Sunday, December 10

FBI, Indiana State Police identify ‘I-65 Killer’ as Harry Edward Greenwell

The serial killer murdered multiple women in Kentucky and Indiana in the 1980s and 1990s.

INDIANAPOLIS — The “I-65 Killer” has been identified as Harry Edward Greenwell. He died in Iowa in January of 2013 at 68 years old. 

Indiana State Police recently requested the FBI’s assistance in checking DNA evidence from the cases. That DNA provided a possible match. The DNA was then tested by the Indiana State Police testing lab and came back with a 99.999% positive match to Greenwell.

“The animal that did this is no longer on this Earth. I’m not going to say his name. I think we need to focus on the victims today,” said Indiana State Police Superintendent Doug Carter.

Greenwell, who was born in Kentucky, had several arrests in his criminal background. He had also escaped from prison on multiple occasions. Police said Greenwell’s previously known criminal history did not compare to the murders he has now been linked to. He was know to travel throughout the Midwest.

“While this news might close the cases at hand initially, new chapters of healing begin,” said Kimberly Gilbert Wright, the daughter of one of the victims. “Some people might feel upset the killer can’t go to trial and face justice.”

Greenwell, known in some cases as the “I-65 Killer” or “Days Inn Killer”, could be responsible for as many as three murders and several other assaults from the 1980s and 1990s.

For more than 30 years, investigators have been working to find the man responsible. 

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On Feb. 21, 1987, Vicki Heath was sexually assaulted and shot twice in the head. Police found her body behind the dumpsters at the Super 8 Motel off of I-65 in Hardin County, Kentucky.

Elizabethtown Police matched the DNA in Heath’s case to at least four other cases in several states. In each case, the women were all motel clerks, they were all sexually assaulted and robbed, and they all worked along I-65. 

Police said these incidents were the trail of a traveling serial killer.

The DNA also linked the murderer to two women who were sexually assaulted and killed in Indiana in 1989. 

One year later, in 1990, a woman in Columbus, Indiana, was sexually assaulted and stabbed but survived. That was the first time police were able to get a description of the killer. She described the assailant as a man with green eyes and a lazy right eye.

In 1991, a woman in Minnesota, who was also sexually assaulted and stabbed, gave police a similar description of her attacker. The victim described the suspect as a white male, 6′- 6’2”, with green eyes, the right eye was described as a lazy eye, and he had grayish-brown hair. He was wearing a flannel shirt and blue jeans.

“That was why it was so difficult because most of our murders are local or have some type of domestic tie or something. Whereas this is a random murder and there are 16 million people that travel up and down 65 in a year’s time,” said Elizabethtown Police Detective Clinton Turner.

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After 35 years, Greenwell has been identified as that killer and attacker. Detectives are still looking at other possible cases in the Midwest that might be linked to Greenwell.

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