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The Halloween Baby Murder From 1977 Is Still An Unsolved Mystery

Updated April 28, 2021 731.8k views12 items

The 1977 Halloween baby murder in Lawton, Oklahoma, still has locals wondering what happened to Nima Louise Carter. Although Lawton police officials eventually found the 19-month-old's body, no charges were ever filed in the disappearance and murder case. In fact, no physical evidence aside from the baby's deceased body has turned up in 40 years. 

There's a lot of circumstantial evidence about this horrible Halloween crime, though. In fact, the abduction of two other young girls the year before pointed to a local babysitter as the most likely culprit. The Carter family home showed no signs of forced entry that Halloween night; the nursery window remained locked from the inside, as did the house's front door. This seems to indicate that someone already had access and didn't need to break in. 

The Nima Carter cold case may never result in a conviction, especially because the prime suspect passed away in 2005. Instead, her grieving family remains left with an unsolved Halloween horror story. A lie detector test cleared Nima Carter's parents of the crime in 1977, so if her babysitter wasn't the killer, there are zero viable leads in a case that becomes less solvable with each passing day. 

  • The "Cry It Out" Parenting Method Led To Disaster

    The "cry it out" parenting method, which encourages moms and dads to let babies cry until they calm down on their own, has attracted a lot of controversy over the years. For example, some psychologists say that the method kills brain cells. The Carter family learned the hard way that ignoring a crying baby could cause even worse consequences. Nima Louise Carter fussed when her parents put her to bed but was left to cry it out on Halloween night in 1977. The next morning, her parents discovered that she was gone. The nursery bedroom window was still locked, which led to speculation that killer was hiding in the closet at bedtime.   

  • Two Kids Were Abducted The Year Before In A Similar Manner

    In 1976, Jackie Roubideaux lured twin sisters Mary Elizabeth Carpitcher and Augustine Lena Carpitcher out of their home. The abductor took them to an abandoned house and locked the two girls in an old refrigerator. In two days, Mary passed away from suffocation but Augustine managed to find just enough air to survive until a group of playing children heard her cries for help. When questioned about the incident, the surviving twin indicated that Roubideaux was responsible. Even with her witness statement, it took three years for Roubideaux to stand trial.  

  • The Carter Family Unknowingly Hired A Murderous Babysitter

    Jackie Roubideaux was eventually convicted of the 1976 murder of three-year-old Mary Elizabeth Carpitcher. Before that happened, though, she remained free to find a new victim. Roubideaux served as a babysitter for local families before and after the 1976 murder. In 1977, she began babysitting a new child - Nima Louise Carter. Roubideaux spent a lot of time at the Carter house and was frequently hired to watch the baby while George and Rose Carter worked and enjoyed their weekend leisure time. 

  • A Neighbor Could Have Stopped The 1976 Abductions, But Did Nothing Instead

    Thelma McCaig eventually testified that she witnessed Jackie Roubideaux dragging the Carpitcher twins on the day of their abduction. McCaig even realized at the time that the three-year-old girls were trying to get free of the deranged babysitter's grasp. Despite this, she did nothing to help the young victims. Later, McCaig justified her inaction by stating that she didn't want to get involved. It's very possible that the neighbor's silence enabled Roubideaux to evade authorities long enough to kill two children.