Nobody Noticed

Marilu Dennis lived in Lakewood for 36 years. One hot July day, she died alone in her home. For 15 months, the grass grew. The mail piled up. The bills went unpaid. Nobody saw Marilu. Nobody noticed

None of these ascetic practices seemed to have anything to do with money. Marilu was, in fact, sitting on a checking account with a balance of $16,737.02.

Detectives did find a 1986 Christmas card in the adjoining apartment addressed to Edith from a sister-in-law. She was the first in the family to hear the gruesome news.

In all of this, Cox has ended up looking like the closest thing to a hero. Indeed, if he had not persisted in tracking Marilu down, her body might still lay moldering in the house. For his part, Cox seems flattered that his name appears connected to Marilu's story.

But Marilu's family doesn't trust Cox. In Bonham, folks are whispering about supposedly having seen Cox cart off belongings from Edith's old house on 7th Street. A call to the Bonham police, however, doesn't turn up any evidence of a break-in.

Nonetheless, suspicions still exist. And Mary Lou Dennis has heard the rumors. She says she's spoken to Cox over the telephone about returning some family records to her. (Cox says he didn't get the records from the house--though he won't reveal where he got them.)

"I called him twice and he said he was going to send them to me, but he never did," she says. "So, I guess I'm going to have to just turn him over to whomever."

After Dallas police detectives concluded their work and medical examiners did an autopsy, Marilu Dennis' remains were cremated. The ashes were shipped to the Coopers-Sorrells Funeral Home in Bonham.

An obituary in the Bonham Favorite stated simply that she was survived by "nieces and nephews." They weren't named.

On October 21, her ashes were laid to rest beside Edith, Burr, and Maggie in Bonham's Willow Wild Cemetery. Her niece Debbie Dennis was the only family member to attend. Ida Savage also came to pay her respects, along with a friend of Debbie's and a funeral director.

It took 15 months to find Marilu; it only took 15 minutes to bury her.
A local preacher murmured a prayer and spoke a few soothing words about someone he never knew--words Ida Savage can't recall--before the little wicker basket holding Marilu Dennis' ashes was lowered into the ground.

No church bells, no hearses, no wailing mourners. No one took much notice.
It was a private ceremony. Marilu would have wanted it that way.

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