The Tragic Story of Jackie Vandagriff

When Jacqueline (Jackie) Vandagriff, a job-seeking university student, strolled into a Denton pub, a psychopath seeking vengeance transformed her lovely evening into a night of brutal torture. Even seasoned investigators were taken aback by the brutality.

Caitlin Mathis / Jackie Vandagriff / Caitlin Mathis, Charles Bryant / Charles Bryant.
Source: YouTube

The tragic story of Jackie Vandagriff’s horrible murder at 24-year-old in Denton, Texas; A case infused with selfishness and senselessness, shocked the Texan town and local law enforcement agencies to their core. Read on to learn more about the catastrophic story.

About Jackie Vandagriff

Jacqueline “Jackie” Vandagriff was born in Carrollton, Texas, on March 4, 1992, the youngest of two girls. She grew up in Frisco and The Colony, Texas. Jackie was a big fan of “Thomas the Tank Engine” as a kid, and she used to love reenacting the shows on her own train set.

Jackie takes a selfie.
Source: Facebook

Jackie was a dynamic kid who learned to somersault before she could walk. She began gymnastics at the World Olympic Gymnastics Academy (WOGA) when she was three years old, eventually competing at Level 5 in state competition.

Into Her Very Life

Jackie was admired for her patriotism. She looked forward to the 4th of July, Memorial Day, and Veterans Day celebrations. She enjoyed watching the presidential election debates and election results, as well as the annual Army vs. Navy football game (“Go Navy, Beat Army!”).

An outdoors portrait of Jackie.
Source: Facebook

Jackie was a big fan of reading presidential speeches and keeping up with current happenings in the United States. Col. William Sloan, a retired Air Force officer, said one of his favorite recollections when she sang a “Proud to be an American” acapella performance in front of him.

The Passion and Enthusiasm

Friends and family remembered Jackie as a caring, loving, and compassionate person who always went out of her way to help others. Her greatest desire was to assist everyone in recognizing their unique beauty and abilities. She urged all of her pals to follow their passions. Her sympathy extended to animals as well.

Jackie and a friend during a barbeque.
Source: Facebook

Jackie was a lifelong vegetarian who advocated for animals to be adopted from no-kill shelters. Jackie enjoyed spending time with her friends from Texas and traveling across the country to see her friends and relatives. She was frequently seen with her pals at Preston Highlands Park, which was close to her home.

Jackie’s Favourites

Jackie was a member of McKinney’s St. Peter’s Episcopal Church. Yellow and purple were her favorite colors. Jackie liked to read a lot. J. K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series, Louise Rennison’s “Georgia Nicholson” series, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” and, of course, “The Count of Monte Cristo” were among her favorites.

People arrive at a vigil for Jackie at a park.
Photo by Nathan Hunsinger

Her favorite musicians were Rob Thomas, Matchbox 20, Third Eye Blind, James Taylor, Cat Stevens, Pink, and Andrew McMahon. Jackie was a huge fan of musicals, particularly “Rent.” Jackie graduated from Wakeland High School in Frisco, Texas, then went to Paul Mitchell School for Cosmetology to become a licensed esthetician.

One Final Goodbye

Jackie’s legacy and memory are carried on by her parents, Rick and Sonja Vandagriff of Frisco, TX; her sister, Genny Vandagriff of Little Elm, TX; her grandparents, Ron and Shirley Vandagriff of Fairborn, OH; her grandparents, Gene and Ione Fasbinder of Beavercreek, OH; and numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins from all over the country.

Mourners light up candles at Jackie’s memorial event.
Photo by Nathan Hunsinger

Jackie’s parents, sister, family, and friends miss her terribly. The memories of her warm, lively, energetic personality, as well as her never-ending words of love and encouragement, continue to inspire and comfort all who her life has touched..

Who is Charles Bryant?

Charles Dean Bryant is a Haslet, Texas native. After being convicted guilty in the murder of a university girl called Jackie Vandagriff, he made headlines all over the internet. Jackie’s murderer, Charles Dean Bryant, was found guilty.

A mugshot of Charles Bryant.
Source: Tumblr

On September 18, 2016, Charles was arrested for stalking his ex-girlfriend, not for the crime of killing Jackie. During the investigation, it was discovered that Charles was also implicated in Jackie’s murder and dismemberment. Kinky sex gone wrong was the motive for the murder. Charles became scared and attempted to dispose of the body as quickly as possible.

Charles Bryant and Caitlin Mathis

Despite their 11-year age difference, Charles Bryant worked as a bartender for three months and was with Caitlin Mathis. At first, he appeared harmless and even appealing; he was fit and tattooed.

Caitlin and Bryant enjoy a day in the park.
Source: Facebook

His shaven head further enhanced his machismo image. This is everything a woman might want or need in a man, and it was all in one man: Charles Bryant. Caitlin Mathis may have had a feeling and sense of confidence in her man because of his appearance and physic.

A Sentiment of Charles Bryant

“Every now and then, this random man would show up [to the gym], and I don’t know if anyone really knew who he was or where he trained. It was just an open mat,” said Jinh Yu Frey, a UFC professional fighter.

Bryant takes a selfie at home.
Source: Facebook

He described him as “very athletic-looking,” with a “beautiful body” that was daunting at first because you thought, “Wow, this guy is in great form,” but as you started rolling with him, you realized he knew nothing. Charles Bryant was the paper tiger she was alluding to.

The Bridge of Blooming and Toxicity

The bond between Charles and Caitlin was flourishing, and romance was developing. Charles would purchase Caitlin flowers whenever he irritated her, but it was merely to coax her into forgiving his lousy behavior. He was a control freak who wanted to know where she was at all times and kept track of her activities.

Caitlin speaks during an interview.
Source: CBS News

His egotistical conduct compounded this, assuring her, “You’ll never find somebody better than me.” His actions later confirmed that he meant that if he couldn’t have her, no one else could. She eventually had enough of the toxicity.

The Breakup Moment

Caitlin gave the relationship plenty of chances to succeed before calling it quits and refusing to explain why. This pushed Charles over the edge, and he was adamant about not accepting it. What he did next was exhausting not only for Caitlin but also for the college police, who had to arrest him repeatedly.

College police arrest Bryant as he goes on a run by the college.
Source: UNT Police

Caitlin moved away from her family and into the University of North Texas’s dorms a week after breaking up with him. Charles was detained by university police at a traffic stop while driving on campus.

Beyond Stalking

Charles returned to Caitlin’s college, but this time he knocked on her door, and when a terrified Caitlin opened it, she promptly reported him to the university police. Fortunately for her, the cops came to her aid, banning him from campus and issuing a no-trespass order.

A mugshot of Bryant.
Source: Grapevine Police Department

This was a man who didn’t care about the regulations or the authorities’ efforts to protect students on campus because he was determined to break them. Charles was still stalking Caitlin. It got to the point where he would show up at her workplace, which to her was unacceptable.

The 31st August 2016

Charles turned up on her first day of work at a restaurant on August 31, 2016. Her coworkers informed her that Charles had also been at the restaurant the day before, looking for her.

A picture of Bryant at the restaurant.
Source: YouTube

Was he monitoring her on the internet, and was she disclosing her personal information? Whatever it was, he must be skilled at gathering information since he could show up at her workplace a day before she started. Unfortunately, she had to leave her new career and return to her old one due to him.

The 6th September 2016

On September 6, 2016, Charles knocked on Caitlin’s door once more. She hid in her suitemate’s wardrobe and called the university police, terrified of the torment he was putting her through. Flowers and a two-page letter were found when the cops arrived.

A footage from Bryant arriving at Caitlin’s door.
Source: CBS News

He had already left, but they discovered him jogging on campus ten minutes later and arrested him for trespassing. He was out a few hours later after posting bond. He didn’t learn his lesson and contacted her again, this time by email, stating, “Here I am devastated and with a criminal record for delivering the girl I love flowers.”

Getting All the Protection She Needed

Because of his constant stalking, Caitlin secured an emergency protective order with the help of the police. Charles was detained again at his home for stalking. He had been arrested three times in two weeks. He was released after posting bond again.

Caitlin opens the door to the police.
Source: CBS News

This time, Charles’s heinous actions came to a halt, and Caitlin’s protection was adequate. If he had insisted on taking any more trials at shadowing Caitlin, he would have failed miserably, and if he had succeeded, it would have been devastating for Caitlin.

Meeting Jackie Vandagriff

Caitlin’s dorm was only half a mile away, so Charles decided to walk to a nearby bar. When they were dating, she informed him about a spot she used to go to. That night, Jackie Vandagriff, an innocent, lovely young woman who was a student herself, went to the same bar to ask for a job. Instead, she encountered Charles, with whom she struck up a conversation.

A bar footage from Charles and Jackie's conversation.
Source: CBS News

“Jackie was an extremely gregarious person; whenever she went out, she would make friends with everyone,” Jackie Ton, a close friend of Jackie Vandagriff, said of her friend. It would, however, be Jackie Vandagriff’s final discussion.

Alive, Then Death

Jackie went to the Fry Street Public House on September 13, 2016, in search of work. She struck up a conversation with the bartender and a man later identified as Charles Bryant while she was there.

An exterior nocturnal view of the Fry Street Public House.
Source: YouTube

Around 9 p.m., Jackie and Charles left together for another bar. Surveillance cameras captured them in both bars and then at a prison store. Jackie was last seen alive in Charles’ automobile. It was far too short a period to put an end to a soul’s existence.

A Body at Grapevine Lake

The police received a call concerning a body at Grapevine Lake on September 14. They discovered a burned body in a kiddie pool when they arrived. Using her fingerprints, the authorities were able to identify the young woman as Jackie Vandagriff.

An aerial view from Grapevine Lake.
Source: Grapevine Fire Department

The police had their suspect right away: Charles. After giving his business card to another young woman, he was identified, and the police recognized him since they had interacted with him soon before Jackie’s death. What could have motivated him to murder Jackie Vandagriff?

Connecting the Dots

Jackie’s meeting with Charles was unplanned, a lucky break, but Charles was a man on a mission, and any lady who met the bill was his target. Unfortunately, Jackie Vandagriff, a lovely lady with a beautiful attitude, was the one who became the victim.

A picture of Jackie / Jackie posts her encounter with Charles on Twitter.
Source: CBS News

He carefully choreographed his movements because the university was only a few meters away. Going off course would mean violating a restraining order issued against him for stalking and harassing Caitlin Mathis, the 18-year-old University of North Texas student. The latter dumped him after a bad relationship.

The investigation Case

The cops were fortunate in that their suspect had already been arrested for stalking Caitlin. He believed he was clever by switching tactics and continuing his stalking. He had contacted Caitlin directly before, but now he was sending her threatening emails from different accounts.

An investigator interrogates Charles Bryant.
Source: YouTube

From the bar’s CCTV camera, police identified Charles Bryant as the last individual seen with Jackie. They were also fortunate enough to track down some of the patrons at the pub. When one of the ladies interrogated by police stated that the man who had been with Jackie had handed her his business card, investigators zoomed in on their prime suspect.

Hidden Personalities Revealed

They were confident Charles Bryant was their guy when it was revealed he was already in prison for breaking a restraining order, in addition to the stalking, but there was a hitch. Apart from the video in which he was seen with her, there was no clear evidence linking him to the murder.

A still from Charles and Jackie leaving a bar together.
Source: YouTube

The police interrogation was likewise fruitless; he denied further contact with Jackie than seeing her at the pub. Meanwhile, detectives obtained a search order for Charles’ residence, where they discovered a huge hunting knife and Jackie’s pocketbook.

More Evidence Seen

They also discovered a missing kiddie pool in his yard that looked similar to the one Jackie was discovered in, but the greatest scoop didn’t come from his house. It came from a surveillance camera that saw Charles buying a shovel at Walmart. Nothing could stick, despite the enormous evidence against him.

A view of the kiddie pool.
Source: CBS News

The inquiry had fallen into place. The purse, the strange knife, the missing kiddie pool, and the CCTV film that showed him buying a shovel the night of Jackie’s disappearance were all primarily irrelevant because the police had no evidence linking him to the murder site.

From the Mouth of the Guilty

Ranger Jim Holland wasted no time in confronting Charles. On the other hand, Charles continued to deny seeing Jackie, but when Ranger Holland suggested they undertake a memory test similar to “traveling back in time,” Charles fell for it. Ranger Holland was soon leading him to a confession.

Charles sits in the interrogation room.
Source: CBS News

Charles initially denied having intercourse with Jackie, but after three hours of questioning, he finally admitted having sex with her. He portrayed it, though, as kinky sex, stating Jackie desired to be choked. Charles ended up confessing to Jackie’s murder and erasing the evidence by burning her body.

I Never Knew I Could Feel Like this

Aside from the heinous murder, Charles also sent Caitlin photographs of Grapevine Lake, which authorities believe he took the night of the murder. Not content with that, authorities suspect he also commented on Jackie’s Twitter account after being murdered.

Bryant leaves flowers and letters outside Caitlin’s door.
Source: CBS News

“Never knew I could feel like this,” the tweet read. This is particularly difficult because Jackie had ambitions and would have made significant contributions to society based on her life. But it’s all gone now because one man couldn’t move on after a breakup.

Dissatisfied With Being Inhuman

Charles was a serial killer in the making, according to Ranger Jim Holland, who specializes in interviewing some of the country’s prolific killers; Jackie’s murder was more than just another heinous crime; it was personal as well as gruesome. He couldn’t stop just killing her; he had to dismember her and burn her.

A footage from Charles buying a shovel at the convenience store.
Source: YouTube

This revealed his vehement hatred for every woman who reminded him of Caitlin. Jackie was only a bystander who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong person. Who would have guessed that one should be cautious when making a good first impression?

Entirely Lost and No Returning

When one thinks about the murder of Jackie, one can’t help but think about the family she would have raised, the children she would have raised, and how the family was robbed of a loved one.

A portrait of Jackie.
Source: Tumblr

It’s as if a tree has been uprooted, bringing with it the end of limitless possibilities. Charles Bryant was sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty of the murder of Jacqueline (Jackie) Vandagriff. He could be eligible for parole in 30 years under Texas law.

A Little More Time Would Have Revealed Him

Caitlin first met Charles when she was 18 years old, and he was 29 years old. Caitlin was working in a restaurant when Charles entered. Caitlin stated that he drew her attention since he was muscular and had tattoos. They went on their first date to Grapevine Lake, no less.

An aerial view from Grapevine Lake.
Source: YouTube

Caitlin thought Charles was arrogant and manipulative about three months into the relationship. She ended their relationship in August 2016 and enrolled at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas. If Jackie had known Charles for a more extended period, she would have known what kind of man he was.

Trial and Conviction

Charles’ trial began, and he entered a not guilty plea. Charles said that he accidentally killed Jackie after they had kinky sex in his car. However, an autopsy revealed no indication of sexual activity between the two.

A still from Bryant in court.
Source: YouTube

The prosecution claimed that Charles murdered Jackie because she resembled his ex-girlfriend, Caitlin. The star witness was Caitlin. She described their relationship and how he stalked her in court. In the 48 Hours segment, Caitlin was interviewed, and she stated that she had to establish eye contact with Charles, who was smirking at her. She claimed she began crying as soon as she exited the courtroom.

Fear Even Behind Bars

Although Charles’ interrogation was overturned, the evidence against him was still substantial. Caitlin expressed her hope that he had received the death penalty because she is concerned that he will come after her if he is released.

A portrait of Caitlin.
Source: CBS News

Caitlin was more upset over the death of the innocent Jackie Vandagriff since it could have been her who had died, which bothered her the most. There are times when you’d wish someone was dead for good, which was the case of Caitlin.

Some Truthful Thoughts

One innocent woman was stalked, while another was brutally killed. Charles Bryant is a monster, and we’re surprised he hasn’t killed anyone else yet, because Jackie experienced a nightmare. Death by stabbing or any other method involving a knife is genuinely horrific.

A picture of Charles Bryant / Jackie’s profile on Facebook.
Source: YouTube

We pity Caitlin because she stated that she wished she had been killed. After all, Jackie was innocent. She was also innocent, and she didn’t deserve it!!! Charles believed he could obtain whatever he wanted, and he used an innocent woman with a bright future to do so.

Very Impressive Work from the Police Department

Let us also acknowledge the officers in Grapevine and Denton, Texas, who believed Charles was a monster. They believed Caitlin tried to assist her in escaping Charles, arrested him to get him off the streets and knew he had murdered Jackie from the beginning.

A detective speaks during a televised interview.
Source: CBS News

There are so many other stalking cases where the victims are not believed, resulting in them being murdered by their stalker. The police department did their possible best to ensure the guilty was brought to justice.

The Evidence that Condemned Charles Bryant

An inside look at the investigation into Jackie Vandagriff’s murder. Jacqueline “Jackie” Vandagriff, a junior at Texas Woman’s University, stepped into a pub in Denton, Texas, on September 13, 2016. The man with two seats, Charles Bryant, struck up a discussion with her. Regrettably, the accidental meeting resulted in tragedy. The following day, Jackie was found murdered.

An aerial view of Bryant’s property.
Source: YouTube

Police discovered evidence linking Bryant to Jackie’s murder fast, including surveillance footage of the two strangers chatting hours before Jackie’s death, as well as Jackie’s possessions and a knife in Charles’ apartment.

Remembering Jackie Vandagriff

Charles Bryant was found guilty of Jackie Vandagriff’s murder and dismemberment in April 2018. He was jailed for the rest of his life. “What would Jackie say if she could talk to him?” Jackie Vandagriff’s uncle asked local reporters after the verdict was read. “Remember me,” we believe she would say.

A picture of Jackie with her best friend.
Source: YouTube

Jackie’s family established a health and wellness internship at Texas Woman’s University in her honor. A powerful reminder of who she is, what she represents, and the beautiful things she may have accomplished.

Well Wishes from Stephanie Ephron

Stephanie is a friend of Jackie from the gym. She wrote with heaviness in her heart, “I’m so glad I decided to go to the Container Store at the last minute, where I ran into you for the first time in years. I was astounded to learn about Jackie’s misfortune. My recollections of her cheerful personality will live on in my mind forever.

A picture of Jackie at home.
Source: Pinterest

Everyone in the gym adored her! Everyone could sense her personality, no matter how small she was physical. Both of my daughters adored her. They are horrified to learn about this heinous crime. Jackie will be remembered as a kind, energetic, and cheerful person. Rick and Genny, my thoughts are with you. May she find peace!

Lauren Dundee said Goodbye

Lauren, who was Jackie’s online friend, wrote, “We met three years ago over Twitter, and you quickly became my “long-distance best buddy.” I’ll be sorely missing you. You were always available to help me whenever I needed it, no matter what time of day it was. Even if it was 3 a.m., you would stay up with me for hours just to watch me cry.”

A picture of Jackie.
Source: Tumblr

Throughout my pregnancy and my daughter’s operation, you were one of my most ardent supports. You were always there for me, whether praying for her or simply messaging me to take my mind off being in the NICU. Jackie, I miss you so much. I feel privileged to have known you.