mr. mittens (akmed) wrote,
mr. mittens

day of the dead virtual altar: victims of the freeway phantom

beginning in the spring of 1971, the bodies of six young black females were found murdered and dumped near the highways of maryland and the district of columbia. they were all from similar backgrounds , abducted from their own neighborhoods, most in the daytime while doing chores. many urban locations like washington dc were then experiencing a great deal of civil unrest- not unlike today. a boisterous may day march shifted police resources away from finding the heartless fucking stain who viciously slaughtered these precious young women. when the FBI finally got involved Watergate erupted again derailing the investigation into their deaths.

the freeway phantom was never caught. he taunted the police and the families , eager to draw attention to himself, the pain he caused, and his hatred of women. in a particularly depraved series of calls, he forced one of his victims to phone her family, telling them she was on her way home in a cab before he raped, murdered, and dumped her on the road. eventually the cops did pony up a few likely suspects but never with enough evidence to arrest any of them let alone bring them to trial.

most of the evidence collected from these crimes was destroyed or lost (why the fuck were these tools allowed to discard evidence in heinous unsolved serial crimes against children?) so even with todays' sophisticated dna testing, it remains unlikely that these murderers will be definitively solved- short of a confirmable confession. when a small amount of dna evidence was discovered it was found to be not useable for identification.

the most likely suspect according to some died in prison -aged over 90-for other crimes, denying until the end that he was the freeway phantom. he had a long record dating back to the 1930's of killing women, being found insane, then being let out of prison by judges and on ' technicalities'.

the families of these women and girls remain angry and distraught, plagued by nightmares and loss. it does not appear there will ever be any closure for them. no one will be made to face justice- and what justice there was to be had was overseen by those who devalued the lives of the victims based on their race . the disappearance of black children and women is still largely ignored by the media. subsequently not enough public pressure and outright shame can be brought to bare upon law enforcement to force sufficient attention and resources on finding the missing or solving the murders.

carol spinks was 13 years old in april of 1971. she went to the store to make some dinner purchases for her family . she arrived at the store, bought items, left, and disappeared. she was found 6 days later, tossed from the northbound lane of I-295 and down an embankment. carol spinks left behind her identical twin.

darlenia johnson, a 16 year old neighbor of carol spinks, was on her way to her summer job when she was abducted july 8, 1971. her body was found near where carol's body was discovered on the embankment.

brenda crockett was only 10 years old. also sent to the store, she failed to return. it's brenda who was forced to call her family by her killer. it was believed the killer slipped up in this abduction -perhaps he had been seen- thus causing him to force brenda to call home to give a false description of him as being a white man.

nenomoshia yates was also on a store run when abducted october 1, 1971. she was 12 years old.

brenda woodard was last seen on november 15th waiting for a connecting bus home after dinner with a friend. considerably older than the other victims at 18, the killer left a note on her to inform the authorities, as if they couldn't deduce it on their own, that he was " insensitive" to women.

17 year old diane williams disappeared september 5, 1972. after visting a friend, she was seen boarding a bus. she would be the last known victim associated with the freeway phantom.

there is still up to a 150,000$ reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the freeway phantom.

this post relies on information from the washington DC metropolitan police, youtube, and 'Freeway Phantom' Slayings Haunt Police, Families-Washington Post, June 26, 2006 by Del Quentin Wilber.

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