Thursday, 28 August 2014

The Interstate 70 Killer

A serial killer has been roaming free for more than 20 years but the most baffling part of his crimes is the motive.  Just exactly what is it?  This white man aged 25 - 35, short brownish/auburn hair, 5` 7" in height, 140 - 160 pounds, slender build, has definitely murdered six victims in a thirty day killing spree in 1992, then in the following year, there are as many as four murders and one attempted murder that bear all the characteristics of the same man but in a different area.  His first six victims were killed by a single .22 shot to the head, execution style, giving rise to the belief that he was a military man.  Ballistics experts narrowed the field down to two specific weapons - an Intratec Scorpion or  an Erma Werke Model  ET 22.  They also discovered on cases, a red substance used for polishing or buffing.  He was targeting stores in shopping malls, with low visitation at a specific time, manned by lone women.

    He was using the long highway known as Interstate 70 to commute along, looking for suitable places to kill.  The highway ran from Baltimore in Maryland, to Cove Fort, Utah.  The first murder occurred on April 8th 1992 at a Payless Shoesource store in Indianapolis in Indiana.  26 year old Robin Fuldauer was found in the back of the shop she worked in, shot in the back of the head.  Money had been taken from the till.  Days later, he forced two women, Pat Magers, 32, and Pat Smith, 23 into the back of a bridal store in Wichita, Kansas, forced them to lie down and then shot them both in the back of the head.  Then a man walked into the shop, surprising the killer, who initially ordered him into the back of the shop, saying he had tied up the women.  The man said he wanted no part of what was going on and eventually, he was told to leave and stay silent.  He left and called the Police.  He helped the Police with the composite picture of the killer after they made the grisly discovery of the two victims.

    Then on April 27th, he walked into Sylvia`s Ceramics, saw a shop assistant kneeling down sorting out a display when he shot her in the back of the head.  Only this time, he got it completely wrong.  The victim was Mick McGown, a man who had long hair tied in a ponytail.   Then he moved on to St Charles in Missouri, where on May 3rd, Nancy Kitzmiller, a 24 year old who was just filling in for somebody that day at a western store.  Nancy was due to start a new job working for the Government, but she was found shot in the back of the head.  Four days later, this shining example of bravery went to a store in Raytown, outside of Kansas City, looked in through the window and locked eyes with TV repairman Tim Hickman.  He moved onto the next store where 37 year old Sarah Blessing was working alone.  Tim heard a gunshot, ran out to see the man he saw, disappear around the corner.  He found the body of Sarah, shot in the back of the head.

    Then the killings stopped but a number of incidents the following year in Texas, were matched to the same assailant.  But now he was changing his MO.  He was using a different .22 gun but the same red substance was found on the shell casings.  Victims included Antiques store clerk Mary Ann Glasscock, 51, on September 25th 1993 and Dancewear shop clerk Amy Vess, 22, on November 1st 1993.  Another two killings have been attributed to this man but another victim incredibly survived.  He shot her in the neck, and she lay paralysed and played dead.  Now, he dragged her body deeper into the store, then pulled down her trousers and panties, making it look like a sex assault.  Then he pointed the gun to her forehead and pulled the trigger.  The gun just clicked.  Then he heard a car pull up outside, so he escaped quickly.  A young couple discovered her and alerted emergency services.  Amazingly, she made a full recovery in three months.  She later identified the composite drawing as the man who shot her.

    What do we make of this man?  Was he a soldier suffering PTSD?  Then why was he targeting women?  Why did he shoot them from behind?  Is it because he can never be face to face with women?  That he is chronically shy?  But why punish them?  Did some woman humiliate him severely, building up a very deep hatred?  Was he a thrill killer?  This would give him a "buzz" to be able to kill and get out very quickly.  But we come back to the ruthless and brutal way he killed.  No emotions.  Just like a robot.  Was he bullied at school?  Then why did he not target his tormentors?  And why wait for a number of years?  Why did he avoid confrontations with men?   Were men not weak enough for him?  Or was it because he quite simply wanted to kill women, execution style, just for the hell of it?  If he is ever caught, they should just take him out to a field do to him what he did to his victims.  They deserve nothing less.