Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Glen Rogers, the Cross-Country Killer

On the Run

Rogers hid out where he could, using James Peters as an alias and stealing a license plate in Tennessee to put on the stolen car.  But he was moving inevitably toward home, where he felt safe, despite part of him knowing the police would be looking for him there.  They dubbed him the "cross country killer."

On Nov. 13, 1995, Rogers visited two elderly cousins in Waco, Kentucky, not far from Beattyville, to ask for money.  He was driving the white Ford Festiva.  They urged him to turn himself in, but he wept and said he was confused. He may have told his siblings at this time that he had committed murder.  In any event, after he asked them to pray for him and drove away, an anonymous call was placed to the police to alert them to his recent whereabouts.  Later, it turned out that Edith Smallwood, his cousin, had turned him in.  "I love Glen, and it hurt," she told the Lexington Herald-Ledger, "but he had to be stopped."

Robert Stephens
Robert Stephens

One detective, Robert Stephens, who had a photo of the 33-year-old suspect in his possession, knew what kind of car to look for.  When he spotted a white Ford parked in a specific spot, he pulled up beside it.  The driver was drinking a beer.  The trooper took a good look at the long-haired man and knew he had found the notorious fugitive.  Rogers stared back at him for a long moment and then threw his beer car at the trooper's car.

He screeched out of there, taking off before the cop could get out and make an arrest.  But Stephens was hard on Rogers' heels, calling for back-up even as he accelerated.  Soon half a dozen police cars had joined the chase. 

Glen Rogers, captured
Glen Rogers, captured

Rogers led them for fifteen miles, according to the Patriot Ledger, going through two towns and even busting through a roadblock.  He sometimes reached speeds of over 100 miles per hour.  A trooper shot at his tires once to try to slow him down, but only when he finally spun out did Rogers bring his car to a stop. The police cruisers quickly surrounded him. They shoved him face-down on the ground, arrested him and took him to the state police station in Richmond, Kentucky, for questioning.

The media frenzy was on.  Rogers' sister, Sue, agreed to be interviewed for a popular television tabloid show, "A Current Affair,"saying that Rogers had admitted to having killed 55 people.  He frightened her.  Although Rogers claimed he had killed no one, he was about to change his story.


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