Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Glen Rogers, the Cross-Country Killer

Tina

Showtown USA bar, Gibsonville, Florida
Showtown USA bar, Gibsonville, Florida

Whether or not Rogers knew about it, he certainly knew what the town would be like.  He signed into the Tampa 8 Inn for three nights and found a bar nearby called Showtown USA, where he ordered a drink and looked around.  It was the afternoon of November 5.  Rogers spotted four women out together, and one of them drew his attention — the one with a touch of red in her hair and the hint of insecurity. At 34, Tina Marie Cribbs, a mother of two, was carving out a meager living as a maid at the Ramada Inn at Apollo Beach.  She was at the bar with three other maids, just trying to enjoy herself after work.

According to witnesses, Rogers began to flirt with the women, giving out two different names (neither of which was Glen), and because he was handsome and in good physical shape, they enjoyed his attention.  He danced with them and they were happy to have him buy them drinks.  He talked about his life as a carnie, hawking food and tearing down rides.  Then he said he needed a ride back to where he was staying for the winter.  His familiarity with their area put the women at ease.  He wasn't a stranger at all; he was one of them.  Cindy Torgerson would later say, "He was picking us out, like oranges."

He persuaded Cribbs to give him a ride and apparently talked her into coming into his motel with him (or forced her).  In fact, before she left, she'd ordered a drink, expecting to return within five or ten minutes, but she never showed up.  Her worried mother, set to meet her at the bar, paged her and then filed a missing persons report.  People saw them together, so Rogers was an obvious suspect when her body was found two days later.  She lay facedown in a blood-splashed bathtub in room 119 at the Tampa 8 Inn, stabbed and slashed in numerous places, front and back.  Her body appeared to have been washed clean of blood.  Her purse, a gold watch, and a diamond ring were missing.

Witnesses said they had seen Rogers leave the hotel in a car that was identified as Tina's.  He'd left a "Do Not Disturb" sign on the door and had requested that no one clean his room, giving himself some time to escape.  Oddly enough, he had signed his own name to the hotel register.  Apparently Rogers then called a relative in Ohio and said he'd killed someone.  He also said there would be more.  By then, he was back in Louisiana.

 

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