Long-Haul Trucker Murders Prostitutes All Across The Country And Still Lives At Home With Mommy (WIDK)
Posted to WIDK by Emily Moore
(Associated Press) — A long-haul trucker accused of murdering three prostitutes in different southern states is suspected of killing many more - even by his own lawyer.
John Boyer, who lives with his mother near Augusta, Georgia, is already in prison after pleading guilty to killing a prostitute in 2007 and he has in the last month admitted murdering two more.
His grey beard and round face may give him a grandfatherly appearance, but Boyer has a hatred of women, according to authorities.
He is suspected of picking up prostitutes around the Southeast, killing them and dumping their bodies near interstate highways.
Boyer has pleaded guilty to killing a woman in North Carolina and faces murder charges in slayings in Tennessee and South Carolina.
Boyer’s attorney in the North Carolina case said he felt uneasy around his client and wondered what else he might have done.
‘It wouldn’t surprise me if there’s other stuff out there,’ said H. Lawrence Shotwell. ‘I have absolutely nothing other than a gut instinct on that.’
Boyer’s most recent confession came last month. The similarities of the cases and the apparent lack of remorse from Boyer have investigators encouraging their counterparts along highways around the Southeast to review unsolved killings and missing person files.
‘I think there are a lot more. There’s no telling. This guy travelled all over the country. Hopefully we’ll get more of these cases solved through DNA,’ said detective Scott Smith of the Hickman County, Tennessee, sheriff’s office.
In the case Mr Smith investigated, Boyer picked up 25-year-old prostitute Jennifer Smith in April 2005 and brought her to an abandoned parking lot just off Interstate 40.
The two argued over money, and Boyer strangled the victim with the seat belt of his truck, dumped her body from the cab, and drove off, the detective said.
Her body was found in 2005 by a highway worker, but it took two years for investigators to match DNA found on her body to a sample Boyer gave after pleading guilty in North Carolina.
Boyer confessed to the killing after investigators cornered him with the evidence, but he also went on a tirade against women, said Mr Smith, who’s not related to the victim.
The investigator was chilled by the hatred toward women from a man who had never been married and lived with his mother near Augusta, Georgia.
A woman who answered the phone on Friday at a listing for Boyer’s mother denied knowing him.
Darlington County, South Carolina, Sheriff’s Captain Andy Locklair immediately got the same impression when he stepped into an interview room to question Boyer about a killing in that state. The first thing Boyer said to him was: ‘What b**** are you here about?’
Mr Locklair confronted Boyer earlier this month about the death of 34-year-old Michelle Haggadone.
Her body was found in April 2000 beneath pine straw at a parking area on Interstate 20 near Florence, about 30 miles from the truck stop where Boyer had picked her up.
Boyer immediately denied killing Ms Haggadone, lashing out at Mr Locklair and an investigator with him.
‘He said he had slept with a lot of prostitutes and a lot of them were detectives’ daughters or prosecutors’ daughters,’ Mr Locklair said. ‘He just tried to get the upper hand from the start.’
The captain added: ‘I’m not a behavior science expert, but he has some deep, deep issues with women.’
Ms Haggadone was strangled with a wire or cord after the two argued over the price of her services, authorities said.
Her body went unidentified for a decade, until a DNA sample from a relatives matched a sample from her body.
Investigators had no DNA evidence to go on, but Locklair and another investigator realised several aspects of the crime, like what the victim was doing and where and how she was killed, matched the earlier slayings linked to Boyer.
Without physical evidence to back him into a corner, Mr Locklair decided he would try to draw a confession by gaining Boyer’s trust. He told Boyer about his father, who also was a truck driver, then started trapping him in his lies.
Mr Locklair’s case and the one in Tennessee will take some time to resolve. Boyer will be taken to Tennessee to face a first-degree murder charge after his North Carolina sentence ends.
He is going to face a murder charge in South Carolina, but Mr Locklair isn’t sure when he might end up in court because of the other two cases.
Boyer is serving a sentence of up to 12 years in a North Carolina prison after pleading guilty in 2007 to second-degree murder for killing Scarlett Wood in Wilmington four years earlier.
Boyer said he was doing drugs with the 31-year-old prostitute when they had an argument, he pushed her, and she struck her head on furniture, authorities said.
But an autopsy found Wood suffered broken ribs and facial bones, and her pelvic bones showed signs of a stabbing.
Boyer had been interviewed when Wood was still considered a missing person case because the two had been seen together at a party the night she disappeared.
Authorities said detectives later got incriminating statements from Boyer when the case became a homicide investigation.
Boyer is a prime suspect in the death of 26-year-old Rose Marie Mallette, who was reported missing in 2001, said New Hanover County Sheriff’s Detective Ken Murphy, a cold case investigator in Wilmington.
The reported prostitute’s remains were found wrapped in a blanket in an industrial area of the city a year later, the back of her skull crushed.
Boyer also seemed to target women who were especially small. For instance, Ms Haggadone’s family said she likely weighed less than 100lbs when she was killed, while Boyer was 5’7” and 293lbs when he entered the North Carolina prison system in 2007.
Mr Locklair said Boyer could be responsible for several more deaths because of his transient life as a trucker and his short temper when women disagree with him, a suspicion shared by a woman who searches for missing people.
Monica Caison, founder of Community United Effort Center for Missing Persons in Wilmington, said investigators need to look at three cases where women disappeared over five months in 1995 in Brunswick County, North Carolina, just west of Wilmington.
‘We have a lot of unsolved missing persons in the general area where Mr Boyer was known to frequent, live, and be. So, to me that alone warrants a second look,’ Ms Caison said.
At least two of the unsolved cases involve woman who were small and slightly built, like Boyer’s other alleged victims.
Cold case investigators in the area are aware of Ms Caison’s concerns and are checking their files for any links to Boyer.
Ms Haggadone’s family came back to South Carolina last week as authorities announced her identification and Boyer’s confession.
Her sister, Tuesday Miller, said she felt a cold presence when she went to the lonely parking area where she died.
‘I am very overwhelmed. There are other people going through this same exact thing by this same exact guy,’ Ms Miller said. ‘That’s just sick. He’s just evil.’