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River`s edge
Written by Editor   
Saturday, 02 December 2006 06:49

When I began researching the Midwest drownings in May, I was admittedly doubtful of the serial killer angle. Although 43 men had gone missing or drowned in the past decade, alcohol seemed the logical explanation. Nonetheless, this angle was worth exploring. Even if only due to the alleged concentration of missing or drowned men around Corridor 94.

To avoid my own biases, confirmatory, sample or otherwise, I ran several search combinations involving missing students as well as drownings, in an attempt determine if a pattern did indeed exist. Interestingly, or perhaps not so, college-aged females appear to be largely exempt from this particular category. Furthermore, the resulting crime map shows a Midwest concentration (77%). And finally the data reveals only half of the drownings (n=43) involved alcohol (56%) and of those, the reported BACs were above the legal limits[1] with a mean of more than twice above the legal limits (0.22%). While less than half of the men were students (44%)--with ages ranging from 17 to 32 and a mean of 21--the majority were college-aged (84%).

The resulting victimology pattern shows that college-aged men appear to be drowning in the Midwest. The greater than twice the legal BAC arguably goes to risk factor--recall, for women, prostitution is a risk factor when it comes to homicide (i.e., Jack the Ripper, Green River Killer, Robert Pickton). Not simply due to the inherent dangers involved, rather society's response when these women go missing and/or are found deceased. For this reason, it takes a much larger number of missing and/or dead for society at large to even begin raising the question of murder, serial or otherwise.

In the case of the Midwest drownings, there does appear to be a growing consensus that some of these men are victims of a serial killer. For example, while we would not expect to see drownings in say, the southwest, we would expect the data to include those places that have a high concentration of college-aged men that are also located near large rivers and/or large bodies of water (i.e., Seattle, San Francisco, San Diego, Boston, Tampa, etcetera). For this reason, the serial killer angle should not be ignored. Which brings us to the present.

The morning of November 21, 2006 saw increased incoming link search activity for "student drowning midwest" as well as "corridor 94 drownings." In addition we were seeing referrals from various sites dedicated to finding answers regarding the Midwest drownings. Although we were pretty certain another student had gone missing, as it turned out, two young men had gone missing that week. Payned, of Southern Sass, was following the case of 21-year-old Jessiah Jameson, who went missing on November 16, 2006 and MagZ, of Southern Sass, was following the case of 21-year-old Jesse Ross who went missing on November 21, 2006. Unfortunately, Mr. Jamesons body was found in the Cumberland River on Friday, December 1, 2006.[2] Mr. Ross remains missing and his friends have since set up a MySpace memorial.[3]

On the Friday, November 24, 2006, a forum member, slatyhead, posted an interesting hypothesis. This was not their first post. They also posted a response to the original Corridor 94 article proposing the Corridor 94 killer might be a truck driver. What makes slatyheads hypothesis more than interesting is the detailed road map they've provided for catching this individual. As for the still unsolved case of Jesse Ross? Slatyhead predicts Mr. Ross will be found on the shore of Lake Michigan near the intersection of East Division Street and North Michigan Avenue--or one mile north of where he went missing. Recall, Papandreou & Leady's bodies were found in 2002 and 2003, respectively, in the same general area. MagZ, of Southern Sass, has proposed these men are possibly victims of a female serial killer. Her idea is certainly provocative and brings to mind the legend of the Mermaid.

"A mermaid is a legendary aquatic creature with the head and torso of human female and the tail of a fish. (...) They were known to sing sailors to their deaths, like the Siren, or squeeze the life out of drowning men, while trying to rescue them."[4]

While a female serial killer would quite obviously be human, the idea of a woman luring her victims to a watery grave is not beyond the realm of possibilities. Also, recall the case of Aileen Wuornos, a prostitute who preyed upon unsuspecting motorists along Interstate 95 in Volusia County, Florida.[5] Here is another possible twist to this growing mystery. While researching the Dark Waters article, I stumbled upon a MySpace profile which contained the following in their "about me" section.

"I am La Crosse, Wisconsins very own serial killer (imagined or real, who knows?) known oh-so-creatively as The River Killer. I like to get people so drunk they dont know who or what they are and are incapable of defending themselves before I toss them into the icy depths of the Mississippi. See you on 3rd Street!!"[6]

Their profile was last updated on March 2, 2006. Shortly after Lucas Homan went missing, someone posted the following in The River Killers comment section

"What have you done w/ Lucas Homan?!"[7]

This is evidently nothing more than someones idea of dark humor. Or is it? The readers can decide for themselves what--if anything--to make of the aforementioned.

Documents: Crime Map

Relevant/Related:
Corridor 94
Dark Waters

 

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