The mystery of the "REDHEAD MURDERS" - Are they all related to one serial killer?

the-redhead-murders.jpg


As per the name, the Redhead Murders is the name given to the six to eleven unsolved murders of redheaded women along major highways in the United States in the 1980s. These victims were often prostitutes or hitchhikers, and many were never identified due to an inability to find a family to verify their identities.
Due to the locations of the victims’ bodies, many speculated that the murderer was a truck driver.
The first death that was later attributed to this killer was that of an unidentified White woman whose body was found naked alongside Route 250 near Littleton in Wetzel County, West Virginia, on Feb. 13, 1983. Like many of the so-called Redhead Murders, her hair was not truly red, but more of an auburn color.


The above are just two blogs that discusses the redhead murders. I've been meaning to delve deeper into them for years, and haven't done so yet. Probably because I myself am a redhead! I tagged a lot of cases in our previous forum and am now working on tagging all the redheads in this one. There's a LOT of them.

Because they say only 2-3% of the world's population has red hair, it makes sense that the high ratio of redhead murders is suspicious. Or, is it just a coincidence? As I dig deeper, I'll share what I find. I hope some of you will join me!
 
Jerry Leon Johns, a truck driver who was a suspect in a string of murders during the mid-1980s, is now believed to be responsible for the death of Tina Marie McKinney Farmer, an Indiana woman whose remains were found off Interstate 75 near Jellico on New Years Day 1985, The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said on Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019, that DNA analysis led to a break in the case. Johns died in prison in 2015. (WATE)




Here's something recent. Was Johns really looking for redheads?
 

Here is a really interesting article about a high school in TN that done a project to dive into the murders and try to find the connections although they do not reveal the connections or how they came about it is interesting that a school would be working on a project such as this.
 

Here is a really interesting article about a high school in TN that done a project to dive into the murders and try to find the connections although they do not reveal the connections or how they came about it is interesting that a school would be working on a project such as this.
Like Tina Farmer, who was missing in Indianapolis. There was a Jane Doe in Campbell County, just outside of Knoxville. Both women had a chipped tooth.

"Somehow, we found ourselves on Reddit. There was this thread about the murder," said Alexis Shelton.

Not a coincidence - the DNA proved the students right. Based on a map, the students believe the killer is a Knoxville truck driver who would dump the bodies on his route but never in his home county.

"He's pretty much a white truck driver," said William Bowers. "I would say 5'11" to 6'2", 20s to 40s, kind of stocky build, probably strong enough to overpower these women."

The class thinks the first killing happened in Cheatham County - still unidentified and the serial killer is still not caught. But, how can you call this class project anything less than astonishing?

"I think the one thing they did that no one else had done, they provided the evidence that at six of these murders are linked to the same offender which had never been done before," said Campbell.

And if you still have doubt, a profiler with the Federal Bureau of Investigation looked over the final report, his conclusion, "I can't disagree with a single finding."
 
There were redheads/strawberry blondes found dead in Western states as well. Far too many victims nationwide to be coincidences.
That's what I think, too! Only 3% of the world's population has red hair, yet so many redheaded women are missing/murdered!
 

Story by Chris Eberhart • 3h
Agroup of Tennessee high school students cracked an infamous ‘80s cold case — the "Redhead Murders" — after law enforcement task forces hit decades’ of dead ends.

Up to 14 bodies of young, White women with red or reddish hair were dumped along highways in a relatively small radius in Tennessee, Kentucky and other neighboring states between 1983 and 1985.

The peculiar details were more than a coincidence, and fears of a hunting killer sparked the creation of a multi-state law enforcement task force in 1985, but the investigation didn't bear any fruit.

The case seemed hopeless, and the killer (or killers) would become a faceless boogeyman until 2018, when 20 students from Elizabethton High School connected at least six of the victims to a man they called the "Bible Belt Strangler" for a class project.

Five of those women have since been identified as Lisa Nichols, Michelle Inman, Tina McKenney-Farmer, Elizabeth Lamotte and Tracy Walker. One remains unidentified.

The students believed they were all killed by the "Bible Belt Strangler," compiled a profile of him and identified one of the victims as McKenney-Farmer in 2018.

Her identification was a key piece of information that revived an investigation that seemingly flatlined and led investigators to convicted felon Jerry Johns, who died three years earlier in a Kentucky prison during his sentence for strangling a prostitute.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) said detectives came across "a blog post" about McKenney-Farmer, who matched the description of a missing Indiana woman found in Campbell County, Tennessee.

She was positively identified through fingerprinting.

Sociology and history teacher Alex Campbell, who gave the students the assignment, told the New York Post his students "never cease to impress me."

"My students have never, ever disappointed me. I’ve given them some very hard things to do," Campbell told the newspaper. "But when they know they’re helping people, they work very hard."

What impressed him the most, he told the Post, was their empathy for the victims, who they called their "six sisters."

That's how students continued to refer to women in their new 10-episode podcast called Murder 101, which debuted in early January and shared how they gathered their evidence and put the pieces of the puzzle together.

Law enforcement and prosecutors solidified Johns as the culprit, even though he died in a Kentucky prison in 2015, where he was serving time for strangling a prostitute.

Prosecutors convened a grand jury and presented the evidence. If Johns were still alive, he would have been indicted on first-degree murder for McKenney-Farmer's death, the TBI said in a December 2019 statement.

"While I am extremely disappointed that this case has not ended in the prosecution of Jerry Johns, I am pleased that this investigation has answered questions for Ms. Farmer’s family that heretofore had gone unanswered for over 34 years," District Attorney General Jared Effler said in a 2019 statement.

TBI Director David Rausch said he wanted this case to "provide hope for other families in our state who are still waiting for answers."

"Our team will never give up on unsolved cases like this one as long as there are viable leads to follow," Rausch said.
 
What a great worthwhile cause for students! I am so pleased that they were able to crack this case.

I guess we’ll never know if he was purposely attacking redheads.
 

Story by Chris Eberhart • 3h
Agroup of Tennessee high school students cracked an infamous ‘80s cold case — the "Redhead Murders" — after law enforcement task forces hit decades’ of dead ends.

Up to 14 bodies of young, White women with red or reddish hair were dumped along highways in a relatively small radius in Tennessee, Kentucky and other neighboring states between 1983 and 1985.

The peculiar details were more than a coincidence, and fears of a hunting killer sparked the creation of a multi-state law enforcement task force in 1985, but the investigation didn't bear any fruit.

The case seemed hopeless, and the killer (or killers) would become a faceless boogeyman until 2018, when 20 students from Elizabethton High School connected at least six of the victims to a man they called the "Bible Belt Strangler" for a class project.

Five of those women have since been identified as Lisa Nichols, Michelle Inman, Tina McKenney-Farmer, Elizabeth Lamotte and Tracy Walker. One remains unidentified.

The students believed they were all killed by the "Bible Belt Strangler," compiled a profile of him and identified one of the victims as McKenney-Farmer in 2018.

Her identification was a key piece of information that revived an investigation that seemingly flatlined and led investigators to convicted felon Jerry Johns, who died three years earlier in a Kentucky prison during his sentence for strangling a prostitute.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) said detectives came across "a blog post" about McKenney-Farmer, who matched the description of a missing Indiana woman found in Campbell County, Tennessee.

She was positively identified through fingerprinting.

Sociology and history teacher Alex Campbell, who gave the students the assignment, told the New York Post his students "never cease to impress me."

"My students have never, ever disappointed me. I’ve given them some very hard things to do," Campbell told the newspaper. "But when they know they’re helping people, they work very hard."

What impressed him the most, he told the Post, was their empathy for the victims, who they called their "six sisters."

That's how students continued to refer to women in their new 10-episode podcast called Murder 101, which debuted in early January and shared how they gathered their evidence and put the pieces of the puzzle together.

Law enforcement and prosecutors solidified Johns as the culprit, even though he died in a Kentucky prison in 2015, where he was serving time for strangling a prostitute.

Prosecutors convened a grand jury and presented the evidence. If Johns were still alive, he would have been indicted on first-degree murder for McKenney-Farmer's death, the TBI said in a December 2019 statement.

"While I am extremely disappointed that this case has not ended in the prosecution of Jerry Johns, I am pleased that this investigation has answered questions for Ms. Farmer’s family that heretofore had gone unanswered for over 34 years," District Attorney General Jared Effler said in a 2019 statement.

TBI Director David Rausch said he wanted this case to "provide hope for other families in our state who are still waiting for answers."

"Our team will never give up on unsolved cases like this one as long as there are viable leads to follow," Rausch said.
HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS. WOW.

I note that DA and TBI Director credit their investigation rather than the students. Typical. I sure the heck hope this bunch of students are now working for real as investigators and so on. We need the help of such brilliance and concern. Their six sisters. Impressive.
 
What a great worthwhile cause for students! I am so pleased that they were able to crack this case.

I guess we’ll never know if he was purposely attacking redheads.
They make me think of Ariel. Passion and efforts by youth for justice.
 

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