Murder Most Vile Volume 1

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If You Love Me, You’ll Kill Her

Gary Foster had no reason to suspect that Monday, December 4, 1995, would be different from any other workday in his well-ordered life. By seven o'clock he’d showered, shaved and dressed and was enjoying a cup of coffee. Shortly after, he left for his job as a draughtsman in Grand Prairie, Texas, stopping, as he always did, to check his mailbox. That was when he got the first inkling that something was wrong. The gate to his field stood open. He was sure that he’d closed it the night before.

Slightly annoyed, but thankful that none of his cows had wandered out onto the road, Foster rolled his vehicle towards the gate. He was just about to flip the car door open when he spotted a young woman lying on the grass just behind the fence. She wasn’t moving.

Foster’s first instinct was that it might be a trap, that the young woman was lying there in order to lure him out of the car so that hidden accomplices could ambush him. But then he noticed the pool of blood on the ground and he realized that this was no trap. No one could lose that much blood and still be alive. Throwing his car into reverse, Foster turned around, sped back to his house and called 911.

A few miles from away, Linda Jones was frantically calling friends of her 16-year-old daughter, Adrianne. The pretty teenager had not been in her bed when Linda had gone to wake her that morning. In fact, the bed appeared not to have been slept in at all. Then Linda got an alarming piece of information from one of Adrianne’s younger brothers. The boy said that he’d heard Adrianne’s alarm go off at around 2 a.m. and had seen her sneaking out of the house soon after. She’d driven off with someone in a dark hatchback.

Her concern now elevated to panic, Linda phoned the police and reported her daughter missing.

By now, the police had secured the crime scene and the young female victim had been moved to the morgue, booked in as a Jane Doe. The medical examiner soon determined that she’d died as a result of two bullet wounds to the head, and had also suffered blunt force trauma. With no evidence of sexual assault, the police were left to wonder as to the motive behind the crime.

One mystery was resolved by 4 p.m. that afternoon. The corpse was matched to the missing persons report filed by Linda Jones earlier in the day. It was left to Sergeant Craig Magnuson, a friend of the Jones family, to break the tragic news of Adrianne’s death to her parents.

As detectives began working the case, a promising clue emerged. Linda Jones said that her daughter had phoned her boyfriend, Tracy Smith, at around 10:30 on the night of her death. During the course of that conversation, Adrianne had broken off to take another incoming call, placing Tracy on hold. She’d spoken briefly to the second caller, then got back to her boyfriend. Afterwards, Linda had asked her who the second caller was and Adrianne had said, “Oh, that was David from cross-country. He's upset about something."

“David” turned out to be David Graham, a student at Adrianne’s school, Mansfield High. Like Adrianne, he was a member of the cross-country team. But the police dismissed him as a suspect after he insisted that he hadn’t called Adrianne.

He was, of course, lying through his teeth.

David Graham was one of Mansfield High’s brightest students. The handsome 18-year-old was described by friends and neighbors as a “perfect gentleman,” a six-foot-one gentle giant whose only aspiration was a career in the military. The son of former schoolteachers, he excelled academically and was also active on the school track team. But his greatest passion was for the high school's Junior ROTC program, where he was a battalion commander. During his final year of high school, David received the news he longed for. He’d been accepted into the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where he hoped to become a fighter pilot. Not long after, he became engaged to his girlfriend, Diane Zamora, herself destined for the military.

Like David Graham, Diane Zamora was an exceptional student. She was a member of the National Honors Society and although she was considered somewhat of an introvert, she belonged to several clubs at her school, Crowley High. A determined young woman from a religious family, Zamora had been accepted into the prestigious Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, during her senior year. She harbored ambitions of becoming an astronaut.

Zamora and Graham first met in 1991, when both were 14-year-olds attending a search-and-rescue course run by the Civil Air Patrol. They didn’t start dating until four years later, in August 1995. However, the relationship soon reached a level of intensity that frightened Zamora’s parents. Graham was so possessive that he reportedly refused to allow Diane to hug her parents at her high school graduation. She, in turn, demanded that he give up his after school jobs, so that he could spend more time with her. According to Diane’s parents, she could barely complete a sentence without mentioning his name. She described their relationship to friends as “pure” and as “no ordinary love.”

But that extraordinary love was to be sorely tested just months into the relationship. On December 1, 1995, David told Diane that he had a confession to make. A few weeks earlier, he said, he’d had sex with another girl, one of his teammates on the cross-country team. Diane was stunned, devastated. She and David had lost their virginity to each other and she’d believed that neither of them would ever be with anyone else. Despite her anguish, she demanded to know all the details.

David said that on Friday, November 4, he’d competed in a track meet in Lubbock. After the event, he’d offered a ride home to one of his female teammates. But on the way home, the girl asked him to stop behind an elementary school. There, they started making out and eventually ended up having sex in the car.

Diane was broken up by the confession. She spent hours crying, ranting, screaming hysterically. She banged her head against the wall, then collapsed and continued banging it against the floor. At one point she picked up a brass rod and tried to hit David with it. Eventually, she demanded the name of the girl David had been with. When he gave it, she started screaming, “Kill her! Kill her!”

In that moment, Adrianne Jones’s life was effectively over. The supposed sexual encounter that David Graham had described was, it would later turn out, a fabrication. He hadn’t been with Adrianne Jones that night because Adrianne had hitched a ride from Lubbock with somebody else. But that didn’t matter. He’d invented the story to get a reaction from Diane and now he had it. Diane wanted Adrianne dead. Was he going to deny the woman he loved?

In the days that followed, David Graham and Diane Zamora concocted their plan for the murder of Adrianne Jones. David was going to call her up and get her to come out to his car on some pretext. Then he was going to ask her to go for a drive with him, a drive that would take them to Joe Pool Lake. After they’d parked, Diane, who would be hiding in the hatch compartment, was going to sneak out and grab Adrianne from behind, snapping her neck, the way they’d seen it done in the movies. Then they were going to weigh Adrianne’s body down with a couple of dumbbells and sink her to the bottom of the lake.

David tried to set up the meeting a number of times over the next few days, but on each occasion, Adrianne cried off. Eventually, he tried a different tack, telling her he had a problem that he wanted to discuss with her. That was on December 4, a month to the day after he’d claimed that he’d been intimate with her.

The plan, however, didn’t play out the way they’d hoped. When Diane grabbed Adrianne from behind, Adrianne fought back. Diane then bludgeoned her with the dumbbell but Adrianne broke free and ran into the field. Realizing that they were committed now and couldn’t allow Adrianne to escape, David ran after her. He fired two shots from the 9mm pistol he’d brought along. The first stopped Adrianne in her tracks. The second, fired callously as she lay on the ground, was delivered execution style to the forehead. David and Diane then drove away from the scene, leaving Adrianne where she’d fallen. They stopped off at a friend’s house to clean up before driving to Diane’s home. They felt certain that the police were going to knock on the door at any moment to arrest them.

But despite the botched nature of the crime, no arrests were made. David and Diane graduated high school and went off to their respective military academies. Meanwhile, the Jones family was left to mourn the daughter who would never graduate, and the Grand Prairie Police Department was left to despair at the murder they couldn’t solve.

And in all likelihood it would have remained unsolved, had one of the conspirators not decided to talk about it.

On August 28, 1996, Diane Zamora and a couple of her fellow Annapolis recruits were sharing confidences in a late night conversation. The subject turned towards Diane’s relationship with David, which was currently under strain because of Diane’s attraction to her squad leader, Jay Guild. Diane hinted that she and David were tied together because they shared a secret that could destroy them both.

“Why, did you kill someone?” one of Diane’s friends asked jokingly.

"Let’s just say that someone is dead because of me,” was Diane’s enigmatic reply.

The two women were at first skeptical. However, after some debate, they decided to report the matter to the base chaplain. He in turn, spoke to a Navy attorney who contacted the Grand Prairie Police Department and asked about unsolved homicides. It didn’t take long to figure out which murder Diane had alluded to.

On August 30, Grand Prairie detectives flew to Annapolis to questioned Diane Zamora. She in the interim must have been regretting her rash decision to confide in her colleagues and had a ready explanation for the story she’d told. She said that it was a fabrication, designed to make her “sound tough.”

Although the detectives couldn’t budge her from that stance, the Navy decided it was appropriate to suspend her. That same evening, she was on a flight back to Texas.

But Diane didn’t go directly home. Somewhere en route she changed planes and flew to Colorado Springs to meet up with David. By the time Grand Prairie PD got round to interviewing David, he and Diane had their story all worked out. It did them no good in the end. David was asked to take a polygraph and failed. Both were arrested soon after.

Diane Zamora was the first to go on trial and it was quickly evident what direction her defense was going to take. They blamed David Graham, saying that Diane was a mere puppet in his hands and did whatever he told her to.

It didn’t work. After deliberating for six hours on February 17, 1998, the jury found Diane guilty of capital murder. She was sentenced to life in prison without parole eligibility for 40 years. She escaped the death penalty only because Adrianne Jones’s family had asked the prosecutor not to seek that punishment.

David Graham went on trial six months later, in July 1998, with the high point of the proceedings the appearance of Diane as a prosecution witness. However, if the media was hoping for a scoop, they were disappointed. She was on the stand for barely a minute and then only to assert her Fifth Amendment right to remain silent.

It had no influence on the outcome of the trial, though. Found guilty of murder, David got the same sentence as Diane, life with no parole for 40 years.

David Graham is currently serving his sentence at the Ellis Unit in Walker County, Texas, Diane Zamora at the Mountain View Unit in Gatesville. Both will be eligible for parole in September 2036, when they will be 58 years old.

Murder Most Vile Volume One features another 17 shocking true crime stories.