|Also known as:||The Prosti-Shooter
The Rest Stop Killer
The Truck Stop Killer
|Born:||April 14, 1951
|Number of victims:||Unknown (possibly 7)|
|State(s):||Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama and Indiana|
|Date apprehended:||July 12, 2007|
Bruce Mendenhall is an accused American serial killer. He has been implicated in the deaths of seven women at truck stops in Alabama, Tennessee, Indiana, and Georgia. He is still under investigation for murders in Illinois, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.
Mendenhall grew up in Crawford County, Illinois.
He was married and has two daughters. Mendenhall never had problems with the law, though his wife Linda, who was reportedly blind from diabetes, and friends, knew he kept a gun illegally in his truck.
A resident of Albion, Illinois, Mendenhall was arrested at the TA truck stop on Interstate 24 in Nashville, Tennessee on July 12, 2007 after Detective Sgt. Pat Postiglione spotted a truck that matched surveillance footage from the night Sara Nicole Hulbert was murdered at another near by truck stop. Upon inspection of the vehicle, a large quantity of bloody clothing was found in a plastic sack and Mendenhall was taken into custody. Police catalogued 300 items from the truck including a rifle, knives, handcuffs, latex gloves, several weapons cartridges, black tape, a nightstick, and sex toys. Sampling of these items turned up the DNA of five different women.
Mendenhall's victims were primarily young prostitutes, usually found shot, though detectives have determined that his method of killing may have changed over the years. During questioning, he implicated himself in the shooting death of Hulbert, whose body was found on June 26, 2007.
He has also implicated himself in the shooting death of Symantha Winters, whose body was found June 6, 2007 in a trash can at a truck stop in Lebanon, Tennessee. She had a criminal record showing at least one previous charge of prostitution. On August 17, 2007, a Wilson County grand jury indicted Mendenhall for the murder of Winters.
The body of another victim he admits to murdering July 11, 2007 and leaving in a car at a Flying J truck stop on Interstate 465 in Indianapolis, Indiana has yet to be found or identified. Investigators said Mendenhall was initially cooperative but that he subsequently ceased to implicate himself in other murders. On July 28, police in Birmingham, Alabama charged Mendenhall with the murder of Lucille "Gretna" Carter, who was found nude in a trash bin with a plastic bag taped around her head on July 1. She was shot with a .22-caliber pistol.
Police are investigating the possibility that Mendenhall is responsible for other murders in the region including: