The 1978 Burger Chef Employee Murders Unsolved Case Theories Explored, What And When Will Be

The 1978 Burger Chef Employee Murders: Unsolved Case Theories Explored, What And When Will Be?

There are a ton of FBI files available online, something that not many people are aware of. You may peep at all the information the FBI has on Jeffrey Lionel Dahmer, for instance.

The 1967 Freedom of Information Act is responsible for all of this, as it “grants the public the right to request access to records from any federal agency.”

Though not as well-known as Dahmer’s, there are other cases on the FBI website. Others, like the Burger Chef killings, are just as fascinating but have been somewhat forgotten by time.

At a Burger Chef restaurant in Speedway, Indiana, four employees were kidnapped and murdered in November 1978. Although there are a few hypotheses, nobody is certain what transpired. Which of these could be true? That’s up to you to decide.

The 1978 Burger Chef Employee Murders Unsolved Case Theories Explored, What And When Will Be

Here is what happened before we get into the hypotheses of Burger Chef’s murder.

As to the FBI files, on Nov. 18, 1978, at around 12:30 a.m., a Burger Chef employee who was not assigned for that night dropped by the Speedway site. To her surprise, she found the place empty and the back door slightly open.

The four cash drawers were open and mostly empty when he first entered the establishment—that is, besides the change. Still inside the safe, which was also open, were two money bags. The handbags of two female workers who were on duty that evening were also discovered by them.


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A “remote, wooded area in Johnson County, about 40 minutes away” was where the bodies of the four workers who had been on duty that evening were eventually discovered, according to the IndyStar.

Four people had been murdered: Ruth Shelton, 17, Daniel Davis, 16, Jayne Friedt, 20, and Mark Flemmonds, 16. However, only two of the fatalities were alike. After being knocked unconscious, Flemmonds choked on his own blood, while Shelton and Davis were shot. Friedt was stabbed. A gory scene played out.

Everything that has been acquired for this case is still kept in one location—the Indiana State Police building—and is quite extensive.

The uniforms of Burger Chef, which are still smeared with dried blood, were still on all four victims. The two 3D busts that are positioned next to the uniforms were constructed when detectives requested the art department at Purdue University to draw a drawing of each of the two suspects.

Furthermore, there are “hair samples, blood samples, fingerprints, bullets recovered from Davis’ and Shelton’s heads, the knife blade from Friedt’s chest, and cigarette butts from Friedt’s 1974 Chevrolet Vega,” according to the news organization.

In addition, there are many cassette recordings with police interviews on them, and there are 24 three-ring binders full with police notes. It is enough to piece together some theories, and it is a substantial amount.

One can find theories about the murder of Burger Chefs anywhere.

In November 2017, the sole person still in charge of this case was William Stoney Vann, an Indiana State Trooper. Five guys that he believes were robbing individuals in the vicinity at the time appear to be the ones responsible for this.

IndyStar was informed by him that “the crimes were similar in that they entered through the back door at closing time.” Vann listened more intently, even when others had considered them. According to his beliefs, the heist turned into a murder after one of them was identified.

In 2017, there were just two of those five men who were living. Another person was killed, one had died from a heart attack, and the third had committed suicide. Is it possible that he harbored guilt?

Vann claimed that there is insufficient proof to respond to the question of why he hasn’t contacted the two living men, saying, “If we could prove it, we’d have proved it a long time ago.”

A different theory is held by others, such as Marion County Sheriff’s Department detective Mel Willsey. Donald C. Forrester, “imprisoned at the state prison in Michigan City for rape in November 1986, and confessed his involvement to Willsey and Maxey,” provided information to him and fellow officer Gary Maxey. Upon being requested to show them the location of the murders, Forrester took them directly to the scene.

They talked to Forrester’s ex-wife as well, and she revealed that they had only been there a few days prior to the murder and knew it was a much-liked location for couples. Authorities dug for more shot casings after he removed five from the creek, she informed Willsey and Maxey. They recovered a greater number of shell casings, despite the fact that it had been nine years. Regretfully, Forrester renounced his admission and passed away in 2006 from cancer. After failing two polygraph exams, this was the outcome.

It didn’t help that there were a rash of unsolved murders happening in Speedway close to the Burger Chef murders. People were on edge and were willing to believe anything from groups of motorcycle gangs to drug deals gone wrong. Only two months prior, the “detonation over several days of six bombs around the town,” just made things worse. No one died but two people were severely injured.

Vann handed the case over to Detective Nicholas Alspach whose father and grandfather were Indiana state troopers. You could say it was in his blood. “I grew up hearing about this case. Now I’ll see what I can do,” he said.

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