In the early morning of December 3, 1995, a farmer driving along a quiet country road saw the body of a teenage girl on the ground behind a barbed-wire fence. At first, he thought he was looking at a dead animal. As he moved forward, the girl’s face was unrecognizable. One bullet hole was in her left cheek, another in her forehead. She had been hit so hard on the left side of her head that the part of the skull above her ear was caved in. She was wearing flannel shorts and a gray T-shirt. Within hours, police identified her as Adrianne Jones, a sixteen-year-old high school sophomore from the town of Mansfield, southeast of Fort Worth, Texas.
It was only that autumn that her parents had allowed Adrianne to stay out past nine o’clock on weekends. Her father had nailed her bedroom windows shut so she couldn’t sneak out of the house at night. But aside from sneaking out to have some fun with friends, Adrianne was a good girl. She took advanced honors courses, studied at least two hours a night, and was a talented athlete. She also worked twenty hours a week at a local fast-food restaurant.
Adrianne thrived on attention, especially when it came from the teenage boys around town. One of Adrianne’s closest friends, Tracy Bumpass, called her “a big flirt.” There were plenty of high school guys who wanted to meet her and lots of girls who wanted to be her friend.
It was Adrianne’s popularity that made the investigation into her murder so difficult. And it quickly became clear to the detectives that Adrianne knew her killer, or killers. There was no sign at the crime scene that she had struggled. There were no marks that her hands or legs had been restrained. Nor was there any indication that someone had broken into her house or had gone through her window to abduct her.
When David Graham and Diane Zamora were arrested for her murder in the fall of 1996, it was a shock. The high school sweethearts were high achievers with even great ambitions. Graham was a first-year cadet at the Air Force Academy with plans to become a fighter pilot. Diane, who had won an appointment to the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, was set on being an astronaut. They had their futures mapped out, including their wedding date for the summer of 2000.
But Diane Zamora bragged to her roommates that she and David had killed a girl back in Texas. She said anyone who got between her and David would have to die. She said the girl deserved it … everyone knew the girl was a tramp and a slut. David had cheated on her and had sex with Adrienne Jones. The only solution was for them to kill Adrienne to preserve their love.
The story of Adrianne Jones’ murder, often called the Texas Cadet Murder, is an incredible story of a senseless killing by two unlikely killers.