On a nearly moonless night in October 1943, a single gunshot rang out in Littlefield, Texas. A prominent Texas doctor and his wife were found bound, shot, beaten, and murdered. The only witness: their five-year-old daughter, who was bound to silence and refused to speak about what happened for 70 years.
The heinous crime remains unsolved. For years, the courts tried to convict one suspect, but forensic evidence contradicted the prosecution’s case. Investigators, including the famed Texas Rangers, failed to bring anyone to justice.
Eight decades later, the questions linger over the plains of the Texas Panhandle: who killed the Hunts and why?
Author and historian Christena Stephens spent more than a decade researching the Hunt murders, re-examining every twist and turn in the legal process, uncovering new evidence, and drawing new conclusions about who might have been responsible. She also convinced Jo Ann Hunt to break 70 years of silence and tell her story for the first time. Armed with Jo Ann’s account, Stephens takes the reader back to that deadly night and through the years of trauma that followed.
Why did the criminal justice system repeatedly fail to bring anyone to justice? What could have scared a 5-year-old girl into a lifetime of silence? What did investigators miss? And most importantly, who killed Roy and Mae Hunt?
Bound in Silence is a true crime tour-de-force, a meticulously researched, impeccably told tale of unsolved murder on the High Plains.
Christena Stephens is a native Texan growing up amongst cotton field sand spending time exploring the nature of the Llano Estacado. After earning two Master of Science degrees, she started a project to preserve ahistorical Texas ranch, thus began her interest in history, research, and writing.