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Seeking the Devil Within the Details: The Pauline Storment Murder!

"Myths and legends don't just materialize out of thin air; nothing does, nor can it. There's always a kernel of truth beneath, no matter how distorted it might become." - Isaac Asimov

A little over fifty years ago, on a warm April Monday night, precisely the 12th of 1971, my cousin Pauline Storment had her life tragically taken at 9:45. For most of my life, I knew little about the case, except that she was a University of Arkansas student who was murdered while walking home from college. The perpetrator was another student, shielded from prosecution, possibly connected to university officials. 

So, how does an Isaac Asimov quote relate to this case? The essential truths lie within the details, where the devil hides.

But how am I related to Pauline Storment? She's my twice-removed first cousin, but that doesn't tell the whole story. This connection traces back to my maternal grandfather, AJ "Buddy" Stacks, Pauline's first cousin. Papa Buddy was the child of Andrew Jackson Stacks who was married to Pauline's Aunt Lela Storment.

Fast forward to 2022, and the truth of Pauline's murder remains elusive. The case has haunted me, and I've yearned to see her killer brought to justice, even if it's too late for punishment due to age. So, why has the murderer behind a crime that shook Fayetteville, Arkansas never been caught?

Blaming Fayetteville Police for this failure would be cynical. Instead, we must look within the tangible world for answers. The unsolved stabbing death of Pauline Storment doesn't fit the profile of other notorious killers from the 1970s, like Edmund Kemper aka The Coed Killer, Ted Bundy who was known to pass through Arkansas, or the Zodiac Killer who claims in one of his letters to have followed a woman out of a campus library and killed her. Yet, the resemblance between the sketch of Pauline's killer and the Zodiac sketch is striking.

One has to admit the similarity between the Sketch of Pauline's killer and that of the Zodiac Sketch.

Nonetheless, suspects exist within Pauline's life. Wallace Peter Kunkel, a main suspect from 1971, hung out near where Pauline was murdered. Could he have been involved? If I could travel back to the 1970s, I'd try to warn his mother, Luella Kunkel, of the impending legal troubles her son might face. But did she already know? Did he confess to her? These questions remain unanswered. 

  Considering the protection his parents might have offered is understandable. With a university official as a mother and a government-employed SEFOR Physicist as a father, the Kunkel family's resources dwarfed those of Pauline's family. The media's sensationalized coverage added to the confusion. Headlines shifted from charging Kunkel to dropping the charges, leaving everyone uncertain.

This roller coaster was undoubtedly disconcerting, particularly for Pauline's parents and step-siblings.

So, who killed Pauline Storment? If it wasn't Kunkel, it remains the million-dollar question without an answer.

Stay tuned for more...



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The Pauline Storment Story!

Meet Pauline Storment, a quintessential All-American girl whose life was tragically cut short. Born to parents Paul Storment and Lillian Elam on April 3, 1944, in Ozark, Arkansas, she embodied the ideals of her time. Interestingly, Pauline's lineage also included a connection to former Monterey County, California Sheriff's Deputy Benjamin W. Storment, her grandfather.   During her time at Ozark High School, Pauline's leadership skills shone through as she took on the role of President of the Freshman Class, a detail captured in the accompanying photograph. Those closest to her remember Pauline as a kind and gentle soul, known for her dedication to studies and her aversion to frivolity. Following two years at Arkansas Tech University in Russellville, her path led her to marry Charles Joseph Pate in June of 1965 in Booneville, Arkansas. However, their marriage was short-lived, with a cloud of mystery surrounding her death in a cross-state incident involving Arkansas State Pol

Will They or Won't They: A community waits with baited breath.

Based on witness reports who went on the record and stated they saw Pauline Storment being followed then shortly after her blood curdling screams the assailant ran. Police would catch up to a 17yr old Fayetteville Highschool student. But wait there is more, for they find what what they believe to be the murder weapon stuck in the ground behind a house about 100ft from where Pauline Storment bleeds out. Prosecution considers bringing fourth charges.