Suspect in 1962 Louisiana slaying arrested in Canyon Lake

William Felix Vail facing murder charges from 1962

CANYON LAKE – Comal County deputies arrested William Felix Vail, 73, Friday afternoon at a Canyon Lake post office on an arrest warrant in the 1962 death of his wife Mary Horton Vail on a Louisiana river.

"It's been a long haul and it's just a lot of anger with law enforcement for what they didn't do that they should have done back then," said Mary's brother Will Horton in Louisiana.

Vail originally told authorities that Mary had fallen off their boat and drowned when he made a sharp turn on the Calcasieu river in Louisiana.

"When you fall out the boat, you don't have the bruises and injuries that she had," said Horton.

Mary was found with bruises on her neck and legs, consistent with a struggle, as well as a scarf wrapped around her neck and partly stuffed down her throat.

However, her death was ruled an accident after the Calcasieu Parish district attorney said there wasn't enough evidence to prosecute.

Vail moved to Canyon Lake in late 2012 following a newspaper report that uncovered Vail was the last person to see three women alive including a girlfriend in 1973 and a second wife in 1984.

Lt. Mark Reynolds of the Comal County Sheriffs Department said their office was notified in January 2013 that Louisiana authorities were re-opening the 1962 case after a re-examination of Mary's autopsy report changed her death from accidental to murder.

On Friday, Reynolds said his office was notified that a warrant had been secured and undercover deputies arrested Vail in a post office parking lot without incident.

After a deputy admitted he didn't know why they were arresting him, Vail simply said, "I know what it's about."

Vail was extradited back to Louisiana where he will face second degree murder charges.

Mary Vail left behind a 4-month old son, Bill, who died three years ago from cancer. 

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