On May 28, 1976, at age 20, Cole married Robert Dennard in Palm Beach.She eventually began working in a hospital there and soon had two children, Eupherina and Robert.They finally pulled a covering back from her head and were startled by what they saw: the woman had a hole in her forehead. The woman's skull and face were fractured — the blows had been so strong they bruised her swollen brain. The discovery of Cole's body began an investigation that unspooled in fits, with intense periods of investigation followed by dormancy.It was an investigation that would feature numerous detectives and even more suspects through the years.He bashed each of them in the head, raped them, left them partially nude, then covered them with a blanket and fled as they lay dead or dying.For years, no one knew that one man was responsible for the attacks."She was a female, and she was at her most vulnerable, asleep behind a building," said Ernestine Davison, the former homicide detective in charge of Cole's case.
On Cole, they found a West Memphis library card, a few receipts and, tucked inside her second bra, $151.11 in cash. At first, most everyone they found mistook her for a homeless woman in the area who walked with a silver-topped cane.
But at some point, and no one in the family can say exactly when, Cole wasn't Cole anymore. Some in the family called it a nervous breakdown, others said it sounded like schizophrenia.