Elizabethtown, Kentucky. It was early on February 21st, 1987 and Vicki Heath had been working the night shift at the Super 8 Motel, which was right off a major highway known as I-65.
At just before 7 a.m. that morning, someone who had been staying at Super 8 Motel called the local police to report that the motel’s lobby was in shambles and it seemed that none of the motel staff was around.
When officers arrived, it was easy to see why this guest was so alarmed; the lobby looked like there had been a fight inside, and the phone had been entirely pulled out of the lobby wall.
After looking around, officers found Vicki dead behind the motel dumpster, and her killer had shot her in the head after brutalizing her.
Authorities speculated that perhaps Vicki’s killer had intended to rob the motel before escalating further, but they realized a couple of weeks later that Vicki’s killer was only getting started.
Indiana State Police; pictured above is Vicki
On March 3rd, the Indiana State Police received calls about 2 more murders that eerily echoed Vicki’s.
Margaret Gill, known to her loved ones as Peggy, was a night shift worker at a Days Inn in Merrillville, Indiana and Jeanne Gilbert was another night shift employee at a Days Inn in Remington, Indiana.
Both women had their lives taken from them in a way that drew parallels to Vicki’s murder.
Indiana State Police; pictured above is Peggy
At all three of the crime scenes, police found a variety of evidence, which included fibers, hairs, DNA, and even ballistics.
Several years went by without any more connections to the murders of Vicki, Peggy, and Jeanne, but then on January 2nd, 1990, at a Days Inn in Columbus, Indiana, the serial killer struck again.
Indiana State Police; pictured above is Jeanne
This time, his M.O. was the same; he went after a woman working the night shift, but she miraculously managed to escape from him.
She then was able to give a description of this man to the police, and they developed the below sketch on her account.
Indiana State Police; pictured above is a sketch of the killer
More evidence was collected from this Days Inn and the overwhelming detail that connected the cases together was the fact that every single motel these women had been working at was quite close to I-65.
The killer was given the nickname the “I-65 Killer” for this reason, and in the 35 years since this man took his first victim’s life, technology continued to advance to a point where he was able to be publicly identified this morning.
Working with the FBI, the Indiana State Police recently revisited the DNA evidence that had been collected from those cases all those decades ago.
Investigative genealogy played a major role in finally pulling off the mask of the I-65 killer, and his name is actually Harry Edward Greenwell.
Harry passed away in January of 2013, but before he did, he managed to escape prison twice and racked up a lengthy criminal record.
The Indiana State Police does believe that Harry could be responsible for additional violent crimes in the Midwest that have not been solved at this time, and they are working across other jurisdictions to piece that together.
“I hope that today might bring a little bit of solace to you to know that the animal who did this is no longer on this earth,” Doug Carter, the superintendent of the Indiana State Police said at a press conference.
“I’m not going to say his name, I’m going to focus on the victims today.”