The final tragedy of the man who married a wife 24 years younger: The wife is suspicious

Not long after his wife died, Jerry Lee Barker found new love with a woman 24 years younger. The man did not know that that was also when the tragedy of his life began.

Jerry Barker was shot to death by his wife, Rebecca Barker — but it wasn’t the first time she shot one of her husbands.

Jerry Lee Barker was born in Alabama in 1937. He later moved to Rusk, Texas, a small town in the state’s southeast corner which would remain his home until his death. He worked as a long-haul trucker and owned his own rig. In 1950, he married Frances “Mae” Haynes. Together they raised four sons.

When not on the road, Jerry enjoyed being with his family and teaching the boys how to fix cars. When they grew up and had families of their own, he played the part of a loving grandfather. But in 2001, after 40 years of marriage, Mae suffered a fatal heart attack. Her death was hard on the whole family, especially Jerry. Work eased the grief but came back the moment he returned to an empty home.

But just a year later, he found love again. Jerry met 40-year-old waitress Rebecca Osborne at the cafe where she worked. Divorced with two grown children of her own, the two hit it off and began dating

Rebecca Osborne.

Despite an age difference of over 20 years, things got serious. Jerry’s family was surprised to see him with another woman so soon after losing his first wife.

“He said to us, ‘Y’all don’t understand how hard it’s been since Mae died and to have somebody to be around helps fill that void. I’m not so lonely,'”

But the domestic harmony soon came to an end. On the afternoon of February 26, 2014, Rebecca made a frantic call to Cherokee County’s 911 dispatch.

“Ma’am … I just shot my husband,” Rebecca is heard saying on the call,  “Oh god, what have I done? … I’ve done the wrong thing. I shot him. I’m so scared.”

Law enforcement officers headed to the scene were informed they might be walking into a hostile situation. But when they arrived, Rebecca complied with orders to come outside and was taken into custody.


Jerry Lee Barker.


“It looked like he was still asleep in his easy chair except for the pooling of blood on his chest. When they checked for a pulse there was none,”

A Ruger 357 revolver was retrieved at the scene. Rebecca confirmed it was the murder weapon.

In her interview with authorities, Rebecca claimed she and Jerry fought constantly about the store. She said she was overworked and Jerry didn’t pitch in. On the morning of the murder, she refused to go to work, leading to a big argument.

“He told me that I was a bitch and that he wanted a divorce and I’m just trying to do the best I can with this man,” Rebecca told investigators in her taped interview.

Rebecca’s story would have legal implications in what the ultimate charges against her would be.

“We start looking at, is there a claim for sudden passion? Did this happen in the heat of the moment? Did it rise to the level to that she could legally claim that so it’s more manslaughter than cold-blooded intentional murder?” said Dictson.

While Rebecca seemed animated and upset during her interview, when detectives left the room she was calm as could be. Inconsistencies in her story and the call log on her phone would reveal an hour passed between when she shot Jerry and when she called 911.

Following her statement to police, Rebecca Barker was arrested and charged with first-degree murder, according to Tyler, Texas, ABC


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