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84-year-old woman arrested for killing her husband — 35 years ago, Texas police say

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A 35-year-old cold case in Texas may be solved thanks to an investigative television show, police say.

Johnnie Allbritton was 64-years-old when he was murdered in his home outside Buffalo, Texas, in 1984, Leon County Today reported. The well-known businessman operated a local grocery store and was married to Norma Allbritton.

Norma was Johnnie’s second wife. The couple met while she was serving as his ailing wife’s caregiver, the news outlet reported.

On May 14, 1984, Norma and a child arrived home to a locked house and feared they saw guns through the window, The Eagle reported. When Norma called police to look through the home, they found Johnnie’s body.

Police found a blanket near the body they believed had been used to “carry household items and guns from the home,” the newspaper reported.

NormaFul_fitted.jpeg
Norma Allbritton, 84, was arrested for the 1984 murder of her husband, Texas police say. Leon County Sheriff's Office

Johnnie had been shot five times with a 20-gauge shotgun, the Palestine Herald reported. Norma was an early suspect as her 13-year-old daughter Pam had died by gunshot in the same home three years earlier, KBTX reported. That death was ruled a suicide.

Two weeks after her husband’s death, Norma was scheduled to take a polygraph test that was canceled and never rescheduled. Norma said she accidentally shot herself when she dropped a shotgun, the Palestine Herald reported. Ultimately, no arrests were made.

In 2015, Leon County Sheriff Kevin Ellis sent digitized files to the television show “Cold Justice.” It was the 30th anniversary of the murder, the Palestine Herald reported. The sheriff’s office teamed up with the show, traveling the state to interview witnesses and persons of interest.

Norma was arrested in July of 2019, four years after Ellis contacted the show’s producers, police said in a Facebook post. Police have not said what information led to her arrest, The Eagle reported.

“Sheriff Ellis would like to thank the Investigators and Leon County District Attorney’s office, for their countless hours investigating, reviewing and preparing this case for grand jury,” police said.

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Dawson covers goings-on across the central region, from breaking to bizarre. She is an MSt candidate at the University of Cambridge and lives in Kansas City.
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