If The Name Peggy Railey Rings A Bell, You'll Want To Know She Has Passed Away

Photo from nursing home in Tyler years ago
Texas Monthly graphic when it ran a story

In 1987, the wife of the Walker Railey, the minister of The First Methodist Church of Dallas at the time, was strangled in her own Lake Highlands home.  After almost 25 years in a vegetative state due to the attack, she has died.  The only evidence implicating her husband was, if I recall correctly, was a lie about his location when he left a message* on his home answering machine from his cell phone on the night she was attacked. Yep, that man had a cell phone in 1987, and the police tried to use radio towers and triangulation to put him in the area of where he was when he made the call. (*Edit: That link also contains the suicide note he wrote for himself that I had forgotten about.)

But even with no real evidence, the Dallas DAs office (no stranger to convicting people with insufficient evidence) tried him for attempted murder. They never stood a chance and he was acquitted.

This case is so old that when the Dallas Observer did a 10 year anniversary story, the author was Laura Miller. (She has since come and gone as Dallas mayor.)

I last referenced Walker Railey in 2006 when he was spotted in some newsletter in California (and I said at the time I thought I spotted former Messenger's publisher Roy Eaton was in the photo as well. I was kidding, but it looks like him.)

Edit: This 1989 account of the crime is really good. It includes the full text of the mobile phone calls (and, man, I wish I could find the audio of them.)