FORT WORTH, Texas - The suspect in a 1974 Fort Worth strangling who was arrested this week said in a radio station interview that he did not kidnap the teenage victim more than four decades ago, but rather saved her from a boyfriend's assault.
Glen McCurley, who was arrested Monday and charged Thursday with capital murder after police said DNA connected him to the cold-case homicide, said he drank heavily before he encountered Carla Walker.
"I was driving around, parking, drinking," McCurley told KRLD at a downtown Fort Worth jail.
McCurley said he stopped in a Ridglea Bowl parking lot and found Walker, 17, who, with her boyfriend, had attended a Valentine's dance on Feb. 17, 1974.
"He was hitting on her, and I was drinking beer in the parking lot," McCurley told KRLD, apparently alleging that he witnessed an assault. "And I saw him. He was screaming. And I went over there and opened the door, and knocked him off of her."
McCurley said he "pulled" Walker to his car.
"We talked for a while, and she calmed down," McCurley told the radio station. "And she said she was thankful for me getting him away from her."
McCurley, 77, discussed his intention and what happened in the moments before Walker was killed, but it is not clear in the station's report on the interview whether the suspect explicitly said what act he was referencing.
"She just gave me a hug. I gave her a kiss. I mistook her for something else," McCurley said. "I didn't mean to do it."
Walker was beaten, tortured, raped and strangled by her killer, law enforcement authorities have said. Her body was found in a ditch near Lake Benbrook three days after the dance. Her boyfriend was pistol whipped and lost consciousness when he attempted to stop the kidnapping, the authorities have said.