Indiana Cold Case: The I-70 Serial Killer
The WIBC News Special "Indiana Cold Cases" airs Thursday at 7 p.m., with more airings on Memorial Day.
INDIANAPOLIS--I-70 is not only part of America's interstate system, it connects cities in Indiana and connects Indiana east and west across America. In 1992, it also helped a serial killer find his victims. Two of those victims were in the Hoosier State, and the man has never been caught.
The first killings
On April 8, 1992 in Indianapolis, Robin Fuldauer worked at a Payless Shoe Source on Pendleton Pike. Some time between 1:30 and 2 p.m., a man came in the store and shot and killed her. Fuldauer's body was found by a person who worked in the gas station next door.
Police said she had been shot in the back of the head. They narrowed down the time by using the records stored in the cash register. Police believed the man who took her to the back of the store and killed her likely escaped through the back door.
He left his shell casing behind, and from that police determined it was a .22 caliber bullet that was likely fired through either an Intratec Scorpion pistol or an Erma Werke ET22, both of which accommodate large-capacity magazines and resemble higher-powered, automatic weapons.
Money was missing from the cash drawer, but not enough to look at robbery as the motive. Fuldauer had not been raped or molested.
Police looked for hitchhikers, truckers, traveling salesmen, eventually sifting through thousands of names on hotel registries. They couldn't find a motive and didn't have a suspect.
Moving on to Kansas
Though the next victims were in Kansas, the killer wasn't through in Indiana.
On April 11, at La Bride d'Elegance in Wichita, Patricia Magers, 32, and Patricia Smith, 23, waited to close because a customer was on his way to pick up a cummerbund. Before that customer could get to the store, another man came in, forced both women to the back and shot them in the back of the head.
On his way out, the man ran into the guy who was coming to pick up the cummerbund. The customer was able to talk his way out of being shot and gave a good description of the killer to police. He was 5 ft. 7 to 5 ft. 9, 140 lbs., with sandy blonde hair.
Back to Indiana
Det. Shawn Keen on the I-70 killer
It wasn't long before the man decided to kill again. The next murder was close to I-70 and was back in Indiana.
"At approximately 4:20 p.m., a customer walked into the Sylvia's Ceramics Shop, which is about three and a half blocks north of I-70, and she discovered the body of a male employee there," said Shawn Keen, assistant police chief of the Terre Haute Police Dept.
All three previous victims were women, small, white, with dark hair.
"It was later determined his name was Michael McCown, he was 40 years old and he had died from a single gunshot wound to the head," said Keen.
By the same guy
Police determined all three women and McCown were killed by the same person because of the shell casings, and the way he killed his victims, by shooting them in the back of the head. A red substance was found on each casing.
He also went in small stores, while no customers were in the store. In Terre Haute, Keen says police back in 1992 decided they had to work together and try to solve the cases.
Nancy Kitzmiller and Sarah Blessing were next two victims, killed in May, 1992, in small shops in St. Charles and Raytown, Missouri, respectively.
The six people murdered in 1992 were all killed by the same person. Police are fairly sure of that. They also believe the man ma have killed at least two more people in Texas in 1993. They think it's likely the same guy because a woman who was shot in the spine and lived, ID'd the man in one of the sketches as the shooter.
But, police still need your help finding the man responsible for the killings more than 25 years ago.
Keen said tips come in when the case is re-exposed in the media.
The murders have been featured on Unsolved Mysteries and an episode of Dark Minds on the Discovery Channel, which explores unsolved murders believed to have been committed by serial killers.
If you know anything about the I-70 serial killer, call Indianapolis or Terre Haute police.
PHOTOS: Circulated by law enforcement in 1992