Crime File

The Cross Country Killer-II The Capture and Trial

Apparently, women found him extremely charming, for he could talk them into accompanying him alone with remarkable ease, which is why he was also called a ‘Casanova Killer’ – a tag he shares with another American serial killer of the 1970s – Paul John Knowels. HEMRAJ SINGH tells the story.  


The motel room had been rented by a man called Glen Rogers. The Tampa police accessed the NCIC database and realized that they might be dealing with a serial killer called Glen Rogers wanted for two other murders in two different states. While the identity of the killer had been ascertained, the victim was still unknown. But in response to media reportage a woman, whose daughter had been missing, came forward and identified the dead woman as her daughter, Tina Marie Cribbs, a 34-year-old mother of two.

On November 5, 1995, Tina had gone to a bar called the Showtime Bar, where she met some friends and was to meet her mother, who was to arrive a little later. When the detectives visited the Showtime Bar and met the bartender, the bartender told that she knew Tina and her mother, and that on November 5, 1995, Tina had come to the bar and was talking to her friends. She also confirmed that at the same time a man named Glen Rogers was also there and he was very friendly with everyone, including Tina, and bought a round of drinks for everyone. Tina seemed to like him instantly. After a while he requested her to drop him to the motel he was staying in. He assured that the motel was nearby and Tina could drop him and get back before her mother arrived. Tina never returned. Her mother came and waited and also sent several pager messages to her, but Tina did not respond to any.

The detectives knew that Tina had driven Glen to his motel in her car, which was a white Ford Festiva, and it was the same kind of car that the motel manager had seen Glen loading his luggage into a day before he was scheduled to checkout. Apparently, Glen was driving around in Tina’s Festiva. The Tampa detective investigating the case updated the NCIC database adding the make and registration number of Tina’s car to the information about Glen Rogers.

It was surprising to the investigators that Glen was not trying to hide his identity and was openly driving around in the car of one of his victims and had been using his real name all along.

The authorities decided to reach out to public for assistance in getting hold of Glen. TV stations telecast the details of Glen along with his picture and asked people to report if the person is spotted. Hundreds of sightings were reported, one of which was a sighting at a Jackson, Mississippi motel reported by two different callers. Glen’s presence at a cheap motel was consistent with Glen’s ways. The police immediately went to the motel and checked the room in which Glen had been reported staying. They found a look-alike. The similarity was striking, but it wasn’t Glen. The motel was thoroughly searched together with the motels in the vicinity. No luck. They were looking at the wrong place.

Glen’s next stop was Louisiana. On November 10, 1995, the homicide detectives in Bossier City, Louisiana were rushed to a murder scene. Andy Jiles Sutton, a 37-year-old mother of four, had been murdered in her apartment in Bossier City. Like the earlier victims of Glen Rogers, Andy also had multiple stab wounds on her upper body and back. Andy’s roommate, a waitress, and her former boyfriend were questioned by the police. The roommate had worked late the night Andy was killed, and returned home only in the early hours of the morning. She told the detectives that when she stepped into the house, she heard Andy’s door close and assumed that it must be Andy and her new boyfriend in the bedroom of the house. A blanket had been left on the couch for her. So, she slept on the couch. She told the detectives that the name of the boyfriend Andy had met only a few days ago in bar was Glen Rogers. The name did not ring a bell with the detectives because at that time they were not aware that the name was associated with three other murders in California, Mississippi and Florida.

The roommate told that she woke up to a knock at the door in the morning. It was Andy’s former boyfriend, who had come over to talk to Andy. She went inside to inform Andy that her former boyfriend had come to see her, which is when she discovered the blood-drenched body of Andy under the sheets. Neighbours told the detectives that they had seen Glen leave in a white Ford Festiva. When the Louisiana detectives investigating Andy’s murder ran Glen Rogers’s name through the NCIC database, they discovered that the man was wanted for three other murders and had stolen a white Ford Festiva from his previous victim.
The Louisiana television station took up the story and aired the information about Glen together with his pictures and warned the public against approaching the suspect, who could be armed and was certainly dangerous. However, the detectives investigating the case were not getting any concrete leads despite the reported sightings, an overwhelming number of which were false alarms. What was even more worrisome was the fact that Glen was killing at an alarming frequency. The law enforcement agencies spread the word about Glen through mass media, and the FBI initiated the process for adding Glen Rogers to its Most Wanted list to improve the chances of getting their hands on Rogers.

There were no leads for the investigators to pursue. They could only predict Rogers’s next move. The profilers at the FBI were aware that when people – including the criminals – are in trouble, they generally prefer to be in the areas they are most familiar with. Glen Rogers’s family and friends lived mostly in Kentucky. So, the investigators decided to investigate if there was any information available regarding Rogers in Kentucky. They approached Kentucky police with details of Glen Rogers and the crimes he had committed in several states. Kentucky police was more than familiar with Glen Rogers. In fact, one of their detectives had been looking for Rogers for two years in connection with the suspected murder of 71-year-old Mark Peters.

Nearly two years prior to Glen’s killing spree, Glen’s brother had called the Kentucky police department to report the discovery of the skeletal remains of a body in a cabin in the woods owned by the Rogers’ family. The cabin was not frequently visited by the members of the family, which explains why the remains could lay there undiscovered for so long. The police believed that the remains were Mark Peters’s, an ageing servant of the Rogers family. The hands of the corpse were tied behind its back with a cord that matched the cord found in the home he lived in with Glen Rogers. Peters had been last seen with Glen, but he was nowhere to be found. Due to the advanced decomposition of the body, the cause of death could not be ascertained, and save for Glen Rogers, the police did not have any suspects to question or leads to pursue. The case had remained open since and had gone cold until the detectives investigating multiple murders in several states contacted the Kentucky police department inquiring about Glen. However, there was still no way to effectively trace Glen, but going by the theory that Glen was most likely to return to Kentucky under the very real possibility of detention, the detectives kept a close watch at Kentucky area. The wait paid off.

On November 13, 1995, Glen Rogers paid a visit to one of his relatives in Lee County, Kentucky, who reported the visit to the Kentucky police department immediately after Glen left. She told the police that Glen was driving towards Interstate 75 in a small, white car. The police immediately rushed to the road they knew Glen would take to reach Interstate 75, and waited for him to cross at a suitable spot. Soon, a white Ford Festiva drove past. The detective waiting in the car started following and drove up by the side of the Festiva to have a look at the driver. The driver was indeed Glen Rogers. The detective fell back and called for backup. A police car stationed nearby joined the slow pursuit. In the meanwhile a few miles ahead the police created a roadblock. Rogers realized that he was being pursued. He sped the car up and the slow pursuit turned into a hot pursuit.
Eventually, Rogers was intercepted and apprehended. The car indeed belonged to Tina, Glen’s Florida victim.

In the car, the police found blood stained shorts, a blanket and the purse of a woman among other items. The items found in the car linked Glen Rogers to the murders in Mississippi, Florida and Louisiana.

The investigators from all five states – Mississippi, Florida, California, Louisiana and Kentucky – met and pieced together all the evidence and shared whatever information they had with each other. The evidence was finally processed by FBI’s forensic laboratories to seal the case against Glen Rogers.

After going through all the evidence thoroughly, the investigators were sure that their best case against Glen was the Florida crime. The watch found in the tub was Rogers’s, as in one of the photographs with Linda Price, Glen was seen wearing a very similar watch. Physical evidence against Glen Rogers in the case of the Florida Victim, Tina Marie Cribbs, was overwhelming. There was Tina’s car, which Glen had been arrested from; there were Glen’s shorts with Tina’s DNA on them; there was the registration slip Glen had signed in his own hand at the motel where Tina was found killed; and there were Glen’s fingerprints lifted from inside the motel room.

On May 7, 1997, after eight hours of deliberation, a Tampa jury found Glen guilty of murder in the first degree, and the next day, on May 8, 1997, the same jury took three hours to recommend death sentence for Glen, which was confirmed on May 11, 1997.

Two years later, in 1997, Glen faced another murder trial in Los Angeles, California, for the murder of Sandra Gallagher. The prosecutors told the jury that on September 28, 1995, Sandra and Glen left a bar and drove away together in Sandra’s car. A little later, there was physical struggle between the two perhaps due to an unwanted sexual advance by Rogers. Glen strangled Sandra to death, and set the car on fire later to destroy evidence. The Los Angeles jury also found Glen Rogers guilty of first degree murder and arson and Glen was awarded another death penalty on July 16, 1999. His appeal against conviction in the Florida case was denied in 2001. Glen Rogers is on Florida Death Row with no date fixed for execution yet.

In 2012, Investigation Discovery aired a documentary titled My Brother the Serial Killer, in which Glen Rogers’s brother, Clay Rogers, claims Glen confessed to him that he killed O.J. Simpson’s wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and Ronald Lyle Goldman in the sensational dual murder in 1994, in which case O.J. Simpson was charged but was later acquitted. Clay Rogers claimed that Glen confessed to having been hired by O.J. Simpson to break into Nicole’s condo and steal a pair of earrings, for which O.J. did not mind if Glen had to kill Nicole. Although there is little common in Glen’s pattern of committing murders and the way Nicole and Goldman were killed except that all victims were stabbed, but given the questions raised in recent times by the independent investigators in the Simpson-Goldman dual murder case regarding the evidence ignored by the investigators during the original police investigation, Clay’s claims cannot be dismissed outright.

Concluded

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