UPDATED FOR 2016 FBI Crime Analyst Christie Palazzolo is quick to point out that long-haul trucking is an honorable profession and that the overwhelming majority of drivers are not murderers—but it does happen, and the pattern is unmistakable. More than a decade ago, analysts for the FBI’s Violent Criminal Apprehension Program (ViCAP)—the only national database of serial crimes—began to see a marked increase in the number of bodies recovered along the side of the road. A majority of the victims were truck-stop prostitutes, and it turned out that many of the suspects were long-haul truckers. “We had an inordinate number of victims and offenders from this rather specific population pool,” Palazzolo explained. To make matters worse, these cases are extremely difficult to investigate.
A long-haul driver can pick up a prostitute at a truck stop in Georgia, rape and murder her, and dump her body on the side of the road in Florida later that day. The victim has no connection to the area where she was found, and there may be no forensic evidence to collect because the crime was committed hundreds of miles away. The local police detectives investigating the case might have little experience dealing with a crime of this nature and may be faced with few, if any, leads. To raise awareness among law enforcement agencies—and the public—about highway serial killings, and to focus ViCAP resources on helping to solve these cases, in 2004 the FBI began the Highway Serial Killings (HSK) Initiative, with support from the trucking industry. “We want to help local law enforcement agencies tie their cases to similar cases nationwide,” said Palazzolo, who has been managing the initiative for the past four years.
“That’s where ViCAP comes in, because the database can make those connections.” Without ViCAP—part of the FBI’s National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime—local law enforcement agencies investigating one of these cases may have no way of knowing a murder in their jurisdiction is similar to killings committed elsewhere. Since the initiative began, ViCAP analysts have compiled a list of more than 750 murder victims found along or near U.S. highways, as well as nearly 450 potential suspects. The analysts also began to develop detailed timelines on many of the suspects. The information in the timelines, obtained from company logs, gas station receipts, and other records, helps investigators pinpoint where a suspect was when murders were committed. “It’s not unusual for a driver to pass through five or even seven states in one day,” Palazzolo said. “The amount of ground they cover and the lack of any connection to where they’re passing through makes it difficult to tie cases back to them.”
So the timelines become crucial to investigations. The goal for ViCAP analysts is to obtain as many records from as many sources as possible to determine a driver’s whereabouts at fixed points in time. “Those details are what ultimately will help tie the suspect back to the murders,” Palazzolo said. “According to the Department of Transportation,” she said, “the number of truck drivers on the road in the next 20 years is going to grow exponentially. So if we’ve already identified a population from which we are getting a significant number of offenders, and if we are going to be seeing more and more trucks on the road, the potential for additional highway serial killings is definitely there.
FBI CONNECTS THE DOTS IN 29 UNSOLVED MURDERS THAT INDICATES I-4 SERIAL KILLER IN FLORIDA IS A LONG HAUL TRUCKER. FBI Highway Serial Killings Map New Initiative on an Emerging Trend updated May 2016: The FBI suspects that serial killers working as long-haul truckers are responsible for the slayings of hundreds of prostitutes, hitchhikers and stranded motorists whose bodies have been dumped near highways over the last three decades. FBI claims a serial killer is working I-4 corridor in Florida from Daytona Beach to Orlando to Tampa Fl with over 29 unsolved murders of females with bodies left near the interstate. Dayton Beach police are working a series of unsolved murders of 4 women linked to prostitution and acknowledge that they have a serial killer, but the Sheriff Department in Orange County and the Sheriff Department in Polk County and the Sheriff Department in Hillsborough County have no active serial killer cases that they are working, so Who’s Zoomin’ Who? Don’t you think the FBI should clue in local law enforcement? See FBI link to map https://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/violent-criminal-apprehension-program-part-2The FBI has joined a local investigation into an Ohio truck driver facing multiple murder charges to see if there are any unsolved killings he may have had a part in, authorities said. Robert Rembert Jr. pleaded not guilty and was ordered held on $5 million bond. Truck driver is a serial killer, Cleveland OH. “Robert G. Rembert Jr., DOB 3/15/1970, age 46, is a serial killer”. So far, we know he’s purposefully executed five people, some shot in the head,” Prosecutor Timothy McGinty said. “An investigation of his activities as an over-the-road truck driver is currently underway.” Indicted by a grand jury Tuesday October 14th, 2015 is Robert G. Rembert Jr. age 45. Robert (Bobby) Rembert was arrested after taking a shower at a truck stop near Seville, Ohio in Medina County on Sept. 21, 2015. NBC News http://www.nbcnews.com/news/crime-courts/serial-killer-robert-g-rembert-jr-ohio-truck-driver-accused-n444321
HOUSTON Posted on Mar 29, 2012; A Texas trucker who kept a torture dungeon in the cab of his long-haul rig has avoided the death penalty by accepting life prison sentences for murdering a hitchhiking couple two decades ago. Robert Ben Rhoades, DOB 11/22/1945, age 71, who already is serving a life sentence for killing a 14-year-old girl in Illinois, pleaded guilty to two counts of capital murder when he appeared before a West Texas judge this week. He has no chance of parole. Described by authorities as a sadistic killer, Rhoades was charged with the 1990 abductions and slayings of newlyweds Douglas Scott Zyskowski, 28, and Patricia Walsh, 24. Authorities said the couple left Seattle in November 1989, and were hitchhiking to Georgia to preach the Christian gospel when they accepted a ride from Rhoades near El Paso. Long Haul Trucker and Serial Killer Robert B. Rhoades picked up young females then raped and tortured them and left their bodies in Texas, Utah and Illinois..”A state trooper near Casa Grande, Ariz., stopped on I-10 to check on a tractor-trailer with blinking lights in April 1990. He discovered Rhoades inside the cab with a hysterical naked woman who had been chained and shackled to a wall. She later told investigators that she’d been tortured and whipped, that Rhoades told her he was known as “Whips and Chains” and had been involved in such activity for years”.
MISSING: Carmen Purpura, 31, was last seen on July 11, 2007, at a truck stop in Indianapolis. The cab of truck driver Bruce Mendenhall, DOB 4/13/1951, age 65, and suspected serial killer was “awash with blood” belonging to 10 different people, said a prosecutor who charged him with murdering a missing woman. Carmen Purpura’s body has not been found, but the prosecutor said her blood soaked the seats in Bruce Mendenhall’s cab, and that so much of her blood was there she could not possibly be alive. Truck driver Bruce Mendenhall, 64, is a convicted serial killer. He has been found guilty of the June 26, 2007 murder of Sara Hulbert in Tennessee. He has been charged with the murders of three other women at truck stops in Alabama, Indiana and Tennessee, see copy of his CDL truckers license above.
Detectives inspect the interior of Bruce Mendenhall’s truck. A detective asked to search it, as it matched a description of a truck seen at a truckstop where a victim’s body was found. Bruce Mendenhall drove the truck seen above into the parking lot of Truck Stops of America in Nashville, Tenn.(Courtesy Metro Nashville Police Department).
I have done extensive research into multiple unsolved murders, mostly young women involved with drugs and prostitution, of victims whose bodies have been found along the interstate highways of the USA. FBI Report Highway violence; In the past four decades, over 500 unsolved deaths and 41 attempted homicides are believed to be linked to serial killers who are using the nation’s highways as truckers to find and dispose of their victims. 33 bodies n Florida, 38 bodies in Texas and 37 bodies in California are the top 3 in the body count nation wide. The FBI’s breakdown by state, click link to see interactive FBI https://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/violent-criminal-apprehension-program-part-2
Bill Warner Private Investigator Sarasota SEX, CRIME CHEATERS & TERRORISM at www.wbipi.com