• Searching For The Killer After 32 Years

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    A brutal murder of then-17-year-old Lisa Ann Henderson happened 32 years ago today.   

    "I'll never have closure, closure doesn't come. I don't even want closure, I just want the peace to know whoever is responsible will pay or already have paid,” says Lisa’s mother Gerri Henderson

    The Union student went missing and ten days later her body was found shot and burned beyond recognition in a ditch in rural Wagoner County.

    A three-decade old cold case and police say they recently received new information but they still cannot find her killer. 

    FOX23's Abbie Alford talks with Lisa’s mother and plea to find her daughter’s killer.  

    June 1st, 1979, 17-year-old Lisa Henderson was ready to take on her senior year at Union High School.

    "She was one of those people that lit up a room when she walked in,” says Lisa’s mother Gerri Henderson.

    With her beautiful smile she was also wearing a long-white flowered dress and heels and walked out the door from her South Tulsa home. Police say she told her brother she was having lunch with a girlfriend and thought she was going chasing her dream by going to a “modeling” job.

    "She left her house carrying two garment bags and got into a vehicle and then she was never seen,” says Tulsa Police Cold Case Detective Eddie Detective Majors.

    Lisa’s family called police and filed a missing persons report.

    "Those eleven days were just pure hell; we had no idea where she was,” says Mrs. Henderson.

    It was June 11th, 1979, 27 miles away from their South Tulsa home when Lisa’s father got the call around 1:30 p.m.

    "I said ‘don't tell me she is dead’ and he said, and dropped his head and started crying and said ‘yes she is dead,’” says Mrs. Henderson.

    The Union High Stepper was found shot and burned beyond recognition in a ditch about half of a mile south of Highway on Old Porter Road in Wagoner County

    "From that point on the ultimate thing was to find out who did it,” says Mrs. Henderson.

    Police say two days after Lisa went missing neighbors noticed smoke in the area where the teen was found by a road worker, police say the neighbors thought it was a control burn.

    "Why that location? Why would they take her there and dump her out there?" says Detective Majors. “What is so significant about this area?"

    Police talked to neighbors including one who lived near the Henderson family.

    "There was a neighbor that observed that vehicle pull up and didn't think much about it due to the fact that her brother was home and she looked like everything was okay,” says Detective Majors.

    Through an Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigations composite sketch, the witness described a very pale man in his 40’s. Thirty-two years later agents drew an age progression composite sketch with eye-glasses of the same man.

    Witnesses believe the man was driving in a 1976-1977 maroon Chevrolet Monte Carlo with no hubcaps.

    "And damage on the driver's side. It looked someone took a hammer and beat it to death,” says Detective Majors.

    Police say a similar car description was seen driving recklessly, headed south from the crime scene. The vehicle proceeded south and then turned back to the west.

    Her mother believes Lisa was approached in the Woodland Hills Mall where she worked at the 5-7-9.

    "I think when she thought she was getting picked up she was going to a modeling job,” says Mrs. Henderson.

    A few months prior to her murder police say Lisa’s possible modeling job had fallen through with a guy with blonde hair who said he was from California and working with an older photographer.

    Police believe the two contacted Lisa again.

    "We are looking at this ruse if it is, to get her to model or whatever their intent was,” says Detective Majors.

    Police do not believe Lisa had a steady boyfriend.

    "It had to be someone that was mad her for some reason or mad her for a particular situation,” says Detective Majors.

    Her mother doesn’t understand why anyone would commit such a heinous crime against her child.

    "The cruel and inhumane way she was treated is just, it's the hardest thing for me to bear knowing what happened to her and I just want justice for her. That's my baby girl,” says Mrs. Henderson.

    Three decades later and police receive more clues.

    "We had a call come in and we spoke to an individual and gave us some information that we didn't know at the time. Our lab has been able to produce some things that has been beneficial,” says Detective Majors.

    That’s one reason Mrs. Henderson says there’s hope to fight for justice and believes Tulsa police care just as much now as they did in 1979.

    "They do still care, They are going to solve it,” says Mrs. Henderson.

    Gerri Henderson says at age 71 she has survived breast cancer and has lost almost everything.

    “I have lost a lot, I have lost my husband, I have lost my son,” says Henderson. "I am the last person here to be her avenger to say you cannot get by with this."

    Today Lisa would be age 49.

    "They took a graduation, they took a college graduation, they took a wedding, they took away grandchildren,” says Mrs. Henderson.

    So Mrs. Henderson is pleading for anyone with information about her daughter’s brutal murder to come forward.

    "Will they just please make that phone call. That's all I want is for somebody to make that phone call with the right information to solve this case. I want that for my daughter, she deserves justice and she has had none."

    Cold Case detectives say in cold cases, witnesses or anyone who gave information may now be married or moved. If they talked with police about Lisa’s murder or any cold case to call him at 918-596-9143 and update their information.

    Tulsa Police are investigating 191 cold cases and 30 percent of the cases are solved with DNA. In Lisa Henderson's case detectives say in Lisa's Henderson's case is anyone who has information on who killed Lisa Henderson.

    Tulsa Police archives its cold cases on its website www.tulsapolice.org.

    A reward fund for information leading to the arrest of Lisa Henderson's killer is $15,000. If you have any information about Lisa Henderson’s murder call Crime Stoppers at (918) 596-COPS (2677) or text a tip to “CRIMES” (274637) and begin your message with “TIP918” or you can submit a tip online at www.tipsubmit.com. Remember you never have to give your name and your tip could lead to a cash reward.

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