Before the O.J. Simpson scandal and other high-profile cases of the 20th century, one of the biggest trials of the time concerned killings in Fort Worth.
The Fort Worth Mansion Murders gripped Texas in the 1970s. Recently, the case was highlighted on news channel WFAA8. The murders remain a mystery.
The case concerned Cullen Davis of Fort Worth who was once one of the richest men in America at the time. He also had one of the most high-profile marriages in the state of Texas.
When he married the glamorous Priscilla in 1968, they became a high profile society couple.
Priscilla came with three children and a reputation for partying. The youngest was 12-year-old Andrea.
By 1976, the marriage was on the rocks and Cullen Davis and Priscilla were living under separate roofs. Davis has moved out of the mansion and Priscilla used it as a party venue. It became an area of contention in the bitter divorce proceedings between the oil tycoon and his estranged wife
One night in 1976, four people were shot and two were killed by a mysterious “man in black,” at the Fort Worth mansion.
One of those killed was Stan Farr, a former TCU basketball player and the live-in boyfriend of Priscilla. He was killed along with Davis’ 12-year-old stepdaughter Andrea on Aug. 2, 1976
Davis insisted he had been at the movies that night but was arrested and charged with the murders.
The initial trial in Fort Worth was halted because of jury misconduct. The defense team questioned accounts of what happened at the mansion and suggested Stan Farr, was the real target. They also painted Priscilla Davis as immoral and questioned her partying antics. Priscilla Davis and others were accused of conspiring to name her estranged husband as the shooter.
The jurors concluded there was a reasonable doubt and acquitted Davis.
A year later, Davis was also acquitted of charges in a murder-for-hire case in which he was accused of hiring a hitman to kill Priscilla Davis and the judge who presided over their divorce case.
The case took a further twist in 2004 when a death row prisoner confessed to the Mansion murders just moments before his execution.
The mystery continues to fascinate the media and the public today. Recently the Star-Telegram reported the children of the late Stan Farr won an $1.8 million judgment in civil court against Davis and are seeking to enforce payments.
Murder is one of the most serious offenses you can face. The Fort Worth Mansion Murders demonstrate how killings are often linked to family feuds and spouses and ex-spouses are the first people to fall under suspicion even if they have alibis.