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  1. #1
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    KY - Redhead Murders, 70's-90's

    Please let me know if anyone knows anything about these cases, or if they've been solved, or if there is already a thread. I have never heard of this case before, I can only find one piece of info out there on it - does anyone know anything on the status of the "redhead murders"?:

    The Redhead Murders - Cold Case Investigations

    Lexington Herald-Leader (KY)
    February 6, 1986
    Edition: FINAL
    Section: CITY/STATE
    Page: B2

    TRUCK DRIVER NOT SUSPECTED IN EIGHT 'REDHEAD MURDERS'

    Author: Bill Estep Herald-Leader staff writer

    Article Text:
    A Pennsylvania truck driver questioned in connection with the "redhead murders" has been cleared as a suspect in the string of eight unsolved killings.
    "At this point, our agency does not consider Thomas Lee Elkins as a suspect in our . . . unsolved murder cases," said Steve Watson, the deputy director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
    Elkins, 32, a long-distance trucker, was arrested Monday on U.S. 51 near Newbern, Tenn., 80 miles north of Memphis, and was charged with kidnapping and raping a young redheaded woman.
    The 20-year-old Boston, Mass., woman, who told police she was kidnapped in Indiana or Illinois, was later able to escape while Elkins was sleeping and called police from a farmhouse, said Jim Porter, a Dyer County sheriff's investigator.
    The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has served as an information clearinghouse for investigators in Tennessee, Arkansas, Kentucky and Mississippi looking into the unsolved deaths of eight women since late 1983.
    The murders were dubbed the "redhead murders" because three of the eight victims had red or reddish-brown hair. All were young, slightly built white women, and most were strangled and dumped near major interstates.
    Kentucky joined the list of states April 1, 1985, when the nude body of a young, unidentified woman with red hair who had been strangled was found in a dump in the Gray community near Corbin, a few miles from Interstate 75.
    Only one of the eight women has been identified. Similarities in the eight murders led investigators to consider them as possibly having been linked.
    TBI officials were notified about Elkins' arrest "as a matter of routine," Watson said.
    "Because of our investigation of the . . . unsolved cases, we routinely talk to people involved in these types of crimes," he said.
    However, a TBI agent concluded after questioning Elkins yesterday that the truck driver should not be considered a suspect in any of the eight unsolved murders, Watson said.
    Elkins remains jailed without bond in Dyer County on the kidnapping and rape charges, Porter said.

    Copyright (c) 1986 Lexington Herald-Leader
    Record Number: 8601050807
    Last edited by Coldpizza; 04-02-2016 at 10:41 AM. Reason: repair url

  2. #2
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    Hi,

    I searched the google news archive and found some old articles, the most recent is from 1995 or so. I couldn't find information that the redhead murders are solved.
    Thanks for posting this thread.


    This is the doenetwork page of the victim that was discovered on April 1, 1985: http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/192ufky.html

    Another possible victim, but not confirmed:
    http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/264uftn.html
    She has a thread here on websleuths: TN-COLD CASE: Teen found 23 years ago still unidentified - Websleuths Crime Sleuthing Community


    I think these could also be victims:
    http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/26ufga.html
    http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/369ufms.html
    http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/647ufar.html

    It's very sad that most of the victims obviously haven't been identified yet.
    Last edited by Coldpizza; 04-02-2016 at 10:41 AM.
    "There Is a Light That Never Goes Out." (The Smiths)

  3. #3
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    All my posts are my opinion only! Unless otherwise stated!

    ~Justice for all~

    “If someone raises a dog to be aggressive it will be, no matter what breed it is.”

    "Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains unawakened."

    Link-less

  4. #4
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    Here is a profile in the Unidentified section for one of the possible victims mentioned in the articles: MS MS - Female discovered near rest area - January 1985 - Websleuths Crime Sleuthing Community.
    Last edited by Coldpizza; 04-02-2016 at 10:42 AM.

  5. #5
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    This series of killings interests me because it is one of the few cases of a serial killer near anywhere I frequent. Not only is the killer "unknown," several of the victims are also still unidentified. That makes the murders an even deeper mystery.

    Don't get me wrong... I like a good mystery. But most good mysteries have some kind of conclusion to tie things up at the end. This one doesn't.



    Here is some of the info I could find on the net. If you know of anything to add, please do so.

    Some things from Websleuths and/or DoeNetwork about unidentified victims suspected at one time or another of being a victim of the "redhead Murderer":

    -- [ame="http://www.websleuths.com/forums/showthread.php?t=40973"]KY KY - Gray - Female 192UFKY, 24-35, in refridgerator, April 1985 - Websleuths Crime Sleuthing Community[/ame]
    http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/192ufky.html

    -- [ame="http://www.websleuths.com/forums/showthread.php?t=40974"]TN TN - Campbell County - White Female, 9-15, April 1985 - *merged* - Websleuths Crime Sleuthing Community[/ame]
    http://doenetwork.org/cases/482uftn.html

    -- http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sho...t=29162&page=3
    http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/264uftn.html


    It may just be a huge coincidence that a lot of women with reddish hair were killed in the mountains of Kentucky and Tennessee in the early '80s. To the best of my knowledge, none of the deaths have been proven to be to connected to any of the others.
    But many women of a similar appearance were murdered and discarded near Interstates that go through the Knoxville area. While the killings seemed to have peaked in the early/mid-80s, I think it's terrible to think that someone's murder will go unsolved. It's even worse that some have been murdered and sent to their grave without a name.


    Here are some other links related to this probable serial killer:

    Several old news articles put on one page:
    [ame="http://officialcoldcaseinvestigations.com/showthread.php?t=10667"]The Redhead Murders - Cold Case Investigations[/ame]

    This is related to an unidentified possible victim in West Virginia:
    [ame="http://www.officialcoldcaseinvestigations.com/showthread.php?t=13678"]Jane Doe located feb.1983,WV. connected to Redhead murders? - Cold Case Investigations[/ame]

    An article from Texas detailing what is probably several killers:
    http://www.chron.com/CDA/archives/ar...ders-case.html

    There is a book (Smooth Operator: The True Story of Seductive Serial Killer Glen Rogers, Linedecker) which suggests Glen Rogers as being responsible for at least some of these murders. He was from Cincinnati, also along I-75. I haven't read the whole thing, but I think it also alludes to him being responsible for the "O.J." murders. Because of that "iffy" suggestion, I don't know how much credence to give the theory.
    Last edited by bflocket; 08-01-2011 at 10:52 PM. Reason: didn't realize I wasn't finished describing one of the links

  6. #6
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    My internet never runs as quick as it should because I have the bad habit of having a billion tabs open. There were a few things I meant to add to my last post but neglected to because there were so many tabs open. Sorry about that, but I guess I can just add another post.

    This site has a short story/article originally from from CourtTV.com. The story is in its entirety. If you use Wayback Machine (web.archive.org) for the link attached to the story, there are a couple of pics of the tattoos on "Campbell County Jane Doe #1". Campbell County (along I-75 by the TN/KY border) was the dumping ground for at least one of the Redhead victims. Jane #1 was identified as Ada Elena Torres Smith.
    There were several Jane Does found in Campbell County in a short time. One that I mentioned above (http://doenetwork.org/cases/482uftn.html AKA "Button Jane Doe") doesn't necessarily have red hair, since only partial remains were found. A few of her bones were also gathered up after her skull was found, but not all of them.
    http://www.hometownforums.com/ubb/Fo...ML/000119.html

    This has a story about the various "doe's" of eastern Tennessee, including the redheads.
    http://s10.invisionfree.com/usedtobe...howtopic=21443

    Here's one more related link. I think it's the last one I meant to put up. It is an old FL newspaper article about the many murders of redheaded women, stretching across the eastern US. They can't possibly(?) be all connected. But it looks like several killers used the Interstates to get around AND had a preference for red hair. Either that, or redheads just have really bad luck.
    http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/...d-refrigerator
    Last edited by bflocket; 08-02-2011 at 02:10 AM. Reason: corrected link

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Stardust View Post
    Hi,

    I searched the google news archive and found some old articles, the most recent is from 1995 or so. I couldn't find information that the redhead murders are solved.
    Thanks for posting this thread.


    This is the doenetwork page of the victim that was discovered on April 1, 1985: http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/192ufky.html

    Another possible victim, but not confirmed:
    http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/264uftn.html
    She has a thread here on websleuths: TN-COLD CASE: Teen found 23 years ago still unidentified - Websleuths Crime Sleuthing Community


    I think these could also be victims:
    http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/26ufga.html
    http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/369ufms.html
    http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/647ufar.html

    It's very sad that most of the victims obviously haven't been identified yet.
    All of these victims are either near I-40 or I-75 (both go near/through Knoxville) or other interstates near an intersection with either 40/75.

    No more red-head does have been discovered in quite a while. That makes me think that whoever was killing them was from Knoxville and was either a trucker or used the Interstates often. Since they haven't been "active" lately, odds are that they are either dead, in prison or have found some other way to "calm their demons" (if that's possible).

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Stardust View Post
    Hi,

    I searched the google news archive and found some old articles, the most recent is from 1995 or so. I couldn't find information that the redhead murders are solved.
    Thanks for posting this thread.


    This is the doenetwork page of the victim that was discovered on April 1, 1985: http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/192ufky.html

    Another possible victim, but not confirmed:
    http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/264uftn.html
    She has a thread here on websleuths: TN-COLD CASE: Teen found 23 years ago still unidentified - Websleuths Crime Sleuthing Community


    I think these could also be victims:
    http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/26ufga.html
    http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/369ufms.html
    http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/647ufar.html

    It's very sad that most of the victims obviously haven't been identified yet.
    It's interesting that you suggested this because as I was reading the post, I thought about the unidentified redheaded woman found in Rising Fawn, GA. I wonder if LE recovered any of the killer's DNA from the victims?

  9. #9
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    Murders stopped

    Quote Originally Posted by bflocket View Post
    All of these victims are either near I-40 or I-75 (both go near/through Knoxville) or other interstates near an intersection with either 40/75.

    No more red-head does have been discovered in quite a while. That makes me think that whoever was killing them was from Knoxville and was either a trucker or used the Interstates often. Since they haven't been "active" lately, odds are that they are either dead, in prison or have found some other way to "calm their demons" (if that's possible).
    If the killer was a trucker he could have retired or changed routes, or changed trucking companies. Could be why one showed up in Ga. There might be more further south. Just a thought.
    A parole review date is set for July 21, 2012 for Fred Howard Coffey.

    Coffey was convicted of the murder of 10 yr old Amanda Marie Ray, NC. He admitted to molesting 300 children.

    Please write a letter on behalf of Amanda.

    Suspect in the murders of:
    5 yr old Neely Smith, NC
    14 yr old Kathy Lynn Beatty, MD
    8 yr old Travis Shane King, VA

    Possibly connected to the disappearances of:
    14 Yr old Tracy Anne King, PA
    11 yr old Sheila and 13 yr old Katherine Lyons, MD
    15 yr old Carolyn Majane, NJ



    Write to:
    Chairman Charles L. Mann Sr.
    NC Post Release Supervision & Parole Commission
    P.O. Box 29540
    Raleigh, NC 27626-0540
    RE: Fred Howard Coffey, DOC# 0081135
    or send an email to parole@doc.state.nc.us
    http://justice4amanda.tripod.com/

  10. #10
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    Truck Driver Jerry Leon Johns was at one time a suspect. He was arrested for felonious assault and aggravated kidnapping in connection with the attempted strangulation of Linda Schacke of Knoxville. The later LE stated that he was not a suspect in the other murders. LE wondered if there were more than one killers.

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...on+johns&hl=en
    A parole review date is set for July 21, 2012 for Fred Howard Coffey.

    Coffey was convicted of the murder of 10 yr old Amanda Marie Ray, NC. He admitted to molesting 300 children.

    Please write a letter on behalf of Amanda.

    Suspect in the murders of:
    5 yr old Neely Smith, NC
    14 yr old Kathy Lynn Beatty, MD
    8 yr old Travis Shane King, VA

    Possibly connected to the disappearances of:
    14 Yr old Tracy Anne King, PA
    11 yr old Sheila and 13 yr old Katherine Lyons, MD
    15 yr old Carolyn Majane, NJ



    Write to:
    Chairman Charles L. Mann Sr.
    NC Post Release Supervision & Parole Commission
    P.O. Box 29540
    Raleigh, NC 27626-0540
    RE: Fred Howard Coffey, DOC# 0081135
    or send an email to parole@doc.state.nc.us
    http://justice4amanda.tripod.com/


  11. #11
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    The Redhead murders were commited in Tennessee, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, and Mississippi.
    A parole review date is set for July 21, 2012 for Fred Howard Coffey.

    Coffey was convicted of the murder of 10 yr old Amanda Marie Ray, NC. He admitted to molesting 300 children.

    Please write a letter on behalf of Amanda.

    Suspect in the murders of:
    5 yr old Neely Smith, NC
    14 yr old Kathy Lynn Beatty, MD
    8 yr old Travis Shane King, VA

    Possibly connected to the disappearances of:
    14 Yr old Tracy Anne King, PA
    11 yr old Sheila and 13 yr old Katherine Lyons, MD
    15 yr old Carolyn Majane, NJ



    Write to:
    Chairman Charles L. Mann Sr.
    NC Post Release Supervision & Parole Commission
    P.O. Box 29540
    Raleigh, NC 27626-0540
    RE: Fred Howard Coffey, DOC# 0081135
    or send an email to parole@doc.state.nc.us
    http://justice4amanda.tripod.com/

  12. #12
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    LE said the killer pryed upon prostitutes, hitch-hikers, and women with no family ties. LE said they were working harder to identify the victims than to go after the killer. (What?)
    A parole review date is set for July 21, 2012 for Fred Howard Coffey.

    Coffey was convicted of the murder of 10 yr old Amanda Marie Ray, NC. He admitted to molesting 300 children.

    Please write a letter on behalf of Amanda.

    Suspect in the murders of:
    5 yr old Neely Smith, NC
    14 yr old Kathy Lynn Beatty, MD
    8 yr old Travis Shane King, VA

    Possibly connected to the disappearances of:
    14 Yr old Tracy Anne King, PA
    11 yr old Sheila and 13 yr old Katherine Lyons, MD
    15 yr old Carolyn Majane, NJ



    Write to:
    Chairman Charles L. Mann Sr.
    NC Post Release Supervision & Parole Commission
    P.O. Box 29540
    Raleigh, NC 27626-0540
    RE: Fred Howard Coffey, DOC# 0081135
    or send an email to parole@doc.state.nc.us
    http://justice4amanda.tripod.com/

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeannieC View Post
    If the killer was a trucker he could have retired or changed routes, or changed trucking companies. Could be why one showed up in Ga. There might be more further south. Just a thought.

    I-75 goes through GA. I-65 also has some unidentifieds around it in KY/TN/AL/IN and some, but not all, are similar to the redheads. Maybe his "base" was more around Nashville, since it is easily accessed by interstate to Knoxville and Chattanooga.

    The one redhead I recall at the moment found near I-65 was in 2001, so may not be related.

    In a rush so will try to add more later.

    Does anyone know what the dead link ("teen found 23 yr ago") is related to???
    Last edited by bflocket; 08-03-2011 at 12:49 PM. Reason: add ques about previous post

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by bflocket View Post
    I-75 goes through GA. I-65 also has some unidentifieds around it in KY/TN/AL/IN and some, but not all, are similar to the redheads. Maybe his "base" was more around Nashville, since it is easily accessed by interstate to Knoxville and Chattanooga.

    The one redhead I recall at the moment found near I-65 was in 2001, so may not be related.

    In a rush so will try to add more later.

    Does anyone know what the dead link ("teen found 23 yr ago") is related to???
    I think it was related to The Doe Network Case File 264UFTN -- a young woman with reddish blonde hair found in rural Tennessee in 1985.

    http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/264uftn.html

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ambercat View Post
    I think it was related to The Doe Network Case File 264UFTN -- a young woman with reddish blonde hair found in rural Tennessee in 1985.
    http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/264uftn.html
    If that was the doe, it must've just got moved/renamed (I've seen the thread on that one).

    Ok. Here are some of the other does that I'm thinking could possibly be related to the redhead series. They were killed near major thoroughfares and could have had reddish hair. I say "could" because many of the missing persons files on Doe/Charley are classified as "brown" of "blonde" when they have a clear red-quality to them. I am basing that on photos of missing people. Hairstyles/etc cannot truly be replicated on reconstructions (esp if they are skeletal, decomposed, etc)

    This one is MUCH more recent than the ones already included on the theoretical list, but her characteristics and the dumping method are very similar:
    http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/111ufky.html
    [ame="http://www.websleuths.com/forums/showthread.php?t=105935"]KY KY - Simpson County - Female 111UFKY, 25-35, Oct 2001 - Websleuths Crime Sleuthing Community[/ame]


    This one has always interested me because they found it (later) on the route to the 4-H camp I went to. Her hair is listed as "brown," but every color can have a gazillion different shades. She was found near KY-80 (one of the major state routes) and the Cumberland Parkway (which connects to I-65 north of Bowling Green). US-25 is a fairly major highway (for the Appalachian foothills) and I-75 is not too far to the east.
    http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/39ufky.html
    [ame="http://www.websleuths.com/forums/showthread.php?t=120967"]KY KY - Pulaski County - Female 39UFKY, 24-45, July 1995 - w/Synovial Joint Pathology - Websleuths Crime Sleuthing Community[/ame]


    This girl had "brown" hair and was dumped off of a major interstate.
    http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/526ufky.html
    [ame="http://www.websleuths.com/forums/showthread.php?t=113940"]KY KY - Bowling Green - Female 526UFKY, 12-20, July 1984 - Websleuths Crime Sleuthing Community[/ame]


    This one has no pic, but should be a no-brainer for the list. She's one of many Jane Does found along I-75 in Campbell County, TN. It is very rural and not too populated, so the fact that some are still unidentified means they likely were brought in from somewhere or were hitch-hiking.
    http://www.doenetwork.org/hot/hotcase1189.html

    This one had "red" hair (so it is definitely red) and was found off of I-24, not far south of Nashville.
    http://www.doenetwork.org/hot/hotcase1279.html

    This one was found in Roane County, TN. It doesn't list a specific location, but I-40 goes through the county and I-75 passes within a few miles of the border. It's about six miles from the TN-72 exit off I-75 to the Roane County line.
    http://www.doenetwork.org/hot/hotcase1145.html

    This girl is described as having reddish-brown hair and was found 5-10 miles (depending upon where along Greenlee Rd) west of I-75 north of Dayton.
    http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/133ufoh.html

    This one was found along I-75 in northern Ohio. She's probably not related to the others since it says "possible cocaine overdose," was wrapped up and her body was burned. But she has similar hair and was near the Interstate.
    http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/335ufoh.html

    This one had reddish hair and was found near a truck-stop off of I-70 in south-central Ohio.
    http://doenetwork.org/cases/561ufoh.html

    This one was found has a similar hair-color and was found off I-55 (which intersects with I-40 not far north) in NE-Arkansas.
    http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/449ufar.html

    This one, also burned, was found near I-540, which connects I-40 to Oklahoma.
    http://www.doenetwork.org/hot/hotcase1355.html

    This one was found near I-40 in North Carolina.
    http://www.doenetwork.org/hot/hotcase1652.html

    This redhead was found in North Carolina near both I-95 and I-40. It was found near Rocky Mount, where a current killer is targeting poor, black women.
    http://doenetwork.org/hot/hotcase1280.html

    This doe had "strawberry blonde" hair. She was found near I-40 and was possibly seen walking along I-85.
    http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/558ufnc.html

    Well, I think I need a break from copy/paste/type for now.
    Anyway, if I didn't give a Websleuth link, they still probably have a thread. You should be able to find them by searching. The heat index here is over 110º and I'm already worn out after typing all day at work.

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