Archive for the ‘ Highway Killings ’ Category

How Many Serial Killers Are There?

I was in the process of trying to write an article about how many unknown monsters there are out there. Then I came across this article. Ms. Dimond says all that I wanted to say.
It was a small but horrifying item in the Los Angeles Times. “Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying what they call a ‘serious, dangerous serial killer operating in Orange County. Police believe one person is responsible for stabbing three middle-aged homeless men. He is (considered) extremely dangerous to the public.”
Another serial killer, I thought. And then the question: How many serial killers are out there in America?
John Douglas, a former chief of the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit and author of “Mind Hunter,” says, “A very conservative estimate is that there are between 35 and 50 active serial killers in the United States” at any given time. Often, Douglas told me, they will, “kill two to three victims and then have a ‘cooling-off’ period between kills.” That period can be days and in some cases (such as the BTK Strangler, Dennis Rader, convicted of killing 10 people from 1974 to 1991) even years.”
But others who study serial killers (defined as someone who kills three or more people) think there are many more of these demented predators out there than the FBI admits to — maybe as many as 100 of them actively operating right now.
Why don’t we know the exact figure? Because serial killers are a secretive and often nomadic bunch. Right before his execution in January 1989, the widely traveled Ted Bundy, described as a charismatic killer, admitted to 30 murders across half a dozen states — from Washington to Florida.
Andrew Cunanan killed at least five people during his wanderings through Minnesota, Illinois, New Jersey and Florida, including fashion designer Gianni Versace in Miami.
The FBI knows death travels, and five years ago it set up the Highway Serial Killings Initiative. The bureau reveals it has “a matrix of more than 600 victims and potential suspects in excess of 275.” Since the bodies were found off major highways, top suspects are long-haul truckers who may pick up prey in one state and dump the body several states away.
I know this is disturbing to read, and you may wonder: “Why should I care? I’m not going to hitchhike at a truck stop!”
Well, realize lots of serial killers stay close to home, and their victims are random. The aforementioned Rader found all his victims in Kansas not far from the Wichita home he shared with his wife and two kids. Rader, the president of his local church, knocked on his victim’s doors, and they simply let him in.
John Wayne Gacy met many of his 33 victims (all young men and boys) at charity events where he appeared dressed a clown. After luring them to his house and murdering them, he stuffed them under his Cook County, Ill., home. 
Gary Leon Ridgway, the so-called Green River Killer, was convicted of strangling 49 random women he met in Washington. He confessed to killing 71, but authorities believe the number of victims could be over 90.
Jeffrey Dahmer of Milwaukee admitted to killing and cannibalizing 17 young men and boys before he was arrested. Dahmer’s mother, Joyce, once told me her son wished doctors would come study him in prison to help figure out what drove him to do it.
We who write about crime are told that law enforcement nationwide is doing a better job of communicating with each other about suspected serial killers. Indeed, the item I read about the homeless murders was a milestone. In the past, detectives were loath to tell the public about a serial killer on the loose for fear of spooking people. Now, they’ve come to realize that knowledge is power, and citizens’ information can be a huge help in solving crimes.
Hardly a state in the union hasn’t had a serial killer. California, Texas and Florida seem to have more than their fair share. And mass graves have been found all around the country. Two examples: The 11 bodies of young women and an infant found on the isolated West Mesa outside Albuquerque, and an eerily similar case thousands of miles away in Long Island, N.Y., where authorities unearthed 10 bodies — eight women and a toddler, along with a man dressed in women’s clothes.
These are among the serial killer dumping grounds that have been found. Many others may go undetected forever. The best thing we can do is be vigilant. Know that many victims of serial killers put themselves in harm’s way. Most are women who have some contact with the sex trade or illegal drug underworld — and if they have children, they are in grave danger, too.
Dr. Maurice Godwin has studied serial killers for years, and one in-depth analysis of 107 of them revealed important information. Godwin found 55 percent of serial killers began having trouble in childhood and had criminal juvenile records. Forty-five percent had been convicted for a previous sex crime.
As with so many criminals, it goes back to their early formative years, and the best lesson we can learn is that when we find a troubled child, we best help them. Failure to do so could result in another serial killer walking among us.

Diane Dimond is a Rockland resident, syndicated columnist, author and special correspondent for Entertainment Tonight. Visit her at reach her via email 

Original here

There are more than mentioned in this article

Detroit’s Unknown Killer

Florida’s Unknown Killer

Nevermind the victims that have not yet been linked to each other.

Not trying to yell “Fire” in a crowded theater, just trying to spread the word. As my quote above says:

“Take it from a man who knows: it pays to be paranoid.” ~ Danny Rolling aka the Gainesville Ripper

Karen Johnson Swift Missing Person Case Is Now a Criminal Investigation, Dyer County Sheriff Jeff Box Gives Update “He Has Nothing”.

Karen Johnson Swift Missing Person Case Is Now a Criminal Investigation, Dyer County Sheriff Jeff Box Gives Update “He Has Nothing”..


Excellent article!

Trucker Serial Killer John Boyer

(CBS/AP) COLUMBIA, S.C. – Long-haul trucker John Boyer’s gray beard and round face give him a grandfatherly appearance, but when he opens his mouth, he seethes with anger toward women.

This hatred had murderous results, authorities said, as he picked up prostitutes around the Southeast, killed them and dumped their bodies near interstate highways. He is accused of at least three slayings and is suspected in a fourth.

Boyer has pleaded guilty to killing a woman in North Carolina. He also faces murder charges in slayings in Tennessee and South Carolina. Authorities said he confessed to both of those crimes.

The similarities of the cases and the apparent lack of remorse from Boyer have investigators encouraging their counterparts along highways around the Southeast to review unsolved killings and missing person files. Even his own attorney in the North Carolina case felt uneasy around him and wondered what else he might have done.

“I think there are a lot more. There’s no telling,” said detective Scott Smith of the Hickman County, Tenn., Sheriff’s office. “This guy traveled all over the country. Hopefully we’ll get more of these cases solved through DNA.”

In the case Smith investigated, Boyer picked up 25-year-old prostitute Jennifer Smith in April 2005 and brought her to an abandoned parking lot just off Interstate 40. The two argued over money and Boyer strangled the victim with the seat belt of his truck. He then dumped her body from the cab and drove off, the detective said.

Her body was found in 2005 by a highway worker, but it took two years for investigators to match DNA found on her body to a sample Boyer gave after pleading guilty in North Carolina. Boyer confessed to the killing after investigators cornered him with the evidence, but he also went on a tirade against women, said Smith, who’s not related to the victim.

The investigator was alarmed by the hatred toward women from a man who had never been married and lived with his mother near Augusta, Ga.

Full Article

The police are right, there are probably more victims. Boyer’s own attorney was uncomfortable around him.

Boyer’s attorney in the North Carolina case said he felt uneasy around his client and wondered what else he might have done.

‘It wouldn’t surprise me if there’s other stuff out there,’ said H. Lawrence Shotwell. ‘I have absolutely nothing other than a gut instinct on that.’

Read more

Boyer is a very angry person who likes messing with the investigators. He tries to be in control through aggression even while dealing with the police.

Darlington County, South Carolina, Sheriff’s Captain Andy Locklair immediately got the same impression when he stepped into an interview room to question Boyer about a killing in that state. The first thing Boyer said to him was: ‘What b**** are you here about?’

Mr Locklair confronted Boyer earlier this month about the death of 34-year-old Michelle Haggadone.

Her body was found in April 2000 beneath pine straw at a parking area on Interstate 20 near Florence, about 30 miles from the truck stop where Boyer had picked her up.

Boyer immediately denied killing Ms Haggadone, lashing out at Mr Locklair and an investigator with him.

‘He said he had slept with a lot of prostitutes and a lot of them were detectives’ daughters or prosecutors’ daughters,’ Mr Locklair said. ‘He just tried to get the upper hand from the start.’

The captain added: ‘I’m not a behaviour science expert, but he has some deep, deep issues with women.’

Ms Haggadone was strangled with a wire or cord after the two argued over the price of her services, authorities said.

Her body went unidentified for a decade, until a DNA sample from a relatives matched a sample from her body.

Investigators had no DNA evidence to go on, but Locklair and another investigator realised several aspects of the crime, like what the victim was doing and where and how she was killed, matched the earlier slayings linked to Boyer.

Without physical evidence to back him into a corner, Mr Locklair decided he would try to draw a confession by gaining Boyer’s trust. He told Boyer about his father, who also was a truck driver, then started trapping him in his lies.

Mr Locklair’s case and the one in Tennessee will take some time to resolve. Boyer will be taken to Tennessee to face a first-degree murder charge after his North Carolina sentence ends.

Read more


From another article:

Locklair met with Boyer at his North Carolina correctional facility, where he said he was taken back by Boyer’s utter lack of regard for the victims involved.

“Our first impression of him was that he was just a strange individual. He had a deep hatred for women and had some issues, some deep-rooted issues,” Locklair said.

He said that Boyer referred to the victims using slurs and tried to antagonize investigators.


The case he is serving time for was very similar to the cases he is being investigated for.

Boyer is serving a sentence of up to 12 years in a North Carolina prison after pleading guilty in 2007 to second-degree murder for killing Scarlett Wood in Wilmington four years earlier.

Boyer said he was doing drugs with the 31-year-old prostitute when they had an argument, he pushed her, and she struck her head on furniture, authorities said.

But an autopsy found Wood suffered broken ribs and facial bones, and her pelvic bones showed signs of a stabbing.

Boyer had been interviewed when Wood was still considered a missing person case because the two had been seen together at a party the night she disappeared.

Authorities said detectives later got incriminating statements from Boyer when the case became a homicide investigation.

Read more

There are also more cases that fit his style.

Boyer is a prime suspect in the death of 26-year-old Rose Marie Mallette, who was reported missing in 2001, said New Hanover County Sheriff’s Detective Ken Murphy, a cold case investigator in Wilmington.

The reported prostitute’s remains were found wrapped in a blanket in an industrial area of the city a year later, the back of her skull crushed.

Boyer also seemed to target women who were especially small. For instance, Ms Haggadone’s family said she likely weighed less than 100lbs when she was killed, while Boyer was 5’7″ and 293lbs when he entered the North Carolina prison system in 2007.

Mr Locklair said Boyer could be responsible for several more deaths because of his transient life as a trucker and his short temper when women disagree with him, a suspicion shared by a woman who searches for missing people.

Monica Caison, founder of Community United Effort Center for Missing Persons in Wilmington, said investigators need to look at three cases where women disappeared over five months in 1995 in Brunswick County, North Carolina, just west of Wilmington.

‘We have a lot of unsolved missing persons in the general area where Mr Boyer was known to frequent, live, and be. So, to me that alone warrants a second look,’ Ms Caison said.

At least two of the unsolved cases involve woman who were small and slightly built, like Boyer’s other alleged victims.

Read more

The united States highways seem to attract serial killers. The women that work these truck stops need to stay aware of this. Every few years there will be stories about the highway killers.

During the past four decades, at least 459 people may have died at the hands of highway serial killers, FBI statistics show. Investigators do not know how many people may be responsible for the killings but at least one such case — of murder, attempted murder or unidentified human remains — has been reported in 48 states, along roads as far north asAlaska and as far south as Key West. They believe the killers find their victims and dispose of the bodies along highways, sometimes near quiet roadside rest areas or at bustling truck stops.

Often, the victims are prostitutes, abducted in one state and dumped in another. And the killers? Authorities say they have 200 suspects; almost all are long-haul truck drivers. To date, the FBI says it has helped local authorities arrest at least 10 suspects believed to be involved in more than 30 of the killings.

Full article

The F.B.I has started an initiative about it that can be found on their page.

In 2004, an analyst from the Oklahoma Bureau of Investigation detected a crime pattern: the bodies of murdered women were being dumped along the Interstate 40 corridor in Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, and Mississippi.

The analyst and a police colleague from the Grapevine, Texas Police Department referred these cases to our Violent Criminal Apprehension Program, or ViCAP, where our analysts looked at other records in our database to see if there were similar patterns ofhighway killings elsewhere.

Turns out there were. So we launched an extensive effort to support our state and local partners with open investigations into highway murders.

I hope that the public is kept updated and that the working women at the truck stops are reminded of the danger.


Another Article About Boyer

Weekend Updates

Anthony Sowell’s penalty phase is still on going. I am not going to do a play by play but I am hoping for capital punishment. He has claimed child abuse now even though he said before that he had not been abused. Full Coverage Here if you want more than just the verdict and my opinions.
The  Lonnie David Franklin Jr. aka Grim Sleeper trial has begun in California. He is accused of shooting to death or strangling seven of his victims between August 1985 and September 1988 and three others between March 2002 and January 2007.  Full Coverage here.
Levi Bellfield, who was jailed for life in June for the murder of Milly Dowler in 2002, suffered cuts after he was attacked outside a bathroom in prison, according to the Daily Mirror. He is planning on suing for the attack.

A Prison Service spokesperson said: “We have paid no compensation to this man. The vast majority of prisoners’ compensation claims are dismissed at an early stage. All claims are robustly defended, and would only be settled on the basis of strong legal advice, and in order to seek the best value for the taxpayer.”      Full Story Here.
Suspected serial killer and former over-the-road trucker,  Bruce D. Mendenhall  made a brief appearance Monday in Wilson County, Tenn,. Criminal Court for the appointment of a new attorney and the scheduling of his trial on charges that he murdered Symantha Winters then stuffed her into a garbage bag in 2007.

Mendenhall’s court appointed attorney withdrew his representation in June. At Monday’s hearing, which lasted barely five minutes, the judge appointed the Wilson County Public Defender to represent Mendenhall and scheduled the trial for April 10, 2012.

Mendenhall is already serving a life sentence in the Riverbend Maximum Security Institution near Nashville for the June 2007 shooting death of 25-year-old Sarah Nicole Hulbert of Nashville. After being tried next year in the Symantha Winters case, he is expected to stand trial in Indianapolis for the alleged murder of Carma Purpura, 31, there. After the Indianapolis trial, Mendenhall is expected to be tried in Alabama for the death of Lucille “Gretna” Carter, 44 of Birmingham, Ala.     Full Story Here
Lee Boyd Malvo (Remember the Beltway Snipers?)  filed a motion to change his name due to concern for “his safety, [to] reduce the risk of assault by other inmates due to the notoriety of his crimes.” Wise County Circuit Court Judge Tammy McElyea rejected the request, saying that whatever he called himself, people would still know he was the infamous Malvo, who claims more murders every time he speaks publicly.

Malvo is now 26. When he was 17, he went on a cross-country killing spree with John Allen Muhammad, murdering random people from Washington state to Washington D.C.. Ten people in this region were slain in a three-week period in October 2002, including victims in the Falls Church and Manassas areas. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole for the Falls Church murder. Muhammad was executed for the Manassas murder. Full Story Here

Also, Mr Abad, a handwriting expert says he has solved the Jack the Ripper Case once and for all.

Suspects have ranged from a member of Royal Family to a local butcher – but it is now claimed that Jack the Ripper was the very detective who led the hunt for the killer.

Chief Inspector Frederick Abberline of Scotland Yard was the man who murdered and mutilated at least five women in Victorian East London – at least according to Spanish writer Jose Luis Abad, 84.

He makes the claim in his book Jack the Ripper: The Most Intelligent Murderer in History, published in Spain this week.

Mr Abad is a handwriting expert and has compared Abberline’s writing with that in the Ripper’s diary – which surfaced in Liverpool in 1992.

Mr Abad, says: ‘I have no doubt Abberline was the Ripper. Handwriting does not lie.’

The diary was attributed to a Liverpool cotton dealer called James Maybrick – whom others have identified as the Ripper.

But many experts say the diary is a hoax. Mr Abad believes it is real, but that the author was Abberline, not Maybrick.
Read more

I am going out on a limb here and saying that I believe Mr. Abad is mistaken. Just my opinion of course. In all honesty I almost laughed out loud.


I’d love to hear your opinions on it though. Maybe even stick your 2 cents into who you think Jack the Ripper was.

70% of victims women; sexual component often seen

According to recently released FBI data, women accounted for 70 percent of the 1,398 known victims of serial killers since 1985. By comparison, women represented only 22 percent of total homicide victims.

The FBI’s Violent Criminal Apprehension Program (ViCAP), based in Quantico, Va., released the data at the request of Scripps Howard News Service. SHNS is conducting an investigation into the nation’s more than 185,000 unsolved homicides committed since 1980.

According to the FBI’s Supplementary Homicide Report, local police reported that about 33,000 homicides of women remain unsolved.

FBI agent Mark Hilts, head of the bureau’s Behavioral Analysis Unit No. 2 that profiles serial killers, said “a large number” of serial killers act with a sexual motive.

“Sex can be a motivation, but it’s a motivation in conjunction with something else – with anger, with power, with control,” Hilts said. “Most serial killers do derive satisfaction from the act of killing, and that’s what differentiates them” from those who kill to help commit or conceal another crime.

Crime experts for decades have tried to define serial murder and to determine its causes and motivations. The Justice Department defines a serial killer simply as someone who kills two or more people in separate incidents, a definition that ignores the issue of motive.

The Justice Department for years has estimated that less than 1 percent of all homicides are committed by serial killers, but that assumption has come under question recently.

Retired FBI agent Mark Safarik, a veteran serial killer hunter, discounts the official definition of serial murder.

“Serial murder is more related to motive. We use a definition of two or more, but that’s really just for research purposes,” said Safarik, now of Forensic Behavioral Services International, a legal consultant firm based in Fredericksburg, Va. “For us, there is almost always some sort of sexual component to the homicide.”

The FBI has been compiling victim data for 25 years. They also released information showing that nearly half of the victims of known serial homicides were in their 20s and 30s, although people of every age and from every region of the country have been victims.

“We look at homicides and attempted homicides. We look at sexual assaults. We look at unidentified human remains cases where homicide is suspected,” said Special Agent Michael Harrigan, who headed ViCAP from 2007 to 2010 and agreed to release the data.

“We catalog this in a database … to try to identify serial killers or serial offenders that transcend jurisdictional boundaries.”

Among states, New York leads in a grim statistic: It has had 137 victims of serial murder since 1985. California has had 128 and Florida 112.

When shown the FBI data, criminologists and veteran homicide investigators asked why New York leads the nation. Does it lead because it has more serial killings or because it does a better job in detecting such killings?

“That surprises me. I thought the numbers would always be higher in California and some of the Southern states,” said retired veteran New York City homicide detective Augustine “Gus” Papay.

California, with its immense population, ought to lead in every major crime statistic, Papay said. And he felt Southern states would be overrepresented because of recently documented highway serial killings by Southern truckers.

Papay was a key participant in the successful hunt for Alejandro “Alex” Henriquez, convicted in 1992 of murdering a woman and two girls, including 10-year-old Jessica Guzman.

Papay said serial killers may be drawn to a major metropolitan area like New York City.

“They think it’s easier to get lost in the big city. And think of all the victims! There are all sorts of different people here they could target,” Papay said. “And maybe they think it will be harder to get caught here.”

Calculated by population, the state of Washington leads the nation with 1.6 serial homicides per 100,000 people. But that is almost entirely due to Gary Leon Ridgway, Seattle’s “Green River Killer.” He was convicted in 2003 of strangling 48 women and teenage girls, often prostitutes or hitchhikers he picked up. Washington showed 95 serial killings overall.


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