Episode 119

The I-70/I-35 Killer

December 6, 2021   Tags: , , , , , ,
Apple Podcasts
A killer with a unique gun stalked an interstate between three different states--picking at least six victims. There is a possible link to three other murders in a fourth state. The victimology is similar, but a different gun(s) is used. Authorities have uncovered no motive nor the identity of the I-70/I-35 Killer after almost 30 years.

The Murder of Robin Fuldauer:
26-year-old Robin Fuldauer worked at a local Payless Shoe Store in Indianapolis. The Lawrence Central High School graduate was a hard worker and caring person. 
The store was located just north of I-70 off of Pendleton Pike. Across the street was a paint store and next door was a gas station. The Payless store had its own parking lot. On April 8th, 1992, Robin filled in for the only other full-time employee at the shop. 
According to local news station WTHI, the day was relatively normal. At noon, Robin had her lunch hour. Around 1 PM, a witness saw a strange man across the street from the store. The witness said he was carrying a long bag and circling the store. The man was observed sitting for almost a half hour on the curb before he vanished.
Sometime after that half hour, someone entered the Payless. The preparator took Robin into the storage room at the back of the store. There she was shot, execution style--twice in the back of the head with a .22 caliber. 
The same witness who’d seen the man earlier, claimed to see him hitchhiking after the murder on I-70. The supposed killer was perfectly calm. But no one realized that something had happened to Robin. Multiple customers came into the store. When they saw no one was working, they stole shoes. 
A couple of hours later the gas station employee next door came over to see Robin around 3 PM. The owner of the store had been trying to call and no one answered. When the gas station attendant arrived, she noticed the register opened but no one was around. She called the police. 

Law enforcement arrived on scene. That’s when Robin’s body was first discovered. They noted a small amount of money was missing from the register--less than $100. The police hoped to find surveillance cameras, but there weren't any. Based on the back door being left open, they believe the killer went out the back.

The Murders of Patricia Magers and Patricia Smith:
32-year-old Patricia Magers had bought a bridal shop in Wichita, Kansas, in 1991 with her husband Mark. The shop—La Bride d’Elegance—was located off of East Kellogg Street right before I-35. 
On April 11th, Patricia Magers had an employee in the store with her—Patricia Smith. She had just gotten married nine months earlier. She was a nursing student at Wichita State University. The women usually closed the shop at 6 PM. However, a male customer had called and said he was running late. He asked the store to stay open a little later—until 6:30—so he could pick his cummerbund. 
The customer arrived at 6:30. Neither of the Patricias were present in the shop. However, the customer said he saw the killer. He asked the customer to join him in the back room of the shop. The customer declined. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the two men exchanged words. The customer could tell something was off. He left and called law enforcement. 
When officers arrived on scene. The women had been shot execution style in the back room—just like Robin. Some money was taken from the register. And a few of the women’s personal belongings were missing as well.

In Wichita at La Bride d’Elegance, the witness was able to give information for a sketch. The killer was a white male, between 22-32 years old. He had a slender build and was 5’7”, about 150 pounds. The man had dull red hair that was cut short and some stubble. 

Law enforcement had one other piece of evidence after this crime--the bullets matched those from Robin’s murder in Indianapolis.

The Killing of Michael McCown:
40-year-old Michael McCown had bought Sylvia’s Ceramics in Terre Haute, Indiana, from his mother in 1987. Michael was a bass player and had even toured the country. But he decided to stay in Terre Haute. The store was located in a strip mall, with a grocery store on one side and a car rental shop.
On April 27th, 1992, Michael was alone in the store. At some point that day, he was stocking shelves. Then a person entered the store and shot Michael in the back of the head. 
At 4:15 PM, a customer entered the store and discovered Michael’s body. Based on the placement of his body according to the Courier-Press, investigators believed the killer came from behind. Also, based on the other victims, some people think the killer mistook Michael for a woman. He wore his brown hair in a long ponytail. He also wore an earring.  
Not only was the victim different, this time no money was taken from the register. But the killer did take Michael’s wallet. However, the same gun was again used. 


The Killing of Nancy Kitzmiller:
In the spring of 1992, 24-year-old Nancy Kitzmiller was set to put her geology degree from Oklahoma State University to good use. Nancy had gotten a job as a cartographer with the Defense Mapping Agency.  The company was in St. Louis, Missouri. While she waited for the new job to start, she worked at Boot Village in St. Charles.
The store was located in the Bogey Hills Plaza just south of I-70, between a beauty salon and a vet clinic. It was the perfect place for Nancy to work—she was friendly and loved all things western. 
On May 3rd, Nancy filled in for another employee. She was alone in the store and opened it at noon. At 2:30 PM, a witness saw Nancy helping another customer. According to the witness, this customer was a white male. He was medium build and had dull red hair. 
Shortly after the witness saw Nancy helping the man, other customers came in and discovered Nancy’s body toward the back of the store. She’d been shot execution style. A small amount of money was missing from the register.

The Murder of Sarah Blessing:
Sarah Blessing had recently opened a health goods shop called Store of Many Colors in Raytown, Missouri. It was near Kansas City and was run by Sarah and four of her friends. They all took shifts in the store, mostly working alone. 
On May 7th, Sarah opened the store’s doors at noon. Around 6:15, One of the nearby store owners said they saw a man in a gray sport coat or suit jacket walking toward the Store of Many Colors. One of the other store owners said he saw a man he didn’t know in the area. 
One other store owner—the video store owner—said he saw a man go inside the store. Then he heard a pop right around 6:15. The video store owner ran to Sarah’s store. Just inside he discovered her body. Sarah had been shot in the head. Shell casings were left behind and matched the other crime scenes. 
A grocery clerk said he saw the killer climb a hill near I-70. Again, a small amount of money was missing from the cash register. 

Because of the matching ballistics in all the cases, law enforcement was able to tie all six crimes together fairly easily. It was the same gun and ammo used in each case. But it was more than that. 

All of the victims resembled each other. They all had long brown hair. Five of the six victims were female. Michael was working in a shop with a woman’s name and often kept his hair in a long ponytail. Each of the stores were small with only one or two employees. 

There was also the manner in which each of them were killed--execution style. One or two shots to the head. It was reported they were all shot at “point blank range.” And every single murder was during operating hours in broad daylight. 

Very little money was taken in all of the locations. According to Fox 59, law enforcement thinks the killer may have told his victims to give him the money from the register and they would be safe. 

The Texas Attacks:
On September 25th, 1993, 51-year-old Mary Ann Glasscock was working at her antique shop called Emporium Antiques along I-30. A friend arrived later to discover Mary Ann shot inside the store. 

Then on November 1st, 22-year-old Amy Vess was working at the Dancers Closet--an apparel store in Arlington, Texas. The killer shot Amy and then left. She was able to call 911. She told the dispatcher she’d been shot in the neck. She succumbed to her injuries. 

The last attack in Texas was the following year in Houston. On January 15th, 1994, 35-year-old Vicki Webb was working at Alternatives gift shop. In the late morning, a man came into the store and spoke to Vicki about merchandise. He also asked her about business patterns, but Vicki didn’t think he looked like a retailer. 

The man said he was waiting for his niece. Then he asked Vicki to show him a frame. She turned to go back behind the counter. That’s when the man shot her in the head. She didn’t see the gun. Just heard the pop and fell to the floor. Vicki remained conscious despite not being able to move. 

Thinking Vicki was dead, the man then hopped over her. He went through the register. Then to the back of the store. When he came back he rolled Vicki over, and dragged her behind the counter. He again pointed the gun at her head. He pulled the trigger but the gun misfired this time. 

According to Vicki, he laughed. Shortly after the misfire, he heard noise from the store next door. Then he fled.

Within minutes a couple came into the shop and were able to help Vicki. Once at the hospital, she was treated for her injuries. A bullet was lodged between her second and third vertebrae. The bullet wasn’t able to be removed from her spinal column. She received rehab and was able to walk again. 

When talking with law enforcement about the would-be killer, she described him as 5’8”, thin. He looked weathered. She noticed the similarities to the I-70 Killer sketch.

The I-70 Killer struck in three states for sure in 1992. The first was the murder of 26-year-old Robin Fuldauer on April 8th in Indianapolis. The second set of murders were 23-year-old Patricia Smith and 32-year-old Patricia Magers on April 11th in Wichita, Kansas. The next murder was on April 27th in Terre Haute, Indiana--40-year-old Michael McCown was killed. 

On May 3rd, in St. Charles, Missouri the killer struck again. He killed 24-year-old Nancy Kitzmiller. Then four days later--on May 7th--he killed 37-year-old Sarah Blessing in Raytown Missouri.

It is possible he struck the following year in the state of Texas. On September 25th, 1993, a person shot and killed 51-year-old Mary Ann Glasscock in Fort Worth, Texas. Then on November 1st, 22-year-old Amy Vess was killed in Arlington, Texas. 35-year-old Vicki Webb was seriously injured on January 15th, 1994, in Houston, Texas.

Most of these cases involved females with long, dark hair. The killer shot his victims execution style and stole very little from the scene.

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