The recent arrest of an elderly Texas woman for her husband’s 1984 murder has reportedly led authorities to reinvestigate her 13-year-old daughter’s death, which occurred in the same home three years earlier and, for decades, was thought to be a suicide.
The Palestine Herald-Press reported that Norma Allbritton, 84, was arrested July 1 for the murder of her husband, Johnnie Allbritton, 64, who was shot five times in the chest and back with a 20-gauge shotgun at their Buffalo home.
The case went cold until 2015, when case files were digitized and the Leon County Sheriff’s Office forwarded them to “Cold Justice,” a reality-based television show airing on Oxygen. “Cold Justice” investigator Johnny Bonds, a retired Houston police homicide detective worked with local police to interview witnesses and persons of interest again, according to the news station.
The show reportedly also afforded Leon County police with cutting-edge forensic technology that they didn’t have access to.
“The investigation was done at no cost to our county,” investigator Tommy Page told the Herald-Press. “Cold Justice brought not only their expertise but also paid for the trips to meet and interview about 50 people.”
KBTX reported that Norma is accused of staging the crime scene to make it appear as a break-in. Authorities reportedly located a blanket near Johnnie’s body, which they believed was used by the burglar to haul items and guns from the home. The family also claimed that a blue bag holding several thousand dollars was gone, according to The Bryan Eagle.
Though Norma was to take a polygraph two weeks after her husband’s slaying, she reportedly shot herself after dropping a handgun and the test was never rescheduled.
Leon County Sheriff Kevin Ellis said new evidence led to Norma’s arrest but didn’t reveal what that new evidence entailed. Investigators said additional arrests are possibly forthcoming.
In light of Norma’s arrest, authorities are reportedly taking another look at the suicide of the couple’s daughter, Pam Albritton, at the same home three years before Johnnie’s murder. The teen died from a gunshot wound and her death was ruled a suicide, according to the Herald-Press.
Ellis told the outlet that the case remains open and police have several leads.
Norma was reportedly released from jail on July 3 after posting $50,000 bond.
The “Cold Justice” episode on this case is expected to air next spring.
For the latest true crime and justice news, subscribe to the ‘Crime Stories with Nancy Grace’ podcast. Here is a related episode.
[Featured image: Norma Albritton/Leon County Sheriff’s Office]