Overview of Mary Pewitt
Family and friends described Mary as a “world of fun” and very loving.
Mary was described as being cursed by being too pretty too soon. Mary had always attracted male attention but her mother described her as independent and stubborn, making decisions her parents didn't always agree with.
Mary’s father, David, described that Mary "didn’t like people to be run over. She’d fight you in a holy minute, but she’d do anything in the world for you. She was good, and she was bad. She was just human."
Mary had been married three times by the age of 25. She had been divorced twice, and at the time of her death, was separated from her third husband.
Mary also had two daughters named Kira and Amber-- ages 6 & 7 at the time of Mary's death.
The events leading up to Mary’s death.
On June 3, 1988, Mary dropped her daughters off at her parents’ house so she could work her bartending shift at Harold’s Club. Mary worked this shift and at around midnight drove to the bar owner's home to drop the receipts from the night off.
Mary drove home and decided to watch a movie with a friend named Randy Benson at around 12:45 am on June 4, 1988. This is the last known time Mary was seen alive.
“I can’t wake my mama, and she’s all covered in blood.”
On June 4, at around 6:30 am, Elizabeth drove to Mary’s house to drop the girls off. Mary didn’t answer the door, so Amber, Mary's daughter, ran over to Mary's bedroom window and climbed off of a brink planter to see if Mary was still asleep.
Amber stepped off the planter and told Elizabeth, “I can’t wake my mama, and she’s all covered in blood.”
Elizabeth made her way inside as fast as she could. Mary was in bed and dressed in only a t-shirt and ankle-high socks. Her stomach was still warm, so Elizabeth was hopeful she was still alive. Unfortunately, Mary was already dead by the time Elizabeth found her.
Investigation Into Mary’s Death
Initial investigation into Mary's death found that she was stabbed 30 times in the neck and upper chest. There were no signs of forced entry or evidence that a knife was taken from Mary’s house.
Comanche Police and Stephens County deputies, as well as District Attorney’s investigators, all investigate Mary’s death and look into her three husbands.
When investigating Ricky Tidwell, police found that Mary’s father, David, had seen Ricky pull up outside Mary’s house one night not long before Mary’s death. Ricky’s mother says he was out of town the night Mary was killed.
Investigation into Tim Allen, police found reports alleging that Tim and his new wife beat Mary up in her backyard earlier in 1988. Sometime after that, Mary stabbed Allen “in the hand with a knife”. Tim says Mary did stab him, but he couldn’t remember why and he never hit her back.
Stan Pewitt was in jail the night of Mary's murder for attempting to steal Mary's parents' property.
They also looked into men who went to Harold’s Bar. Mary was a target for the drunken affections of men, including itinerant laborers who’d come to town that summer to repair damage from a powerful storm.
They looked into random strangers, local criminals, jealous wives or girlfriends, etc. but came up empty.
Where the case stands today.
They still could not solve Mary’s case, so in February 1997, the Comanche Police Department requested the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation’s help.
Special Agent Ray Homer with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation said “There’s probably too many suspects.” He says that every scenario he runs through his head can match a suspect.
Mary’s father went back to school and received a degree in criminal justice - he wanted to solve his daughter’s death. He has since passed away.
As of 2021, a new Special Agent with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation was assigned to Mary’s case.
If you have any information about Mary’s death, you can submit a tip online by emailing [email protected].
This case research is courtesy of Haley Gray. Since 2016, Haley has been a renowned true crime researcher and writer for over 20 podcasts, including My Favorite Murder, Generation Why, Detective Perspective, and Voices for Justice. She is the Co-Founder, Co-CEO, and Research Specialist for True Crime Podcast Training.