The Texarkana Moonlight Murders:
The Unsolved Case of the 1946 Phantom Killer
In 1946, years before the phrase "serial murder" was coined, a masked killer terrorized the town of Texarkana on the Texas-Arkansas border. Striking five times within a ten-week period, always at night, the prowler claimed six lives and left three other victims wounded. Survivors told police that their assailant was a man, but could supply little else. A local newspaper dubbed him the Phantom Killer, and it stuck. Other reporters called the faceless predator the "Moonlight Murderer," though the lunar cycle had nothing to do with the crimes. Texarkana's phantom was not America's first serial slayer; he certainly was not the worst, either in body count or sheer brutality. But he has left a crimson mark on history as one of those who got away. Like the elusive Axeman of New Orleans, Cleveland's Mad Butcher of Kingsbury Run, and San Francisco's Zodiac Killer, the Phantom Killer left a haunting mystery behind. This is the definitive story of that mystery.