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April 02, 2022
Between the early sixties and mid-eighties six women dated and married a man named William “Felix” Vail. One drowned, two are still missing and several more divorced him almost as quickly as they had married.
These days suspected serial killer Felix Vail sits in Louisiana state penitentiary serving out a life sentence for second degree murder, while the families of the women who fell for his charm spend their days investigating, grieving over and searching for their missing daughters.
Mary Horton married Vail in the summer of 1961. jJust one year later in 1962 she fell pregnant and gave birth to a son, William “Bill” Felix Vail Jr. That same year, just three months after the birth of their first child, Mary tragically died in what was believed to be an accident when she fell overboard a boat sailing on the Calcasieu River in Southwestern Louisiana. Vail claimed that they took the boat out at night to lay down some fishing lines, but no such lines were ever found and the lake was deemed generally unsuitable for trotlines.
Felix Vail was a suspect in his wife’s death for the get-go. He was arrested but was not found guilty of murder at the time as the case never made it to court. Felix Vail was let off and remained a free man, able to cruise the streets in search of his next love affair. His Son, Bill, remained in his care and would later suffer abuse at the hands of his own father.
(Felix Vail. Source)
Six years later in 1969 he began dating Sharon Hensley, who, just like several of his future wives and girlfriends-to-be, would go missing after just a few years of being together.
Bill, then 8 years old, claims that he heard his father admitting to killing his mother, Mary Horton, in 1962. He informed the local police about what he had overheard and confessed that his dad had been giving him drugs and was sent to live with his grandparents on Mary’s side of the family while Felix senior went directly to prison on drug charges. He spent six months behind bars.
By 1973 Sharon Hensley was no longer in contact with her friends and family and they had no idea she was missing until a year later. Vail spun her loved ones a fantastical story involving a mystery Australian couple who had invited Sharon on a sailing trip around the world. He told them that she wanted a new start and a new identify and burned all forms of identification to run off with them. In his original story he claimed the couple were called John and Vanessa and that he didn’t know their surnames. In later tellings of the story he gave different names.
Sharon Hensley would never return and was never seen again.
From 1975 – 1981 Felix Vail had a string of short lived marriages. A serial marrier, he found himself another teenage bride in 1975, just two years after his last wife went missing. His young new wife quickly split with him after discovering medical instruments in his car and got a bad feeling about him and his intentions.
The same thing happened again in 1977 when another woman (known only in documents as “Carolyn”) married and quickly divorced Vail- a decision that likely saved her life. Felix Vail didn’t give up on marriage and that same year went on to marry a woman named Alexandra Christiansen in Mexico, the short fling also ended in a swift divorce. In later interviews Christiansen said that Vail was still married to Carolyn when they met, but after a night of drinking in Mexico they tied the knot. When she asked him about it he was angry and told her that his first wife had died and that he "could have saved her, but I chose not to" which Christiansen took as a threat.
There seemed to be a break in Felix Vail’s activities until 1981 when he spotted 15 year old Annette Michelle Craver browsing items at a local garage sail in Houston, Texas. Forty years old at the time, he pulled up beside the teenager on his motorcycle in an attempt to impress her and laid on the romantic conversation thick. Annette was a free-spirited girl with a penchant for poetry and music and was charmed by the exciting older gent on his motorcycle who likely promised her an exciting life if she were to court him. Within 3 years the two were wed. True to the Felix Vail M.O Craver dropped off the map after just one year of marriage. To quash the curiosity of neighbors who wondered where Annette had gone, he told them she had taken a trip to Colorado to see friends. When friends and family were unable to contact her and pressed Vail for answers he told them that he had indulged her in her dreams of pursuing a dream trip to Mexico and purchased a bus ticket for her. The couple were supposed to go and visit Vail’s family in Sulphur, Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana, but only Felix returned. He told police that she’d ran off to Mexico with thousands of dollars and was mentally ill.
Annette had recently come into money after receiving an inheritance.
Felix Vail was never short on far-fetched stories to excuse his long list of lost lovers. The gaping hole in his story about Annette, however, was that the bus station he claimed to drop her off at didn’t actually exist. After several days of no-contact Annette’s mother filed a missing persons report, stating that Annetet’s husband, Felix Vail was the last person to see her.
Annette’s mother, Mary Rose, was not convinced that her daughter had took off on a solo trip to Mexico without letting anyone know. She was suspicious of the story from the moment it rolled off Vail’s tongue and she spent decades wondering what had become of her daughter.
Mary Rose had every reason to believe that foul play was involved, after all, her daughter was not the first of Vail’s romantic partners to meet with mystery or misfortune. Mary did some detective work of her own and managed to track down Felix Vail’s younger sister who informed her that a couple of his previous girlfriends had gone missing in the past and that one had even died.
Armed with enough information, Mary Rose made a phone call to someone she believed could help her connect the dots.
Mary Horton’s brother, Will Horton, had always suspected that his sister’s death had been a homicide and his suspicions only grew after he received a phone call from Annette Craver’s mother in the early 2000's. He listened as Mary Rose explained that her daughter had also dated and eventually married Felix Vail in the eighties and that she had mysteriously vanished.
Over five decades after Mary’s death, a full investigation into Vail’s possible involvement was launched and an autopsy revealed bruising around Mary’s head, neck and face and a scarf stuffed into her mouth indicating she had been strangled and thrown into the river. If the discoveries made by the pathologists weren’t already damning enough, it was also revealed that Vail had even taken out a life insure policy on Mary which he quickly cashed in on after her death. It was a double indemnity policy clearing stating that the insurance company would pay out double if the insured party was to die accidentally, but due to the confusing nature of Mary's death, the company only ended up paying out a fraction of the insurance (around $10,000). Felix Vail went to trial in 2013 and was sent down for 2nd degree murder.
Felix Vail’s son, Bill, passed away in 2009. He made sure to make a video tape about his father and the confession he had made in 1970 where he admitted to killing Mary Horton. Although the cases of the other women were brought up during Mary Horton's case there was not enough evidence.
Felix Vail is now a suspected serial killer and will break his silence in a series of interviews expected to air this week,