Who Killed Isolde Yockey?


Isolde Yockey, circa 1967

One of America’s oldest missing-person mysteries was solved this past July in Texas. DNA tests identified the remains of a woman who’d been murdered in Colorado County, TX, most likely in 1975. The dead woman had a sister, the sister finally came forward, and forensics found a match.

The woman’s name was reportedly Isolde Deirdre Yockey [1], and she was about 30 years old at the time of death. Isolde was the elder of two daughters of Francis Parker Yockey by the former Alice O’Rear MacFarlane of San Antonio.

We don’t know how Isolde was killed, or who killed her, or whether we should even be suspicious. Francis Parker Yockey was an adventurer and risk-taker, and it may well be that his murdered daughter had followed in his footsteps and took her risks of own. All we know for now is that she had been in touch with her mother and sister in San Antonio and Houston in the months before she was killed. They expected to see her at Christmas 1975 and didn’t suspect anything was amiss until she didn’t turn up. The following August, some decomposing human remains, identified as female, were discovered near Sheridan, Texas (between Houston and San Antonio). But an anonymous corpse is not something that would come immediately to the attention of the Yockey relatives in 1976. And so this missing-person/unidentified corpse mystery just hung around, unsolved, until Isolde’s younger sister Fredericka agreed to submit to a DNA test in 2023.

FPY married Alice MacFarlane, a young mathematics teacher, in Texas in 1943. Daughters Isolde and Fredericka were born in 1944 and 1945. In 1946 the tiny tots accompanied their mother Alice, and possibly their MacFarlane grandmother, to join their father in Wiesbaden, Germany in 1946-47, when FPY was an assistant counsel for some of the minor war crimes tribunals. According to some reports, FPY’s behavior was erratic to the point where Alice forced him to leave the family’s flat. Then, in late 1946, FPY was fired from his job with the tribunals, and moved to Zurich, after which he went back to America and lived for some months he lived with his sister Vinette and her naval officer husband William Coyne in Illinois. It’s after this that FPY famously retreated to Brittas Bay, Ireland, where in 1947-48 he wrote Imperium. [2]

Thereafter we find Isolde, Fredericka, and mother Alice (and often grandmother Mary Agnes MacInerney MacFarlane) going back and forth between Texas and Europe, finally moving to Beirut, Lebanon for about five years, 1951-1956. [3]

When living in Beirut, Fredericka wanted learn piano, but there were no pianos available, so she learned keyboard on the pianoforte’s immediate ancestor, the harpsichord. And when they returned to Texas in 1956, Alice and Fredericka took home an English-built harpsichord, shiny and new. This got featured in the San Antonio Light in October 1957. Fredericka here looks like the sort of gifted child who in a later era would brighten up a Counter-Currents conference.

Fredericka’s birth name was Carlotta Fredericka Yockey, but supposedly her father nicknamed her Brünnhilde or Brunhilde. [4] If she’s calling herself that in Texas in 1957, this suggests to me a deep and abiding bond between FPY and his daughters. We know he spent time in the Mideast in the 1950s, and surreptitiously he must have visited the kids.

The newspaper article also tells us that while harpsichords would seem to be everywhere in the 1960s (The Addams Family, William F. Buckley Jr.) they were very much a novelty item in the 1950s. In San Antonio and elsewhere, only antiquarian musicologists even knew what a harpischord was.

As for the doings of sister Isolde in the 50s, she’s completely off the map. Not in newspapers, not in yearbooks, not in passenger manifests, not even in a Public Records Index. After sailing with her sister, mother, and grandmother from Beirut to Boston in August 1956 (below), Isolde completely disappears, age 12, from the public record.

When I was given this news story about Isolde Yockey, it brought back vague memories. Over the years I’d read here and there that one of Francis Parker Yockey’s daughters disappeared without a trace in the 1970s. I think I first got that story from David McCalden in his “Truth Missions Revisionist Newsletter” back in the 1980s. David, you will recall, was the original director of the Institute for Historical Review, but had a falling out with Willis Carto in 1981. So then he went solo, asking for donations from all the friends and supporters he had met in his time at the IHR helm. He also interviewed at least one of Yockey’s sisters, Alice Spurlock, who was now living in Gilroy CA, world-renowned “garlic capital” and home of the annual Garlic Festival in Santa Clara County. From McCalden’s newsletters, Kevin Coogan learned that one of FPY’s daughters had mysteriously disappeared in the mid-1970s, and he put that into Dreamer of the Day; but he had nothing more to add.

Was Isolde killed because she was somehow continuing her father’s work? I have no proof whatsoever for this, but I’m suspicious of anyone who manages to fly beneath radar for many years and then suddenly meets misadventure. I’ll leave that open question for later researchers.

Anyone who studies the Yockey kin senses they are a close-knit and supportive clan. When FPY was being surveilled for his cloak-and-dagger activities in the 1940s and 50s, and when he got nabbed for passport fraud at the Oakland airport in 1960, his family rallied ’round him. When his sister Alice Spurlock was widowed, she moved cross-country to Virginia to live with her niece Connie Marshner, a well-known traditionalist-conservative writer and activist, and author of Blackboard Tyranny, an early (1978) hammer-and-tongs attack upon the social-engineering agenda of the National Educational Association. Mrs. Marshner’s husband is William Marshner, long-ago editor of Triumph magazine (of which I wrote when hunting down the late, mysterious Lawrence R. Brown a few months ago), and co-founder and professor emeritus at Christendom College in Front Royal, Virginia. I detect a very mainstream “social-conservative” coloration here, nothing at all like the incendiary radicalism we associate with the author of Imperium and The Enemy of Europe. But it’s interesting that Yockey relations are still keeping their hand in.



[1] Isolde appears in the 1950 U.S. Census as Isolde A. Yockey, the A. almost certainly for Alice, the name of her mother and aunt and many women on both sides of her family.

[2] This chronology comes mainly from Kevin Coogan’s Dreamer of the Day (1999) and is sketchy at best.

[3] Alice’s brother Charles MacFarlane Jr. was an executive in the Arabian American Oil Co., with office base in Beirut, and interests throughout Europe and the Near East. He married his wife Mary Langdon in St. Peter’s Basilica in 1958. Charles had been an undergraduate at Notre Dame when FPY was at law school there during the early 1940s. That presumably was the link between Yockey and the MacFarlane family.

[4] Kevin Coogan writes in Dreamer of the Day that FPY’s second daughter changed her name to Francesca when she grew up. I can find no record of this. From the time she was a toddler on passenger manifests, she’s listed as Fredericka.

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