48 Hours on ID is the suburbs of north Dallas, Texas, to examine the murder of college student Jacqueline “Jackie” Vandagriff by Charles Dean Bryant.
In September 2016, Vandagriff was a 24-year-old student at Texas Women’s University (TWU) when she met Bryant at a bar in Denton, TX. It seems as though the pair hit it off, and they left the bar together; but unfortunately, Vandagriff would not live to see the morning.
On the morning of September 14, 2016, parks and recreation workers from Grapevine City, TX., noticed a fire burning in an area of park land. On further investigation, a human body was discovered lying in a melted plastic kiddie pool.
What was particularly disturbing was that the body had been dismembered, decapitated, and the heart had been removed. Fortunately, the medical examiners were able to identify Vandagriff through her fingerprints.
The police were lucky in that they were able to gain access to surveillance footage from the bar Vandagriff had been in with Bryant. The pair were seen leaving together in Bryant’s car. Furthermore, investigators were able to tell from cellphone tower data that they had gone back to the killer’s house.
The evidence mounted against Charles Dean Bryant
The investigators also knew that Vandagriff had been carrying a TWU bag, which they found in Bryant’s home. In the yard, they also found a plastic kiddie pool similar to the one that the student’s body had been found in, and they also noticed a circular barren area where it appeared that a second pool had once been.
Cops also believe that the sicko Bryant actually posed as Vandagriff by posting on her Twitter account the day after he had mutilated her remains.
Bryant was arrested and charged with murder and tampering with physical evidence. At his trial, the defense argued that Vandagriff had accidentally died during “kinky sex” and that he had panicked and tried to dispose of the body.
In contrast, the prosecution argued that Bryant intentionally bound and killed Vandagriff with a knife, machete, or other object.
One theory that was suggested as a possible motive was that Bryant murdered Vandagriff simply because she had the misfortune of looking like his ex-girlfriend.
Bryant was convicted of the charges against him and he was sentenced to spend the rest of his life behind bars.
More from 48 Hours on ID
Follow the links to read about more horrific crimes profiled on 48 Hours on ID.
The famous boxer Christy Salter-Martin told her husband, James Martin, that she was leaving him to be with another woman. He responded by shooting her and leaving her for dead. Luckily despite horrific injuries, she was able to clamber to safety and seek medical assistance.
Serial killer Todd Kohlhepp murdered at least seven people in South Carolina between 2003 and 2016. His mother claimed that he would become angry when he believed someone had insulted him, leading him to commit shocking acts of murder.
48 Hours on ID airs at 10/9c on Investigation Discovery.