Amazingly, decades after the murder of a grocery store owner was the talk of a small Texas town, his 84 yr old widow has been arrested, and much of the momentum on the cold case seems to have been due to a True Crime reality show that now airs on Oprah’s network and is produced by Dick Wold of Law & Order fame.
Apparently, the host of the program Cold Justice’s Kelly Siegler, is an experienced former Harris County Texas prosecutor and had more team members available than the resource strapped actual local prosecutors so her team took off running. According to Siegler, the Leon County TX sheriff in 1984 botched the investigation by not consistently writing down notes so his research and leads died with him. The TV show producers credit younger better trained law enforcement officials now in Leon County TX with resurrecting the investigation, and bringing in the TV crew.
Oddly enough, the home where the death occurred seems to be a hot spot of shotgun “accidents” that those 1980’s Texas cops could not grasp were possibly more than accidents. Prior to Johnnie Albritton’s death by multiple gunshots to the back in 1984, apparently their 13 year old daughter also died in an unexplained shotgun accident in 1981. After Johnnie’s death, when TX cops sought to interview his widow for a polygraph, she too suffered a shotgun “accident”, and thus somehow avoided any future polygraph examination?
More on this crazy story via these links to the local regional Texas Eagle newspaper: