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Old 02-20-2006, 06:22 PM   #1
buckeyeblogger
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Default Trucker Serial Killer (Ohio region)

Just saw this story for the 2nd time last Friday, I believe I saw it when it originally aired. I must say that I'm not shocked that is has never been solved. The reporter that broke the story in the Columbus Dispatch (this would have been early-mid 1990's) didn't even sound sure that a suspect would ever materialize.

Are police still actively pursuing this case? I realize that's a strange question but it's one of those cases that sounds like it may have gone cold. Any of you sleuths know anything that has happened in the case since UM first aired it? Have there ever been any updates on other episodes?

The UM segment really kinda creeped me out, especially all of the early dawn shots of the 18 wheeler on the highway with the creepy music.. those producers deserved an Emmy for their gift of pure suspense.
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Old 02-20-2006, 08:06 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckeyeblogger
The UM segment really kinda creeped me out, especially all of the early dawn shots of the 18 wheeler on the highway with the creepy music.. those producers deserved an Emmy for their gift of pure suspense.

I feel the same way.
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Old 02-20-2006, 08:52 PM   #3
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This may be one of the creepiest segments they've ever done period and one reason for this is they don't air this segment a great deal. You tend to forget about it because the victims are "general" rather than "specific" (such as Rhonda Hinson - that is a very specific case) but then it airs every once in awhile and it just creeps you out all over again.
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Old 02-20-2006, 09:51 PM   #4
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Nice avatar Dante...

I agree one of the creepier UM segments with the dark eerie truck stop scenes. I did locate Michael Berens (he's no longer in Ohio) and just sent him an email asking him if he could share any additional info with us or if there have been any arrests in the case. If he responds I will post the info here.
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Old 02-21-2006, 12:10 AM   #5
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This coming from someone who only has a stupid wreath of flowers as her avatar. You are such an electra fraud CD its not even funny
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Old 02-21-2006, 04:16 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by crystaldawn
Nice avatar Dante...

I agree one of the creepier UM segments with the dark eerie truck stop scenes. I did locate Michael Berens (he's no longer in Ohio) and just sent him an email asking him if he could share any additional info with us or if there have been any arrests in the case. If he responds I will post the info here.
Thanks Crystaldawn
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Old 02-21-2006, 05:24 PM   #7
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Okay I did hear back from Michael Berens today. This is what he wrote:

Heather,
This is a story that continues to follow me, as do the calls from people who claim they know the suspect. No charges have been filed. There've been many temporary suspects, but credit card receipts and other evidence eventually exonerated them. There is so much to this case. And there are many valiant law enforcement officers who helped me assemble the first stories so many years ago.
Here's a brief recap: All the victims were truck stop prostitutes; none worked city streets. All were strangled or beaten - or both; none were shot or stabbed. All were dumped on the edge of the roadway, or on the roadway (the theory is the killer opened the passenger door and pushed them out of the cab; grass pattern analysis indicated that bodies fell a short distance). The killer kept articles of clothing. In some cases, the killer dumped an article of clothing in the middle of the road every few miles from the body. Many of the bodies were found more than 100 miles from the abduction point. Police theorized the killer had a refrigerated truck. Some investigators suspected the killer had a law enforcement background. For instance, three victims worked the same truck stop (Union 76 in Austintown, Ohio), yet their bodies were found in three different counties - three different jurisdictions. This is why the killer went undetected do long, perhaps.
You might be surprised how many long-haul truckers have sexual criminal records and then frequented the same truck stops. I was. Police centered on a trucker as a suspect because the victims only worked truck stops, usually via CB radio. The victims had a history of never leaving the stop with a trucker.
Over the years there have been many similar crimes. I've had many "interesting" contacts. A group of college students in Iowa once claimed they had tied the killings to the Zodiac (not true, of course). And a woman once discovered a secret photo book filled with pictures of naked women, some possibly bound, that had been collected by her husband (she believed he was the truck stop killer; he wasn't). It's impossible for me to know what linkage, if any, there may be without access to forensic tests. But I've often wondered if the killer died, went to jail, went underground or continued. Good luck with your discussion.
And, of course, if anyone dredges up a tip they should call the FBI.

- mike
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Old 02-22-2006, 11:11 AM   #8
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Wow. Thanks, Crystaldawn.

I also agree with the earlier comments about this being one of the creepier UM segments. To me, it's right up there with the segment (or it might have been a Special Alert) about the search for another person who was killing prostitutes... but this one would dump the bodies in trash bins and landfills. I think it may have been in Cinncinnati.
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Old 02-27-2006, 02:18 PM   #9
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I lived in Columbus, Ohio at the time these killings were going on. I moved there from Indianapolis, Indiana in 1980.

There was a serial killer in Westfield, Indiana (my hometown) in the early 1990's. Although known for targetting gays in the downtown clubs of Indianapolis (Herb was a bisexual) and was known to have killed many of those he picked up in Indy, according to the Indianapolis Police Department, the killer, Herb Baumeister, also made frequent business trips to Ohio, including Columbus during that time. He owned his own business and the dates of his trips coincided with disappearances of many people. He travelled 70 East and was known to pick up hitchhikers at rest stops and truck stops.

The police, for many years, have been investigating Herb as the potential serial killer along the I-70 corridor between Indy and Columbus. They noted that when Herb Baumeister committed suicide, most of the abductions and killings stopped.

Worth looking into? I believe it is highly likely that Herb Baumeister was the serial killer. It does not make sense that he would only kill in Indiana and not when he would be travelling on business in Ohio. Especially the hitchikers and "undesirables" he would target and pick up.
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Old 02-27-2006, 05:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by palmyrafan
I lived in Columbus, Ohio at the time these killings were going on. I moved there from Indianapolis, Indiana in 1980.

There was a serial killer in Westfield, Indiana (my hometown) in the early 1990's. Although known for targetting gays in the downtown clubs of Indianapolis (Herb was a bisexual) and was known to have killed many of those he picked up in Indy, according to the Indianapolis Police Department, the killer, Herb Baumeister, also made frequent business trips to Ohio, including Columbus during that time. He owned his own business and the dates of his trips coincided with disappearances of many people. He travelled 70 East and was known to pick up hitchhikers at rest stops and truck stops.

The police, for many years, have been investigating Herb as the potential serial killer along the I-70 corridor between Indy and Columbus. They noted that when Herb Baumeister committed suicide, most of the abductions and killings stopped.

Worth looking into? I believe it is highly likely that Herb Baumeister was the serial killer. It does not make sense that he would only kill in Indiana and not when he would be travelling on business in Ohio. Especially the hitchikers and "undesirables" he would target and pick up.
I saw a special on this guy once.

I believe it was called The Secret Life Of A Serial Killer.
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Old 04-06-2006, 03:53 AM   #11
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are the murders still going on? anyone got a link to where i might read more on this if they are still happening?

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Old 04-07-2006, 08:33 PM   #12
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are the murders still going on? anyone got a link to where i might read more on this if they are still happening?
From what I understand, the murders just stopped abruptly. Although, as I'm sure has been mentioned before, the trucker could have moved on to another part of the country and kept up his behavior or he could have just stopped.

I guess that can happen..
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Old 04-10-2006, 10:57 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckeyeblogger
From what I understand, the murders just stopped abruptly. Although, as I'm sure has been mentioned before, the trucker could have moved on to another part of the country and kept up his behavior or he could have just stopped.

I guess that can happen..

From my experience (and I'm hoping Kane or Crystaldawn can back me up here), serial killers don't usually stop. If the murders have quit occuring where they had been happening before, chances are that the serial killer has either moved, been incarcerated for a different crime, or they have died.
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Old 04-10-2006, 06:37 PM   #14
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From my experience (and I'm hoping Kane or Crystaldawn can back me up here), serial killers don't usually stop. If the murders have quit occuring where they had been happening before, chances are that the serial killer has either moved, been incarcerated for a different crime, or they have died.
I've learned that important lesson, too. There are many types of criminals that cannot be reformed; therefore, no matter what method of rehabilitation you give them, they will not change. Serial killers are no exception. They may stop killing for a period of time, but eventually they resume their evil deeds.

In fact, I have a serial killer living in my house! Actually, it's my orange and white cat. She has killed some birds, but most of her victims are mice. So far, to the best of my knowledge, she has gone a lengthy period of time without any carnage. But sooner or later, she will kill again.

Now to return to the subject, yes there's always an explanation as to why a serial killer isn't heard from in a long time. They may have moved away (perhaps committing new crimes that have yet to be linked to their old ones); they may be deceased; they may be incapacitated (in a coma, suffering from a crippling disease, etc.); they may be in prison for an unrelated offense; they may be deceased.

I remember what Robert Stack said in the UM segment about the so-called Valley Killer (the serial killer who struck in New Hampshire during the 1980s). He noted that the best hope is that the killer is incarcerated for another crime; the worst nightmare is that he's still on the loose.
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Old 04-10-2006, 10:08 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Kane
I've learned that important lesson, too. There are many types of criminals that cannot be reformed; therefore, no matter what method of rehabilitation you give them, they will not change. Serial killers are no exception. They may stop killing for a period of time, but eventually they resume their evil deeds.
Kane,

Do you think this applies to serial rapists as well? For example, I've always wondered what became of the Boston shopping mall rapist. He was never heard from again after the UM broadcast. I could understand if he saw or heard about the broadcast, or perhaps felt that the possibility of getting caught was becoming ever the more likely, so he "took a break" from offending. But, one would think he would relapse and repeat this behavior eventually. Unless, as you said, he was incarcerated, dead, moved, or otherwise incapacitated. Or, do you think he was he capable of controlling his behavior?

Thanks.
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