Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Glen Rogers, the Cross-Country Killer

Shocking Confession

Once caught, Rogers began to confess.  One officer told reporters he was "talking his head off," and he apparently went on for four hours.  His interrogators, Stephens and Detective Floyd McIntosh, found him personable and "smooth," and they could see how he used his silver tongue to lure women to trust him.  When they told him they were interested in him for five murders, he laughed and told them it was more like 70.  This statement made its way to the press, and soon Rogers was being touted as the country's most prolific serial killer.  Police departments with unsolved murders in more than two hundred jurisdictions where he was thought to have traveled or resided started to look at their cases more closely. 

Given his time with carnivals, he could easily have killed in many places and then quietly left town.  Several investigations were reopened, especially in those states were he had allegedly killed.  From tips, police did a few excavations in search of more bodies.  Even male victims were considered, given the Mark Peters murder.  It looked as if Rogers killed as much for gain as for some type of sexual or emotional release.

Clay Rogers added to the search, according to Linedecker, when he said to a television interviewer that there was a hidden cemetery full of victims on the family farm.  It had been used for at least a quarter of a century.  But nothing came of that "tip," either.  

Rogers clearly loved the attention, although he eventually asked for an attorney and stopped talking.  Apparently he didn't care for the pressure to provide details about the victims the police actually knew about.  In these particular cases, he did not offer a confession.

Madison County Detention Center
Madison County Detention Center

Rogers was taken to the Madison County Detention Center in Richmond and placed in a special cell, where he would be repeatedly checked to prevent a suicide attempt.  In the meantime, the court appointed Erwin Lewis as Rogers' attorney, and he informed the media that Rogers would be talking to no one.  

Rogers was being held on minor charges, including first-degree wanton endangerment, but this time, he was not going to be cut loose.  In prison, he began selling locks of his blond hair and beard to the eager buyers that always emerge in such cases, as well as autographed index cards.  These fetched $30 apiece.  He became a favorite of adoring young girls, who would flock to his hearings and trials. A Web site devoted to serial killers kept a daily log (this was before blogs existed).

It wasn't long, however, before Rogers recanted his confession and claimed that he hadn't killed anyone: He was entirely innocent.  He said he'd just been joking about 70 bodies.  Regarding the alleged crimes, he said he'd just happened to have been with the wrong women at the wrong time.  It was all an unfortunate coincidence, and that made him a victim as well.  This theme would play out for the years that his case stretched out, and once his brother described his background in a book, the source of Rogers' violence, as well as for his eventual attempts to frame others for the crimes, was clarified.


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