Famous Cases: Terror on the Interstate
Report Number: 7498
Date: Spring, 1967
Location: Interstate 95, eastern United States
Background: Although the vaccine finally gave society the upper hand in the struggle with vampires, containment and capture became more difficult with the creation of a national interstate system. Case in point: the I-95 killings of 1967.
Incident: On March 3, 1967, trucker E.G. Robinson failed to show for a scheduled delivery in Florida. As Robinson was carrying a valuable cargo of stereo equipment, the trucking company put out an All Points Bulletin for him. A day later, Robinson's truck turned up in an industrial park in Burlington, New Jersey. The stereo equipment was still there, but Robinson was gone, leaving behind only a small trace of blood in the cab of his truck.
|The Oasis, Burlington, |
That same day, Darlene King of Sebago Lake, Maine, reported her truck-driver husband Jake missing. Jake King's truck was also found in Burlington, this time in an alley behind a shopping center. In the ensuing days, three more trucks (two with traces of blood in the cab) were found, and local police started to fear there was a serial killer on the loose. Witness testimony, along with receipts found in the trucks, indicated that all of the truckers had been at The Oasis, an enormous truck stop on the New Jersey Turnpike in Burlington, shortly before their disappearance. Police increased their presence at the truck stop, and the disappearances stopped.
A week later, two college students on their way to Florida for Spring Break disappeared from a rest stop in Maryland. Their car was found in the parking lot. The disappearances continued over the next several days: two students in Virginia, a trucker in North Carolina. The FBI was brought in on the case.
Investigation: Investigators got their first break on March 17, when a night watchman at a South Carolina lumber yard spotted a man leaving an eighteen-wheeler at the truck depot across the street, then getting in a pickup truck driven by a woman. The next day, police traced the abandoned eighteen-wheeler to Lou Gaudette, a Canadian trucker who had last been seen at the Flying J truck stop in Summerton, South Carolina.
|The Flying J, |
Summerton, South Carolina
While these developments were unfolding in South Carolina, FVZA agents from the New York office had been summoned to a grisly scene in Burlington, New Jersey. The bodies of two men had been found in a swamp not far from the Oasis truck stop. Both bodies had been drained of blood, then dismembered. Thinking that the bodies were those of the missing truck drivers, the FVZA asked to take over the I-95 investigation, but the FBI already had plans of its own.
|One of the|
That night, several FBI agents posing as truckers went to the Flying J in South Carolina. Sometime after midnight, they spotted the suspect pickup truck cruising among the big rigs in the parking lot. There was a middle-aged man at the wheel, and a woman alongside him. The Feds moved into position, blocked the pickup and drew their weapons. When the driver tried to ram them, the Feds opened fire, but the pickup truck managed to get away. The investigation was then turned over to the FVZA.
An FVZA team from Atlanta took control of the case about the same time that a convenience store clerk near Jacksonville, Florida, reported seeing what appeared to be a male and female vampire abduct a man and drive off in his car. Police responding to the call found a bullet-riddled, abandoned pickup truck in the store parking lot registered to George Muzischenko, a truck driver from New Hampshire. The next day, a dismembered, bloodless body was found in the trunk of the stolen car about five miles from the store. A large search operation was conducted in the nearby swamp, but the conditions made tracking difficult, and night fell with no capture. However, with the net closing around them, the two vampires became more desperate. On the night of March 23, the vampires abducted a driver and stole an oil truck in front of several witnesses at a gas station. The driver was later heaved from the truck and died from his injuries. The Florida Highway Patrol spotted the stolen truck heading south toward Miami and gave chase. On I-95 just north of Miami, the truck careened off the road, crashed and exploded. Both vampires were incinerated.
the suspect truck
Post Mortems: The vampires were identified as George Muzischenko and his sometime-girlfriend Tina Piro, a waitress from Greenfield, Massachusetts. Based on witness testimony, FVZA officials were able to piece together the following scenario. Muzischenko, who lived alone in a cabin in the New Hampshire woods, was likely a victim of the Kancamangus Pack, an elusive vampire group that had been terrorizing hikers and residents in the White Mountains for much of the previous year. After Muzischenko awakened as a vampire, he apparently drove his pickup truck south to Greenfield and waited outside the greasy spoon where Tina worked.
|A fiery end for|
George and Tina
Once Piro turned, she and Muzischenko concocted an insidious hunting scheme. Muzischenko would drive his pickup truck around the parking lot of truck stops, while Piro, posing as a hooker, solicited the truckers via CB. Once a "john" was found, Piro would be left off at his truck. She would disable the trucker, then Muzischenko would join her for a feeding. After they finished, Muzischenko would dispose of the body and drop the truck in a secluded location. The couple avoided detection by scrupulously disposing of the bodies, and never staying too long in one place. They easily found new victims in rest stops and motels as they moved down the east coast. There is speculation that their ultimate destination was a lakeside cabin Muzischenko owned in central Florida.
It is difficult to estimate the number of victims that Muzischenko and Piro killed during their interstate spree. A dozen bodies were eventually recovered, but a number of other unsolved disappearances may be attributable to the two vampires.
Comments from Dr. Pecos: Successful vampires learn to cover their tracks, and move along when they fear detection. An efficient highway system made them more elusive than ever. This case also underscores the importance of communication between various law enforcement agencies and the FVZA. Had the FBI handed the investigation over to the FVZA right away, the lives of at least two people might have been saved.
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