JUNE MURLENE MOULDER WARD, 25, was found dead 02/18/77 lying next to a curb on W. Fuller in Fort Worth, Texas.1
She and her son David, 8, lived with her father in Cleburne, where she was a member of North Cleburne Baptist Church.
June attended Cleburne High School. John Underwood, a former classmate, remembers her as “…an absolute doll and a sweet girl.”
A graduate of the vocational nursing school at Johnson County Memorial Hospital, she most recently worked at the Edna Gladney Home before being furloughed due to budget cuts. She’d also worked at Peter Smith Hospital, Grant Buie Hospital, Johnson County Memorial, as well as a Cleburne nursing home.2
She’s interred at Rosehill Cemetery in Cleburne, Texas.3 She was survived by her father William, brother Loyd Moulder, and son David.4 Sadly, both her father and brother passed away without seeing June’s killer(s) brought to justice.
Her son created the Justice for June Ward Facebook Page in her honor.
CIRCUMSTANCES OF DISAPPEARANCE
June was last seen by her son shortly before 7pm on 02/17/77. She’d dropped him off at the Cleburne YMCA for a boxing tournament he was participating in. From there, according to her father, she was going to meet a date “somewhere” in Fort Worth. She was seen shortly thereafter eating alone at a drive in Cleburne restaurant.
Her mutilated body was discovered around 3am, by a passing motorist, in the 1000 block of Fuller Street, near the Federal Records Center. She was naked, except for a gold necklace.2
An autopsy revealed cause of death to be strangulation. A bra strap had been wrapped around her neck, and she’d been struck in the head multiple times with an axe or hatchet. “The fingers on her right hand were broken, indicating there may have been a struggle.”5 6
THEORIES & SUSPICIONS
Shortly before her body was discovered, police found her white Chevrolet Laguna abandoned on the 4800 block of South Freeway, not far from the parking lot of Kmart and Mr. Magoo’s Nightclub.2 Inside the vehicle was a set up jumper cables, leading authorities to believe she experienced car trouble and unknowingly walked up to her killer(s) for assistance.
SIMILARITIES TO OTHER HOMICIDES
Authorities believe there are similarities to other homicides, all unsolved, that occurred in February over the last 10 years:
- Mildred May – On 02/03/67 her nude body was found along the Trinity River, she’d been strangled. Her car was abandoned on the Fort Worth Freeway.
- Carla Walker, 17 – On 02/17/74 she was found near a culvert by Lake Benbrook. She’d been abducted four days earlier from her date’s car, in a bowling alley parking lot. She’d been raped and strangled. See: Glen McCurley pleaded guilty 08/24/21.
- Becky Martin – Tarrant County Junior College student. Disappeared after class 02/07/73. Her nude body was discovered 7 weeks later in a culvert. Cause of death remains undetermined.
Fort Worth Police Department is working to solve the June Murlene Moulder Ward case and bring her killer(s) to justice. If you have information about this crime, please call (817) 392-4330.Submit corrections/updates here.
- Fort Worth Police: Cold Cases 1970-1979, accessed 03/21/22. [↩]
- Fort Worth-Star Telegram: Police to canvass for clues in slaying, page 2A, published 02/19/77. [↩][↩][↩]
- Find A Grave: June Murlene Moulder Ward, accessed 03/21/22. [↩]
- Fort Worth Star-Telegram: Obituary, page 92, published 02/20/77 [↩]
- Cleburne-Times Review: Fort Worth cold case detectives reopen 1977 Moulder Ward case, published 06/22/11. [↩]
- Fort Worth-Star Telegram: Police to canvass for clues in slaying, page 2A, published 02/19/77. [↩]