Cold Case - Sherman Socialite Beaten and Burned

2-12-04 - Our latest cold case focuses on the murder of a Sherman Socialite, more than 14 years ago. Thelma Totten was the most unlikely of murder victims.

A Sherman woman in her 80’s who was beaten and burned in her own home in January of 1990. It stunned the community and baffles law enforcement to this day.

At the time of her death, a friend was quoted as saying "there ought to be a Thelma Totten in every town." Another friend said she "never had an enemy in her life." But someone wanted the 87 year old woman dead. The mystery began on January 8th, when Thelma had come home from a game of bridge around 9:30. By 2 am, a neighbor noticed a light on in Totten's home on West Texas street, which was unusual for the elderly widow. An hour later, fire blazed from the windows. Firefighters found her body in her dressing room, clothed in her nightgown.

They assumed she died in the fire but later discovered Totten had been hit repeatedly in the head with a blunt object. And the fire had been intentionally set to cover-up the crime. D

ozens of friends and family members were questioned by Sherman police immediately after the murder and many were even given lie-detector tests. But 14 years later there have been no arrests and what seems to be no suspects.