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Ben. H. English ~ Alpine ~ Texas

Alpine ~ Texas ~ Big Ben National Park

You may have been wondering why I was not responding to my emails and social media posts as promptly as usual, especially in the midst of the release of my third book entitled ‘Out There.’

But as the Bible says to each thing there is a season, and sometimes something comes along that is more important than midwifing another book into existence.

The background to these photos and this story begins over fifty-five years ago outside of Lajitas. Matter of fact my grandfather, the second Ben English, came into this scene early on. You see, he was the one who notified his friend, Sheriff Carl C. Williams, of what was found.

It was a truly grisly discovery of a Stephen King-style crime scene, involving an unidentified young woman who came to be known as ‘The Chartreuse Lady.’

The Chartreuse Lady investigation preyed on everyone’s mind that helped in the evolving case, including in the mind and conscience of those who have since passed on, including my grandfather. No perpetrator was ever identified and neither was the victim. For many years even the crime scene itself was lost.

But those memories stayed on and with some recent reviving interest in the case, Texas Ranger Jeff Vajdos has reopened the file. He is currently looking for DNA evidence that might finally identify this near-forgotten woman.

That was why I was here on this desolate, nameless hill in the middle of the Chihuahua Desert; part of a group that included Ranger Vajdos, Sheriff Williams, and Texas Game Wardens Bo Hancock and Kryssie Thompson, along with K9 cadaver dog Dexter.

I found it somewhat humbling to be among those who worked so hard to push this investigation forward. We made no stunning discoveries, but some elements of this long ago case were re-established and confirmed.

The circumstance also was all the more poignant personally as I walked the same ground as my grandfather had, and for the same reason. He died early in 1977, still at a loss as to who this poor woman was.

For anyone reading these lines who might recall something of this haunting, horrible crime, Ranger Vajdos could use your help. He is especially interested in any recollections of physical evidence pertaining to the victim.

So please make contact with him through his Alpine office, or feel free to make contact with me or Carl C. Williams.

I would also ask that if you feel so inclined, to please share my post with others. This case needs some resolution, fifty-five years is long enough.

And somewhere, someone is still waiting to hear of what happened to a loved one.

God bless to all,

Ben H. English
Alpine, Texas
USMC: 1976-1983
THP: 1986-2008
Author of ‘Yonderings’ (TCU Press)
‘Destiny’s Way’ (Creative Texts Publishers)
‘Out There: Essays on the Lower Big Bend’ (Creative Texts Publishers)
Facebook: Ben H. English
Webpage: benhenglish.com
‘Graying but still game’

Front Street Books
Creative Texts Publishers
Crockett County Public Library
Medina Community Library
The Twig Book Shop
Old Town Books
The Boerne Bookshop
Hill Country Books
Marta Powell Stafford
Lone Star Literary Life
Tumbleweed Smith
Gail Diane Yovanovich
Christine Vajdos

By ace101

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