On October 13, 1984, a 20-year-old Texas college student Angela Samota was found dead in her apartment. The autopsy revealed she had been raped and fatally stabbed in the heart.

Southern Methodist University student Angela Samota
Southern Methodist University student Angela Samota. (File Photo)

Her case went cold until Samota’s friend and roommate, Sheila Wysocki, took matters into her own hands.

A decade after her friend’s death, while watching the O.J. Simpson trial, Wysocki noticed the growing credibility of DNA testing in court, a relatively new form of evidence at the time.

Knowing there were blood and semen samples collected from the crime scene, Wysocki persistently urged the police to re-examine the evidence for 12 years.

Sheila Wysocki
Sheila Wysocki. (Leana Delle)

At first, the police claimed that the rape kit collected at the crime scene had been lost “in the Dallas floods.”

Nevertheless, Wysocki refused to give up on solving her friend’s murder and became a private investigator so she could gain access to the samples herself.

According to Wysocki, after twelve years of “badgering,” the police “were so sick and tired of” her that they assigned detective Linda Crum to re-examine the evidence.

In 2006, Crum entered the DNA samples collected from blood, semen, and fingernails for comparison with the existing records in a database.

Two years later, the results pointed to Donald Bess who, at the time of Samota’s murder, was on parole while serving a 25-year sentence for aggravated sexual assault and aggravated kidnapping.

Based on the DNA match, Donald Bess was found guilty of Angela Samota's murder
Donald Bess.

Based on the DNA match, Bess was found guilty by the jury and received a death sentence on June 8, 2010. After spending 12 years on death row, Bess died from a heart attack on October 8, 2022.

Since solving her roommate’s murder, Sheila Wysocki has worked on over 100 cold cases, successfully solving at least 53 of them.

This mind-blowing story originally appeared in this year’s biggest true crime hit 365 Days of Crime.
From the death row inmate who sued the state for botching his execution, to a bank robber who gave the cashier his full name and address, 365 Days of Crime is the ULTIMATE true crime treat.