Early in the morning, October 13, 1984, Police Officers responded to a call from a concerned boyfriend. It seems he had received a weird phone call from his girlfriend Angela Samota. She mentioned having let a man in to use the bathroom, then hung up after promising to call back. She never called back and did not answer her door.
After repeated knocking with no response, the officers woke the property manager for the key to the apartment. Opening the door, the officers saw a lone black pump on the floor by the door. According to one officer, he felt something had to be wrong because most people don’t leave one shoe by the door by itself. Shoes tend to come off in pairs.
The Victim Angela Samota
Angela Samota was born on September 19, 1964. She lived a normal childhood. A pretty girl, she had light brown-reddish hair with blue eyes. Friendly, and intelligent, Angela got along with many people. She decided to go to Southern Methodist University and study engineering and computer science. She also worked part-time at Texas Instruments. Angela seemed to like University life. She could spend all-nighters studying for class or spend time bar hopping. Many people loved Angela Samota.
The Crime Against Angela Samota
October 12, 1984, Angela Samota and her friend A. Kadala decided to go out. Angela decided to invite a new friend she had met recently, Russell Buchanan. She also called her boyfriend, Ben McCall but he had work early and needed to sleep. Staying out until the early morning, Angela dropped off her two friends at their homes.
Then she drove to her boyfriends to say hi, before returning home. Not long after returning home, she called her boyfriend. McCall said his conversation with her was weird, rambling, and disjointed. Eventually, he found out she had let a man in to use the bathroom and her phone. After asking if the nearby convenience store had a payphone, she hung up saying she would call back. She never called.
Worried Ben McCall tried to call her. When she did not pick up he went to her place and knocked. No answer. He drove to the near convenience store. She was not there. After returning to her place and still receiving no answer to his knocking, he called the police.
Horrifyingly, Angela Samota was found stabbed to death naked on her bed. The detectives gathered any possible evidence including one handprint and DNA. The evidence eliminated Ben McCall and Russell Buchanan as suspects. Unfortunately, no other viable suspects came to view. Eventually, the case went cold.
Over 20 years later, Angela Samota’s old roommate, Sheila Wysocki, curious about what had happened in the case, called the police. Finding no movement on the case, Wysocki went on to become a private investigator, hoping to help bring Samota’s killer to justice. She worked with Detective Linda Crum on the cold case.
Crum let Wysocki know that even after the 20 years the police still had the DNA evidence gathered so long ago. Crum sent the evidence for testing and compared to samples on file. It took a long while but finally, the DNA came back, this time attached to a name, Donald Bess.
It turns out during the time of Angela Samota’s murder, Bess had been out on parole for a conviction of rape. By now Bess was serving time for sexual assaults from 1985. In 2010 Bess was charged with the murder and rape of Angela Samota and sentenced to death.
Dedicated friends and detectives pursued every line of questioning until the end. So while this horrific crime took over 20 years to be solved it was solved.
Here is a list of the websites I received my information.