314: Julia Cowley – Weleetka Schoolgirls Murders

In this episode of FBI Retired Case File Review, retired agent Julia Cowley reviews the murder investigation of two Weleetka schoolgirls, 13-year-old Taylor Paschal-Placker and her 11-year-old friend Skyla Whitaker on the rural dirt road near one of their homes in Weleetka, Oklahoma and the detailed BAU analysis Julia conducted to provide insights for investigators about the unknown subject who shot and killed the girls.

The investigators eventually identified the offender responsible for killing the girls, and he is now serving life in prison.

Julia Cowley served nearly 22 years in the FBI. Her first assignment was to the Boston Division, where she investigated white collar crime, public corruption, and civil rights matters. Julia was then selected to join the FBI’s elite Behavioral Analysis Unit in Quantico, VA.

Julia’s time in the BAU was followed by her selection to the FBI Laboratory, Evidence Response Team Unit. She later returned to the Boston Division, Springfield Resident Agency, where she oversaw all federal criminal investigations in western Massachusetts, including public corruption, civil rights, white collar crime, organized crime, gangs and crimes against children until her retirement.

Special Agent (Retired)

Julia Cowley

06/1999 – 05/2021

Julia is the host of The Consult, a true crime podcast where she and former BAU colleagues examine behavior exhibited before, during, and after the commission of a criminal act.

“When I became involved in the case, I don’t know what I was expecting to find, but I thought something would jump out at me, like one of them had contact with somebody on a cell phone or computer and met up with a stranger. But as I mentioned, the investigation had been so thorough and there was no indication at all. So it started to make me think that whatever the motive was, it was formed on the road that day. What on earth could these two girls do that would cause somebody to want to kill them?”—Retired Agent Julia Cowley

The following are links to news articles about the Weleetka Schoolgirls murders and case related images:

The Oklahoman – 6/14/2008: Weleetka slayings: Picture Gallery

People Magazine – 12/19/2011: How Dead Woman Helped Crack Cold Case of Murdered Schoolgirls

CNN.com – 12/9/2011: Man charged in deaths of 2 Oklahoma girls left in ditch


Tulsa World – Jul 31, 2023: Timeline: Weleetka girls murder case

Listen to Julia’s other FBI Retired Case File Review Episode – 242: Julia Cowley – Golden State Killer, BAU Profiler.

Listen to more FBI Retired Case File Review episodes about profilers and the Behavioral Analysis Unit.

Skylar was 11-years-old and Taylor 13 when they encountered the offender.
The rural dirt road in Weleetka, Oklahoma, where the bodies of the Weleetka schoolgirls were discovered.
People placed flowers and stuffed animals along the road as a memorial to the girls.

















Jerri Williams

View posts by Jerri Williams
Jerri Williams, a retired FBI agent, author and podcaster, jokes that she writes about the FBI to relive her glory days. After 26 years with the Bureau specializing in major economic fraud and corruption investigations, she calls on her professional encounters with scams and schemers to write police procedurals inspired by true crime FBI cases in her Philadelphia FBI Corruption Squad crime fiction series featuring flawed female FBI agent Kari Wheeler. Jerri’s FBI for Armchair Detectives nonfiction series enables readers to discover who the FBI is and what the FBI does by debunking misconceptions about the FBI in books, TV, and movies. Her books are available as ebooks, paperbacks, and audiobooks wherever books are sold. She’s also the host of FBI Retired Case File Review, a true crime podcast with more than 300 episodes available on all popular podcast apps and YouTube.

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