Brook Baker, the Indiana journalism student who was viciously stabbed to death in her bed almost 20 years ago, will be brought back into the national spotlight on the latest episode of Six Degrees of Murder on Investigation Discovery. The episode, titled “Crime Writer,” will follow the twists and turns of the police investigation into the death of a journalism college coed who was working on an exclusive story that may have put her life in jeopardy.
‘Six Degrees Of Murder’: Journalism Student Found Dead
According to the Bryan Times, Brook Baker’s tragic story made headlines in September 1997, when police discovered the 19-year-old’s dead body in her bed. Brook Baker was a college student at Vincennes University, where she studied journalism. Police said the victim was naked with multiple stab wounds to the body. Indiana court records give a vivid description of the crime scene and the autopsy findings.
“The victim, Brook Baker, was continuously with other persons from approximately 3:30 P.M. on Saturday, September 6, 1997, until shortly after 1:30 A.M. Sunday morning, September 7. Her lifeless nude body with multiple stab wounds was found on the mattress in the bedroom of her rented home by her younger brother at 8:15 P.M. Sunday evening. A pathologist found that she was likely strangled, but ultimately died from loss of blood after suffering a stab wound to her left breast and eleven stab wounds to her back. Bruising on her wrists, hand, legs, pelvis, and the back sides of her elbows were consistent with a person being physically restrained against her resistance. Police found a knife in soapy water in her kitchen sink.”
— Lesley Shannon (@lesleyshannon) July 26, 2016
College Coed’s Case Goes Cold
The case baffled police, and Brook Baker’s murder touched everyone in the community. No one knew what happened, so the case was discussed among Brook Baker’s peers on campus, with different theories spreading like wildfire in the frat and sorority houses.
Some believed that the motive for the murder was her investigation of college rapes that had been occurring among students, specifically one that may have involved campus frat members. It was noted that Brook Baker had been the subject of intimidation and threats by frat members who found out that she was working on the piece.
Heightening the mystery was the fact that Brook Baker had recently placed an ad looking for some responsible roommates with whom to share her off-campus apartment. The college coed’s case was particularly difficult to solve since she was a bit of a loner with no steady boyfriends or female friends, ‘Six Degrees Of Murder’ will bring out.
Brook Baker’s need for privacy could have been likely due to the nature of her work in journalism. Police also learned that she was being stalked by an intruder who had entered her home on different occasions, according to an old episode of Unsolved Mysteries.
Another Death Unlocks Mystery
Whoever killed the young student would get away with it for the next two years. However, in 1999, another college coed named Erika Elaine Norman went missing and was later found murdered in a cornfield. The nature of her death was very similar to Brook Baker’s case.
Detectives struck gold once they learned that Erika Norman was last seen with Brian Eugene Jones, a 22-year-old man who was also the roommate of one of Brook Baker’s previous lovers.
Six Degrees Of Murder’ On ID will recount how investigators were eventually able to connect Brian Jones to the Brook Baker death scene through DNA and sperm belonging to Jones. They only motive that police could come up with was that Jones wanted to commit murder after viewing the chilling 1996 crime thriller, Curdled, a movie that shows a woman being viciously attacked and stabbed multiple times with a kitchen knife, which the killer washes off in the sink. The knife being washed in the sink after the murder is something that investigators believed happened when Brook Baker was killed.
For the murder of Brook Baker, Brian Eugene Jones was given a life sentence, and he received a 60-year sentence in the death of Erika Norman. Brook Baker’s murder was also featured on ID’s Motives and Murders. Watch Six Degrees of Murder this Wednesday, August 17, at 10/9 p.m. Central on Investigation Discovery, just after the other compelling documentary crime series, The Perfect Murder.
[Image via BortN66/Shutterstock]