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Updated Sunday, June 13, 2010 9:26 PM

Harrison Street triple homicide remains unsolved



SHERMAN -- The anguished screams of a sister brought police on Feb. 16, 1990 to the 700 block of North Harrison Street. Inside the modest home, officers found three men, Paul Robert Warren Wilson, 35, James Wayne Barfield, 30, and Bobby Ray Strong, 28, dead, each one shot in the head.

Though it has been 20 years, no one has ever been charged in the crime.

"There has really been no new activity on in years," said Sgt. Bruce Dawsey of the Sherman Police Department.

He said like a lot of cold cases, the Harrison Street triple homicide case has included a number of people police considered "people of interest." However, authorities lack the kind of hard evidence it takes to bring the case to court.

"It is like having a puzzle with a lot of pieces, but no picture to compare it to," Dawsey said.

"It was a particularly gruesome crime scene," he added. He said it certainly gave officers lots of information. An unusual find a few streets away added to that information.

"They found a gun," Dawsey recalled. At 4:40 p.m. on Feb. 16, 1990, an anonymous caller led police to a .44-caliber handgun on the Grand Avenue overpass walkway. A little more than an hour later, Mr. Barfield's sister walked into the house on Harrison Street and found her brother dead in the front bedroom of the house. The other two victims were found in the rear of the home near a pool table. All of the men were believed to have been living in the home at the time of their deaths.

Weeks later, police confirmed the gun was the weapon used in the triple homicide. The weapon also turned out to be one taken from the home on Harrison Street. It had belonged to Mr. Wilson.

Dawsey said the evidence in the case is not the type of evidence that could be positively impacted by modern technology. This case, like so many others that go cold, Dawsey said, is likely only to be solved when the people who actually know what happen talk to someone.

Efforts to find someone to speak on behalf of the three victims of the case were unsuccessful.

Reports from the time of the incident showed that police heard conflicting reports from neighbors who were asked about the events that unfolded at the house in the 24 hours before the deaths. Previously published reports said some neighbors talked about hearing a loud argument at the home earlier on the day of the shootings. Other neighbors reported hearing nothing. Still other neighbors reported hearing a loud noise, like a car "backfiring."

Times given for the noises and the argument differed in the various statements. At the time, family members of the three victims were quick to point out that the killings were not drug related. To date, Sherman Police never linked the killings to any drug related activity at the home.

When they died, all three victims were unemployed.

Mr. Barfield suffered from lung cancer at the time of his death. He had served in the Army and National Guard.

Mr. Wilson had served in the Marine Corps and had been employed as a bus mechanic for the Howe Independent School District, and had also worked for the Howe Water Department and the Sherman Water Department. Mr. Strong was a former employee of Sherman Wire.

All three men left behind parents and siblings. Mr. Strong was survived by one child.

Dawsey said the case, like all such cold cases, will continue to be reviewed every year with the hope that something will break.

Comments ... 15 found!

SPD & DPD : 6/20/2010
It is interesting to see all the criticism of SPD and no notice about how quickly arrests were made in the Weemes case, the Gravette case, the Elks lodge, the Mathenia case, etc... Also no notice how fast an arrest was made in the murder of Robert Kane by Denison PD.
You know why so many other homicides go unsolved? Because citizens refuse to cooperate with police and donot want to get involved. A huge part of investigations depend on witnesses. People won't step up and do what is right, then those same people sit back and complain that police dropped the ball. WE ALL BEAR A RESPONSIBILITY IN THIS SOCIETY TO DO WHATIS RIGHT. The reality is that no police department solves crimes completely alone; they depend on YOU AND ME.

TX Mom

murder : 6/20/2010
what about teresa giudabaldi from 1986 or so she was found beheaded in bells her purse was found at the river her ex boyfriend had said he would kill her many times, also told her he was the one that shot at her house on lamar down by the fruit stand were she last resided. he was questioned a few times and released and quickly moved out of state,go figure. bring this one back in the news please

a relative

murder : 6/17/2010
remember Mrs. Kreager,Karls mother,killed and thrown in the well back in the 50s,they never found out who killed her,and the money was sure gone wasnt it,but the feed store thrived


Harrison St. cover up : 6/16/2010
Fannin and Grayson county are infamous for people getting away with murder,Why is that?Who is on the SPD force?The four at the hanger, the three at the house, and one really sad case in Bonham of that Harris Girl, and some i cant think of.You would think that 3 men would have friends and family that would want this solved.I guess they dont.I pray that old age will make someone strong willed, will talk, someone knows who did this.


Sherman crime6U9VQ : 6/16/2010
Speaking of unsolved crimes...What ever happened to Ruby Acres? Bryan? Closet?

Rudy Roskoski

Cold Cases : 6/16/2010
I want to add that I am not judging the SPD. I only wish someone who knows something would speak up. Sometimes that happens after time passes.

formerly of denison

Cold Cases : 6/15/2010
If you don't like the way SPD is handling these cases and you think you can do better, will just jump right in there and do something about it. It is amazing to see how many people are so quick to criticize but don’t do anything to make it better.


TV Isn't Real : 6/15/2010
The rate of solved homicides nation wide since 1980 is 63%. That means that 4 in 10 murders across the US go unsolved. Some of yall need to realize that CSI isn't real and solving a crime isn't always as easy as you pretend it is. DNA and fingerprints are great evidence, if you have a suspect for comparison.

Realistic Guy

Time can change things : 6/15/2010
It seems that after all this time, there is an ex-wife, ex-husband, ex-friend etc., that might talk. Of course, I am not a detective. I just remember this from back in 1990 and have wondered over the years what ever happened. It would be nice to see justice done.

Formerly of Denison

Harrison St. : 6/14/2010
I feel if it would of been one of there own(SPD), they would of giving this case alot more ATTENTION. So glad I don't live in Grayson County anymore. I hate to think that if something happen to me or you would they treat it the same way?? No fingerprints? no DNA? hummmm.


Cameras for the future : 6/14/2010
It seems that Sherman has professional assasins. Killers that are high up on the ladder when it comes to skills. In every case, the motive has remained with the assasins.The manner in which a person is killed, tells a lot about the killer. Think of the highly trained! Why has'nt anyone found Una Mae! We need more cameras throughout our city.

Wise king!

: 6/14/2010
This is kind of like the men found in the airport several years before. The big difference is that I guess Mr. Bower was already in prison, so he could not be blamed for this murder. What has ever been decided about Mr. Bower, is he still in prison. Could these murders have been by the same person or persons? Why can they not decide about the DNA and either release him or execute him. Have they checked DNA for this crime with the one at the airport. Just curious, seems like they are trying to wait long enough that Mr. Bower will die of natural causes and everyone will forget about it, or could it be that they just don't want to bring all of the facts out.


God knows : 6/14/2010
God knows who did it. You reap what you sow. I pray the person or people who done this are finally caught and brought to justus. But in the end God will avenge for vengence is His and He will repay.


Bad Deal : 6/14/2010
It's pretty weird to think that the person (or persons) who did this may be standing next to you in the line at Walmart or sitting by you at your kids football game. As with all of these cases, there are people out there who know what happened. Too bad for these 3 guys that no one has the backbone to come forward and help solve this.


Cold Cases : 6/14/2010
It seems to me that there are quite a number of murder/homicide cases that have gone unsolved in Sherman. Right of the top of my head I can think of 4 just in the past several years. What is the SPD doing to solve these cases? We are walkin along side these people that have commited these crimes!!

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