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Cold case murder heats up when sisters contact Oklahoma City Police

Prosecutors charge convicted rapist with 1975 slaying of Jerry Ann Watson, 38, after family members ask Oklahoma City investigators to reopen case
by Tim Willert Modified: January 30, 2013 at 9:20 pm •  Published: January 31, 2013

Investigators working the case declined a request for an interview by The Oklahoman but said in an email they didn't have the case when Watson's sister called.

“After an investigation I determined the case had been handled by the Oklahoma County sheriff's office,” Detective. Mike Burke wrote in the affidavit. “The sheriff's office could not find their reports. Using old Oklahoma City Police reports and contacting some of the original case detectives, I was able to put a case together.”

Investigators tested evidence that included a fingerprint found on the victim's car and her DNA, and were able to match both samples to Levering, according to the affidavit.

Doubts linger

Despite the break in the case, Roscoe said she isn't sure investigators have the right man.

“I don't believe who they think killed her killed her,” she said. “I don't think they did what they should have done in the beginning.”

The search for Watson began after she failed to show up Dec. 9, 1975, in Kansas City, where she was to meet a friend and go on a vacation to the Canary Islands.

Roscoe was going to meet her sister at the airport.

“She didn't get off the plane. She didn't call,” she said. “We tried to call her, but she never answered.”

Roscoe said her sister had met someone else and was planning to end her relationship with the man she was supposed to meet at the airport.

Roscoe said she believes the man, who lived in Iowa, killed her sister. He has since died, she said.

Roscoe said the unidentified man looked disheveled and had no suitcases with him when he arrived at the airport the night Watson failed to show up.

Normally a dapper dresser, the sister said, he looked like he'd been out in the field working.

“His overall appearance did not give the indication he was going to fly out,” she said.

Homicide detectives said in the email that law enforcement traveled to Iowa in 1976 to “speak with” the man. They said there are no other suspects in the case.

That doesn't sit well with Roscoe, who said her sister was wrongly portrayed as a “kind of a wild girl” because she was divorced and didn't have any children.

“I think when this incident did happen, they didn't do Jerry Ann justice,” she said. “I'll just be glad when it's all over with.” has disabled the comments for this article.
by Tim Willert
Education Reporter
Tim Willert is a native Californian with Oklahoma ties who covers education. Prior to moving to Oklahoma in June 2011, he was as an editor for in Century City, Calif., and reported on courts for the Los Angeles Daily Journal and...
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