Booker, Betty Jo

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Booker, Betty Jo Gender: F
born on 5 June 1930 at 15:00 (= 3:00 PM )
Place Texarkana, Texas, 33n26, 94w03
Timezone CST h6w (is standard time)
Data source
BC/BR in hand
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: Scholfield
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_gemcol.18.gif 14°27' s_mo.18.gif s_libcol.18.gif 09°38 Asc.s_libcol.18.gif 20°42'


American victim of the 'Texarkana Moonlight Murders,' a term coined by the news media, with reference to the unsolved murders committed in and around Texarkana in the spring of 1946 by an unidentified serial killer known as the "Phantom Killer", or "Phantom Slayer."

On Saturday night, 13 April 1946, Booker, aged 15, was playing her alto saxophone in her regular weekly gig with her band, The Rythmaires, at the VFW Club at W. 4th and Oak Street. She did not finish until about 1:30 AM Sunday. She waited for her friend since kindergarten, Paul Martin, aged 16, to pick her up.

Booker and Martin were killed early Sunday, 14 April. Martin's body was found at about 6:30 AM. His body was found lying on its left side. He had been shot four times—once through the nose, again through the left fourth rib from behind, a third time in the right hand, and finally through the back of the neck.

Booker's body was not found until approximately 11:30 AM, almost 2 miles (3.2 km) away from Martin's body. Her body was lying on its back, fully clothed, with the right hand in the pocket of the buttoned overcoat. Booker had been shot twice, once through the left fifth rib from the front and once through the left cheek by the nose. The weapon used was the same as in the first double murder, a .32 automatic Colt pistol. The reports in the following day's newspaper said that the bodies were not abused, but later reports claimed that Booker had been raped. Examinations of the bodies indicated that they both had put up a terrific struggle.

Booker was a junior at Texas High School at the time of her death. She was raised in church and, like her friend Paul Martin, a member of Beech Street Baptist church. She was also a member of Delta Beta Sigma sorority. She was one of four officers in the high school band and played the Bundy E-flat alto saxophone second in Jerry Atkins' orchestra, The Rythmaires, who would play at proms and other events. In 1937, her mother, Bessie Brown, married her stepfather Carl Brown, an employee of the Gifford-Hill Company, several years after the death of her father. She and Martin were friends since kindergarten on the Arkansas side until she moved to the Texas side at 3105 Anthony Drive.

She was very popular, had many friends, and was well liked in school. She had many boyfriends but none which were serious. She loved music and swimming and liked dancing in programs and recitals. She won many awards, scholastic, literary and musical, as well as the citywide Little Miss Texarkana representing the Presbyterian Book Store in 1934. She was a near straight-A student who was planning to become a medical technician. After her death, The Rythmaires never played again.

Link to Texarkana Moonlight Murders: Betty Jo Booker


  • Death by Homicide 14 April 1946 (Gunshot wounds, age 15)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.

Source Notes

Sy Scholfield provided birth certificate.


  • Passions : Criminal Victim : Homicide victim
  • Vocation : Entertain/Music : Group/ Duo (The Rythmaires)
  • Vocation : Entertain/Music : Instrumentalist (Alto saxophone)
  • Notable : Famous : Criminal cases (Unsolved murder)