Family of Other Cold Case Victims Hope for Answers
By: CJ Cassidy
A local woman holds out hope police will solve her mother's brutal killing, in the wake of a serial killer's confession in Cape Girardeau.
Timothy Krajcir's confessions this week had other Heartland families hoping they would finally get the news they've been waiting for.
One example, Debra Manning's murder near Delta. She was killed in the summer of 1983.
Manning's daughter thought Krajcir might have killed her mother as well, until investigators told her the serial killer had been in prison at the time of her mother's death, ruling him out.
Still, given the success in the Krajcir case, Amanda can't help but hope for answers in her mother's case as well.
"All I have memories of is a teddy bear. She gave me that when I was three. That and two pictures are all I have," Amanda Manning said.
The two pictures of her mother take a place of pride in Amanda's living room.
One shows a smiling Debra Manning, taken shortly before her brutal death nearly 25 years ago.
The other shows Manning holding baby Amanda, soon after she was born.
"I don't remember anything about my mom. I want to know what she smelled like, what her favorite book was. She loved to read. Anything about her," Amanda said.
She was just five years old when she lost her mother.
While she'd like to forget the details of her gruesome murder, investigators say they're burned into their memories forever.
"Debra Manning was stabbed upwards of 30 times, and left lying on a gravel road, in the middle of nowhere. It was a brutal, brutal case," said Lt. David James with the Cape Girardeau County Sheriff's Department.
An off-duty Chaffee police officer and his brother reported seeing Manning's nude body lying along County Road 249.
A police timeline shows it happened around 12.30 a.m. on July 5, 1983, less than a couple of hours after witnesses reported seeing her alive.
I spoke with former Officer Richard McCall last year.
"We saw it was a body. My brother wanted to stop. I said no we're gonna wait. We didn't have any way of defending ourselves if they were still there," he said at the time.
McCall also told me, when he and his brother returned with police, Manning's body was in a different spot.
"It was a good two feet from where she was at. She was further down in the ditch when we seen her, and the time we got back she was almost up in the road. If I knew she was alive, I would have stopped," he said.
Amanda Manning's never stopped wondering if that would have changed anything, but she knows exactly what she wants her mother's killer or killers to know.
"I hope and pray who ever is responsible for this thinks about it every day. They took a mother from three children," she said.
Amanda and Debra Manning's sister, Barbara, both say they are happy for the family members of Timothy Krajcir's victims.
They hope to feel that same sense of satisfaction someday.
Meanwhile, Lt. David James says investigators in the Manning case do have some DNA matches and unknown DNA as well.