• U.S.

Crime: A Lovestruck Confession

2 minute read

It was a real-life detective story worthy of Raymond Chandler: a beautiful private eye gets a suspect in a double murder to fall for her and give away his deadly secret. Making the scenario work was Kim Paris, 23, a striking Houston investigator on her first major assignment. Hired by a daughter of the victims, Paris insinuated herself into the affections of David Duval West. Police believed, but were unable to prove, that West had shot to death James and Virginia Campbell, a wealthy Houston couple, in their home in June 1982. Some two months after West met Paris, he proposed to her. Possibly believing he had reached love’s last hurdle, West then revealed the dark secret, unaware that his girl was carrying a transmitter monitored by law-enforcement officers. Moments after Paris left West, ostensibly to buy cigarettes, the police swept in and charged him with the murders. They later arrested another of the victims’ daughters, who allegedly had promised to pay her then boyfriend West to commit the crime. But West apparently never got his hands on any money–or on his luscious decoy. “He’s ugly,” Paris said, “and I’m not into add-water-and-stir romances.” She added, “We had a date to meet his mother. I guess that’s off.”

More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com