It was the year 2014 when a 60-year-old woman named Rebecca Barker, accused of killing her then 76-year-old husband Jerry Lee Barker, got charged with first-degree murder and was held on a $500,000 bond. But that wasn’t her first. She was also indicted for the attempted murder of her first husband John Osborne in September 1996. In Season 31, Episode 8 of ‘Snapped’, a true-crime reality series, the investigators narrate how they discovered a disturbing pattern behind Rebecca Barker’s crimes.
Jerry and Rebecca had 20 years of age difference when they met in 2002. At that time, Jerry just lost his first wife Frances ‘Mae’ Haynes, with whom he was married for 40 years and raised four sons. Frances died in 2001 due to a heart attack and the family was a bit surprised by his marriage to Rebecca. “He said to us, ‘Y’all don’t understand how hard it’s been since Mae died and to have somebody to be around helps fill that void. I’m not so lonely,” Jerry’s daughter-in-law Prissy Houston told ‘Snapped’, according to Oxygen.
Jerry sold his 18-wheeler and used that amount to open a general store in Dialville, Texas, where he and Rebecca worked. Prosecutor Deborah Dictson in the series narrated how “she cooked, worked back in the cafe. She would run the register. She did the finances and the books.” This routine came to an end on the afternoon of February 26, 2014, when Rebecca called 911 to Cherokee County. She said, “Ma’am … I just shot my husband. Oh god, what have I done? … I’ve done the wrong thing. I shot him. I’m so scared.”
Cherokee County Sheriff’s Investigator JC Bonet said, “She seemed to be distraught. She was shut down so I wasn’t able to speak with her.” As per KLTV, Rebecca said that Jerry started verbally abusing her and she couldn’t take it anymore, so she shot him with a .357 Magnum.
“He told me that I was a b***h and that he wanted a divorce and I’m just trying to do the best I can with this man. He called me all kinds of ugly words and ugly names. He was griping and griping and griping. I just did it. I loved that man but he pushed me to my limit and I can’t believe what I did,” Rebecca was heard in a taped interview, obtained by ‘Snapped’.
Jerry Barker’s murder
The officials found Jerry “sitting in his easy chair with his feet up on his ottoman,” as per Oxygen. The prosecutor said, “It looked like he was still asleep in his easy chair except for the pooling of blood on his chest. When they checked for a pulse there was none.”
An autopsy detailed that Jerry was shot from a distance of three feet and the wounds directed to the fact that he was asleep at the time of death. Deborah said, “It looked there’s not even an argument going on. She didn’t have a self-defense claim. She didn’t have a sudden passion claim.”
In 2013, investigators found out that Jerry gave his power of attorney to Rebecca and this made the case clear. However, it shocked the investigators when they found out that in 1996, Rebecca had shot her first husband, with whom she had two kids, the samme way she killed Jerry. Liberty County investigator Ivan Pearce said, “I remember, I think, one of the bullets went through the back of the recliner, the back of his neck, and out his jaw. That’s the one that really sticks out in my mind.” Fortunately, John survived and blamed Rebecca’s alcoholism for the incident, which gave her less than six months in prison as a result.