Marianne Wilkinson: No rhyme nor reason in Texas cold case from December 2007
December 9, 2007, was a night that shocked the small community of Richland Hills, Texas, a virtual "little town with a big city feel" located in Tarrant County in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.
Marianne Wilkinson and her husband, both retirees, were enjoying an evening at home alone when the doorbell rang, signally a potential visitor at the front door. When Marianne opened the door to greet the visitor, several gunshots rang out.
She died on the front porch of the home she shared with her husband of 46-years as emergency medical attempted to save her life.
Why was Marianne the focus of this ghastly attack? Locals originally concluded that the murder was random and could have happened to anyone; one of Marianne's neighbors thought differently.
A concerned neighbor, whose home shares the same number as Marianne's but is one street away, believes she was the intended target.
After speaking with investigators from the North Richland Hills Police Department, new light was shed on the investigation.
Marianne's neighbor reported to police that she had recently gone through a hostile divorce. Furthermore, she and her ex-husband had major complications revolving around the ownership of a trucking company they cooperatively ran during their marriage.
Police say large amounts of money were at stake, and the witness feels that she was the intended target.
Due to the striking similarities between Marianne's house and her neighbor's -- remember, the two houses share remarkably similar addresses and are in the same housing community -- investigators conclude that the murder was not random at all.
Authorities believe this is a murder-for-hire, gone awry when a case of mistaken identity turned deadly.
Several months later, on Easter Sunday 2008, a handgun was discovered on the 6500 block of Jerrell Street at the intersection of Blend Street in North Richland Hills.
Ballistics tests conducted at the Tarrant County Medical Examiner's Office confirmed that the handgun was the one used to murder Marianne.
There have been a total of three persons of interest since Marianne's murder, the first two being Dennis Michael Taylor and Vincent Lane.
Dennis Taylor is the name of the ex-husband of Marianne's neighbor/possible intended target. Little is known about Lane but he may have been an associate of Taylor's
The third and final person of interest (so far) was revealed in August 2013. Thirty-six year-old old Willie Boley was named as a person of interest and had a criminal record, but he was never arrested or charged with Marianne Wilkinson murder.
In December of 2013, Boley was shot to death by his wife in what police described as a domestic dispute. in Oklahoma City. Boley's wife claimed he had been beating her, and she was not arrested in connection with his shooting death.
Texas Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward of up to $3,000 to any person who provides informationthat leads to the arrest of the person/persons responsible forthis crime.
To be eligible for the cash rewards, tipsters MUST call the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-252-TIPS (8477). All tips are anonymous. Tipsters will be provided a tip number instead of using a name.