Peason Ridge, off Hwy-118. 

Detective Jordan with VPSO believes, “Somebody would have had to have known where to go because she was actually driven down a dim road that crossed over a big water culvert and she was dumped in a shallow grave in a creek bed.” The Leesville Daily Leader also writes that in March and April of the year Pamela went missing, training maneuvers were held at Peason Ridge.

So, again, we have a killer that’s dumped their victim not far from a main road, the area was frequently or recently utilized by the military, both women were abducted in the middle of the night and taken to a secondary location, and both of their last known locations were convenience stores. Coincidentally, both women were abducted on what would’ve been the first day of the work week. Karen was abducted in the early morning hours of a Monday, and Pamela was abducted in the early morning hours of a Tuesday, however, the day before was Memorial Day. Another coincidence between the two abduction sites is that both women’s purses were left behind, leading me to believe these attacks weren’t robberies gone wrong, although the cash register was emptied at the Circle K where Karen worked, I don’t think the driving-factor behind their attacks was robbery.

I also believe that the killer, or killers, left these women in places they were comfortable with; places they had either spent lots of time or were very familiar with and knew were close by. These were also, in my opinion, places that the perpetrator(s) could explain or provide an excuse as to why they were there if they happened to be spotted by a witness. Police were beginning to make connections between the two cases, but without any leads they both slowly became cold. 

That was, until several years later, the mother of Karen Hill would receive a phone call that would finally bring warmth to the case that had been cold for almost a decade. Karen’s mother, Jessie, was talking to a man that claimed he knew who killed her daughter back in November of 1988. The man, who introduced himself as “Angel,”  had recently attended a reunion with some of his former military friends and one of these friends included the old roommate of a man named Samuel Galbraith. Galbraith was stationed at Fort Polk from December of 1987 until June of 1990. According to the roommate, Galbraith told him he had always wanted to kidnap, rape, and kill a woman just to know what it felt like. The roommate continued, stating Galbraith said on the day Karen was found that he had finally gone through with his “fantasy.”

Investigators contacted the old roommate and confirmed what they had been told. When they asked him why he didn’t come forward with information almost a decade ago he stated, “He wouldn’t say anything unless he was asked.” Police immediately tracked Galbraith down in Texas and brought him in for questioning. Detective Marvin Hilton with VPSO said Galbraith didn’t even ask why they wanted to speak to him. During questioning, Detective Kenny Williams said Galbraith denied ever knowing Karen Hill and when confronted about his old roommate’s confession, he never got defensive. But when asked for a blood sample he said, “I don’t have anything to hide, but I don’t want to give you a sample right now.” 

Little did Galbraith know, though, that authorities didn’t need his permission because they had obtained a warrant for a blood sample. Detective Hilton stated, “all of the blood drained from his face - he went white.” 

At the time of the murder, Glabraith drove a 1987 GMC which tires matched the castings from the scene. Additionally, the blood sample he reluctantly gave up matched the DNA found on Karen’s clothing. Samuel Galbraith was finally arrested for Karen Hill’s murder in 1997, 9 years after she was brutally murdered. 

He was originally charged with first degree murder, but took a plea deal in 2000 for manslaughter and attempted first degree rape and received a 71 year sentence. Thanks to a Louisiana law, criminals that are first-time felony offenders are up for the parole board if they serve 20 years of their sentence and are at least 45 years old. Well, in November of 2016 Samuel Galbraith met both of these requirements and was sent to the parole board where, in a unanimous 3-0 vote FOR his release, Galbraith was set to be released April 23rd 2017, after serving less than ⅓ of his sentence.

Rachel Steffan with Beauregard Daily News writes, “The board granted parole based on Galbraith’s good conduct, community service, completion of various rehabilitation programs, and having a strong family support system.”

But, due to some complications and technicalities, Galbraith’s parole was rescinded just 2 days before he was set to be released. 

I found a 10 page complaint filed by Galbraith in July of 2017 saying by rescinding his parole, the state had violated his civil rights. The complaint details the technicalities that caused his parole to be rescinded and claimed them to be “fabricated.” It goes on to paint Galbraith as a victim, specifically a “political football” regarding criminal justice reform against violent offenders. The special conditions of his parole were also included as well as what he could/couldn’t do once released. It described him as a “model prisoner” and having only received 2 infractions during his incarceration. 

I don’t want to go off on too big of a tangent about this complaint but I had to mention my favorite part. It writes “Galbraith was set to rejoin his family and work in the family’s successful construction business. Following the grant of parole, {Galbraith’s mother and his wife} moved… to southern Texas to be near him when he returned home. Galbraith purchased health insurance.” I’m so glad that Galbraith had a job waiting for him once he was released. And I’m so glad Galbraith was able to purchase health insurance. But Karen Hill will never have the luxury of purchasing health insurance. 

Now, I want to go back and tell you something I hadn’t mentioned yet from when Galbraith was initially convicted. Because of the striking similarities between the two women’s cases, investigators wanted to ask Galbraith about his involvement in Pamela’s murder. 

Pamela was not the only case Galbraith was asked about. In the last few months of his time at Fort Polk, a 15 year old girl named Tammy Michelle Call had also disappeared. When asked about his involvement in the other disappearances all he stated was, “I want a lawyer.” 

Tammy was reported missing after she didn’t return home from school on the afternoon of February 20th 1990. A classmate later revealed that Tammy and a friend did what lots of us were guilty of in our grade school days and they decided to skip school that day. On their way out to the parking lot after arriving at school that morning, a teacher stopped the two girls. Tammy’s friend continued to her car but Tammy turned around and went back inside. It is believed that she exited through the back of the school and left the campus. 

A boy that rode Tammy’s bus in the afternoons claimed he saw Tammy, in front of a convenience store, walking back towards the high school. This store sits only ½ mile from the school.

No one had any idea where Tammy had gone. There would be no sign of her until a month later when her backpack was found on a walking path not far from the school.

Tammy’s family would be wondering what happened to their daughter that cold February morning for seven long years until her partial remains would be found by a hunter in a secluded area roughly 15 miles away from her high school on West Boundary Rd. near Hwy 10. Her remains were located only 5 miles from where Karen Hill was murdered a year and a half earlier. 

Investigators were not able to find any physical evidence due to the amount of time her remains had been exposed to the elements. They were also not able to determine a cause of death, either. 

There are pretty obvious similarities between these 3 cases. Again, like Karen and Pamela, Tammy was abducted and taken to another location, she was found so close to the Little Cypress Recreation Complex where Karen was killed, Tammy was abducted on Tuesday, February 20th which also happened to be the first day of the work week because that Monday was President’s Day, and all of their last-known locations were convenience stores. 

A lot of online sleuths, as well as the Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office, believe Galbraith could also be responsible for Tammy’s death. Now remember, Galbraith was stationed in the area until June of the year she went missing; so he left just 4 months after her disappearance. 

I was convinced Galbraith was Tammy’s killer until I came across a 2016 Facebook post from a group called Forgotten Angels. In the caption of the post, the unnamed author mentions a person of interest I had not yet come across - a man named James Rexford Powell. 

Powell had been living only about 45 miles away from the high school at the time of Tammy’s disappearance in a town called Merryville. Powell’s father, Marvin, was living near the army base. And according to the Forgotten Angels Facebook post, Powell had a doctors appointment that day that he had missed. Suspiciously, Powell and his wife moved across state lines to Texas just 6 months after Tammy’s disappearance. 

Though, authorities would never get the chance to question Powell about his potential involvement in Tammy’s case because he was executed by lethal injection in 2002 for the abduction, rape, and murder of a 10-year-old girl named Falyssa Van Winkle. 

Falyssa was murdered about 7 months after Tammy’s disappearance on October 6th, 1990. She had joined her parents that Saturday morning on their trip to a Beaumont flea market where they were vendors at Larry’s Antique Mall. Just 5 hours after she had asked her mother for $1 to buy some peanuts, Falyssa’s body would be found 80 miles away on a hunting lease under a bridge in Newton County, TX. She was bound around her neck and wrists and from the markings on her ankles, investigators believed she was bound there at some point too. Falyssa’s cause of death would be ruled “mechanical asphyxiation associated with homicidal ligature strangulation.” They also discovered she had a head injury and had been sexually assaulted before she died.

Two days later, after an abundance of circumstantial evidence linked him to Falyssa’s murder, Powell was arrested at his home in Mauriceville, TX. During trial, experts testified that several pieces of physical evidence proved Powell was the one that carried out the abduction, rape, and murder of 10-year-old Falyssa. 

With Falyssa’s murder, we can see that Powell is comfortable transporting his victim a long distance. And I don’t think anyone would drive their first victim 80 miles away if they hadn’t been able to “practice” first. Tammy’s body was found 15 miles away from where she was believed to have been taken from. (In my research I never found an exact location of where her body was found, so I’m only able to estimate this distance.)

In both of their cases, if you were to drive from the abduction site of each girl towards his home in Merryville, LA their bodies could be found along the way. Falyssa was found less than 20 miles from Powell’s old home in Merryville and Tammy was found about 40. 

Interestingly, Tammy was found roughly 6 miles away from, none other than, a flea market, just like Falyssa was, and his mother happened to live nearby in Pickering, LA. 

By another *chilling* coincidence, Falyssa was found on the outskirts of a town named “Call,” Tammy’s. Last. Name. 

Jumping back to Galbraith for a second, another reason why I don’t think Galbraith is guilty of Tammy’s murder is that she was abducted during the day. Tammy was taken around 8 AM. This is a prime hour of the day. People are heading to work/school, it’s completely bright outside; there was so much potential for someone to witness her abduction; and if Galbraith is guilty of Pamela’s murder like I think he is, he “operates” at night. 

 We also need to consider the age of the victims too. Karen and Pamela were in their 20’s while Tammy was only 15. According to Dr. Deborah Schurman-Kauflin, “[Killers] are filling complex psychological needs.. Many offenders want their crime scenes to look a certain way. They want a specific type of victim. And often there is heavy fantasy involvement in how they kill.” We know, thanks to his own admittance, that Galbraith had fantasized about killing a woman for quite some time. I think he knew what kind of victim he wanted and how he would go about achieving this horrifying goal. With saying that, I personally don’t think Galbraith is guilty of Tammy’s abduction and murder. 

I believe Tammy falls closer in line with being a victim of James Rexford Powell. I also wanted to add here that I could not find an employment history for Powell. Several sources said he had a prior occupation as an electrician, but I couldn’t find anything stating if he was employed at the time of Tammy’s disappearance, meaning other than the doctor’s appointment he’s been said to have missed, I’m not sure if there was anyone that could account for his whereabouts the day Tammy disappeared. When Powell was questioned during Falyssa’s case, he stated he had driven to the flea market after his wife had left for work that day, and who’s to say this didn’t happen the morning of Tammy’s disappearance too.

I read a book about Falyssa’s case called “So Innocent Yet So Dead” written by an investigator that worked in the sex crimes division of the Beaumont Police Dept. named Bill Davis. And though what I’m about to tell you doesn’t directly correlate to Karen, Pamela, or Tammy, I think it’s important to add that in his book, Davis writes about several sexaul assault allegations against Powell from different girls, including his own daughter. 

Powell was accused in 1989 (less than a year before Tammy was killed) of assaulting his 12-year-old niece, but relatives of the girl pushed her to drop it and unfortunately he was never looked into further about the allegations. His daughter would also come forward with allegations against her father stating he started molesting her when she was 10 and it continued until just 2 months before she was married

Before the murders of Karen, Pamela, and Tammy, 3 women in the area had experienced attacks in/around their homes within 6 years of each other. 

Mary Darlene Howard was also a 15-year-old girl that was last seen around 10 AM on Wednesday, April 16th 1980, a whole decade before Tammy was murdered. Her remains would be found just 12 days later on West Boundary Road, only 2 miles away from her home at Mike’s Trailer Park. 

38 years later in an attempt to collect information from the public about her case, VPSO posted a letter on their Facebook page written by her mother. It says, “My name is Wanda Jo Busbee. I am the mother of Mary Darlene Howard who disappeared in April of 1980. Her body was found later. She had been murdered. Darlene used to sing in the choir at church and she loved to cook. My mother Gladyss Collins sent Darlene out to mail a letter the morning she disappeared. My mother grieved herself to death and died one year later. Please, if anyone has any information concerning my daughter, please contact Chief Detective Jordan so my family can finally have closure. Thank you, Wanda Jo Busbee.” 

Though there’s not much information about her case online, I did find that she was stabbed numerous times and had defensive wounds on her arms. In an article for, Naftali Berrill, a forensic scientist out of New York City stated “Anytime somebody commits a murder or assault, either by choking, stabbing or making bodily contact, it always speaks to a level of rage and perhaps a personal connection to the victim.” She continues to say “When you are stabbing someone, it’s close and in your face. The experience is more visceral and more graphic, more provocative. It speaks emotionality, whether rage or paranoia.” 

I don’t believe Darlene and Tammy’s killer is the same person, but I do find it interesting that of all the roads and secluded places a killer could have left these girls, they were found not far from one another on the same exact road. 

Four years later, 66 year old Lucille Jackson had been getting ready to wash her hair around 10 AM on the morning of August 2nd 1984 when she heard the sound of a vehicle pulling around to the backside of her home in Merryville, LA. The man walked toward Lucille and they exchanged a few words about purchasing some timber the man was interested in.

 Lucille declined his offer and started back towards her home when the man pushed her inside and brought her to her bedroom where he told her he was going to rape her. Lucille fought with every ounce of strength she had - so hard that the man would not be able to carry out his sexual assault as he had intended. After an intense struggle between the two, the man would eventually shoot Lucille in the left side of her face. Incredibly, 66 year old Lucille was able to pick herself up off her floor and drive to her neighbor’s house to go get help. She survived the attack and seven months later she’d be able to identify her attacker in court; she identified the man as James Rexford Powell.

Powell had been arrested one week after the attack and charged with aggravated burglary, attempted aggravated rape, and attempted first degree murder. BUT thanks to a single witness statement that caused doubt within the jury, they found him not. guilty. on all. counts, allowing him to walk out of the courtroom as a free man.

Suspiciously, two years after Lucille Jackson’s attack, 35 miles north, a woman in Leesville would disappear from her home. 

Bambi Brantley hasn’t been seen or heard from since the night of Wednesday, October 21st 1986 when she was walking home from a convenience store on Hwy 8. Bambi had just phoned the restaurant her brother was eating at to ask him to bring their car home so she could go visit her boyfriend. While at the store, Bambi purchased a drink that would later be found by her brother just 30 minutes later at their home in the Tower Trailer Park, about ⅓ of a mile from the convenience store. 

For those that are unfamiliar with the area, the convenience store Bambi was last seen at is 2 miles from the one Tammy was last seen at; it’s also only 3 ½ miles from the convenience store Pamela was last seen at. I tell you this to emphasize just how close in proximity these women disappeared from one another. 

Bambi’s brother left to continue hanging out with his friends and when he returned home again several hours later he noticed the car and her drink had not been touched. It’s been 34 years since Bambi’s family last saw her and until investigators have a body or someone comes forward with information, they might never know what happened to the woman they loved so much.

Both Powell and Galbraith moved away from the Leesville area in mid-1990, and as far as I could find, there haven’t been any other women that have gone missing or been murdered under similar circumstances since they left, and I don’t think that’s just a coincidence. All of these women deserve justice. If you have any information about any of these womens’ cases, no matter HOW small you think it might be, it just might be the missing piece that solves these decade long puzzles. Please contact the Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office at (337) 238-7248.