12 Serial Killers, Rapists, And Torturers Who Disguised Themselves As Truck Drivers
You’re on the highway when you catch a glimpse of a Mack truck approaching your car from behind. Its metallic grill shines in the sun, blinding you for an instant as the truck switches lanes to pull up next to you.
In the front of the truck is a driver. He appears normal. Trailing behind is the bed of the truck, full of secrets. A majority of the time the thing in the back of the truck is just an item on its way to a warehouse. But sometimes it is something more sinister. Sometimes the person behind the wheel is a monster.
Truck drivers have the perfect job for serial killing. The FBI has concluded the profession is convenient for aspiring serial killers to pick up unsuspecting victims and discard them along the road in another state miles away.
While a life on the road makes many killer truckers hard to find, there have been several convicted serial killers got caught committing murders on their dream jobs. Here is a list of some of the creepiest truck driver crimes to have occurred on the open road.
Metheny was an obese, 6-foot-tall serial killer with an appetite for human flesh. In 1995, he killed two prostitutes, dismembered their bodies, and stored their body parts in his freezer. Following his eventual arrest, he claimed he used human flesh mixed in with hamburger meat and sold it to customers as his hamburger stand.
Previously, Metheny worked as a truck driver in 1994, which is where the desire to kill and consume people first came to his mind. It was during this time that his wife left him, taking along their son, and setting off the rage-filled monster within him.
Wayne Adam Ford
The Vampire Trucker
Timothy Jay Vageades was a Minnesota truck driver who kidnapped young women and kept them in a torture room inside his truck, which he called the Twilight Express. He wore fangs, and forced his victims to wear fake fangs as well, before drilling their teeth down into actual fangs.
He was arrested during a routine truck stop inspection when inspectors learned that Vageades’s passenger had a protection order against him. As it turns out, he kidnapped the 19-year-old girl – a relative – and kept her in his truck for six months.
Between 1977 and 1978, over two dozen individuals were carelessly murdered along the highways of Pennsylvania and Ohio. Long haul trucker Edward Surratt would break into homes belonging to couples, and immediately kill the male with a shotgun. He would then kidnap the female, rape her, and then kill her, too.
He was arrested in 1978 for raping a mother and daughter in front of their bound husband and father; however, police long suspected him of a total of 18 murders. In 2007, he finally confessed to six unsolved slayings that had plagued the Ohio area for 30 years.
The Redhead Killer
Between 1978 and 1992, women were murdered in areas like Tennessee, Arkansas, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky. The killer remains unknown, but it is known he had a particular type of victim: redheaded women.
At least six women with reddish hair were found dead along the side of highways in the United States, and many are suspected of being hitchhikers or prostitutes at the time of their deaths.
Due to the varied locations where the victims were found, authorities suspect the killer to be a truck driver. However, they have no evidence to confirm their theories at this time.
Accused serial killer and truck driver Bruce Mendenhall was arrested in June 2007 for the murder of Sara Hulbert in Tennessee. He was charged with killing three other women at truck stops in Alabama, Indiana, and Tennessee.
Mendenhall was first suspected by police when his rig and trailer were seen by a witness near the location where Hulbert’s body was discovered. When authorities caught up to him, they found blood inside the truck. The trucker soon confessed to killing at least five other women, all at truck stop locations.
The murderer also previously ran for mayor in Illinois. Thankfully, he lost.
Robert Ben Rhoades
Robert Ben Rhoades prowled the roads of Texas and Illinois, picking up hitchhikers and murdering them in his long haul truck between 1975 and 1990. The killer turned the cab of his truck into a torture chamber where he inflicted pain on his unsuspecting victims.
Rhoades most infamous case was the kidnapping and murder of 14-year-old Regina Kay Walters. The driver picked her up with her boyfriend in Texas and held her in captivity for several days after killing her boyfriend. Before ending her life, Rhoades took an eerie photo of the frightened Regina in a barn where her body was later found.
Rhoades was arrested in 1990 and convicted for three murders; however, police suspect he may have been involved in up to 50.
James Robert Cruz
James Robert Cruz seemed like a typical family man, working hard as a truck driver to support his wife and daughter. Little did his family know, Cruz had a dark secret: he was a murderer. In 1997, Cruz picked up 17-year-old runaway Dawn Birnbaum, strangled her, and discarded her body near a truck stop in Pennsylvania.
Police were able to connect Cruz to the murder by looking at his truck route. He was in the area at the time Birnham went missing, and her DNA was discovered in his car. Cruz was sentenced to life in prison for the teen’s murder. He denied killing her.
Keith Hunter Jesperson
Keith Jesperson was a Canadian truck driver who raped and killed prostitutes across the highways of the United States and Canada between 1990 and 1995. When his killings didn’t receive much attention from the media, the trucker began taunting them by leaving notes with smiling faces in truck stops near the crime scenes. The acts garnered the murderer the nickname “The Happy Face Killer.”
Jesperson’s killing ended in 1995 after he murdered his girlfriend. He was convicted for the deaths of eight women, but he confessed to killing over 160.
Adam Leroy Lane
Adam Leroy Lane was a long-haul trucker who wanted to hunt humans. Inside his truck sat a DVD – Hunting Humans – which inspired and instructed him how to live out his dark fantasies of overpowering and killing a person. His job as a trucker helped him find victims close to the highway, allowing him to slip in and out of states conveniently.
In July 2007, he came upon Darlene Ewalt in the backyard of her Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, home. He stabbed her to death while her family was inside the house. Next, Lane attacked a woman in York County, Pennsylvania, but she survived. After that, he traveled to New Jersey and killed Monica Massaro.
Initially, police found it difficult to connect the crimes due to the different locations. However, on July 30, 2007, Lane made the mistake of attacking a 15-year-old-girl in her bedroom as her parents slept in the next room. The girl’s father came upon the killer trying to kill his daughter and was able to subdue him. He was arrested by police in Chelmsford, MA, and with the help of DNA and a confession, they were able to connect Lane to the three other crimes.
Oscar Ray Bolin
Oscar Ray Bolin murdered at least three Tampa Bay women while working as a long haul trucker in the 1980s. He was arrested in 1987 after he kidnapped a 20-year-old truck stop cashier, brutally assaulted her for hours in his truck, and then let her go. She went to the police and Bolin was subsequently arrested.
The killer was sentenced to death by lethal injection in January 2016.
Robert Rembert, Jr.
In 2015, Cleveland truck driver Robert Rembert was arrested after the shooting deaths of two men in his home. Following a deeper investigation, police were able to link Rembert’s DNA to the deaths of two women in the late ’90s.