Murderpedia

 

 

Juan Ignacio Blanco  

 

  MALE murderers

index by country

index by name   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

  FEMALE murderers

index by country

index by name   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

 

 

 
 

Diane Michelle ZAMORA

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 


The Texas Cadet Murder Case
 
Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Jealousy - Revenge
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: December 3, 1995
Date of arrest: September 6, 1996
Date of birth: January 21, 1978
Victim profile: Adrianne Jones, 16 (her romantic rival)
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Grand Prairie, Texas, USA
Status: Sentenced to life in prison on February 17, 1998. She will not be eligible for parole for 40 years
 
 
 
 
photo gallery 1 photo gallery 2
 
 
 
 

Diane Zamora and her fiancé, David Graham, had a bright future ahead of them. High school sweethearts, the couple had met in 1991 as volunteers in the Texas Civil Air Patrol. She was an honor roll student bound for Annapolis, and he was a track star with an appointment to the Air Force Academy.

But their ambitions to serve their country were derailed on December 4th, 1995, when a farmer discovered the battered body of Adrianne Jones, a sophomore member of David's high school track team, laying in a field. Brutally beaten, she had been shot in the head.

After nine months of dead ends, investigators got a tip from one of Diane's Annapolis classmates. According to the informant, Diane had admitted that she and David had murdered Adrianne after David had confessed that he'd had sex with the girl.

In September of 1996, both Zamora and Graham were arrested for the murder. Given separate trials, the young lovers turned on each other and said that the killing had been the other's idea. Neither defense worked. Both were found guilty and given life sentences.

 
 

Diane Michelle Zamora (born January 21, 1978), is a former United States Naval Academy midshipman who is serving a life sentence for her role in the December 4, 1995 murder of Adrianne Jones, a girl Zamora believed was a romantic rival for her boyfriend, David Graham.

Relationship with Graham

Friends and family of the couple said that Graham and Zamora were enthralled with each other; their relationship seemed intense. Graham and Zamora began dating in August 1995, and only about a month later, they announced their engagement to their families. Graham and Zamora planned to marry in the year 2000, shortly after their scheduled graduations from their respective academies. Some friends and relatives, however, thought that Graham and Zamora had an unhealthy obsession with one another. According to reports, Zamora supporters claim that Graham dominated the relationship, always having his arm around Zamora and even allegedly refusing to let her family members hug her during her high school graduation.

According to David Graham, on November 4, 1995, he had sex with Mansfield High School track teammate Adrianne Jones. The two had their encounter after Graham parked his car behind an elementary school while driving Jones home from a track meet in Lubbock. Guiltridden over his infidelity, Graham confessed the cheating to Zamora around December 1. An enraged Zamora allegedly demanded that Graham atone for his transgression by killing Jones.

Law enforcement officials associated with the case, such as Grand Prairie police sergeant Alan Patton, who took Zamora's confession, have stated that the sexual encounter did not actually happen, but was invented by Graham to provoke his girlfriend to jealousy:

"For those who don't remember, this was a totally brutal, unnecessary murder. David had lied to Diane about an alleged sexual tryst that never happened with Adrianne Jones. If he had said, 'I was just kidding, I was just trying to make you jealous', Adrianne Jones would still be alive today."—Sgt. Alan Patton, Grand Prairie Police Department"

The Crime

On December 4, 1995, Graham and Zamora carried out their plan. Around 10:30 PM, Graham called Adrianne Jones and arranged a date. Unbeknownst to her parents, Jones snuck out of her house later that night to go out with Graham, who picked her up outside.

Prosecutors say that Graham then drove to a deserted road near Grand Prairie, Texas. Zamora was hiding in the hatchback of the car. According to reports, the original plan was that Zamora would come up behind a seated Jones and snap her neck. Graham would help her dump the body in a nearby lake. Graham and Zamora planned to tie weights to Jones' body so that it would sink to the bottom of the lake.

However, things did not go as planned. Apparently, when Zamora grabbed Jones, a struggle ensued. Graham tried to snap her neck by turning it as is done in movies, but found it to be ineffective. Zamora then hit Jones in the head with a weight, but Jones somehow managed to get out of Graham's car and run away. According to his confession, Zamora told Graham that he could not let Jones get away. Graham took his gun, tracked Jones down in the field, and shot her twice in the head. According to Graham's confession, when he returned to the car, he and Zamora exchanged "I love you's." Then, Zamora allegedly told Graham, "We shouldn't have done that, David." They then disposed of their bloody clothes and went home. Adrianne Jones's body was discovered the next day.

Graham's report of having sex is unfounded. It is merely suspicion. Police found Jones' blood inside the car, splattered on the passenger door. Zamora claims that the first time Jones was struck was outside the car, by Graham. Reportedly, Diane Zamora hit Jones in the head with a dumbbell. She ran out of the car, with the blow to her head and then across the street. Skull depressions in Jones' head matched a strike in the head with a dumbbell. Zamora said herself it was stupid for her to go in the car with Graham. According to Zamora, all of the details from her confession were lies.

As to reports to Jones sneaking out: Her brother watched her walk out of the house, saying that she appeared perfectly fine. Jones left the house of her own accord, in disagreement with prior reports of her being kidnapped and forced into a car at gunpoint.

The movie

Even before the couple's trials began, the case became the subject of a 1997 made-for-television movie called Swearing Allegiance (Love's Deadly Triangle: The Texas Cadet Murder). The movie tells the story of the murder of Adrianne Jones. The character of Diane Zamora was played by Holly Marie Combs.

The trial

Diane Zamora’s two-week trial began in February 1998 in Fort Worth with Judge Joe Drago III presiding. It received national media attention, providing Court TV with some of its highest ratings ever in their film coverage of the capital murder trial. Some of the interest centered on whether she was the submissive victim or the jealous driving force behind the murder.

Under Texas law, murder is the intentional killing of another human being, while capital murder includes murder with an underlying felony of kidnapping, robbery, aggravated sexual assault, arson, or obstruction. In this case, the prosecutor believed that Adrianne Jones was deceptively lured from her home by David Graham asking her for a bogus date, or she would not have been in the car. Moreover, the couple committed obstruction when Zamora allegedly ordered Graham to stalk Jones out into the field and to shoot her so that she could not tell the authorities.

Conviction and incarceration

On February 17, 1998, after over six hours of deliberations over two days, a Texas jury found Diane Zamora guilty of capital murder in the death of Adrianne Jones. Because of the Jones family's request that prosecutors not seek the death penalty against her, Zamora received a mandatory sentence of life in prison.

On July 24, 1998, after a separate trial, a Texas jury found David Graham guilty of capital murder. He was also sentenced to life in prison.

Zamora is currently incarcerated by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice at the Mountain View Unit in Gatesville, Texas (ID# 0814993). Graham, with the TDCJ ID# 00837388, is currently incarcerated at the Ellis Unit in Walker County, Texas. The parole eligibility date for both Zamora and Graham is September 5, 2036.

Marriage

On June 17, 2003, Diane married Steven Mora, another inmate in a Texas prison. A judge in San Antonio performed the wedding ceremony in which Zamora's mother and a male friend stood in for the imprisoned couple in the county's first proxy marriage. Earlier that year, Zamora and Steven Mora had written to the county clerk's office, requesting a marriage license. KDFW-TV in Dallas obtained a copy of the marriage certificate—dated June 17 and issued by Bexar County—naming Zamora, and Mora of San Antonio. They were divorced as of 2010.

2007 interview

On April 8, 2007, Zamora was interviewed by Stone Phillips on Dateline. Her appeals were exhausted, and with her lawyer's permission she took a polygraph test administered by Dateline. Her story was now that Graham and she were breaking up, and that Graham was using the murder to “tie her to him”. She noted that she obstructed justice by cleaning the car afterwards and was an accessory after the fact; however, Zamora pointed out that the jury had convicted her of intending to kill Jones, which she denied. When she took the Dateline polygraph, the administrator repeatedly told her to stop her exaggerated breathing, a counter-measure for polygraph tests. Dateline’s polygraph administrator said he believed he had enough to actually say Zamora failed the crucial question on whether she had intended to kill Jones. Two other independent polygraph administrators, who were not at the test, were contacted by Dateline and asked to review the results said that they could offer no opinion due to counter-measures. Zamora responded to Phillips that she was nervous and hyperventilating despite being told all the questions in advance and reviewing them with the administrator before the test.

Wikipedia.org

 
 

Zamora found guilty of capital murder

By Chris Newton - TexNews.com

February 18, 1998

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) -- Former Naval Academy midshipman Diane Zamora, once an ambitious honor student with dreams of becoming an astronaut, instead will spend 40 years behind bars for killing a romantic rival.

A jury deliberated for six hours Monday, then needed only minutes Tuesday morning to convict Ms. Zamora of the Dec. 4, 1995, slaying of 16-year-old Adrianne Jones of Mansfield.

Showing no emotion as the verdict was read, Ms. Zamora automatically received a life sentence because prosecutors were not seeking the death penalty. She will be eligible for parole after 40 years.

During the two-week trial, Ms. Zamora tearfully told the jury that she confessed to police under duress. The 20-year-old defendant said she had merely read, memorized and repeated the same statement given by then-fiance David Graham, a former Air Force Academy cadet.

One juror who requested anonymity told The Associated Press that her confession was the most damning piece of evidence.

"No matter how you look at it, Adrianne Jones would still be alive if not for Diane Zamora. That seemed obvious even though the specifics were sometimes cloudy," the juror said.

Prosecutors said Ms. Zamora and Graham, her high school sweetheart whom she planned to wed after they graduated from their respective military academies, killed Miss Jones to cleanse their relationship after Graham and the girl had a one-time affair.

Miss Jones' father, mother and two brothers spoke to the court following the verdict. Ms. Zamora continued to remain stone-faced, although many in the courtroom dabbed their eyes.

"We all loved and enjoyed Adrianne very much," said the girl's father, Bill Jones, speaking slowly while fighting his emotions. "We all looked forward to a life with her. ... We will never know what heights she would have (risen) to because of this animal act. And we shall have to wonder the rest of our lives."

Ms. Zamora's family appeared solemn as state District Judge Joe Drago read the verdict. When he read the sentence, one of her relatives gasped "Oh, God!" and several others began crying, clutching each other. One family member collapsed in the crowded courtroom while the group prayed in a circle with their pastor.

Later, Carlos Zamora, Ms. Zamora's father, thanked the defense team and said his family had made peace with the verdict.

"I thank God for being in control," he said. "We believe in in Diane. We love her."

Lead prosecutor Mike Parrish said he was stunned by Ms. Zamora's lack of reaction Tuesday. Then, he used her own words against her.

"As she once said about Adrianne, 'She deserved it. She deserved what she got,' " Parrish said.

Defense attorney John Linebarger said the prosecution never proved its case. "There are a number of things we will base an appeal on ... the judge's not letting the jury consider a murder charge, the admission of David Graham's statement as evidence," Linebarger said.

Drago told jurors Monday that they must decide whether Ms. Zamora was guilty of capital murder or the lesser charges of kidnapping, false imprisonment or assault. He did not give them the option of murder, a minor victory for prosecutors who said they wanted only capital murder considered because the evidence didn't support a lesser offense.

The juror who spoke to the AP said much of the panel's discussion was about Texas' law of parties, which states that any accomplices must be charged with the same crime as if they committed it.

"We felt she was an accessory, but a lot of people felt like she didn't commit a violent act or commit a head injury," the juror said. "Some felt she didn't deserve to do life in prison ... but we followed the judge's orders and the law."

Shortly after Miss Jones was murdered, a 17-year-old Mansfield youth was charged as a suspect. Bryan McMillan was released from jail when no physical evidence could link him to the crime and he passed a polygraph.

For months, the trail was cold. Then authorities were tipped by Ms. Zamora's friends, where she was a freshman at the U.S. Naval Academy. They said she confessed to them about the girl's death.

Ms. Zamora admitted to the slaying shortly after being arrested in September 1996. Graham also was taken into custody.

In separate interviews with police, Graham and Ms. Zamora gave similar stories about driving Miss Jones to a remote lake, where Ms. Zamora hit the girl with a barbell and Graham shot her as she tried to flee.

Both said the slaying was to appease Ms. Zamora, who was enraged that Miss Jones and Graham had sex once.

Defense attorneys tried to portray Ms. Zamora as a polite, ambitious, academic all-star who became a victim of mental and sexual abuse by Graham, whom they described as manipulative and domineering.

While admitting she was present when Miss Jones died, Ms. Zamora testified that she did not strike the girl and was horrified when Graham pulled the trigger.

"We didn't talk about it much but I was supposed to take the blame for everything," Ms. Zamora testified, explaining why she mimicked his statement. "The way we saw it, he still had a future at the Air Force Academy and mine was pretty much over."

Prosecutors offered several witnesses who said Ms. Zamora confessed to the killing and showed no remorse.

Naval Academy roommate Jennifer McKearney told jurors that Ms. Zamora said Miss Jones was a "tramp." College friend Jay Guild said Ms. Zamora told him she'd kill Miss Jones again if she could.

Ms. Zamora told the jury those prosecution witnesses were either lying or misunderstood her.

Assistant prosecutor Michele Hartmann portrayed Ms. Zamora's contentions as a "national conspiracy theory."

"By her words, she is the victim of the justice system, a lying best friend, lying roommate, an abusive boyfriend and even of the U.S. Naval Academy," Ms. Hartmann said during closing arguments.

The sensational case has made national headlines and been the focus of two books and a television movie.

Graham will be tried on a capital murder charge later this year.

 
 

Texas v. Diane Zamora

"The Diane Zamora Trial"

In a case that captured national attention and spawned a made-for-television movie, former Navy midshipsman Diane Zamora went on trial for the 1995 murder of her sexual rival, Adrianne Jones.

According to prosecutors, Zamora, 19, was so enraged when she learned that her high school sweetheart, David Graham, had a sexual encounter with Jones that she demanded that he atone for his infidelity by killing Jones. Prosecutors believed that Zamora helped plan and orchestrate Jones's murder.

Reportedly, Zamora and Graham blamed each other for Jones's death. In a written confession to police, Graham implicated Zamora and says that she demanded Jones's murder. Zamora's defense contended that Graham is solely responsible for the 16-year-old teen's death. If convicted of capital murder, Zamora faced life in prison with the possibility of parole after 40 years. At the request of the victim Adrianne Jones's family, the state did not seek the death penalty against Graham and Zamora.

The "Perfect, Pure" Relationship?

David Graham and Diane Zamora did not fit the mold of cold, calculating killers. They first met each other in 1991 while they were both enrolled in a weekly search-and-rescue training class in the Civil Air Patrol, an Air Force auxiliary organization that teaches the basics of military life.

Graham, the youngest of four children, was described by his friends and neighbors in Mansfield, Texas as a "perfect gentleman" who always said "Yes, sir. No, sir" when he addressed people. Graham's parents were both former teachers, he excelled in academics, ran on the Mansfield High School track team, and was a battalion commander in his high school's Junior ROTC program. With his close-cropped hairstyle and seemingly business-like demeanor, Graham almost seemed destined for the military. At the time of his arrest for Jones's murder, he had just started service at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Diane Zamora, the oldest child of an electrician and nurse, was a member of the National Honors Society and belonged to several clubs at her school, Crowley High School. At the time of her high school graduation, Zamora was scheduled to attend the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. Reared by a very religious family, Zamora reportedly was known as a person who kept to herself while in high school, devoted herself to her studies, and was very careful about whom she dated and associated with. With the exception of Graham, Zamora found most high school boys immature. Apparently, she very rarely wore makeup at school and although viewed by teachers and former classmates as "not unfriendly," Zamora was not considered a high school socialite.

Friends and family of the couple reportedly have said that Graham and Zamora were enthralled with each other. Their relationship seemed intense; Graham and Zamora began dating in August 1995 and only about a month later they announced their engagement to their families. Graham and Zamora planned to marry each other in the year 2000, shortly after their scheduled graduations from their academies. Some friends and relatives, however, thought Graham and Zamora had an unhealthy obsession with one another.

According to reports, Zamora supporters claim that Graham dominated the relationship, always having his arm around Zamora and even allegedly refusing to let her family members hug her during her high school graduation in 1995. These same people also say that Graham even persuaded Zamora to run on her school track team, despite the fact that she did not enjoy running.

However, others claim Zamora, not Graham, was overly possessive and had an obsession. These friends and relatives of Graham claim that Zamora allegedly made Graham quit a couple of jobs because she complained that they were interfering with their relationship. At Zamora's urging, Graham seemed to live solely for her. Even Zamora's family has publicly said that she was so completely in love with Graham that she could barely have a conversation without mentioning him. Allegedly, Zamora told friends that her bond with Graham was "pure" and "not an ordinary love."

The Other Woman and a Moment of Weakness

But the extraordinary, "pure" love between Graham and Zamora was severely tested when Graham met Adrianne Jones. Nicknamed "A.J." by her family, Jones was a popular sophomore at Graham's school, Mansfield High School.

According to her family and friends, like Zamora, Jones studied hard in school. However, unlike Zamora, she was a high school socialite whom some teachers and classmates remembered as having great school spirit. One teacher even told a local newspaper that she could have envisioned Jones on the school's cheerleading squad. According to reports, Jones was known to spend hours putting makeup on before she would go out to events. Apparently, Jones's mother sometimes called her "Bubble Butt" allegedly because of the sexy way her rear-end moved when she walked. One close friend Jones even remembered her as a "big flirt."

Perhaps because of her good looks and outgoing personality, Jones's parents made her adhere to strict house rules. Reportedly, they did not allow her to talk on the phone past 10 pm. If Jones went to the movies, her father was known to ask her to produce the ticket stub as evidence. And only shortly before her murder was Jones even allowed to stay out past nine o'clock on weekends. Jones was not considered a rebel or promiscuous; apparently her parents were only concerned about protecting her.

Adrianne Jones was also a member of Mansfield's cross-country track team, where she met David Graham. The two teens became friends, but no one on the team suspected the attraction between them. Track teammates thought that Jones, the popular sophomore, and Graham, the military-bound senior, were only casual acquaintances. Jones did not even keep Graham's phone number in her address book.

Nonetheless, during a track meet in Lubbock on the first weekend of November 1995, Graham and Jones became much more than casual acquaintances. No one knows whether they stayed up late at night talking during the trip, and no one remembers seeing them converse. However, when the track team returned to Mansfield on November 4, Jones allegedly asked Graham to drive her home. They did not go directly to her house. During the ride, Graham parked behind an elementary school (allegedly, he claimed in his written confession, at Jones's request), and he and Jones had sex. (At Graham's trial, both prosecutors and the defense agreed that the sexual encounter between Graham and Jones never happened. Prosecutors believed that Graham made up the tryst to enrage Zamora; the defense believed that a jealous Zamora had created the affair in her own mind.)

Conspiracy for Revenge

Guilt-ridden over his infidelity, Graham afterwards told Zamora about his one-night fling. According to Graham's written confession to the murder for police, she was enraged. "She [Zamora] had been betrayed, deceived, and forgotten," Graham's statement said. "When we agreed to be married, she finally let her guard down long enough for our teen-age hormones to kick in. When this precious relationship we had was damaged by my thoughtless actions, the only thing that could satisfy her womanly vengeance was the life of the one that had, for an instant, taken her place."

Allegedly, Zamora believed that the only way Graham could prove his love for her and atone for his moment of weakness to kill Adrianne Jones. So, prosecutors claim, the two proceeded to plot Jones's murder.

On Dec. 3, 1995, Graham and Zamora carried out their plan. Late that night, around 10:30 pm, Graham called and arranged a date with Jones. (Jones's mother answered the phone and allowed her to receive the call, despite the 10:00 pm phone curfew. Apparently, Graham identified himself as, "David from the cross-county team.") Unbeknownst to her parents, Jones snuck out of her house later that night to go out with Graham, who picked her up outside her house.

Prosecutors say that Graham then drove to a deserted road near Grand Prairie, Texas. Zamora was hiding in the hatchback of the car. According to reports, the original plan was that Zamora would come up behind a seated Jones and snap her neck. Graham would help her dump the body in nearby lake. Graham and Zamora planned to tie weights to Jones's body so that it would sink to the bottom of the lake.

However, things did not go as planned. Apparently, when Zamora grabbed Jones, a struggled ensued. Zamora then hit Jones in the head with a weight, but Jones somehow managed to get out of Graham's car and run away. According to his confession, Zamora told Graham that he could not let Jones get away. Graham took his gun, tracked Jones down in the field, and shot her twice in the head.

According to Graham's confession, when he returned to the car, he and Zamora exchanged "I love you's." Then, Zamora allegedly told Graham, "We shouldn't have done that, David." They then disposed of their bloodyclothes and went home. Adrianne Jones's body was discovered the next day.

The murder of Adrianne Jones went unsolved for nearly nine months. Ironically, police did question David Graham about her death days after the murder. However, because of Graham's upstanding reputation and seemingly remote connection to Jones, police did not give him a lie detector test at that time. He was ruled out as a possible suspect in the murder at that time.

The Break in the Case

In the months following Jones's murder, Graham entered the Air Force in Colorado, while Zamora enrolled at Annapolis. During that summer, it appeared that Graham was successfully completing basic training, but Zamora seemed to have a difficult time adjusting to the rigorous military life and life without Graham. Amazingly, she confessed the murder to her two roommates at Annapolis during a late night conversation in late August 1996. Zamora apparently told her roommates that she and Graham loved each other so much that they had killed for one another.

The Navy has an honor code, known as the Brigade of Midshipmen Honor Concept, which requires midshipmen to report wrongdoing by fellow officers. Failure to adher to the honor code could lead to an officer's dismissal. (Zamora had also told another classmate, Jay Guild, about the murder more than a month before her arrest. However, Guild did not believe her and did not report her story to Naval authorities. Fearing dismissal under the Navy's honor code, Guild resigned from Annapolis shortly after Zamora's arrest.) So, Zamora's roommates reluctantly reported her story to the Naval chaplain, who then reported the story to the Naval attorney at Annapolis. Police in Dallas-Forth Worth were then contacted.

Graham and Zamora initially denied killing Jones when questioned by police. However, both were arrested in September 1996 soon after Graham failed a polygraph test and confessed about his role in Jones's death. (Zamora also gave a statement to police.) Police later recovered the murder weapon and several dumbbells from Graham's Mansfield home.

The case of David Graham and Diane Zamora inspired NBC's TV movie, "Love's Deadly Triangle: The Texas Cadet Murder," which KXAS-TV (NBC's affiliate in Dallas-Fort Worth) refused to broadcast when it aired in February 1997. Graham and Zamora have only seen each other once since their imprisonment during a pre-trial hearing. Graham's trial will follow his former fiancee's case on a date to be determined. If convicted of the murder, both could spend the rest of their lives in jail...rather than with each other.

The Verdict

On February 17, 1998, after over six hours of deliberations over two days, a Texas jury found former Navy midshipman Diane Zamora guilty of capital murder in the death of Adrianne Jones. Because of the Jones family's request that prosecutors not seek the death penalty against her, Zamora received a mandatory sentence of life in prison. She will not be eligible for parole until she has served at least 40 years of the sentence. Zamora's attorney, John Linebarger, indicated that he would appeal the conviction.

--Bryan Robinson (CourtTV.com)

 
 

Diane Zamora's Confession

Grand Prairie Police Department
Voluntary Statement

Date: September 6, 1996. Time statement began 8:43 a.m.

Place: 801 Conover Drive in Grand Prairie, Texas. I, Diane Michelle Zamora am 18 years of age and I live at 3804 Royal Crest in Ft. Worth, Texas.

I am making this statement to Grand Prairie Police Det. Alan T. PATTON who, before he began questioning me -- while I was under arrest -- and before I began making this statement, warned me: (1) That I have the right to remain silent and not make any statement at all and (2) that any statement I make may be used against me at my trial (or trials) for the offense (or offenses) concerning which this statement is made. (3) That any statement I make may be used as evidence against me in court. (4) That I have the right to employ a lawyer to be present either before, or during, questioning. (5) That if I am unable to employ a lawyer I have the right to have a lawyer appointed, without cost to me, to counsel with me and to advise me before of during any questioning. (6) That I have the right to stop answering questions at any time and may stop this interview, or the making of this statement, at any time whether I have answered some questions or have made some statements or not.

I do not want to talk to a lawyer before, or during, the answering of any questions or the making of this statement. I do hereby knowingly, and voluntarily, waive and give up my above explained rights and I do make the following voluntary statement of my own free will and without promises, or offers of leniency, or favors, and through no fear, coercion of threats of physical harm by any person (or persons) who-so-ever.

I remember that night, I think November 4, 1995 and David showed up at my door step. He had just come back from Lubbock and he had this look in his eyes that was horrible, he looked so scared. He had this red, stuffed animal dog in his hands. I could tell something was wrong, but I figured he was just tired. So he wanted to stay and spend the night. A month later I was coming into my house with him and I was questioning him about past relationships, because he always told me that I was his first real girlfriend. I thought that was kind of strange because most people have some kind of relationship of one kind or another. I remember he read off a list of names of girls he had known, or gone places with that were kind of significant. I will never forget him mentioning the name Adrianne, because that name kind of stuck in my head. I guess I was asking a lot of questions, for some reason I felt like I needed to ask about Adrianne. He held back alot and we just went inside my house. We just decided to walk inside of the house because we had been sitting inside of the car. When we got inside we got into a big fight because, as always, he was trying to make me study for the SAT and I didn't want to. We fought for awhile and at the end, when we stopped fighting and had calmed down, he just looked at me and said "I have something to tell, that is really important." I kind of knew what he was going to tell me, just by the way he looked at me. He told me "you haven't been the only girl in my life." He said "I have had sex with someone else before." I just looked at him in shock and I asked did he mean he wasn't a virgin when he met me and he said he was. I think that made me feel even worse cause that mentioned that he lost his virginity to me, but that he had been with someone else since. All I could do was question him and scream and blame myself for everything. I remember reaching out for this big brass thing, this brass rod, and aiming for him and trying to hit him because I was so upset. He took it away from and tried to calm me down because I was screaming so hysterically. He was trying to protect himself from getting hurt, but he was also trying to protect from hurting myself because I kept ramming my head against the walls and when I was on the ground I kept ramming my head into the floor trying to crack my skull, I just didn't want to live with what he had said to me. I felt like I had lost everything, my hand wasn't working the way it should and my family wasn't in the best financial state and now he was telling me the one thing I prized more than anything else was taken away. I don't think I was thinking, in fact I know I wasn't thinking, I screamed at him "kill her, kill her." He was just so scared that he wasn't about to say no to me, I was still banging my head against the floor. All David wanted to do was make everything better. It seemed like him agreeing to do that was the only thing that calmed me down. David promised that he would do that and David never has broken a promise to me before. On December 2, 1995 we spent basically the weekend trying to get a hold of Adrianne, nothing was really premeditated, because I think we were both acting in passion. I think we expected to get caught really fast because we didn't spend much time thinking about what we were doing. The only time David planned anything was when he sat me down at this house, for about five minutes, to calm me down and throw stuff in his bag. The plan was for David to break her neck and sink he body to the bottom of Joe Pool lake. About 12:30 a.m. on December 4, 1995 we were at his house, David had said he would meet Adrianne at about 12:30 a.m. so we were late. We were driving my green Mazda Protege. It seemed like David put together what he was going to do, really quick, because he really didn't have much time to think. The day prior, he had spent more time calming me down than thinking about what he was going to do. I would wake up in the middle of the night with nightmares. I couldn't even look at his face because I thought he was a different person. I had horrible pictures running through my head about what happened between him and Adrianne and they made me feel really sick. We met her at about 1:35 a.m. on December 4, 1995 at her house. David had called her at around 10:30 p.m. on December 3, 1995 and it was prearranged for her to come out. She thought she was coming out so they could have sex again. She came out to the car and got in. I was in the trunk and David was driving. I remember being real scared because, at a time like that when you kind of know what's happening you really don't trust anyone. I remember wanting to turn back, I was afraid to move so I just laid still in the trunk. David later told me that he felt the same way, that he wanted to turn back and take her home, but he was afraid of what I would do or say if he turned back. David usually always had a gun of some sort with him all the time. I knew that he had the Makarov 9 mm with him. I also knew that he had the weights. I don't think we knew what we were really going to do, it was more like we were going to get out there and just do it. David never specified an exact location of where he was going, because I don't think he even knew where he was going. We picked up Adrianne at her house and we drove for about 15 or 20 minutes. There's a hatch in the back seat and you can let it down and it leads in to the back seat from the trunk. David pulled over to the side of the road and Adrianne had already leaned her seat back and he started, I guess, pretending that he was going to kiss her and he motioned for me to pull the hatch down. I remember getting out and seeing that and it made me all the more angry. I knew he didn't mean it, but it just made a bunch of pictures run my head again. When she saw me, she kind of freaked out, and David held her down and said "it's O.K., we just want to talk to you." I think at that point I could kind of tell he didn't want to do anything. I asked Adrianne about she and David having sex and she said that she didn't enjoy it, that there was to much guilt. I guess it was the way she looked at me when she said it that made me so angry. Even now I can only remember her eyes, but not her face. I remember screaming at David all over again, all of it just became so real. I think I got kind of hysterical and I screamed "just do it, just do it." David just started wrestling with her basically and she was trying to get away from him. I remember being scared that she was going to hurt him and so I reached back, where I knew the weights were on the ground, to try to hit her with it. I missed, I was just so nervous, my hands were just shaking to much. Probably the third time I did hit her on the head with the weight. Things kind of calmed down real quick and I was still really scared. I think the whole time the only thing going through my mind was what I was doing, but I knew that things had gone to far and I couldn't stop. Somehow stopping seemed scarier that going on. David turned his back, I don't really remember why, and she slipped out of the window and ran off. We started to follow her with the car, but he didn't go far because she collapsed into a field on the side of the road. David jumped out of the car with his gun because he didn't want to leave someone there that could say something against us. He started running after her, but she collapsed before he got to her. He ran back to the car and he said "she's dead." I was just to scared and I said "are you sure, no she's not." I told him to shoot her, she's not dead. He was really panicky and he wanted to take off, but he went back to where she was, cause I told him to. He shot her twice in the head. He ran back and jumped into the car and drove off as quick as he could. I remember the first words out of his mouth were "I love you, baby, do you believe me now." I said "yes, I believe you, I love you to." I said "what have we done?" His reply was "I don't know, I can't believe we just did that." We drove off. The whole time I was pretty panicky. We both know what we had done was wrong and we both regretted it. I don't think anything could compare to that fear an that horrible nauseous feeling that I had all week. We went to John Green's house. I took David clothes and cleaned up his clothes for him. I think we were afraid to look at each other and in some ways I think we were really afraid of each other. When I finished cleaning up his clothes we walked from the bathroom to John Green's bedroom and just stood there looking at each other for awhile. Until I broke down crying because I was so scared and we held each other and prayed that God would forgive us for what we had done. He drove me to my house on Gatlinburg and we pulled the car into the garage, there was blood in the car. David was to sick to clean up anything, he was really pale and sick to his stomach. He wouldn't even step back into that car for months because it was to horrible of a memory. So I cleaned it up while he was in my bedroom asleep. I told him just to go to sleep because he had gone into the bathroom to vomit. He said he was pretty sick to his stomach. I really don't remember what he did with the gun right away, but months later he hid it in the attic at his dads house. He left the weights in my car. I remember later I told him to come sleep by the fire and so we both went out there and slept by the fire, the whole time thinking the police were going to come to the door and arrest us. His father called that morning to make sure he was up, so he could go to school. Up to that point I don't think either of us really thought she was dead. But his father asked David over the phone "did you hear about that girl from Mansfield that was killed." After he said that we basically knew that she was dead. Those next few weeks were horrible because I couldn't eat, and neither could he. He was always really jittery and pale faced. We were both afraid that each day together would be our last. I remember we went to church alot, praying that God would forgive us and somehow put us at peace. Because we were living in fear. I know God has forgiven us. I have spent alot of time thinking after that. I would pray day and night that God would send me back so I change what had happened. I would often start crying and tell David "she didn't have to die." I guess I was kind of obsessed with praying and hoping that God would answer my prayers and send me back to fix everything. In alot of ways, I wish I could have known her better. Everyone talked about how sweet she was and that's something I will never know. My only comfort was that everything that happens, happens for a reason and maybe that we didn't know what it was. But we hoped in time that we would find out, because I don't see how all that pain could have a reason.

I have read the 4 pages of this statement, each page of which bears my signature, and the facts contained therein are true and correct. This statement was finished at 9:46 a.m. on the 6th day of September, 1996.

Signature
/s/
Diane Zamora

 
 

David Graham's Confession

It was November 4th, and I was giving a friend a ride home late one night after returning from a cross-country meet in Lubbock, Texas. Adrianne surprised me by asking me to take some turns that I knew were out of the way. After being directed onto a dark path behind an old elementary school, I parked the car. The events that followed are not pleasing for me to relate, as they go completely against the moral background I have grown to appreciate. They were sexual activities, short-lived and hardly appreciated.

I did willingly concede to the girl in these actions, but I knew they were wrong. Never before had I participated in anything so meaningless and painful. Painful, that is, because I was letting down the one person I had swore to be faithful to. These actions were immediately regretted. In an attempt to make them right, I confessed to my good friend Joseph hours later. I simply asked for him to listen, then forget. If anyone tells Diane, I said, it will be me.

The month that followed was one of guilt and shame. I was always being told by Diane that our relationship was perfect and pure. The love we shared would never be broken, no one would never come between us. No one, that is, except that one girl that had stolen from us our purity. I could never hold anything from Diane, nor she from me. She knew in my eyes that something was wrong the moment I decided to confess. When I did tell her, I thought the very life in her had been torn away. She was angry, she was violent, and she was broken.

For at least an hour she screamed sobs that I wouldn't have thought possible. It wasn't just jealousy. For Diane, she had been betrayed, deceived, and forgotten all in that one meaningless instant in November. The purity which she held so dear had been tainted in that one unclean act. Diane had always held her virginity as one of her highest virtues. When we agreed to be married, she finally let her guard down long enough for our teen-age hormones to kick in. When this precious relationship we had was damaged by my thoughtless actions, the only thing that could satisfy her womanly vengeance was the life of the one that had, for an instant, taken her place.

Diane's parents had similar problems in their relationship. She knew her father had often cheated on her mother. Diane didn't want Adrianne to be the same woman for me that her father had in his affair. The request of Adrianne's life was, not for a second, taken lightly by me. I couldn't even believe she would ask that of me. Well, Diane's beautiful eyes have always played the strings of my heart effortlessly. I couldn't imagine life without her; not for a second did I want to lose her. I didn't have any harsh feelings for Adrianne, but no one could stand between me and Diane. I was totally in love with her and always will be.

I regret it now, for never did I imagine the heartache it would cause my school, my friends, Adrianne's family, or even my community. I guess I just shut it all out of my mind that instant when I convinced myself that Diane was even worth murder. After Diane gave me the ultimatum, I thought long and hard about how to carry out the crime. I was stupid, but I was in love.

The plan was to call Adrianne and convince her to come out to my car; that worked. The plan was to drive her out near Joe Pool Lake; that worked. The plan was to (and this was not easy for me to confess) break her young neck and sink her to the bottom of the lake with the weights that ended up being hit into her head; that didn't work. Diane was hidden in the back of the car. It was late, about 0030 hours (12:30 am) on the morning of December 4th, 1995. I realized too late that all those quick, painless snaps seen in the movies were just your usual Hollywood stunts. The quick and painless crime turned into something that basically scared the [expletive] out of Diane and I. We realized that it was either her or us, and Diane struck her in the back of the head with one of the weights while I held her.

I could see in Diane's eyes that she was confused and scared. She was first acting out of passionate rage, but now she was fighting from instinct. Adrianne somehow crawled through the window and, to our horror, ran off. I was panicky and just grabbed the Makarov 9mm to follow. To our relief (at the time) she was too injured from the head wounds to go far. She ran into a nearby field and collapsed. I wanted to just jump in and drive off. We were both shaken and even surprised by the nature of our actions. Neither Diane nor myself were ever violent people. In that short instant, I knew I couldn't leave the key witness to our crime alive. I just pointed and shot.

I was very confused and scared; I probably looked like the proverbial headless chicken running around the crime scene. I fired again and ran to the car. Diane and I drove off. The first things out of our mouths were, "I love you," followed by Diane's "We shouldn't have done that, David." Well, nice time to tell me I just wanted it to be a dream. We took the quickest route to I-20, where we decided to head to a well-trusted friend's home. John Green did exactly as I suspected: allowed us through his window (the usual entrance place to his room), allowed us to clean up and collect our wits, and even loaned me a pair of shorts. My clothing had blood stains on them, and we disposed of them in a dumpster near Diane's house.

We then went back to Diane's house, where we cleaned out the car and went to sleep by the fire. The next day, we returned the weights to my house. Diane was in shock. I was just scared. Neither one of us knew why, anymore, we had just done that. The following days at school were so mentally tough, they make my summer at the Air Force Academy look like a walk in the park. Never had I even imagined so much guilt. They announced it on the intercom, my friends talked about it in the halls, everywhere I turned, someone was crying or just staring in shock for reasons I alone was the cause of.

I saw Adrianne's mother in the grocery stores; I read articles of how her family was coping in the papers. One thing, in particular, has haunted me constantly for the past eight months. I read a quote from Linda Jones in which she said, "I hope that her killer is out there, and he's just being eaten up with guilt." When I read that, I just wanted it to all go away. I wanted to be able to drive Adrianne back home, to go to sleep, and to wake up back on December 3, free to make my decisions all over again.

Diane wanted to go back also. For weeks, her infatuation was with just being able to go back before September 26, when she wrecked my truck and injured her hand. She wanted to change that, and she wanted to keep me from going to Lubbock. Diane was constantly depressed from the guilt. She was also scared that I would be arrested. She used to worry herself sick in school over me and have to call me as soon as school was out to make sure I was OK. It didn't really matter, however, what any police or detectives found. What happened was over. Adrianne was gone, I was responsible, and it wasn't going away.

Signature
/s/
David C. Graham
September 6, 1996.

 
 

The Background of the Case

1991

Diane Zamora and David Graham meet each other for the first time at Fort Worth, Texas while they are both enrolled in weekly search and rescue training classes in the Civil Air Patrol, an Air Force auxiliary organization.

August 1995

Zamora and Graham start dating.

September 1995

Professing their true love for one another, Graham and Zamora announce their engagement to their families. They intend to marry on August 13, 2000, soon after their planned graduations from their military academies. Graham and Zamora envision themselves walking under crossed swords held by other cadets at the end of the ceremony.

November 4, 1995

Graham has sex with track teammate Adrianne Jones, a Mansfield High School sophomore, while returning from a track meet held in Lubbock, Texas. The two have their encounter after Graham parked his car behind an elementary school while driving Jones home. Ridden with guilt over his infidelity, Graham confesses his affair to Zamora around Dec. 1. An enraged Zamora allegedly demands that Graham atone for his trangression by killing Jones.

December 3, 1995

Graham and Zamora murder Jones. The plan begins with Graham calling Jones and arranging a late-night date with her. Graham picks up Jones, who sneaks out of her house to see him. After driving to a secluded area near Grand Prairie, Graham and Zamora, who hides in the car's hatchback, attack Jones. Frustrated that she is unable to break Jones's neck during a struggle, Zamora bashes Jones in the head with a dumbbell. Jones runs out of the car only to be tracked down by Graham and shot to death in a nearby field. Afterwards, Graham and Zamora dispose of their bloody clothes.

December 4, 1995

Adrianne Jones's body is discovered by a farmer in Grand Prairie the next day. Her murder goes unsolved for the next nine months. Police question Graham in the days following Jones's murder but do not give him a lie detector test. He is almost immediately ruled out as a suspect.

Late-August 1996

During a late-night conversation, Zamora, who had just started basic training at Annapolis, tells her two roommates about the murder of Jones. Zamora says that she and Graham love each other so much, they proved it by killing for one another. Adhering to the Naval honor code, the two plebes relay the story to the Naval chaplain, who then reports the story to the Naval attorney.

August 29-30, 1996

After contacting authorities in Dallas-Fort Worth, Naval officials notify the Grand Prairie Police Department and tell them about Zamora's story. Detectives soon fly out to Annapolis to question Zamora, who claims she made the story up. Another team of detectives fly out to Colorado Springs, Colo. to question Graham, who has just started service at the Air Force Academy. Soon afterwards, Navy officials suspend Zamora and send her home pending the investigation. While en route to Texas, Zamora switches flights and visits Graham before detectives can question him. Graham later corroborates Zamora's story to investigators.

September 4, 1996

Graham is arrested in Colorado for the murder of Adrianne Jones and after failing a polygraph lie detector test, confesses the crime to authorities. (He typed most of the confession.) Zamora is arrested in Texas two days later and eventually confesses to the murder.

September 18, 1996

Prosecutors upgrade the charges against Graham and Zamora from murder to capital murder. Under capital murder in Texas, both could receive either the death penalty or life in prison.

November 11, 1996

Prosecutors indict Zamora and Graham, and at the request of the victim's family, announce that they are not seeking the death penalty against the couple.

February 6, 1997

KXAS-TV, NBC's affiliate in Dallas-Fort Worth, announces that it will not air the network's made-for-TV movie about the Graham-Zamora case, "Love's Deadly Triangle: The Texas Cadet Murder." NBC is criticized nationally for airing a movie about real-life defendants in a crime before they go to trial.

February 10, 1997

"Love's Deadly Triangle: The Texas Cadet Murder" is televised on NBC in affiliates other than the Dallas-Fort Worth areas. KXAS-TV, which decided not to show the movie, airs another motion picture called "Tender Mercies" in its place. ("Tender Mercies," starring Robert Duvall, is about an alcoholic former country singer named Mac Sledge whose friendship with a widow and her young son enables him to resume his career.)

August 20, 1997

Judge Joe Drago rules that Graham and Zamora will receive separate trials. It is reported that Graham and Zamora are blaming each other for Jones's murder.

January 18, 1998

Jury selection for Diane Zamora's trial begins in Tarrant County.

January 26, 1998

Jury selection for Diane Zamora's trial is completed. Opening statements in the trial are scheduled to begin February 2, 1998.

January 27, 1998

Zamora's attorneys file a motion to have her confession kept out her upcoming trial. Zamora claims that her confession was coerced and that she was not totally aware of her rights when she was questioned by authorities. She also says that she only told authorities what she thought they wanted to hear after they promised her that she could visit with Graham. Judge Drago doesn't rule on the motion that day but later admits confession into trial.

February 2, 1998

Testimony in Zamora's trial begins.

February 10-11, 1998

Zamora testifies at her trial and blames Graham for Jones's murder. She tells jurors that she did not know Graham was going to kill Jones on the night of the incident and claims that she never intended to harm the victim. Instead, Zamora claims, she only wanted to confront Jones over the alleged affair with Graham. Zamora's testimony also focuses on an allegedly abusive relationship she had with Graham.

February 17, 1998

Zamora is convicted of the capital murder of Adrianne Jones and receives a mandatory life sentence in prison. She will not be eligible for parole for 40 years.

April 24, 1998

During a pre-trial hearing, Judge Don Leonard rules that Graham's confession will be admissible at his trial.

July 6, 1998

Jury selection in Graham's trial begins.

July 10, 1998

Judge Leonard rules that Zamora's confession will be admissible at Graham's trial.

July 15, 1998

Testimony in Graham's trial begins.

July 22, 1998

Outside the presence of the jury, and despite the promise of immunity from the state, Zamora invokes her Fifth Amendment Right not to incriminate herself and refuses to testify at Graham's trial. Graham's defense had wanted Zamora to testify on his behalf, arguing that she had forfeited her Fifth Amendment privilege because she testified at her trial. The judge disagreed, ruling Zamora still had the constitutional right and that the immunity offer was not adequate. Graham's defense rests without calling any witnesses.

July 24, 1998

Graham is convicted of capital murder and automatically sentenced to life with the possibility of parole after 40 years.

 

 

 
 
 
 
home last updates contact