Real Name: Lucille Katherine Fulton Page
Location: Vidor, Texas
Date: May 14, 1991
Case[edit | edit source]
Details: Early in the morning on May 14, 1991, thirty-four-year-old Kathy Page was found dead in her car stuck in a ditch in an apparent car accident near Vidor, Texas. As investigators looked more closely, however, they found evidence to suggest that her death was no accident. She had no obvious wounds or injuries on her body. Her car was barely damaged. Soft drinks in the front seat hadn't even been spilled. Her feet were pushed back to the seat rather than stretched towards the pedals. Finally, even though she wasn't wearing her seat belt, she remained in a reclined position in her seat. It was obvious to police that her death was not a result of a car accident.
The crash scene was just 100 yards from Kathy's home; when authorities went there, her husband, Steve, answered the door. The investigator told him that she was dead, and he was apparently upset. The investigator noted that his behavior was odd; at first, he was obviously crying, but then he would stop and act as if nothing was wrong. Since that morning, he has been the prime suspect in Kathy's death. However, he claims that he is innocent.
Kathy and Steve had been married for thirteen years and had two daughters, Erin and Monica, at the time of her death. Steve claimed that around that time, she felt that she no longer wanted to be married to him; they were planning to separate, but wanted to work things out. Her sister, Sherry, however, disagrees with his claims. She says that the marriage was beyond repair and that Kathy was starting to move on with her life. She claims that Kathy was planning to divorce Steve soon. He moved out shortly before her death, but he claimed that they remained friendly.
The next day, Kathy asked Steve to babysit Erin and Monica while she went out with her friend, Charlotte. She allegedly told him that she was going to meet her in Beaumont that night; she left around 11:15pm. By 4:15am, she was dead; when she was found, she wasn't wearing any makeup or jewelry. The autopsy determined that she had been strangled. She had a broken nose and black eye. There were blood stains on her underwear and skin, but not on her outer clothes. Authorities believe that she was killed in another location; she was then cleaned up, dressed, and placed in her car.
The autopsy also showed that Kathy had engaged in sexual intercourse shortly before her death. Authorities learned that she had, in fact, not gone to meet Charlotte that night. Instead, she had spent the night with a boyfriend in a motel in Beaumont, ten minutes from Vidor. He acknowledged that they had sex that night; he later passed a polygraph examination.
The autopsy report also noted that whoever Kathy had sex with that night had had a vasectomy. Her boyfriend had not had one, meaning that she had sex with another person that night. Authorities discovered that Steve had had a vasectomy a few months earlier. When questioned, he admitted that he and Kathy did have sex that night, but that it occurred before she went out. Sherry does not believe that this occurred the way Steve said it did; she does not believe Kathy would have had sex with him right before going out to do so with another man.
Sherry learned from Steve's sister-in-law that he had called two different phone numbers the night of Kathy's death. One was Charlotte's and the other was the motel's. Sherry and Kathy's father, James Fulton, believe that Steve became furious after finding the phone numbers and discovering that Kathy lied about what she was doing that night. They believe that when she came home, he demanded to have sex with her. When she refused, he attacked, raped, and strangled her. After realizing he had killed her, he, feeling remorse, cleaned her up, redressed her, and placed her in her car.
Steve claims that he was not responsible for Kathy's death; he believes that everyone is assuming that he is responsible because he is her estranged husband. He claims that he has received threats on the phone, stating that the same thing that happened to her would also happen to him. He claims that a member of a prominent Italian family in Beaumont, called the "Beaumont Mafia", was responsible for her death, and that the police are framing him.
Meanwhile, Kathy's family believes that the police and the district attorney have been covering for Steve and that they have essentially let him get away with murder. They noted that when crime scene photos of Kathy were taken, there was no film in the camera. Also, it reportedly took police three years to convince the district attorney to issue a search warrant for the Page home. Finally, it is common knowledge around Vidor that Steve's parents are close friends with the chief of police. Kathy's family is convinced that authorities were involved in a cover-up in this case. The authorities, however, claim that this is not the case. Steve claims that authorities focused on him from the beginning and have refused to investigate any other leads.
Since Kathy's death, her family has sued Steve for wrongful death. Both cases so far have ended in mistrials, and to this day, her murder remains unsolved.
Suspects: Steve is the prime suspect in Kathy's death. The clear evidence of staging in her car and the fact that it was found close to their home points to him being responsible. He, however, claims that a member of the "Beaumont Mafia" is actually responsible for her death. He claims that he has received threats from members of this group.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the April 3, 1998 episode. It has also been featured on Cold Justice.
It is believed to have served as the inspiration for the award-winning movie Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.
Results: Unresolved. Kathy's family sued Steve in civil court, claiming that he was responsible for her death. Her mother, Dorothy, testified that she had seen Steve vigorously washing clothes on the morning after her murder. The following day, her family witnessed him cleaning the carpet in their home. He claimed that he had spilled grease on it. Sherry also testified that he had abused Kathy. Neighbors also stated that they heard loud arguments and banging on the walls coming from their home. Steve admitted that he did not want Kathy to be autopsied. Witnesses testified that he was left-handed; the autopsy determined that Kathy had most likely been strangled by a left-handed person.
In 1999, after two previous mistrials, Steve was found financially liable for Kathy's death in the civil court. He was ordered to pay $200,000 to her family. He was also later convicted of repeatedly desecrating her grave. He is still living in Texas; he has yet to be charged criminally for her death. Tragically, their daughter, Monica, died in 2011 at the age of 28. Their daughter Erin remains alive today.
In 2018, this case was profiled on Cold Justice. They interviewed dozens of witnesses in it. They also found a new witness who reported seeing Steve walking away from the ditch where Kathy's car was found on the night of her death. The witness did not come forward sooner because he was with his mistress at the time. Steve was also interviewed; he continued to deny any involvement in this case. Despite the new evidence, the D.A. did not feel that there was enough evidence to prosecute him. However, investigators are continuing to look into new leads and hope to present this case again.
- Kathy Page on Unsolved.com
- Affidavit explains reasons for search - August 8, 1994
- Mistrial declared in murder lawsuit (Page 1) (Page 2) - June 14, 1995
- Vidor residents seek respect despite city's reputation - August 31, 1997
- Unsolved Mysteries to air show on Page - April 1, 1998
- Page civil trial recalls 1991 death - October 13, 1999
- Page testimony rains emotion in civil suit - October 14, 1999
- Slain woman's family wins suit against former in-law - October 17, 1999
- Page vs. Fulton - November 2, 2000
- Grieving family put signs up about slain daughter - March 23, 2002
- Vidor father seeks justice 20 years after daughter's murder - May 13, 2011
- Latest billboard in Kathy Page slaying may cause a double take - December 14, 2012
- Unsolved Vidor murder case put in spotlight with Oscar nominated movie - February 27, 2018
- DPS ups reward, seeks lead in Kathy Page "cold case" murder - April 18, 2018
- Behind the Real-Life Unsolved Murder Case That Inspired Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri - April 19, 2018
- Cold Justice digs into 27-year-old murder case that inspired Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri - October 6, 2018
- Victim’s daughter hopes for breakthrough in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri cold case - December 18, 2018
- And Now You Know: The billboards that inspired a movie - November 23, 2019
- Kathy Page Blog on the Texas Billboard
- Kathy Page on Find a Grave