Texarkana Urban Legend: Phantom Killer
You’ve heard the words “Urban Legend” before, stories that are sometimes true or made up in the local community. But one true story that come to my mind, is the legend of Texarkana’s ‘Phantom Killer’.
This story has intrigued America for decades and still to this day has some some sort of cult following. The events that began in February 1946 still resonates around Texarkana today.
Even though I wasn’t around at the time, I still here people today talk about those fearful days, where when the sun went down everyone stayed indoors and kept their doors locked.
The story goes as two lovers parked along Richmond Lane a secluded dirt road at the time, which is now Richmond Road today were surprised when a man in a white hooded sheet carrying a pistol and flashlight approached their vehicle. The man was pulled from the car and beaten unconscious, and the girl was raped.
But in the first case the victims survived, three weeks later to the day the next couple was murdered. Over the months several more murders occurred prompting local officials to bring in Texas Ranger “Lone Wolf” Gonzaullas who helped in the investigation and hunt for the serial killer.
Which in the end the conclusion was, the Phantom Killer got away with it, disappeared and was never heard from again. The mystery still haunts Texarkana years and decades later, and asked the question~ Who was the Phantom Killer?
Eventually, the mystic urban legend was brought to the silver screen and was filmed in and around the Texarkana area with local actors, including at the time, movie star Ben Johnson who played in several John Wayne movies. I was in high school when the movie was being filmed and I had the opportunity to be an extra in that movie. I remember it was extremely hot in the summer when they were doing the prom scene at the old national guard building. We got to pick out our tuxedos for our scene, from an old trailer that was parked outside the armory. We all had makeup artist available to us, who kept wiping the sweat off our brow, because their was no air conditioner in the building. See if you can spot me in the prom dance scene when you watch the movie.
I also had one scene in the beginning of the movie where, when the narration begins, you see three boys running across the street from the old Union Station. One of those boys is me which is kind of hard to see. (see if you can spot me in the movie trailer)
The movie was called “The Town That Dreaded Sundown” directed by Charles B. Pierce
Here’s a news piece on the killings from 2002…
What have you heard? Were you in the movie?