State police in Indiana reported Tuesday that DNA evidence linked a deceased suspect to a string of motel clerk slayings and attacks that occurred between 1987 and 1990 in two states.
Who is Harry Edward Greenwell?
Officials identified Harry Edward Greenwell as the “I-65 killer,” who killed three women and raped another at motels along Interstate 65 in Indiana and Kentucky decades ago.
In 2013, the Iowa man died of cancer at the age of 68.
At a press conference, Indiana State Police Sgt. Glen Fifield said, “Greenwell had a lengthy criminal past and had been in and out of prison multiple times, including escaping from jail on two separate occasions.”
“He was well-known for frequent trips to the Midwest.”
Greenwell was linked to the murders of Vicki Heath, 41, in 1987 and Margaret “Peggy” Gill, 24, and Jeanne Gilbert, 24, in 1989, according to forensic evidence.
Heath was fatally shot while working the night shift at a Super 8 in Elizabethtown, Kentucky.
Gill and Gilbert were both shot and raped on the same day while working shifts at two separate Indiana Days Inns 50 miles apart.
Dead Iowa man linked to 1980s serial motel killings in Midwest
Investigators said the alleged serial murderer sexually raped a 21-year-old woman while she worked at an Indiana Days Inn a year later.
“This victim was able to escape her attacker and survive.
She was later able to give an excellent physical description of the suspect and details of the crime,” Fifield said.
“She is the only known victim to have survived the vicious, brutal attacks of this killer.”
Investigative genealogy led police to declare with 99.9999% certainty that Greenwell was responsible for all four crimes.
Gilbert’s daughter joined officials at the press conference and said the development had brought a type of closure to her family.
“She’s still in my family’s hearts,” Kimberly Gilbert Wright said.
“We talk about her as if she hasn’t gone.
My brother and I were fortunate enough to have spent the last seven months of her life living with her and experiencing the joy that she could bring to every day of our life.”
There was a “distinct possibility” that Greenwell had committed other crimes, and detectives were reaching out to other Midwest departments with cold cases to see if he was linked to them.