Margaret “Peggy” Railey passed away some 24 years and eight months after she was strangled and left for dead on the floor of her garage in Lake Highlands, the Tyler Morning Telegraph reported on December 27, 2011. Railey spent the last decades of her life at a Tyler nursing home in a persistent vegetative state.

Investigators suspected her attacker was Walker Railey, Peggy’s husband and a prominent minister at Dallas First United Methodist Church. They did not have enough evidence to try him until 1992, when they linked his handwriting to threatening letters that had been sent to the couple’s home prior to the attack, Michael Hall wrote in 2001. His prosecution was “notoriously mishandled” and he was ultimately acquitted.

Read our 1988 coverage of this incredulous case and our follow-up story in 2001.