The Freeway Killer was a nickname given by the media—and later police forces—to what they believed was a single serial killer claiming victims in California, USA, during the 1970s and often dumping the victims along the freeways. However, there turned out to be three Freeway Killers who operated independently of each other, but just happened to select similar victims from similar locations. Initially, police did not believe these were the product of any serial killer, insisting the murders were isolated incidents.
The three killers were:
- Patrick Kearney, captured 1977
- William Bonin and several accomplices, captured 1980
- Randy Steven Kraft, captured 1983
All three Freeway Killers selected young males as victims, often picking them up from roadside bars or hitch-hiking along the freeways. Their methods did vary; Bonin sexually assaulted the victims then killed them to prevent witnesses, Kearney shot his victims quickly then indulged in dismemberment and necrophilia, whilst Kraft was a sadist who tortured many of his victims after drugging them.
The trio of killers claimed at least 110 victims between them. None of them knew each other during their crime sprees, although Bonin and Kraft became acquainted while on Death Row.
Other articles related to "freeway killer, freeways":
... County and four in nearby Orange County, however, the Freeway Killer was suspected of committing at least 21 murders ... William Pugh, the individual who had informed police Bonin may be the Freeway Killer, knew Bonin better than he had initially divulged ... Shelton had been linked to the manhunt for the Freeway Killer upon his body being found in August 1979, as had both the John Doe and Darin Lee Kendrick ...
... The cause of death varied from being strangled, shot in the head, drug overdose, or just from being tortured so badly ... The victims were from the U.S ...
... confessed to the murders of 28 boys and young men many of whom he had discarded alongside freeways in southern California ... primarily known as the Trash Bag Murderer, Kearney is also known as the Freeway Killer ... a series of linked killings—also known as the Freeway Killer murders—which had begun in December 1972 ...
Famous quotes containing the words killer and/or freeway:
“I see the killer in him
and he turns on an oven,
an oven, an oven, an oven
and on a pie plate he sticks
in my Yellow Star....”
—Anne Sexton (19281974)
“The landscape of the northern Sprawl woke confused memories of childhood for Case, dead grass tufting the cracks in a canted slab of freeway concrete. The train began to decelerate ten kilometers from the airport. Case watched the sun rise on the landscape of childhood, on broken slag and the rusting shells of refineries.”
—William Gibson (b. 1948)