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Old 01-03-2008, 02:45 AM   #31
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Hey CRicci, that wouldnt surprise me either. I do think the guy in the truck was the killer, I mean, the only other explaination for him would be, he just found a car sitting at the rest stop with the keys in it and no one around, that he stole the car, got gas, came back, filled up his own truck and then set the car he just stole on fire? Doesnt make any sense.

I am not sure if the killer was living locally in the Glendive area at the time, but it has always been my opinion that he did or had lived in Eastern Montana at one time and knew the area well because of where he found the remote dump site that only a local or someone that knew the area well would know about.

Also, when the killer left to dump Dexter's body plus get gas he presumably used back roads, went to one of the local small towns to get gas, then he came back from the opposite direction in which he left the rest stop presumably. Presumably he left the rest stop with Dexter going east towards Glendive, but yet he returned to the rest stop coming from the west from the direction of Miles City.

The truck had a cow catcher on the front, so it has been my opinion that the killer was quite possibly a ranch hand or a farm worker or something, the truck had Arizona plates and I would think that if he was living locally that the Arizona plates on the truck would stand out. But as I said, even if he was living in Arizona, I do believe this killer probably did live in Eastern Montana at some point in his life for an extended period of time. It is also my opinion that this wasnt this killer's first murder, nor was it his last.

Folks in Eastern Montana could be protecting him, out of loyalty for the good ole boy network that exists in many of these rural areas or out of fear for their own lives. I just have a hard time believing that no one knows who this guy is or at least no one even suspects someone of doing it.

I dont fault the witness, yes he was old, but you also must remember, he didnt know a murder had been committed, he didnt know any crime had been committed for that matter, I'm sure he thought it was strange how the guy pulled up in a different car and walked up to the truck and stuff, but I am still guessing murder was the farthest thing from the rest stop workers mind.

I think the rest stop worker may have been killed had he kept poking into things, but he asked the guy if he was having any trouble, the guy said no, and the worker dropped the subject so the killer knew the rest stop worker suspected nothing and let him go, that is my opinion.

He waited for the rest stop worker to leave and get out of site, than with no one around he doused the car with gasoline and set it on fire to destroy trace evidence, hairs, fibers, possibly fingerprints, etc, and as the segment said, he also probably set the fire so that the cops would be distracted so he would have time to get out of the area unscathed.

It seems to me that this killer also was or had been a local and probably still had family and or friends in the area because it seems he was returning to the area on more than one occassion after the murder, it seems that he was following the media coverage in the newspaper and stuff to some degree.

But he knew the area so well and this is Eastern Montana afterall, I just think you would have had to live there for an extended period of time at some point to know all the little quirks of the area and stuff, it seems to me this killer, is a killer that kills people who he views as having "done something bad" to him. I mean he beat around on Dexter and shot him twice in the head, a rather personal killing, if he wanted to only kill him, he would have just shot him in the head and ended it, so clearly he needed to have power and act out his anger and rage by beating Dexter.

While the theory of Dexter having some unknown, unseen, unsuspected enemy is possible, I think it is unlikely. Dexter was a 68 year old retiree from Wisconsin, a mild mannered man, he was in a completely different part of the country, how would this unknown enemy even know he was there?

I do have one problem with the sheriff's theory, I still am not entirely convinced the killer was waiting for Dexter at the rest stop. I think it is entirely possible that this could be the result of road rage to a point. Dexter might have cut this guy off or done something to make this guy snap, so he followed him to the rest-stop, things went downhill fast, then the guy not wanting his truck to be seen and he didnt want to risk his truck or himself being recognized so he drove Dexter's car to throw people off, killed Dexter and dumped his body, went to town somewhere in Dexter's car where he purchased the gas, then he returned to the scene and used the gas to set Dexter's car on fire.
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Old 01-07-2008, 12:24 AM   #32
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The more you think about this story--the stranger it is. Just no reason at all to burn the car at the rest stop after murdering the guy at another location or at the dumpsite.
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Old 01-07-2008, 01:04 AM   #33
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Well, I disagree, there were plenty of reasons for the killer to burn the car. To destroy trace evidence, hairs, fibers, finger prints, blood evidence, etc, also to distract the local law enforcement and other people so that he would have time to be long gone from the area before anyone would even know who to look for. I am not sure why you dont think it wouldnt make sense to burn the car?
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Old 01-07-2008, 10:00 AM   #34
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but if it was road rage, how did everything come together so easily. It's kind of hard to think that it was a spur of the moment killing. The killer defiately went to a lot of trouble not to leave behind evidence. I would think that rage killers would want to get out of there as soon as possible and retreat into a comfort zone. I think this may not have been his first kill...either that or he was just a very smart rage killer.
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Old 01-07-2008, 12:25 PM   #35
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Well that is basically a given in my opinion that this guy had killed before, he didnt suddenly just decide that day to kill for the first time, I would say at the very least this guy had violently assaulted people before if not killed before Dexter's murder and if the killer isnt dead or in prison somewhere he has been killing since then too.
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Old 01-07-2008, 01:34 PM   #36
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Default Burning the car at the REST STOP

I didn't mean that it didn't make sense to burn the car--I meant burning it at the REST STOP. I doubt that Dexter was actually killed at the rest stop. Why did the killer not just set fire to the car at the dump site or where ever Dexter was killed?

I think it is because the rest stop is usually un inhabited, but also I think this was deliberately done because the killer wanted to not disclose or delay where Dexter was killed for some reason. Dexter's belongings being brought back to the dump OR being overlooked at the dumpsite is VERY PUZZLING.

This is a case of mis-direction for some weird reason. I wonder if this could have been a contract killing?
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Old 01-07-2008, 01:50 PM   #37
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Why would it be a contract killing? While the theory is unique, I am not really sure why someone would want to set up a 68 year old retired fisherman to be murdered. Dexter's son would be the only one with motive and from what I can tell Dexter's son had more money than Dexter did.

Well, burning the car at the rest stop, as you said, the killer didnt burn the car where Dexter was dumped because, not only did the killer not want to disclose the location but how would the killer have got back to the rest stop then? He would have had to walk several miles in cold and snow, and his truck maybe was really out of gas, that is why he drove the car back to the rest stop? Basically, I guess I dont think it is unusual that it was burned at the rest stop.

I dont think Dexter was killed at the rest stop either, I believe Dexter was killed in the car or at the dump site itself, but the car being burned, it would make more sense that Dexter was killed in the car, hence why the car was burned.

But a contract killing? It is my opinion that it wasnt, it appears to me to be a random killing, the other theories just dont fit this case. It just appears Dexter was in the wrong place at the wrong time and encountered a violent individual who has no problem killing people for sport.
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Old 01-07-2008, 02:58 PM   #38
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killing for sport...now THAT's frightening. Another couple of questions I also have though.
1. I do think this guy was something of a seasonal Montana worker with either some ties to the area (friends, relatives, etc), but why would he be there still in the winter. I am a layman when it comes to ranching/farming, but wouldn't you think that the guy would be looking for work in a warmer area (i.e. AZ) I don't know how much money ranchands make, but I doubt you can make enough in one portion of the year to sustain the whole year.

2. Also, I don't think that he was killed at the rest stop either, but if he wasn't, then where was Dexter being kept until he was dumped??? We don't know (although it seems unlikely) that he was dumped the same day. I don't think it was the same day b/c of the fire and all the attention it attracted.

-Normally I would say that someone had to see something, but Montana is like Saskatchewan, you can go for miles and miles before seeing another human being.

3. I just wonder that if the killer is being protected, why? Why would anyone be comfortable sheilding a maniacal danger like this guy????
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Old 01-07-2008, 04:04 PM   #39
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Well, it has always been my theory and many other people's theory that the killer either lived or had lived at one time in Eastern Montana, obviously it is just an assumption that he worked as a rancher or a roughneck in the oil fields or something, because of the cow catcher on the front of his truck, there are ranches in Arizona too, so that is certainly a possibility.

The killer was obviously familiar with the area so he at the very least had relatives or friends in Eastern Montana and had been around the area and knew where things were because if you were not from that area you wouldnt just stumble on that remote dumpsite by coincidence, so there is some connection the killer has to eastern Montana, but what?
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Old 01-08-2008, 05:15 AM   #40
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I can't imagine a motive anyone would have for killing Dexter Stefonek. I think this was another one of those instances where the killer stalked locations and not specific victims. The killer probably chose the rest stop because it was in a remote area, and just waitied for a victim. Dexter was particularly vulnerable because he was old and was hard of hearing. Unfortunately, I think Dexter was just in the wrong place in the wrong time.

As to why the car was burned, and why the body and car were found in 2 different locations, I have always been puzzled by that, but I just now formed a hypothesis: since the killer chose the rest stop, I think it's safe to assume he planned on killing someone that was not from the area (as people that live in the area probably don't hang around rest stops, they wouldn't have much reason to.) Since the victim was out of the area to begin with, and if the killer torches the car, and moves the body (as he did), it gets alot harder for the police to piece everything together (although they would end up piecing most of it together)

I can't remember, but didn't the segment say that Dexter was sleeping in his car in lieu of renting hotel/motel rooms. If so, that may have made him more vulnerable yet as crimes against the homeless/people perceived as homeless are quite high I believe.
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Old 01-08-2008, 01:27 PM   #41
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After watching this segment and the Blind River Rest Stop murders and hearing about the Florida rest area killings years ago, why would anyone sleep in their car overnight at one of these places anymore? I've road tripped overnight both with someone and alone and I never stop at rest areas after dark, even to just use the restroom or get a soda. I always stop at a well lit gas station, preferably the new larger type. Rest areas at night just freak me out. They're dark, isolated and usually pretty desolate since they have a reputation for being dangerous.

Did UM air anything on the Florida rest area killings? I'd heard there was a rash of them years ago, and I don't know if they caught the person. I'd like to get more info. on them but Google didn't turn up anything.
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Old 01-09-2008, 12:15 AM   #42
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I should point out that the McAllisters and Dexter Stefonek were both alone at the rest stops. Also, the surviving victim of the New England serial killer also was alone at a rest stop type area, so I would definitely recommend exercising caution when visiting a rest stop - check to see how many cars and people are around.
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Old 01-09-2008, 08:54 AM   #43
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most definately. There is one I have stopped at on I-70 just inside the PA Line from MD. Very spooky being basically in the woods. Never would I do that again.
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Old 01-09-2008, 01:13 PM   #44
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I think a solid reason for the killer to burn the vehicle at the rest stop is if Stefonek was killed or beaten inside the car. Their would have been blood everywhere. A car abandoned at a rest stop wouldn't have garnered too much attention, but a bloody car would have immediately set off the alarm bells. You could say that a burning car would do the same thing, but the burning car has the advantage of delaying the investigation while police/fire try to put out the first, and identify the car and it's owner.

The killer was smart enough not to trust the fire to burn all evidence of Stefonek, though, so he took all of his belongings. This guy wants people to know that Stefonek was murdered, but he was able to give himself just enough time to be ahead of the investigation by leaving the body and Dexter's belongings in the dump. Very creepy. I agree that it's probably a local and some kind of random thrill-killing.

I also agree that rest stops at night = creepy...even without knowing about all of these murders! I've made a few overnight road trips by myself, and I am always checked in to a reputable hotel by sundown. I'm a very independent person, and hotels are expensive, but I'd rather not take my chances.
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Old 01-10-2008, 01:11 AM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GaryJ06
I just wonder that if the killer is being protected, why? Why would anyone be comfortable sheilding a maniacal danger like this guy????
I'm not sure where you're from, but I think you'd be surprised at the amount of loyalty that you see in small communities, especially those in eastern Montana. I find it hard to explain myself, and I'm FROM Montana!

People talk about the "good-old-boy" networks in rural Montana, and although I think they don't control the communities like they did back in the time that Dexter was murdered, I definitely think that if the "good-old-boy" community wanted to keep the murder under wraps and ordered no one to speak of it, the people who knew about Dexter's fate and the identity of the person(s) involved would respect that, ESPECIALLY if it were one of their own.

Case in point, although unrelated: I grew up in one of these rural "good-old-boy" networks. I was adopted when I was a baby, yet I didn't find out until I was 25. According to my family, who were quite involved in the community, everyone knew. Yet no one told me for 25 years.

I know it seems rare, but communities can definitely keep secrets.
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