Nearly three decades ago, an 18-year-old woman was found stabbed to death alongside a set of railroad tracks in Kansas City. Now, investigators believe they have her killer in custody: a jealous woman who may have also shot a young mother in front of her children.
Carolyn Heckert, 48, has been accused of murdering Sarah DeLeon. On December 29, 1989, an 18-year-old Sarah left her boyfriend’s house at about 1 a.m. and never came home. Her body was later discovered discarded near railroad tracks. Police determined she had been stabbed to death elsewhere, then dumped at the tracks. At that time, Sarah was a college student with no known enemies. But a strange connection came to light between Sarah and another woman, Diana Ault.
Diana was 26 years old when she was murdered. She was shot with her husband’s gun in front of her children, ages 4 and six months. The gun was found in Diana’s car, which was found idling in a parking lot not far from the crime scene. But it couldn’t have been Diana’s husband: he was at work at the time of her death.
It turned out that Diana’s husband had been having an affair with a postal worker. That same postal worker also once dated Sarah’s boyfriend. Both women had received harassing phone calls prior to their death.
Police believe Carolyn, now a realtor, was that postal worker, and that she worked with an unidentified accomplice to target women who were involved with men she had laid claim to in her own twisted mind. They also believe Carolyn may be associated with the kidnapping of another woman in 1987.
Women who kill other women over men are a dime a dozen, as far as female murderers go; it’s one of the most pathetically common motives for such a grisly crime. But to attack not one, but two women over different men? That’s pretty special, Carolyn.
Image: Clay County Sheriff’s Department