25-Year-Old Brownfield Murder Case Could be Re-Opened

Published: May. 30, 2006 at 10:13 PM CDT|Updated: Dec. 14, 2014 at 5:44 AM CST
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It's a 25-year-old murder case that was open and shut, but many argue the killer is still out there.  17-year-old Dianna Bryant of Brownfield was killed April 26, 1981. Three years later, known serial killer Henry Lee Lucas confessed to the murder. It was one of more than 600 murders Lucas confessed to before he died in a Huntsville prison in 2001.

Last month, a Brownfield newspaper reporter doing a story on the murder's 25th anniversary discovered that many questions still remain unanswered, and now law enforcement is considering re-opening the case. NewsChannel 11's Kealey McIntire tells us how that reporter played a major role at getting this case a second look.

Old Brownfield News newspapers tell the story of an open and shut case surrounding the murder Dianna Bryant. However, now, 25 years later, current Brownfield News writer Mitch Word writes a story titled: "More Questions Than Answers."

"Henry Lee Lucas was a serial killer that confessed to the crime, but a lot of people believed he didn't do it," says Word. He didn't set out to re-open the case, he came across the story on Bryant's murder while looking through newspaper archives.

"I came across this by accident and thought it would be nice to do an overview, a look back. It was an interesting story, a huge story at the time and when I started looking into it, it was like more and more unanswered questions," he recalls.

The crime took place at an apartment where Bryant was babysitting more than 25 years ago. Records indicate inconsistencies between what happened here and Lucas' statement.

Word printed his interview with former Brownfield Police Investigator David Cox who questioned those inconsistencies. "In his statement Henry Lee Lucas said he came up from behind Dianna Bryant and wrapped the electric cord around her neck and strangled her from behind," Word says. "A couple paragraphs later in the statement he said she backed away from him. If he was strangling her from behind, she couldn't have backed away."

Lucas' statement says he killed her in the kitchen, in the interview Cox points out Bryant was found in the bedroom. Word says many other details don't match up, and that's why he'd like to see the case re-opened. "It's something I'd like to see resolved. I think the family members would like to see it resolved as well," he said.

The Brownfield Police Chief tells us they're in the process of setting up meetings with the sheriff and the county prosecutor to discuss the possibility of re-opening the case.

NewsChannel 11 spoke with Dianna's father, who still lives in Brownfield. He says he's satisfied with Lucas' confession and does not want the case to re-open.

To read Word's full story in the Brownfield News, (click here).

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