Orange Socks


What was her name? Only God knows. Not even her killer knew, although she might have been called Joanie. Her body was found in a culvert off the IH35, naked save for a pair of orange socks. She had been strangled to death.

Joanie-let’s call her Joanie-didn’t have it so good. The pathologist said that she had most likely been a runaway. Her legs were unshaven, and she hadn’t bathed for a while. Her nails were long. She may have met her killer-Henry Lee Lucas, who else?-via hitchhiking. She may have solicited men for money, because she had untreated gonorrhea. Lucas didn’t like what she did for him, so he strangled her. But even when dead she couldn’t satisfy him, so he heaved her lifeless body over the guardrail of the road and into the culvert.

Who was Joanie? What was the course of her daily life? She was a young woman, wandering around Texas, hungry and cold and sick. Lonely, feeling grotty for want of a wash. Homeless.

She was pretty, though.

There are people out there probaby wonders what happened to their daughter, their sister, their friend. Perhaps still hoping she’ll come home one day. Meanwhile, Joanie lies in a grave somewhere, under a headstone without a name on it

Rest in peace, Joanie. Maybe someday we’ll find out who you were.


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