Krystal's Courage

A Murder Spree Comes To A Halt...

When he was arrested by Texas Rangers late in 1999, Tommy Lee Sells told authorities a bizarre tale of almost 20 years of travel across the U.S., with scores of bodies in his wake.

The 35-year-old drifter got away with murder, he said, because he was careful to make sure no witnesses were left alive to tell any tales. But he met his match in 10-year-old Krystal Surles, Dan Rather reports for 48 Hours.

On Dec. 30, 1999, Krystal and her friend, Kaylene Harris, 13, were brutally attacked by a knife-wielding intruder. He slashed their throats and left them both for dead. Kaylene was dead, but Krystal, seriously injured, survived the attack and sought help from a neighbor.

Then, she worked with police to help identify and track down the killer.

Two days later, Sells was taken in for questioning and charged with Kaylene's murder. Though he had told investigators about more than dozen other murders, there was virtually nothing to link him to any of the crimes - except Kaylene's slaying.

That link was 10-year-old Krystal. Could she find the courage to testify against Sells? And could her testimony sway the jury and put Tommy Lee Sells behind bars?

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