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Husband Indicted In Calcasieu Parish Death Over 50 Years Ago

Felix Vail, mugshot
Felix Vail, mugshot

73-year-old Felix Vail has been indicted by a Calcasieu Parish grand jury in the alleged murder of his wife, Mary Horton Vail, in 1962.

Felix Vail, who was arrested in May in Canyon Lake, Texas, claimed at the time that his wife had drowned in the Calcasieu River while they were running trotlines. But Jerry Mitchell, a news reporter in Mississippi who brought back up the case, noticed something.

“We went back and looked at that case and other cases he was involved with and the autopsy report shows she had a 4-inch bruise on the back of her neck and the scarf that she was wearing was 4 inches into her mouth,” says Mitchell. He says the Calcasieu Parish Coroner has since determined she was dead before she went into the water.

Mitchell says Vail was the last known person to have seen two other women alive: longtime girlfriend Sharon Hensley, who went missing in 1973, and another wife, Annette Craver Vail, who vanished in 1984. Mitchell says Vail’s second wife’s mother is the one who approached him about her daughter. “And she went to see Mr. Vail. He wasn’t there…but (she) tried to confront him, basically, and we ended up investigating the case.”

Mitchell says Annette Vail was last seen with her husband at a fair in Sulpher. “And then Felix left with a net and then came back days later alone,” says Mitchell. “And he was drunk. And he was a devoted vegetarian, and he was suddenly eating meat. It was very strange.”

Mitchell says, if convicted, Vail will be sentenced to life without parole.

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