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 past three decades.
In 2004, a somber group of seventeen law enforcement agencies gathered in Oklahoma City. A string of vicious murders along I-40, with most linked to the city, had raised the specter of death riding in the cab of a long-distance trucker.
A computer database maintained by the FBI has grown to include information on more than 500 female crime victims, the majority of whom were killed and whose bodies were discarded at truck stops, motels and other roadside locations along popular trucking routes crisscrossing the United States.
The database also has information on scores of truckers who have been charged with killings or rapes committed near highways or who are suspects in such crimes, officials said. Authorities said they do not have statistics on whether driving trucks ranks high on the list of occupations of known serial killers.
Ten suspects in 30 homicides have been detained, according to the FBI. One trucker was arrested in Tennessee and charged with four murders. The FBI office in El Paso said it can not comment on the map or specific cases because the cases are not being investigated by the FBI. The office said the FBI’s role is to provide the map for other agencies.
Michael Harrigan, who oversees the Serial Killings Initiative, said the program helps local police “connect the dots” to slayings outside their jurisdictions. He said most of the victims led high-risk lifestyles that left them particularly vulnerable.
Though many of the dots on the map now appear connected to one another by similarities — such as the killers’ MO – modes of operation — the majority are not connected to any known suspect.
They are potential serial slayings waiting to be solved, the FBI says.
-article by Scott Glover from Los Angeles Times, rewritten and adapted by admin-