Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Glen Rogers, the Cross-Country Killer

Most Wanted

Logo: FBI Ten Most Wanted
Logo: FBI Ten Most Wanted

The FBI added Rogers to their Ten Most Wanted list.  They circulated his description to over 42,000 law enforcement agencies across the nation.  He did not, as they anticipated, return to his home town of Hamilton, Ohio (although he would later claim that he had indeed gone there for a few days.)  As they pieced together Rogers' activities over the past month and a half, law enforcement determined that he'd gone from California to Florida, killing at least four women along the way. 

The description of Rogers placed in newspapers noted his penchant for women with red hair whom he met in country music bars.  He was considered a smooth talker who lied easily and could persuade women to do whatever he wanted.  And he wasn't being particularly secretive.  He'd signed his own name at one hotel, and had told a bar-hopping acquaintance that he had committed murder.  In fact, while he was on the run, he'd gone into several bars, showing his face as if he hadn't a care in the world, even drawing attention to himself by flashing money and buying everyone drinks.  He seemed to know his days were numbered, and until he was caught, he was just doing whatever he wanted.  Or else he had no awareness of the visibility of the trail he had left behind.

Agents knew that Rogers had two teenage sons living in Houston, Texas, and although a court order had barred him from seeing them, they thought he might be headed there.  He might also head to Canada, where his grandmother lived. "America's Most Wanted" rushed its program to the screen.  Flashing photographs and providing all known information to that point, the host, John Walsh, asked anyone who may have seen this dangerous fugitive to call the hotline.  More than 400 people called, but no one provided a viable lead.

Rogers' relatives, alert to the situation, went onto news shows to urge him to turn himself in.  As quoted in the Austin American Statesman, his mother, Edna Rogers, went on a Cincinnati-based television program and said, "Glen, babe, if you hear this, please give up.  Please.  I love you."  She admitted to police that he had phoned her to tell her he was wanted and had assured her that he'd done nothing wrong; she believed him.  But she did not want him to be shot while on the run, so she had sent out the appeal.


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