Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Glen Rogers, the Cross-Country Killer

The Lottery Winner

Map of California with Van Nuys locator
Map of California with Van Nuys locator

In September 1995, Rogers lived near McRed's cocktail lounge in Van Nuys, California, and he liked to stop in for drinks. Linedecker says he was generous with money and quite charming with women, especially women with red hair or reddish tones in their hair (a theme repeated by newspapers and authors seeking to make a connection between Rogers' victims and his redheaded mother).  Rogers himself was blond and wore his hair quite long and shaggy.  He was well-built, handsome, and had sparkling blue eyes.  In addition, he was said to have such a smooth personality that he could talk most people into doing anything for him.  He didn't hesitate to approach women to whom he was attracted, and he often pestered McRed's female bartender, Rein Keener, to go out with him.  She repeatedly declined, which annoyed him.  Still, he persisted.

Glen Rogers
Glen Rogers

One day, Sandra Gallagher, a 33-year-old mother of three, according to the Associated Press, came into the bar.  She had won $1250 in a lottery game, so she was out to celebrate.  As she went on the dance floor, Rogers watched her.  It was his habit to study women to see if they'd yield to his will.  Any sign of self-confidence turned him off, no matter how pretty.  Their postures, their clothing, their hairstyles — he read them all before he made his approach. 

That evening, Rogers had been looking for attention, as usual from the bartender, telling her he needed a ride back to his place that day.  Linedecker writes that she initially agreed to it, but then had a bad feeling, so she changed her mind.  That made Rogers mad, and he allegedly told her, "I always get what I want."  She would tell this story many times to the press in the days that followed.

Rogers then made overtures to Gallagher, who initially declined to give him a ride, but she, too, changed her mind. Apparently she was feeling charitable that day, thanks to her recent good luck.  She left the bar with Rogers, assuring Keener that she felt safe because she "knew" him — possibly believing that his association with the bar made him safe.  Why would a man whom everyone saw with her try to harm her?

The next morning, Gallagher's badly charred body was found in her incinerated truck, although it took four more days to positively identify her, and the autopsy showed that she had been raped and strangled.  But Rogers, once a regular at the bar, was nowhere to be found.  He'd also left his digs, where police found a woman's earring that had belonged to the victim.  Someone later reported that an acquaintance of his said that Rogers had referred to this murder as the "eighth time." 

But Rogers had boarded a bus (or purchased a truck) and he was gone.  The police had a difficult time tracking him, which proved unfortunate for at least three more women.  But another murder had also drawn police attention to Rogers, and this victim was a man.


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