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[00:00:01]

This is exactly right. On the murder squad, we discuss details of crimes that are often violent in nature. Listener discretion is advised.

[00:00:18]

I'm Billy Jensen. I'm Paul Hols. This is the murder squad. Michelle McNamara was a friend of mine and Paul's without her. We don't have the name the Golden State killer, without her, we don't have the renewed focus on the case after so many years and hell, without her who might not even have this podcast. Paul and I met at Michele's memorial and we immediately began talking about unsolved murder cases. While Michele spent the last years of her life attempting to track down the man she coined, the Golden State killer.

[00:01:00]

This was not the only mystery she wanted to solve. For March of 2006. Through March of 2014, Michele wrote hundreds of stories about unsolved cases on her blog, True Crime Diary. After that, she became laser focused on GSK.

[00:01:15]

But today we wanted to cover one of the cases she dug deep into our job to give Bobby Jack Fowler's victims their names and to find the killers on the Highway of Tears.

[00:01:27]

This is the murder squad. Hey, Billy, what's up? I'm just going over some of the tips that have been sent to us. We're still getting tips from the first four episodes, the Can I Take Your Picture episodes? And we got a tip from one listener about one of the Rodney Alcala photos. Remember, that was the dating game killer quote. While listening to run the Alcala podcast episode, I looked up the photos that were found in the Seattle storage locker when I passed a photo of this young blonde girl and instantly felt familiar.

[00:02:02]

I'm currently twenty five and I went to high school with a girl. I believe the photo I saw on the Internet is of her mother, so the listener sent photos of the friend's mom, we forward that to the authorities hoping for a possible identification. And another listener sent in a possible identification for one to Randy CRAs victims. The potential victim was a friend of theirs. They wrote, quote, My good friend from college was murdered in March of nineteen seventy eight at Bluff Park in Long Beach, California.

[00:02:31]

As I heard that he was at Ripple's Bar that night. Two years ago, I contacted the Long Beach Police Department under the Freedom of Information Act and asked for information about it. And they wrote back that they do not have to share information because the case is still open. I suspect that my friend and I'm ad libbing here a little bit for clarity, could be one of Randy CRAs victims in which he coded as front of Ripple's. The listener included the name, but until we get confirmation from authorities, we are not releasing that name.

[00:03:01]

Yeah, and this is just one of probably, I would say, 50 tips that we got from listener is trying to figure out the coded list that Randy Craft had. But this one we wanted to particularly talk about on the air just because it was it was somebody who knew one of the he knew a definite victim and thought it might have been that that victim there.

[00:03:26]

That sounds promising to me for sure. Yeah. Yeah. So if anybody has been watching the I'll Be Gone to the Dark docu series on HBO, it talks about Michelle and talks about Michelle McNamara's blog before she started getting into the Golden State killer case. And what we wanted to do is take one of those cases and actually turn out to be a couple of those cases that she focused on on the blog.

[00:03:54]

And if you haven't read it, go to your crime diary, just go through it. You can spend a whole weekend just going through the mall and we wanted to do a deeper dive on it. So in March of 2009, she posted an entry on True Crime Diary that she titled Coastal Killer. In it, she detailed five murders in three separate cases. The first, Kelley Disney, 17 year old Kelly, was last seen on March 1st. Nineteen eighty four around 1:00 a.m. on Highway 20 in Newport, Oregon.

[00:04:24]

She disappeared without a trace on May 3rd. Nineteen ninety two, two other teens disappeared. 17 year old Melissa Sanders and her family went camping at Beverley Beach State Park, just two short miles from Newport. Melissa's friend, 19 year old Sheila Swanson, joined them after a night of camping. The two teens decided to leave their tent to hitchhike. They were seen around 11:00 p.m. on a payphone at Beverley Beach Grocery on Highway one 101 one the missing person reports for.

[00:04:53]

Sheila and Melissa weren't filed for two weeks. Almost five months later, a discovery was made. On October 10th, Hunters and Ellisville came across human remains nearly 20 miles from where the two teens went missing. The bodies were roughly 50 feet from a logging road underbrush. There were two badly decomposed. You determine a cause of death the next year.

[00:05:15]

Sixteen year old Jennifer Essene and Karalis had been at a friend's house watching movies with Jennifer's boyfriend. Around twelve forty five to one a.m.. The girls left. And in an eerie moment before leaving, Jennifer told her boyfriend that if he didn't hear from her in an hour or an hour and a half to call the police, it was late and it was rainy.

[00:05:37]

It had been rainy, but the girls decided to walk home. And that was a route that would take them to Northwest fifty six street toward Highway 101. Jennifer never called her boyfriend after she left. Two and a half weeks later, loggers stumbled upon Jennifer and Kara's remains. They said they had found a body near Mullock Beach. Again, the remains were under the brush stacked on top of one another. Unlike the previous two cases, Jennifer and Carrie's remains were located quickly enough to be able to determine a cause of death, and that cause of death was traumatic by strangulation.

[00:06:18]

And in between all of those discoveries, a skull would be found inside an abandoned car at Big Creek Reservoir in Newport. The person who eventually alerted law enforcement of the discovery had already taken home the skull and at some point scrubbed it clean, which wiped away any evidence that might have been there. Unlike the previous case, Jennifer and remains were located quickly enough to still be able to determine a cause of death, traumatic situation by strangulation.

[00:06:48]

So, Paul, we have five teenagers. Somewhat similar to the Santa Rosa hitchhiking situation that we were dealing with before. Yeah, and Santa Rosa hitchhiking was all the way back in the early 70s. Know these are getting up into, what, nineteen eighty four for Kelly.

[00:07:08]

So, you know, still you have, you know, a predator on out there trolling around looking for victims in the 80s.

[00:07:17]

You know, this was something that was still going on.

[00:07:20]

But it's our 80s and 90s. Yeah.

[00:07:23]

And and another thing I want to say, sorry to cut you off, but, you know, a lot of people, if you grew up, say, in in New York, nobody was hitchhiking after eighty five. You know, that was like you didn't hitchhike after that. It was like the stranger danger had happened. It was drilled into you that hitchhiking was bad. But in some rural parts of the country, hitchhiking was still a way of life.

[00:07:44]

It was like Uber, you have it in and it's that small town. This place must be safe. You know, we saw hitchhiking kind of fade through the 1970s out in the Bay Area.

[00:07:56]

But, Piers, that up in the Oregon area, it was still going on into the 90s.

[00:08:03]

These murders remind Michel of yet another case in Oregon, one whose killer had been named. The case was almost a decade after Jennifer and Kara's murder and 50 miles southeast of the five Newport cases.

[00:08:14]

But the victimology in particular stood out to Michelle. On May twenty four thousand four, Brooke Wilberger disappeared from her apartment complex and Corvallis, Oregon. The 19 year old BYU student was on a summer break staying with her sister and brother in law. At the time of her disappearance. She was washing lampposts. The soapy water bucket and her shoes were the only signs of Brooke that had been left behind. Six months after Brooke disappeared, a University of New Mexico student had been kidnapped and raped by a man.

[00:08:45]

She was able to escape from her attacker and contact law enforcement. The attackers name 42 year old Joel Patrick Courtney. He was originally from Oregon. And thanks to the University of New Mexico, survivor law enforcement was able to connect him to Brooke's disappearance. The FBI even announced they believed Courtney to be a potential serial killer.

[00:09:06]

So, Michelle. Upon seeing this information, was trying to put together the pieces of the crimes from the 80s and 90s fit this guy's victimology.

[00:09:18]

Although it doesn't look like he ever kidnapped multiple women or multiple girls at once, do you think Courtney would have been a good suspect, even though the age is a little he would have had to start pretty early?

[00:09:30]

Well, he's starting pretty early in terms of what his chronological age is. But we've seen offenders fairly young start offending, start raping and killing, know the the age of the victims is roughly the same. He's from Oregon. And the thought of, well, you know, in Oregon, twice, that offender abducted and killed two victims at once.

[00:09:57]

Well, that's more out of opportunity. You know, how how often do you run across two victims at the same time versus one victim at the same time? The offender in those cases is willing to take on two victims. He has the self-confidence to be able to control two women.

[00:10:15]

So just the fact that Courtney in the case that he is absolutely connected to is only one victim doesn't mean that he wouldn't potentially have taken two victims if that opportunity presented itself.

[00:10:30]

Yes, and. You know, as far as Oregon, Oregon has had, you know, a fair amount of serial killers.

[00:10:40]

Yeah, Jerry Brutus, you've got the Malala Forrest killer, Dayton Lee, Roy Rogers Bundy is from the area.

[00:10:49]

Ridgeway, so is has connections to the area.

[00:10:53]

So you've got a lot of people always talk about what was going on on the West Coast in the late 70s, up through the 80s, and what's typically termed as the golden age of serial killing. It was just there was also a lot of the stranger danger had in these small towns hadn't occurred. So you still had people hitchhiking. You still had people doing this kind of stuff.

[00:11:19]

And, you know, everybody in the small town that you live in, you probably keep your front door unlocked. You know, the typical things that you see in communities where everybody knows everybody else and thinks they're safe and this is where predators can take advantage of that.

[00:11:32]

So we got this guy, this guy, Courtney Law Enforcement filed charges based on his movements. So they added two additional sexual assaults and attempted murders in Oregon when preparing for trial. Five years after Brooke's disappearance, Courtney finally caved. He took a plea deal and he confessed. He told authorities that he had bludgeoned Brooke to death after kidnapping and raping her. He then left her in the woods. Now, this manner of death bludgeoning is different than the manner of death with Jennifer and Kara when it comes to because they were strangled.

[00:12:08]

Well, you know how how death is caused can vary from case to case with the same offender. There is going to be aspects that an offender will stick to because that is what he needs to satisfy his fantasy. But then there's going to be other aspects that can vary from case to case.

[00:12:28]

This is where sometimes it can be very hard linking cases because there can be enough differences where you're going.

[00:12:35]

Well, you know, I'm not sure this is the same guy.

[00:12:38]

There could be different. Aspects going on in this guy's life, you know, in terms of the case involving strangulation, he may be carrying out more of what his typical fantasy is in in a case where now you've got the bludgeoning, there may be an anger retaliatory aspect to him because he's got a stressor in his life that's pissed him off and he's decided to go out and take care of a victim and take that anger out on that victim and therefore he goes the bludgeoning route.

[00:13:09]

Another thing is that when you find remains that are so decomposed, that are basically skeletal, if you think foul play was involved. If there was blood. How often are you going to be able to see that on the skull, typically in bludgeoning you are going to in bludgeoning that is sufficient to cause death? There is going to be evidence typically there is minimally skull fractures, if not what we call depressed fractures, where the skull has actually been hit so hard by the instrument that the skull is.

[00:13:48]

The fragments are pressed down into the brain. The base of the skull can be fractured. There could be facial bone fractures. Usually you see that that's very apparent and bludgeoning cases that are sufficient to cause homicide. However, I have seen blows inflicted in which victims died from and you don't see that within the bone structure. And so if you do have decomposed remains in that situation, it is possible that a blow caused the death. But it wasn't something that was sufficient to cause the fracture that a pathologist would know that autopsy.

[00:14:24]

Because one of the things that often I've always wondered for someone like you when you're going out to a crime scene after remains have been found 10 years later, if you think that there was foul play involved, if the if the if there's no clothing, if if the person was dumped there nude, you know, do you and there's no evidence of blunt force trauma.

[00:14:50]

There's no evidence of a bullet wound on the skeletal and there's no evidence of maybe a knife having hit bone or something. Do you start veering towards strangulation then?

[00:15:04]

You know, strangulation would be a strong consideration. You know, if you do have an absence of obvious injuries now, when you're processing the skeletal remains out at the crime scene itself, generally you're not seeing, you know, what the cause of death was unless it is that very obvious blunt force trauma or you are seeing, you know, sharp instrument wounding to the bones itself.

[00:15:33]

So at the crime scene, it's usually treated as a homicide. You grab all the evidence, you get all the bones, get those turned over to the coroner's office, and then it's the pathologist and or anthropologists that are doing the fine, detailed study of the skeletal remains to see. Is there any evidence of injuries? Is there any fractures to fractures that occurred premortem when the bone is still technically green and breaks a certain way versus something that could happen?

[00:16:01]

Let's say a tractor ran over the skeletal remains out in the field and now you have fractures caused 10 years after the body had been disposed there. So it really comes down to the autopsy in an anthropological evaluation to determine whether or not there's evidence of homicide and then victimology. The circumstances of why that person disappeared plays into whether or not this is a person who just walked away and died due to exposure or is this truly was this an endangered person? And then even though you don't have evidence for cause of death, the manner of death should still be attributed as homicide until proven otherwise.

[00:16:44]

Yes. All right. So back to Courtney.

[00:16:48]

So in 2009, when Michelle was writing this, she mentioned that law enforcement was looking into Courtney for the five murders from the 90s.

[00:16:58]

But it was until 2012 that the focus shifted a man who had been arrested in Oregon for kidnapping, assault and attempted rape. Six months after Jennifer and were killed, he started coming into view.

[00:17:12]

Bobby Jack Fowler had met a thirty five year old woman at the anchor bar in Newport, Oregon.

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The two agreed to go to a casino together. They went to his room. But once inside, Fowler began to tell her his personal belief about women. He told her they like to be raped. The woman, to no one's surprise, except for Fowler, did not agree.

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According to the victim's statement, he produced a letter from a girlfriend of sorts to try and prove his point. The letter apart said, To be honest, I'm into pain here and there. I'd love to be spanked, baby. Everything I write to you and my fantasies, I want to come true. I want you to tie me to a tree branch and more. The thirty five year old victim still told him that wasn't what women want.

[00:17:54]

He got angry and began punching her. He stripped off her clothes and tied her ankles together with a rope, telling her he was going to put her in the ocean to escape the brutal attack. The woman bit him and jumped out the second floor window. Fowler was sentenced to 16 years, a sentence he didn't get to finish. On May 15th, 2006, Fowler died in prison of lung cancer, but six years later, his DNA began to paint a picture of just what type of monster Fowler.

[00:18:24]

Really was so was it common in twenty six and I know that the jurisdictions are all different, but was it common to store dead inmates DNA at that point?

[00:18:35]

No.

[00:18:36]

You know, in terms of when we say store dead inmates DNA, when somebody is in custody and dies, then of course, the institution in California, you know, at CDC, they're the ones that maintain possession of whatever samples that were collected of that that inmate.

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And that was a big issue in California, because it turns out that all these dead inmates, even though the CDC had their DNA, the CDC refused to submit to that DNA so it could be uploaded into CODIS, even though these were convicted offenders that qualify to have their samples put into CODIS.

[00:19:20]

So in 2006, the CDC likely or the the Oregon prison system likely did have a DNA sample from Fouler in its storage, but it didn't go into a database in all likelihood.

[00:19:36]

So the first case that was traced to his DNA was that a Prince George, British Columbia, and it took place on what has become known as the Highway of Tears. 16 year old Colin McMillan was last seen hitchhiking from her home to her friend's house in August of nineteen seventy four. Her remains were found about a month later. Her body was found off a logging road near one hundred mile house and according to investigators, it looked like she was strangled.

[00:20:04]

But here's the key. These investigators were a bit ahead of their time because they were able to preserve DNA from Colleen's crime scene, specifically her blouse, by carefully collecting and storing the evidence left at the scene. Investigators from both the United States and Canada began to dig into Fallas past based on his arrest and conviction in Oregon.

[00:20:27]

He clearly hated women.

[00:20:29]

And during one of his appeals, he took particular issue with the kidnapping conviction. And this is what he wrote.

[00:20:34]

The motel room of Mr. Fowlers was certainly a place where one would expect to find the victim after she was drinking with him, talking with him, playing the poker machines with him and seen leaving with him from the anchor bar. He tried to excuse his crime due to his drinking, and he begged the judge to send him to a mental hospital to get the help he needed.

[00:20:56]

And. You know, if this is one of those things where this is a. And we talked about this in the documentary for GSK, how they dealt with sexual assault at the time.

[00:21:13]

You know, if if this might have happened, if this crime might have happened a decade earlier, this guy might have gotten a slap on the wrist. I can almost guarantee it. Yes.

[00:21:25]

Yeah, but because and this is why this is going to be going to be so important and why so people always ask, how come serial killers were able to get away with so much and how come it was the golden age of serial killers? It's very much tied into how they dealt with rape back then because they weren't taking it seriously. And we know that people were elevating, they were escalating. They were going from you know, and we saw this with D'Angelo going from being a peeping tom to breaking and entering to sexual assault and then to murder.

[00:21:58]

Right.

[00:21:58]

And even back in the 70s, even if you had a a sexual assault slash homicide that I've seen this on multiple occasions, that person, that offender who's convicted of that type of crime often would serve anywhere from five, six, seven years and then be released back into society and then would continue to reoffend. Yeah.

[00:22:27]

So also the Mounties keeping that evidence for almost 40 years. You know, it's one thing to collect evidence. It's another thing to store it and store it correctly, and we've seen that over and over again, that they weren't thinking about DNA at the time. Right.

[00:22:45]

But they they did this right, right. Back in nineteen seventy four. They weren't even thinking about really biological evidence at all. You know, the biological evidence often was just used to support that a sexual assault had occurred or that there's blood stains present that indicated violence or an association to the violent crime.

[00:23:05]

The fact that they they stored the evidence in a manner in which DNA could be obtained 40 years later, you know, that is a credit to them. Now, I've seen agencies that have done everything right from the 1970s on, and it's kind of hit or miss as to whether or not you're successful in getting DNA just due to the the amount of DNA that was present, the type of substrate it was deposited on. But we have to give kudos to RCMP that in this case, they kept evidence that ultimately was used to solve the crime.

[00:23:37]

Well, and I just wanted to add in really quick. They actually submitted DNA three different times throughout the decades trying to find this particular killer. So it was also the tenacity of them on this particular case because they sent it to Interpol and that's how they got the hit on Fowler.

[00:23:56]

All right. Kudos to the Mounties. Yeah. So the location of that kidnapping, assault and attempted rape, along with Colleen's case, brought law enforcement in Newport, Oregon, back to the double homicides we discussed earlier. We know it was an area Fowler was present in and he was there around the time of Jennifer and Kara's murder. But if you compare it to Colleen's murder, the similarities start to pile up even more teens alone on a highway, the disposal of the bodies in a wooded area.

[00:24:24]

Strangulation and a foul or killed Jennifer and Kara.

[00:24:28]

It's not a far leap to think that he may have also killed Sheila and Melissa and perhaps even Kelly Disney. And don't think that Kelly's case is from the deep archives. As recent as March of this year, there was an article in The New York Times about her case with the lead investigator saying he kind of has a theory, though, not divulging its contents. While the US law enforcement were drawing these parallels, the RCMP began searching their unsolved homicides from the Highway of Tears that has been dubbed the Project Epona.

[00:24:59]

It began in 2005 to investigate the missing and murdered females from Highway 16. The project's name was derived from the E division of the RCMP investigating in the Inuit goddess Poorna. Who cares for souls before heaven or reincarnation? The project has seven hundred and twenty six boxes of evidence. Seven hundred fifty total DNA samples. Among the cases, there have been one thousand four hundred thirteen persons of interest, but almost 90 percent of them have been cleared. RCMP has interviewed twenty five hundred people and has conducted over one hundred polygraphs.

[00:25:36]

There are over forty women on the list. 20 of them went missing or murdered during the time Fowler was an active, violent offender.

[00:25:44]

Of those, Fowler has been cleared and eight of them and is a strong suspect and two of them.

[00:25:53]

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[00:26:01]

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[00:26:53]

Subscribe and follow fake priest. Now to find out the shocking secret to listen to the show, just search for Smokescreen, Fake Priest and Apple podcast stitcher and wherever you listen. The two is most likely to have killed were named Pamela Darling and Gail Ways. Yeah, and in October nineteen seventy three, Gail was on her way from Clearwater to Kamloops to see her parents. She had working two jobs, one at a pub to save money for a trip to Mexico.

[00:27:27]

The night she disappeared, she was looking for someone in the pub to give her a ride home, but she ended up hitchhiking. Her remains were found the following spring on a logging road just like the others, when Fowler was named a suspect in the case, the family put out a statement requesting information, specifically if someone possibly found her clothes. Pamela disappeared in November of nineteen seventy three. She was last seen at a bar in downtown Kamloops. Her body was discovered much faster just the next day.

[00:27:58]

She was found face down at a park in the South Thompson River. According to investigators, she was found nude with bite marks at one point the Mounties looked at Ted Bundy because of her injuries. But while Bundy was occasionally in Canada, there's no evidence that supported this theory.

[00:28:17]

Unfortunately, neither of these cases have DNA to fall back on with Gale's case, that's because the state of her remains and there was no clothing found.

[00:28:28]

And with Pamela's, it might well be because she was in the water and it was so long ago. We're not quite sure on that. So the RCMP needs help in tying fouler to these cases. He was working in the area at the time as a roofer at the happies Rufi Company. And while there isn't DNA, the Mounties did say at a news conference, quote, The manner in which they were murdered is remarkably similar. And that's based not just on the experience of the homicide investigators, but our behavioral scientists as well.

[00:29:05]

So, Paul, let's talk about what these similarities could mean, they they haven't talked about those similarities, but I'm guessing that the two main similarities would be sexual assault and strangulation as well as hitchhiking.

[00:29:22]

Right. So you have the the gross aspects, you know, where you do have similar things being done to the victims. But the fact that the behavioral scientists are weighing in tells me that there's probably additional details.

[00:29:38]

There's evidence that the offender has left behind on how he interacted with each of these victims, that the profilers are now saying, OK, this is essentially a signature that appears to be consistent between these two cases and we just don't know what that is. It could be anything we do have, you know, the one victim where it sounds like there was sufficient bite marks where they're concerned about is this a Ted Bundy victim? This offender could be doing a variety of things to each of these women that may be unique to him.

[00:30:10]

And that's why they're linking these cases, not only because of circumstances, because but because of the behavioral aspects.

[00:30:18]

Yeah, and there are there are still also 10 potential victims that he hasn't been ruled out of. But nailing down this guy's timeline is has been top. So it's hard to say whether. Whether he was there or not, and the reason his timeline isn't completely clear is because like so many undetected serial killers, he was transient. He told authorities that he liked to rabbit around.

[00:30:44]

That was his term for it. He was originally from Texas, but he said that he had a rabbit to Arizona, British Columbia, Florida, Iowa, Louisiana, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Washington. That's nine states and one province as a lot of area with a lot of potential unknown victims. He would work as a construction worker, a roofer. He spent his free time in bars. Often he was looking for women. He thought, quote, wanted to be sexually assaulted.

[00:31:15]

Like we talked about. He told that survivor in the motel. And those are women that he would pick up in bars or he'd pick up hitchhiking.

[00:31:26]

And the Oregon kidnapping, assault and attempted rape wasn't the first time he was arrested for a violent crime in 1969 and Texas, he was arrested for murder. He killed a man and a woman, but somehow was released with only a charge of discharging of a firearm within city limits. Also in 1969, he spent time in prison in Tennessee for attempted murder and sexual assault, according to the investigators. He tied the woman up, beat the hell out of her with his own belt, covered her with brush and left her to die again.

[00:32:01]

How this guy was walking around on the streets is is another symbol of how we were dealing with violence against women, not even just sexual assault. This is attempted murder. Right.

[00:32:15]

And the the the way that we were doing this was whenever anybody asks why there were so many serial killers, it's because of this that they a lot of these guys that we've talked about over the course of episodes had run across law enforcement earlier in their criminal careers and yet weren't stopped at that point. They were allowed to get out, reoffend or were just slapped on the wrist for what today would be a very major crime.

[00:32:47]

You know, and it's interesting that Fouler, you know, he's he's kind of putting the blame on the victim. They want to be sexually assaulted. It's their fantasy to be sexually assaulted. So that's kind of an interesting twist that he's doing to excuse his own behavior. It becomes very clear in his mind that once he moves into a sexual assault on these women, it's not something they want. So it's he's not getting that reinforcement from them, that he's giving them something that they want.

[00:33:19]

I kind of lean towards it's likely an excuse in his mind to basically not to blame himself for what he's doing.

[00:33:29]

Right. I mean, either way, it's well said, but it absolutely is.

[00:33:32]

You know, that's what these guys do. You know, they that's they are looking for an excuse, you know, the multiple personality excuse the women wanted excuse. They're looking for something so it doesn't come back on them. In her 2012 post about Bobby Jack Fowler, Michelle pointed out one other case that seemed to fit his style. It's a case out of Iowa. 17 year old Bambi Lendix disappeared from Davenport, Iowa. She had gone to a quiet riot and acts concert at the Davenports Cole Ballroom on September twenty ninth nineteen eighty three.

[00:34:05]

When Bamby did arrive from the concert, her parents filed a missing person report. Two days later, her family told authorities that Bamby had never run away. They continued to search for her on October eight. The nineteen eighty three, a biker discovered partially clothed human remains on Highway 287 in Amarillo, Texas.

[00:34:23]

Law enforcement determined the victim had been strangled, but there was no sign of sexual assault. The body remained unidentified until 2009.

[00:34:32]

Bambi's brother was actively searching databases across the country for Sister Theresa. Sprague maintained a missing persons site when she saw the police sent out with Bambis photo by her brother. She thought it resembled the Jane Doe found in Amarillo, Texas. Back in nineteen eighty three, she contacted the authorities and got them in touch with Bambi's family, who provided a DNA sample. And sure enough, the remains belonged to Bambi. By the way, excellent work. Both the brother using the Internet, Theresa Sprague maintaining this missing persons database.

[00:35:07]

This work is being done and we know that so many of our listeners do this.

[00:35:11]

The the work that's being done with with matching up unidentified remains with missing persons, I would I would say is probably citizens are doing more work on that on a day to day basis than professionals are.

[00:35:27]

And we're seeing the results. We're constantly seeing the results from it.

[00:35:32]

The. Why do you think Fowler would be a good suspect for this case, for baby Lendix?

[00:35:41]

You know, I think it's in part because of his travels, you know, he is self admittedly putting himself both in Texas and Iowa and he's traveling between you know, he's criss crossing the United States. So the fact that he has admitted to being in both these jurisdictions, the site of the abduction where she went missing, as well as where her body is found, he at least has to be considered now. He most certainly doesn't have to be the only one to be considered.

[00:36:06]

But he's he's going to be on the suspect list for sure.

[00:36:11]

And the fact that it does kind of fit his M.O. in terms of how he's interacting with the victim, the strangulation, as well as the the strangulation as well as the body dump.

[00:36:24]

So, Paul, looking at Fouler.

[00:36:28]

I want to go back to the victims that we're talking about at the top of the show, Kelly Disney and Jennifer and Kara and Melissa and Sheila, what does it say about and an offender that goes after two victims at the same time? Because we've seen this and it's you know, it's it's something that is striking and even more terrifying because we always think that there's safety in numbers.

[00:36:57]

Right.

[00:36:58]

And that that gets down to, you know, first, the fact that there's two victims doesn't mean the offender is actively out there looking for two victims at once. It just so happens that he runs across the opportunity that presents itself as there's two victims there.

[00:37:14]

What it says about the offender, that he has the self-confidence either through experience or because he has a mechanism of control to be able to handle two victims, to be A and B and be successful with it, that when he's approaching them, he knows that he can get away with that particular crime. So it does say something about the offender. You know, it is a level of internal self-confidence, for whatever reason, that he has to take on to victims.

[00:37:46]

But it doesn't mean that if we see an offender that is is in even and if Jennifer and Kara and Melissa and Sheila are those two sets of victims are both Fowlers, doesn't mean that Fowlers just out there looking for two victims all the time. He most certainly and most likely most of his cases are going to only involve one victim.

[00:38:07]

You know, we're actually on on the first degree, my other podcast, we're doing BTK and something I never realized this before. And I haven't really studied BTK as intensely as I have some of these other offenders. But BTK says the same thing that two other serial killers say when he is when he is attacking, attacking victims.

[00:38:35]

And he says that we know of, he says, with the brother and sister, Kevin and Catherine, he says, I'm not going to hurt you. All I need is a car and some money to get to New York, which is so similar to we heard D'Angelo say, I just want food and money. And and then Zodiac at Lake Baraza, who says, I'm not going to hurt you and you trying to and we only know of this because there were there were survivors.

[00:39:06]

We know that's what he said.

[00:39:08]

So odds are he's saying it all the time where there aren't survivors, whichever, you know, in this very well might have been. What Fowler is doing now is just like it's really interesting that they constantly do that when they know they're going to kill them anyway. And Alexis, one of my co-host, was like, yeah, but that's how he's getting control because he's saying everything will be OK. Just tie yourself up. And then, you know, the whole thing with tie up your friend that I'm going to tie up you and all of that.

[00:39:33]

And I think that that's very much what we see here. When you when you see somebody that. Yeah. Is driving around, they get this urge and then they see two hitchhikers instead of one and then they have a plan. The plan very well might be either they feel like they're enough of an authority figure that somebody will do whatever they want or they have a gun.

[00:39:53]

Yeah.

[00:39:53]

You know, and those types of statements, we see this all the time with serial rapists. You know, I'm not going to hurt you. I just want your money. And then they ultimately sexually assault the woman.

[00:40:06]

This is just a way for the offender to minimize the threat to himself, to be able to gain control, like you said. And it's it's common. It's part of the M.O. It's not necessarily part of the offender's fantasy.

[00:40:21]

Yeah. So now we're going to get to the weekly assignment. We've talked about the cases that are linked to Fowler, and we again want to list the states that he was present in Arizona, British Columbia, Florida, Iowa, Louisiana, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Washington.

[00:40:38]

And he very well may have victims in each one of these places, not to mention the surrounding states that you'd have to drive through to get to each one of these, which is Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Oklahoma, etc..

[00:40:50]

Yeah, and that's so important. You know, he's not just necessarily offending and states that he's residing and or working in, but he's also offending in states that he's driving through this very much as like Sam Little, you know where Sam Little's going all over the United States. And there's probably cases that have been closed on Sam Little, where he had no connection to that state outside of he just happened to pass through it.

[00:41:13]

Now, to go one step further, we want to read you the list of women who went missing or found murdered during Fowlers Act, a violent time on the Highway of Tears. It's unlikely he was involved in all of them, but they each deserve justice.

[00:41:28]

Twenty seven year old Gloria Moody was murdered near Williams Lake in October. Nineteen sixty nine eighteen year old misselling pair was murdered near Hudson's Hope. In July 1970. 15 year old Helen Clare Frost went missing for Prince George in October. Nineteen seventy eight year old Gene Virginia Spiri went missing from Hazelton in October. Nineteen seventy one nineteen year old Gail West was murdered near Clearwater in October. Nineteen seventy three nineteen year old Pamela Darlington was murdered at Kamloops in November.

[00:42:00]

Nineteen seventy three 15 year old Monica Ignace was murdered near Tarus in December nineteen seventy four. Thirty one year old Mary Jane Hill was murdered at Prince Rupert in March. Nineteen seventy eight 12 year old Monica Jack was murdered near Merritt and May nineteen seventy eight. Thirty three year old Maureen Mozi was murdered near Salmon Arm in May nineteen eighty one. Thirty six year old Jean May Kovács was murdered at Prince George in October. Nineteen eighty one thirteen year old Roswitha Fuchs Beckler was murdered at Prince George in November.

[00:42:33]

Nineteen eighty one 15 year old Anina Marie Joseph was murdered at Prince George in August. Nineteen eighty two. Sixteen year old Shelley and Bassekou went missing from Hinton in May nineteen eighty three. Twenty four year old Alberta Gail Williams was murdered near Prince Rupert in August. Nineteen eighty nine 15 year old Cecilia and Nicole went missing from Smithers in October. Nineteen eighty nine. Fifteen year old Del Thyne and Nicole went missing from Smithers in June. Nineteen ninety thirty eight year old Teresa Umphrey was murdered near Prince George in February.

[00:43:07]

Nineteen ninety three. Eighteen year old Marnie Blanchard was murdered near Prince George in March. Nineteen ninety three. Sixteen year old Ramona Lisa Wilson was murdered near Smithers in June nineteen ninety four. Fifteen year old Roxann Thero was murdered near Burns Lake in November nineteen ninety four. Fifteen year old Alisha Lee Germein was murdered at Prince George in November nineteen ninety four.

[00:43:32]

Wow, that's a lot of names. Yeah. So remember the rules. We know that some of these are older cases but still do not name names. Send them to us. We will send them to the proper authorities and we will continue to get loud if they don't work on it. That's what we do. We call them up. Constantly and say, hey, remember that tip we sent you, what's going on with that and be nice to each other?

[00:44:00]

You know, I know everybody's locked up. Everybody is. You see a lot of arguments going on online. Don't talk to each other. Be nice to each other. So now it's time for our weekly distraction.

[00:44:12]

I have one right now and I am incensed. Because this is what happened. So a day after. I talked about my love for Taco Bell and vintage Taco Bell commercials. Taco Bell announced that they were slashing. The case Orito from their menu, they're also slashing the spicy potato, soft taco, the cheesy fiesta potatoes, the cheesy potato loaded grillers, they are slicing potatoes, just basically saying we don't want to deal with potatoes anymore.

[00:44:52]

And I am I am outraged. Yeah, so.

[00:44:58]

So, so a prime source of your nourishment has been eliminated from your diet. Now it certainly has.

[00:45:07]

I mean, that was where that you know, if I called myself a meat and potatoes guy, that was the steak case areto with a soft potato, spice, potato, soft taco. And now they just take it away. They just don't want to have potatoes anymore. And not to mention any of the are vegan or vegetarian friends that are now losing this option.

[00:45:28]

This was a slap in the face to anybody that really enjoys fast food.

[00:45:35]

I hope they'll change, but might have to go get my potatoes elsewhere. So that's been what's been consuming me. A lot of people tag me with it because it did happen. Exactly. You know, I think it was one day or two days after our episode ran. But we'll get through this. There are there are recipes online for some of them. Not that I would ever cook. I just don't do that. I heat things up. I don't cook.

[00:45:58]

But this is something that that has happened. And Polly, you know me as a fast food connoisseur. You've gotten me you've gotten me Taco Bell gift cards in the past.

[00:46:09]

That is always my go to. Although I've got something that's got to be more creative than that because there's just not it's not much fun going too fast.

[00:46:16]

Yeah, it is. It is not. Now it's but I at least like it because it's a little bit of human interaction, you know.

[00:46:24]

Yeah. So now if you want tacos and fries I recommend Del Taco. But Taco.

[00:46:29]

Yes I know, I know Del Taco. Well I thought I was going to Jack-In-The-Box too. Yeah.

[00:46:36]

I've got a gift for you. A gift idea for you. Now I think I'm going to send you a bag of russet potatoes in a deep fryer and then you can just never do anything said.

[00:46:45]

Here's the thing. I would just throw them into the deep fryer and and wait, what, an hour or something and then take them out and then just eat them with like a like in my hand, like once we can get together, I'll make you homemade French fries.

[00:46:59]

That would be wonderful. All right. There you go.

[00:47:02]

So, Paul, what do you have for your distraction this week? Well, actually, I've got something fairly cool is down south of Colorado Springs when I'd be driving on the the prime little highway that heads out off to the side. It was this large statue of a beetle. You know, it's sort of like, you know, Stephen Bennett's visits, these dinosaur places, and they have these huge know statues of dinosaurs outside.

[00:47:30]

Well, this was a statue of the super large beetle and finally got and George Harrison.

[00:47:35]

No, actually, like the dung beetle type of thing. Wow. Bug, bug. So turns out that that was advertisement for this museum.

[00:47:46]

And this museum is the world's largest private collection of insects that's on display just south of where I live. And so I got. Yeah, and I got her.

[00:47:59]

It's not a huge place. And, you know, most of these insects were collected by the I think the great grandfather of the current family that owns this back in the early nineteen hundreds.

[00:48:11]

But it is an impressive display of insects and they have monster spiders. You know, they show this Montvale like this tarantula that is so large it could eat a bird or a mouse.

[00:48:25]

It has huge walking sticks. I think one was eighteen inches long.

[00:48:31]

But now the coolest thing that they had was the deaths head moth, a specimen that they collected from England. And you know where that death's head moth is from, where it's that moth that was in the Silence of the Lambs movie.

[00:48:49]

So that that was that's the first time I have ever seen a, you know, an actual specimen of that moth that it is real. And I took a photo of it, so I'll share that. Oh, wow. That's very, very cool.

[00:49:02]

Yeah, I yeah. Because because my daughter majored in plant pathology and entomology, I constantly get her bug stuff. She just loves bug thing. So when like from the all the you know, like when I went on like a murder rate of spending spree and even like recently, I bought a bunch of stuff, I usually veer towards any of the bug thing. So we might have to take a trip up there.

[00:49:25]

Yeah, no, it's it's one of those things I want to come specifically to Colorado Springs to visit. That mean I would come to see you, of course. But I appreciate that.

[00:49:35]

Yeah, we can. But it's well, certainly, you know, it's a box to check if you happen to be here. I hear you.

[00:49:42]

OK, so next week we have a special release day. We're coming out a day earlier so you can avoid your family on Sunday, July twenty six. It's a special episode because the murder squad is going to go back to the eighteen nineties in New York for a crime that is still unsolved.

[00:50:05]

We're going to try and solve it. And it's inspired by the TNT show The Alienist. So remember, we're going to come out a whole day earlier on Sunday, July twenty six, just for this one special episode. Yeah, and it's really cool to go all the way back to the 80s, 90s and discuss the case.

[00:50:26]

Yes, Paul. Paul, you don't have any more tricks. You have to you have to do any of that science. Don't you know that we talked about. That's right. Science back then. But there are some crude science. You just have to gumshoe this type of case. So. Yeah, exactly.

[00:50:39]

So pick up some merch, please subscribe to us, follow us on Twitter and Instagram. And until then, keep digging. And don't be an irony. Jensen and holds the murder squad is produced by Exactly Right Media and Bench Clearing Productions senior producer Polly Kotowski, engineer Steven Rae Morris, music Tom Bribable executive producers. Karen Kilgariff. Georgia Stark. Danielle Cramer.