Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

A Killer's Rampage

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Rosario Gonzales
Rosario Gonzales

Rosario Gonzales, 20, had disappeared on February 26, 2000.   She'd been working at a temporary job distributing aspirin samples at the Miami Grand Prix racetrack, where witnesses said she had left around noon with an older man.  She, too, had pretty dark eyes and long, brown hair.  She had not even picked up her paycheck.

Human Monsters
Human Monsters

Nothing clearly linked the two, except that Kenyon knew Christopher Wilder, who sometimes drove cars in races and often hung around at the Miami racetrack.  Also, both  had participated in the Miss Florida contest and wanted to be models.  (In the book Human Monsters David Everitt reports that Rosario had previously posed for a book cover that Wilder photographed.)

That Wilder had lied about seeing Beth made him suspect.   Now a look at his case file at the Boynton Beach police station convinced the private investigator that Wilder could very well be a sexual predator.  Beth's rejection of his marriage proposal may have elevated her danger.

Whittaker went with an ex-police officer to talk with Wilder at his office at the Sawtel Construction Company, which he owned with a partner.  Wilder pulled up in the gray Cadillac described by the gas station attendants. Yet inside his office, he repeated his denial of having seen Beth in the past few days. He insisted the attendants had made a mistake in their identification. Then he brought in his secretary to vouch for his whereabouts, but that proved to have been a mistake.

The investigators told her they were looking for Beth Kenyon, and she said, yes, the girl whose car was found at the airport.

No one had mentioned an airport and finding the car had not been made public. The secretary seemed flustered and asked Wilder if that wasn't the information he had given to her.

Wilder was quick. He said that Beth's mother had told him that.

Mrs. Kenyon later denied it.

Around the same time, the police learned that Rosario Gonzales, the other missing girl, had also known Christopher Wilder.   That information spurred them into a countywide hunt, following numerous leads and tips, many of which were mistaken identifications or dead-ends.  Then Whittaker informed them that Christopher Wilder had been at the Miami Grand Prix and that he was a suspect in Beth Kenyon's disappearance.

These disappearances became a more serious matter, and regular detectives from Metro Dade were now assigned to Beth Kenyon's case, with the possibility that the same suspect had kidnapped two girls within a week's time. They placed information in the newspaper, hoping to get some help from the public.

Just as Christopher Wilder was celebrating his 39th birthday on March 13, the police were collecting a file on him.  Three days later, he read in the Miami Herald that "a racecar driver" and "wealthy contractor" was suspected in the disappearances, and he realized it was time to move.  He did keep his appointment with his therapist, who was treating him for sex crimes for which he'd received parole.  Knowing his preference for girls with long hair and his fantasy about holding a girl captive, the therapist asked if he knew anything about the missing Rosario.  He looked her in the eye and denied it.

Two days later, he dropped his three dogs at a kennel, withdrew a substantial amount of money from the bank, and told his partner he was being framed and was "not going to jail."   He got into his 1973 Chrysler New Yorker sedan and drove off.  He had said to others that stress was bad for him.  Now it was about to provoke a shocking spree.


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