SERIAL KILLER IN CAROLINAS?
Interstate 95 a trail of tears – and bodies
Every town has its secrets. Some terrifying.
In the classic David
Lynch crime thriller Blue Velvet, behind the facade of homogeneous small-town tranquillity lurked monsters, heartache and pain.
Go to Podunkville anywhere and eventually you’ll get the 411 on dirty secrets and bad people.
Blue Velvet took place in Lumberton, N.C.
During the past six months, real life has begun imitating art, with three young women dead and two more vanished off the face of the earth.
Severing Lumberton — about 100 km over the state line from Myrtle Beach — is I-95, the main Interstate artery on the U.S. eastern seaboard.
It runs from the Canadian border to Miami.
For years, the FBI behavioural science unit has believed cold-blooded killers in the guise of truckers have been plying their vile trade on the nation’s interstate highway system.
Did someone passing through kill, move on, come back and kill again?
Right now, cops are poopooing the notion the harvest of death had been the handiwork of a serial killer.
Except ... three of the bodies were found less than 650 feet apart at different times. Now, there’s a curveball. Abby Patterson, 20, disappeared Sept. 5.
She was last seen in the middle of the day.
The three dead women were drug-addicted prostitutes.
Patterson was not, although she had just emerged from a stint in rehab.
This is not to say her life is more valuable than a sex worker, but it seems to be a point local detectives are holding onto to dispel the notion a serial killer is in their midst.
Patterson told her mom she would be back in an hour.
She was last seen getting into a late-model rustybrown Buick.
“Those hours turned into months,” her mother, Samantha Lovette, wrote on Facebook. “It’s not getting any easier and tears still fall every day.”
Cynthia Jacobs, 41, also disappeared within several hundred feet of Patterson.
She was also the last person to see Megan Oxendine alive before her body was found, naked, bloody and battered.
In 2009, two other prostitutes were murdered. Their cases? Ice cold.
“It could be coincidental or it could be that someone out there is targeting prostitutes,” then-police chief Robert Grice told local media.
And cops are keeping mum on the wherefores and hows of these tragic investigations.
Because the bodies were badly decomposed, the task for cops and the FBI is tougher.
Christina Bennett, 32, and Rhonda Jones, 36, were found murdered on the same day last April.
Oxendine — a close friend of Jones — was murdered in June.
She called her friend
“sweet and kind.”
“I don’t comprehend with stuff like this too good,” Oxendine, a mother of five, told CBS News. “I don’t understand how somebody could do somebody’s child, mother, niece, like that.”
And in the tiny town of Lumberton — where Laura Dern once excitedly said
“The robins are back” after a villainous Dennis Hopper is capped — there is fear.
More likely than not, there are secrets.
And as Bobby Vinton crooned in his 1963 maudlin mega-hit: “I still can see Blue Velvet through my tears.”