The murder of Karen Ann Watson by Carl Junior McCauley is featured in the latest episode of True Conviction on Investigation Discovery.
On March 24, 1987, Charles Watson returned to his mobile home at 1103 Old Polk City Road in Lake Alfred, Florida, and found his wife dead on their couch with blood splattered on the walls and carpet.
Her remains were transported to the local medical examiner’s office for an autopsy. The result concluded that Karen had been raped and stabbed 11 times in the face, neck, and torso.
Charles was initially the prime suspect, but he told police he was with a client at the time of the murder. DNA testing cleared his name 12 years later in 1999.
A witness told police that they saw a vehicle — a Chevrolet Nova — they didn’t recognize parked outside of the couple’s home, and an unfamiliar man wearing a blue uniform walking in the neighborhood.
However, that tip did not lead police to a suspect, and Karen’s murder eventually turned cold.
It was nearly 27 years after the crime occurred when the case reopened. Polk County Sheriff’s Office detective Matt Newbold re-examined the case and came across the name Carl Junior McCauley, who was a friend of the family.
When investigators questioned McCauley, he denied killing Karen. He admitted to knowing the couple, but he said he had never been inside their home. DNA testing proved otherwise when his DNA matched the DNA found at the crime scene.
Police later uncovered that he owned a Chevrolet Nova — the same car that was seen parked outside Karen’s home. He also wore a blue uniform to work on the day of the murder.
In 2017, McCauley was found guilty of murdering and sexually assaulting Karen at her home. He was sentenced to life in prison.
True Conviction — A Long Road To Justice, airs at 10/9c on Investigation Discovery.