Family still hopes for closure in 20-year-old Knox County murder

Family still hopes for closure in 20-year-old Knox County murder

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Pauline George (source: family) Pauline George (source: family)

By MONA NAIR
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - It's been nearly 20 years since Pauline George was found brutally beaten and stabbed to death in West Knox County.

Investigators say on March 7, 1991, Pauline, who worked as a receptionist at Park West Hospital, was getting ready to go on a date with her boyfriend. But he arrived at her home on Luscombe Drive to find her body unrecognizable.

The family says Pauline, 50, was a very careful person. She was not someone who would have opened the door to just anyone.

In the last few years, there have been a lot of theories about what happened to Pauline that day, but nothing has led to an arrest.

George's cousin, Jan Tobler, describes her as soft spoken, caring, petite and pretty.

Jan also says Pauline was known to be a great dresser, a lady who cared about the way she looked.

The family remembers rushing to Pauline's home that day after hearing news reports that something awful had happened.

"It's been nearly 20 years, but it feels like yesterday because this is all so fresh in my mind," Jan said.

Jan has kept track of all movement in the case from the beginning in a scrapbook.

She showed 6 News the autopsy report that describes just how gruesome the crime was. Pauline was beaten and her throat was slit. She was also stabbed in the face and head several times.

One of the people who has taken the murder the hardest was Pauline's sister, Betty Fuller. She says she and Pauline were like two peas in a pod.

"We used to have pillow fights. We double dated, and Mom and Dad would not let me date unless she was with me. We were together all the time," Betty said.

Detectives are still working this case, hoping DNA testing will bring them new clues from an old crime scene.

"It was a very violent person. We don't know if she knew this person," said Chief Bob Waggoner, with the Knox County Sheriff's Office.

"I feel like it was a crime of hatred," Jan said.

There was no sign of robbery or sexual assault, but a lot of theories on what happened that day have been brought up over the years.

For example, a truck driven by a handyman was seen on the street that day. For a while, he was a person of interest.

Even family members have been looked at closely in the case. At one point, a psychic even predicted that an arrest would come soon.

But nearly two decades later, there's still no peace of mind for the family.

"I loved her so much. I loved my Mama and Daddy, but when they died I knew they had been sick. I knew God took them. But whoever murdered Pauline, I know God did not do that," Betty said.

Pauline's father passed away just a couple months after her murder. He had a heart attack right after talking about his daughter. 

Her mother died a few years ago.

Her sister and cousin hope to find closure about her murder in their lifetime.

If you have information in Pauline George's murder, call the Knox County Sheriff's Office at 865-215-2432.

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