Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Aileen Wuornos: Killer Who Preyed on Truck Drivers

Women Suspected

Dick Humphreys never made it home from his last day of work at the Sumterville office of the Florida's Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services. A protective investigator specializing in abused and injured children, he was about to transfer to the Department's Ocala office. He was 56, and this was not his first career; previously, he'd been a police chief in Alabama. He celebrated his 35th wedding anniversary on September 10; on September 11, he disappeared. On the evening of September 12 his body was found in Marion County. He'd been shot seven times. Six .22 caliber slugs were recovered from his body; the seventh went through his wrist and was never found. His car was found in late September in Suwanee County.

About a month later the nude body of Walter Gino Antonio was found on a logging road in Dixie County. Sixty-year-old Antonio was a trucker, a sometime security guard, and a member of the Reserve Police. He'd been shot four times with a .22. When he was found on November 19 he'd been dead less than 24 hours. His car was found five days later across the state in Brevard County. 

Captain Steve Binegar was commander of the Marion County Sheriff's Criminal Investigation Division, and he knew about the crimes in Citrus and Pasco Counties. He could not ignore the similarities and was formulating a theory, along with a multi-agency task force with representatives from counties where victims were found. No one stopped to pick up hitchhikers anymore, he reasoned, so the perpetrator(s) of these crimes had to be initially non-threatening to the victims. He suspected women — specifically, he suspected the two women who had wrecked Peter Siems's car and walked away. He turned to the press for help. In late November, Reuters ran a story about the killings, saying police were looking for the women. Papers across Florida picked up the story and ran it, along with police sketches of the women in question.

 

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