Krystal Surles was 10-years old when Tommy Lynn Sells slit her throat with a 12” boning knife.
Krystal was spending the night the Harris home, friends of the family. Sells first attacked 13-year Katy Harris. When he cut off her clothes and started touching her, she called for Krystal to tell her mother. Sells had not realized Katy wasn’t alone in her room. Krystal watched as Sells slit Katy’s throat, twice. Katy was stabbed a total of 16 times.
Then he went after 10-year old Krystal.
"He reached over and cut my throat," she said. "I just lay there and pretended I was dead. If he knew I was alive, he would come back and kill me for sure."
When Sells left, Krystal ran to a neighbour’s home, 1/4 mile away. She could not speak, as Sells had cut her windpipe. She wrote three notes for Herb Betz, the neighbour:
Betz thought Krystal would die before help arrived. But the little girl survived. When she awoke from a lengthy surgery, she was very anxious to give the police what information she had, and even though she could not yet speak, she began writing down Sells’ description. Her description and the subsequent police sketch led to Sells’ capture.