Debra Louise Jackson, also known as Debra Louise Larned, was a young woman who was found dead, wearing only a pair of orange socks (she is sometimes referred to as “orange socks”) in a culvert along Interstate 35 in Georgetown, Texas on the 31st of October 1979.
Debra had been sexually assaulted and strangled to death. She was only wearing a pair of orange socks and an abalone/mother-of-pearl stone on a ring when she was discovered.
Debra was unidentified for 39 years and was only positively identified in August 2019 by the DNA Doe Project which used genetic genealogy to identify her.
Whilst Debra was unidentified, police thought that she may have been a runaway or a transient. They found keys from an Oklahoma motel which helped to support this theory, alongside the fact that Debra had long nails and unshaven legs, and was using a makeshift sanitary pad. Debra was also suffering from salpingitis, which is where the fallopian tubes become inflamed, due to untreated gonorrhoea.
Serial killer Henry Lee Lucas confessed to Debra’s murder, however, it was later discovered that the police officers would show him photos of the crime scene and then have him confess during police interviews – so that the police officers could gain recognition for solving cold cases.
The police do not think that Henry Lee Lucas was responsible for the death of Debra.
Between 1976 and 1981, the section of Interstate 35 in Texas was the location of 22 murders involving female and male hitchhikers and stranded motorists. This has led police to believe that a serial killer was active during those years, and responsible for the murders. Debra has been listed as a victim of the I-35 murders.
It is thought that at least two men were responsible for Debra’s murder, as there were two DNA profiles discovered on the socks that she was wearing. However, the police are unsure if the profiles are strong enough to be run for additional tests.
Hopefully one day the DNA profiles will be able to provide us with the names of those responsible for ending Debra’s life.
Unsolved, Murder, Homicide, True Crime, I-35, Texas, Mystery, Debra Jackson, Identified