Crime News

48 Hours covers tragic 2016 murder of college student in Grapevine

48 Hours covers tragic 2016 murder of college student in Grapevine

Jackie Vandagriff
Jackie Vandagriff, left, and Caitlin Mathis, right. Photo courtesy of CBS

A high-profile murder that took place in Grapevine in 2016 is the subject of a new episode of 48 Hours. Called "The Murder of Jackie Vandagriff," the episode covers the tragic murder of 24-year-old college student Jackie Vandagriff, and will air on CBS on Saturday, January 16 at 9 pm.

Vandagriff, who was a junior at Texas Woman's University in Denton, was found murdered the morning after meeting a man in a bar. Charles Bryant, a personal trainer from Haslet, was found guilty of the crime in April 2018 and sentenced to life in prison, with an additional 20-year sentence for tampering with evidence.

Vandagriff's body was discovered in a weeded area near a footpath next to Grapevine Lake on September 14, 2016. Police found video of her and Bryant talking at Fry Street Public House in Denton, and traced evidence back to Bryant.

Bryant initially denied knowing who Vandagriff was, then claimed she died during "kinky sex." Investigators brought in Texas Ranger Jim Holland, who specializes in interviewing serial killers and working through tough cases.

"A lot of these people actually will tell you," Holland says. "They want to tell someone."

The 48 Hours episode includes the first television interview with Caitlin Mathis, Bryant's ex-girlfriend, and raises the question of whether Vandagriff was targeted because she and Mathis resembled each other.

"I think that he really wanted to kill me," Mathis says in the episode. "I think that he wanted me dead."

Mathis and Bryant began a relationship in June 2016, but she says that she saw warning signs after only a month that he was manipulative and a narcissist.

She broke up with him when she moved away to college. But Bryant showed up on her campus three times in two weeks, spurring Caitlin to get a restraining order.

After bonding out of jail for stalking Mathis, Bryant showed up at a bar across from her campus a week later. This is where he and Vandagriff met.

"How he was stalking me was completely related to Jackie Vandagriff's death," Mathis says.

She says he also used Vandagriff's cell phone after the murder.

"Right after the murder, he took Jackie's phone and used it to add me on Facebook,” Mathis says.

48 Hours: "The Murder of Jackie Vandagriff" was produced by Sarah Prior. Claire St. Amant, a former editor for CultureMap Dallas, was the development producer and field producer. The network has posted a sneak preview of the episode online.