LOUISVILLE, Ky. — More than 30 years passed before the serial killer responsible for the rape and murders of three women in Kentucky and Indiana was identified.
Using investigative genealogy, Louisville native Harry Greenwell has been named as the “I-65 Killer.”
Clothing, hair, DNA & technology: How police identified the I-65 Killer after 35 years
Also known as “The Days Inn Killer,” Greenwell’s known victims were all clerks at motels along the Interstate 65 corridor. Officials believe he may also be linked to other attacks and killings, given similar crimes took place in the late 1980s and early 1990s in Minnesota, Kentucky and Illinois.
More on Greenwell: Louisville native identified as ‘I-65 Killer’ who killed 3 women from Kentucky and Indiana
Congress defined “serial killings,” as a series of three or more killings by a person or persons that have common characteristics, with at least one committed within the United States.
Over the years, Kentucky and Indiana communities have been haunted by several serial killers who collectively claimed dozens of lives.
Retro Indy:Heinous crimes of serial killers in Indiana
Here is a look at some of those cases:
Donald Harvey, the ‘Angel of Death’
Years active: 1970-1987
Died: March 2017
A former nurse’s aide known as the “Angel of Death,” admitted to killing more than three- dozen hospital patients while working in Ohio and Kentucky.
Harvey’s first-known victim died in 1970, and it wasn’t until 1987 that he pleaded guilty to killing 37 people — most of whom he murdered while working in Cincinnati and London, Kentucky.
He often used arsenic and cyanide to poison chronically ill patients, claiming he was trying to end their suffering.
After his conviction, Harvey claimed he killed another 18 patients while working at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Cincinnati.
He died in 2017 after he was attacked and beaten in his prison cell by another inmate.
More on Harvey:Donald Harvey, ’Angel of Death,’ serial killer dies after attack in prison
Samuel Little, the most prolific serial killer in the US
Years active: 1970-2005
Died: December 2020
Dubbed the most prolific serial killer in US history, Little confessed to killing 93 people between 1970 and 2005, with at least one of his victims being from Kentucky.
Little was arrested at a Louisville homeless shelter in 2012, where authorities had tracked him down after using DNA testing to determine he was involved in the murders of three women in the 1980s.
Little was connected with the 1981 murder of 23-year-old Linda Sue Boards in Warren County, Kentucky, according to the Bowling Green Daily News. However, court records show the case didn’t make it to trial because of “administrative procedure.”
Of the 93 killings Little confessed to, nearly 60 have been confirmed by police. Most took place in Florida and Southern California. He also killed people in Tennessee, Texas, Ohio, Mississippi, Nevada and Arkansas.
He died in a California prison in 2020 at the age of 80.
More on Little:Samuel Little, most prolific serial killer in US history, dies
Years active: 1980s-1996
Died: July 1996
Baumeister was identified as a serial killer when investigators found thousands of human bone fragments buried on his Indiana property in 1996.
He is believed to be responsible for the deaths of 16 teenage boys and men who he picked up from bars in Indianapolis, then strangled.
Baumeister, 49, was the wealthy owner of Sav-A-Lot thrift stores. The property where many of the bodies were recovered was worth more than $2 million.
About one week after the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department began investigating the discovery of the bones, Baumeister drove to Canada, where he shot and killed himself.
Two years after his death, police concluded he also had killed nine other young men whose partially nude bodies were found dumped into shallow streams along Interstate 70 across Central Indiana and western Ohio during the 1980s.
More on Baumeister:A serial killer buried bodies on his Westfield property. Now some of the land is for sale.
Larry Eyler, ‘The Highway Killer’
Years active: 1970s-1980s
Dubbed “The Highway Killer,” Eyler was linked to the deaths of 23 young men in the late 1970s and early 1980s, mostly in Illinois and Indiana.
His general pattern was to pick up men who were hitchhiking or sometimes in gay bars, give them alcohol and slip them a strong sedative so they would lose consciousness. He would then take them to a secluded spot and viciously kill them, sometimes mutilating or dismembering his victims.
In 1986, he was sentenced to death for one of those murders in Illinois and was also sentenced to 60 years for an Indiana murder.
But, after his death in 1994 because of complications related to AIDS, his attorney handed over a list of 17 men Eyler claimed he had killed and the names of four others allegedly killed by an unnamed accomplice.
More on Eyler:Identities sought for 2 victims of ‘The Highway Killer’ Larry Eyler
The ‘I-70 Killer’
Years active: 1992 – 1993
An unknown serial killer dubbed the ‘I-70 Killer’ is believed to have started killing in April 1992 when the manager of a shoe store in Indianapolis that was easily accessible from I-70 was shot to death.
More on the unknown serial killer:The I-70 Killer, who terrorized Indiana and the Midwest, is still out there
Over the next four weeks, five more people in three states were slain in stores and communities along the highway.
After that series of slayings, there was a pause. In 1993, a second series of shootings began that bore a marked similarity to the I-70 series. These, however, were committed in Texas, but with easy access to Interstates 35 and 45.
The cases remain unsolved.
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Contact reporter Krista Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org.