Lisa Ann French
When Arlene got home at 11:00 PM, Turner was still up. She noticed that the blanket from their bed was crumpled up on the floor of the laundry room, but Arlene shrugged it off and went to bed. She didn’t find out until later that the little girl from down the street had been killed in that same bed just hours earlier.
Lisa Ann French left her house just before 6:00 PM dressed like a miniature hobo—ragged jeans, a parka, and a battered felt hat. About an hour later, she made her way to Gerald Turner’s house. The door was open. What happened next is unclear, but Turner got Lisa upstairs to his bedroom, where he forced himself on her and then strangled her to death.
“Then I see the delight in your eyes turn to fear as I shut the door behind you,” Gerald Turner later wrote in a letter he penned in prison to Lisa. The girl’s body was found in a field on the outskirts of town three days after Halloween.
The implications of the timeline are staggering. Had Turner already committed his heinous act when Arlene got home from work, or was he still waiting for Lisa to come by? Had Arlene sat downstairs, holding hands with a burgeoning killer, while his first victim grew cold upstairs, or had Turner already put the body in a trash bag and dumped it?
The jury couldn’t have cared less. Turner was sentenced to 39 years in prison. Amid public outcry, he was released on parole in 1998, but he went back to prison in 2003 for a parole violation. He’s slated for release in 2018.