Netflix is explaining how inaccurate, poor, or misused forensic science can send an innocent person to prison, or set a criminal loose, in its latest series, Exhibit A. Edmund and Norma Jean Clark’s case is one that will be explored in this gripping true crime docuseries that begins streaming on June 28. Before you binge-watch some true crime this weekend, here’s a primer on the murder of Edmund Clark.
|Norma Jean Clark
|Date of Birth
|Carol Young Complex
|Sentence Begin Date
|Next Parole Board Review Date
Edmund Clark Was Murdered in 1987
On April 22, 1987, Edmund Clark was found shot dead at his home in Laurelwood, Texas. He was on the bed, face down with a blanket pulled up to his shoulders, with one gunshot wound to his back and another in the back of his head.
Edmund’s wife, Norma Jean Clark (born on June 6, 1948), told police that intruders broke into their home and killed her husband. She was allegedly sleeping in another room when she was woken up by the sound of gunfire. Norma then escaped to the neighbors house and told them what happened.
However, with no other clues, Edmund Clark’s murder remained unsolved. That is, until 2010, when better forensic technology unveiled the killer.
Investigators Reopened Edmund Clark’s Case
Norma Jean’s retelling of events didn’t match evidence from the crime scene. For starters, there were no signs of forced entry, nor was the house in disarray.
Secondly, Edmund was the owner of the .38 caliber gun that was used to kill him. The investigators found the murder weapon on the dresser next to the bed.
The case was initially stalled with no suspects. The Harris County Sheriff’s Office reopened Clark’s cold case in 2010 to have a fresh set of eyes look at it.
Norma Jean Clark Becomes a Suspect in Her Husband’s Mother
Investigators at the time learned from one of the Clarks’ neighbors that Edmund had planned to divorce Norma and kick her out of the house.
“She had told a neighbor a week prior, a friend of hers, that in her first divorce she didn’t get anything out of it and she was going to be dammed if she’d let that happened to her again,” said Sgt. Dean Holtke of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.
A week after she said that, detectives say, Edmund was killed.
After her husband’s death, Norma Jean moved to Tennessee, where she was living until the case was reopened. She never remarried and has two children.
She was suspected of involvement in her husband’s murder. But forensic technology back in 1987 couldn’t prove it.
Advancements in the science by 2010, however, helped the sheriff’s office solve this cold case thanks to an article of clothing.
Blood Found on Clothes Helps Prove Norma Jean Clark’s Guilt
Crime scene investigators checked the clothes Norma Jean was wearing on the night her husband was killed and found blood evidence on them. The blood spatter pattern was consistent with someone in close range of a gunshot.
Investigators said that proved that Norma Jean wasn’t in another room when Edmund was shot as she claimed. She was arrested by Tennessee authorities at her home on Belvedere and extradited to Texas in 2011, where she was facing charges of murdering her husband.
On April 26, 2013, a jury found Norma Jean Clark guilty of murder more than 25 years after her husband’s death. She was sentenced to 25 years in prison and is currently serving her sentence at the Carol Young Complex in Dickinson.
Norma Jean’s children have remained silent during the ordeal.