A man using the CB handle “Dr. No.” has been linked to at least 9 murders in Ohio. Approximately 150 unsolved homicides nationwide fit the same basic pattern. Who is Dr. No?
During the 1980s and early ’90s, several female bodies were found in ditches in seven different Ohio counties. Each woman had been beaten or strangled to death, and each had jewelry and clothing removed from her body. All were found alongside a major interstate, frequented truck stops, and were either known or suspected prostitutes. Several victims were killed by different perpetrators. But, some cases remain unsolved and are believed to be the work of a killer who preys on prostitutes.
Prostitutes make ideal targets for a serial killer because they are transient and their disappearances are often not reported. Some people believe law enforcement doesn’t diligently investigate a working girl’s murder because of her profession.
Investigative apathy was not an issue in the Ohio murders. But still, nearly four decades after discovering the “Buckskin Girl” in 1981, many of the murders remain unsolved.
In the 1980s, a sex-for-sale industry permeated truck stops across the buckeye state. Using C.B. radio, a prostitute would give her handle and a catchphrase; the trucker answered by giving his location at the truck stop. Once services were rendered, the girls used that trucker’s C.B. to radio her next customer.
A man identifying himself as “Dr. No” always said yes when the madams called.
The first victim believed to be linked to ‘Dr. No’ was discovered on April 24, 1981, near Troy, just north of Dayton in Miami County. After attempts to identify her failed, she was nicknamed the “Buckskin Girl,” after the tasseled buckskin jacket she was wearing at the time of her murder.
On April 9, 2018, the “Buckskin Girl” was identified as 21-year-old Marcia King of Little Rock, Arkansas. In addition to being strangled, she suffered trauma to the head and neck, had a lacerated liver, and was placed along the road in a fetal position. There where were no signs of sexual assault, rape, or other sexual activity.
Although Marcia lived a transient lifestyle, there is no evidence she was involved in prostitution, leading many investigators to question whether she was a victim of the so-called prostitute killer. Though her identity is unmasked, Marcia’s murder remains unsolved.
Marcia Matthews, 25, was last seen at a truck stop in Mansfield. Her body was found June 12, 1985, just off I-70 in Richland County. She had been beaten to death.
Twenty-three-year-old Shirley Taylor was last seen at a truck stop near Austintown, just south of Cleveland. On July 22, 1985, her body was found in a rest area off Interstate 76, three miles from Interstate 71 in Medina County. She was found behind a guardrail and had been beaten and strangled to death.
April Barrett, 18, was found strangled and dumped behind a guardrail on I-71 in Ashland County on December 3, 1985.
Anne Marie Patterson, 27, was last seen getting into a black or dark blue Peterbilt truck at a stop in Austintown. On February 8, 1987, twenty-five days after she was last seen, her body was found along Interstate 71, north of Cincinnati, approximately 150 miles from where she was last seen. An autopsy revealed that she had been killed within 48 hours of her disappearance. Her killer appeared to have kept her body in a refrigerated truck for almost a month.
All of the victims were known prostitutes who lived transient lifestyles. All had been beaten or strangled to death, and all were found partially or fully naked. When last seen, all of the women were wearing jewelry, but none was found on their remains.
Patrice Corley was beaten to death in Hebron, Ohio, near Columbus on April 19, 1990. She was known as “Licking County Jane Doe” until she was positively identified in 2017.
Three other women found along Interstates in Illinois, Pennsylvania, and New York are also considered possible victims of the alleged prostitute killer.
Twenty-six-year-old Jill Allen was found strangled to death in Springfield, Illinois, on December 19, 1986. Nineteen-year-old Lamonica Cole was found with a scarf stuffed in her throat at t a truck stop in Breezewood, Pennsylvania, on November 22, 1987. Thirty-one-year-old Terry Roarke was found dead in Saratoga County, New York, on March 29, 1988. She died of blunt force trauma to the head.
In the 1990s, three truck drivers were arrested in three separate murder investigations involving prostitutes. None of these truck drivers could be connected to the Ohio murders, but all are still considered persons of interest.
Alvin Wilson abducted, raped, and choked an Akron, Ohio, prostitute to death in 1991. However, he was in jail when one of the earlier Ohio murders occurred. Nothing has been found connecting him to any of the other murders in Ohio or the murders in Illinois, Pennsylvania, and New York.
In 1993, truck driver James Cruz murdered 17-year-old Dawn Birnbaum in Pennsylvania. Investigators noted that the Ohio victims were killed in a similar manner. However, Cruz has not been connected to the Ohio murders or the murder of Lamonica Cole in Pennsylvania.
Sean Goble murdered several prostitutes in Tennessee and North Carolina in 1995. His victims were killed in a manner similar to the Ohio victims.
Goble also drove a Peterbilt truck, the same truck believed to been driven by the Ohio killer. However, nothing has been found connecting him to the Ohio murders.
Another suspect emerged in February of 2019 when forty-nine-year-old truck driver Samuel Legg was arrested after DNA evidence linked him to three murders in the late ’80s and early ’90s, two in Ohio and the other in Illinois (but not the murder of Jill Allen.) All of Legg’s victims were found near truck stops, either nude or partially clothed.
Though a promising suspect on the surface, Legg would have been only 15-years-old when the first victims were found in 1985. He was definitely too young to be a truck driver.
If the murders were the work of one person, he was skilled. Most serial killers leave their victims’ bodies in areas with which they are familiar, which often leads to their capture. Instead, the Ohio prostitute killer scattered his victims’ bodies, leading some investigators to believe he could be a security guard or a former police officer who knows law enforcement investigative techniques. He likely also knew it would be more difficult to connect the crimes by scattering the bodies in different police jurisdictions.
Two of the victims, Ann Marie Patterson and Shirley Taylor, were last seen getting into a black or dark blue early 1980s Peterbilt tractor, similar to the one below, possibly pulling a refrigerated trailer. The driver may have used the C.B. handles Dr. No, Stargazer, or Dragon. In the 1980s, he was believed to be 25-40-years-old, dark-haired, and possibly having a mid-eastern accent. Small traces of semen were found at several crime scenes, which authorities hope will ultimately lead to his identity.
Approximately 150 unsolved homicides nationwide fit the same basic pattern as the Ohio prostitute murders.
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Ian Granstra is a writer and a native Iowan now living in Arkansas.Growing up, he enjoyed watching real-life crime shows and further researching the stories featured. He wrote about many of them on his personal Facebook page, and several people suggested he should start a group featuring his writings. Ian founded the Facebook group “Murders, Missing People and More Mysteries” in August of 2018 he writes about many cold cases. The group also features many current criminal cases in the news. When Ian isn’t writing, he enjoys exercising, traveling and collecting sports cards. He’s also a big animal lover (his Facebook nickname is “beagle lover.”)
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