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Doris McGowen Beck Angleton (April 11, 1951 - April 16, 1997) was a Texas socialite who was brutally murdered.
Doris McGowen was born on April 11, 1951. She was the daughter of Randy McGowen, a Dow Chemical engineer, and his wife, Ann McGowen. She lived out her childhood in Port Lavaca, Texas. From the start, Doris was social and very well-liked. When she was three, she asked for a little brother when a girl about her age got one in the neighborhood. About a year later, her brother Steve McGowen was born. Doris became fond of her younger brother, and very protective of him too. When she went dating, she got her dates to include him in the date.
Doris graduated from the University of Texas with a degree in pathology. At first, she became a schoolteacher due to her love of children. However, payment issues forced her out of that, and she became a sales representative for a pharmaceutical firm. Her cheery personality helped her keep that job. In 1976, Doris met William Beck. Bill was a representative for an office products company. They married and went to Clear Lake, Texas.
It is difficult to tell why Doris' marriage to Bill Beck ended, but some say she did not like life in the suburbs. According to Bob, Bill Beck was a client of his bookmaking business, and that's how he met Doris. Apparently Bill had lost a lot of money to Bob. Around the late 1970's to early 1980's, Doris met Robert Nicholas Angleton at a bar in the Houston West Loop when she was 28 years old. The two were already married; Doris had Bill Beck and Robert had Lollie, an airline stewardess. Yet both of them were attracted to each other. At the time, Bob was large at six feet and nearly 200 pounds. He also had a lot of money; Doris would find out he was a bookmaker before they married. Doris also helped Bob with his bookmaking business in the early days.
Doris had dinner with him at Ruggles in early 1982, and they married soon after. Doris seemed to be Robert's opposite. He was vulgar, brash, and commanding, while Doris was sociable and energetic. He tended to shower her with expensive jewelry so much that she had to stop commenting on other peoples' jewelry. He would go out and buy her jewelry if she made comments about it. In August 1, 1984, Doris gave birth to Alessandra Angleton and Nicole Angleton, two twin girls. By the early 1980's, they were in Bellaire, Texas.
Not only did Robert run a sports-betting scheme and became rich while doing so, but he took all of the market by becoming a police informant and reporting his smaller rivals to the Houston Police Department. He grew so rich on the bookmaking that he took his family to the River Oaks area of Houston, Texas. Doris liked going to many of the same restaurants, including Ruggles, Cafe Express, and Carabbas.
Doris knew how the bookmaker made his money. Doris seemed to have the perfect life to her friends, yet they did not know of her complex family life. Doris wanted out of her marriage when she grew tired of the bookmaking, and despite the fact that her husband sent her love letters and gifts, she went ahead with the divorce process, and she wanted to take fifty percent of the estate. Her lawyer wanted her to show him where the family got its income from, which would have revealed that her husband was a bookie. She had filed divorce two months before she would be shot.
She was murdered at 3031 Ella Lee Lane, Houston, Texas on April 16, 1997 at the age of 46. She sustained multiple gunshot wounds in the head, chest, and abdomen, before falling dead between the kitchen and hallway of her River Oaks house.
Doris' failure to return to a softball game sparked suspicion in her twin daughters, Alessandra Angleton and Nicole Angleton. Her daughters were twelve years old at the time. Their father came to their house, called 911, and found Doris dead.
Doris' brother in-law, Roger Nicholas Angleton, was arrested for unrelated charges. Police found a suitcase that revealed him to the perpetrator of the crime. Roger committed suicide in a Houston Prison cell by cutting himself with razor blades. He admitted to killing Doris in his suicide note.
Robert Angleton became a suspect and was arrested also. Doris was in the process of divorcing him. She wanted to take some of his money with her, and the divorce would have exposed Bob's sports betting scheme. Robert Angleton was tried and found not guilty for the murder of his wife. However, the state found all of his money collected from the sports betting scheme and punished Bob Angleton. The US Department of Justice indicted Robert, and kept him in bail.
Writer Vanessa Leggett was found in contempt by a federal district court judge on July 20, 2001 for refusing to give up some of her interviews for a book that she wrote about the Doris Angleton case. She was sent to prison for some time. The case grew controversial over whether or not she should have been found in contempt. She was released in January 2002.
Robert tried to flee the country, but was arrested by the Dutch.