James McNichols

ames Francis McNichols has been identified as the lead suspect in the June 27, 1983 rape and murder of 11-year-old Julie Fuller in Arlington, Texas. The case has been cleared by exception as McNichols passed away in 2004.

Fuller’s family had just moved to the area and were staying in a motel while looking for a home. Fuller was taking out the trash when she disappeared. The dumpster was empty, and so she went around back of the motel. Her body was found the next day along a riverbank in Fort Worth. She had been raped, and died by strangulation.

A sexual assault kit was taken at Fuller’s autopsy, and a DNA profile of the suspect was later developed. The FGG investigation was conducted by Parabon. DNA samples from McNichols’ living children confirmed his identity. Family members also confirmed that he had been living in the area at the time of the murder.


Barton, Thomas J. “Police: DNA Mapping Links Late Maquoketa Man to Killing of Texas Girl in ’83.” Telegraph Herald, December 18, 2019. Accessed December 26, 2020. https://www.telegraphherald.com/news/tri-state/article_c0cf7072-b40d-5041-bfb1-f748e7ce9ba3.html.

Find a Grave. “James Francis McNichols.” Find a Grave (Memorial no. 15200497). Accessed December 26, 2020.

Ramirez, Marc. “Police Identify Suspect in 11-Year-Old Girl’s 1983 Murder in Fort Worth.” Dallas Morning News, December 13, 2019. Accessed December 26, 2020. https://www.dallasnews.com/news/crime/2019/12/13/police-id-suspected-killer-in-11-year-old-girls-1983-murder-in-fort-worth/.

Sheridan, Peter. “How World’s First Genetic Detective Caught British Girl’s Killer After 36 Years.” Mirror UK, June 20, 2020. Accessed December 26, 2020. https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/worlds-first-genetic-detective-caught-22224998.


First Name James
Last Name McNichols
Other Names
Victims 1 (Details)
IGG Started nd
Case Cleared 2019-12-13
IGG Org Parabon


Case ID Name Age Case Opened Location Investigating Org Most Serious Charge Disposition Court
1311 Julie Fuller 11 1983-06-27 Arlington, TX Fort Worth PD Second degree murder Case was cleared by exception due to death of perpetrator n/a

Last updated: February 9, 2024

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Case data and narrative licensed under CC BY 4.0: Dowdeswell, Tracey (2023), “Forensic Genetic Genealogy Project v. 2022”, Mendeley Data, V1, doi: 10.17632/jcycgvhm96.1. All other content, including photos, have been added.