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When serial killers strike: The Cross-Country Killer

NEED TO KNOW
  • Glen Rogers, also know as 'Cross Country Killer,' is on Florida’s death row waiting for his execution
  • Rogers claims to be responsible for 70 murders, but he has only been convicted of killing two women
  • Brother, profiler say Rogers claims to have killed O.J. Simpson's ex-wife
When serial killers strike: The Cross-Country Killer

Tina Marie Cribbs met Glen Rogers in a bar near Tampa, Florida, on November 5, 1995.

A bartender at the Showtown Bar later described the man as clean-cut and well-groomed with brilliant blue eyes, according to court documents. He introduced himself to others at the bar as “Randy.”

Cribbs, a 34-year-old mother of two, was at a table with three friends. Rogers bought them drinks, flirted and danced with them. Eventually, he asked Cribbs for a ride. She told one of her friends she would return soon because she was supposed to meet her mother there.

Cribbs never came back.

Mary Dicke, Cribbs’ mother, waited for her at the bar for more than an hour. She tried paging her about thirty times with no response.

Two days later, an employee at the Tampa 8 motel found Cribbs dead from multiple stab wounds in the bathtub of a room rented by Rogers. Her car, a white Ford Festiva, was gone.

What Tina Marie Cribbs did not know when Rogers approached her at the bar is that he had killed another woman he met in a bar, Sandra Gallagher, in Van Nuys, California less than two months earlier, according to Los Angeles Superior Court records--and that he would later claim to have killed dozens of people before that.

On November 13, 1995, a state police detective in Kentucky spotted Rogers driving Cribbs’ car, according to Florida Supreme Court documents. After a high-speed chase, during which Rogers threw beer cans at pursuing officers, police set up a roadblock and forced him off the road.

At the time of his arrest, the Los Angeles Times reported Glen Edward Rogers, then 33, was suspected of killing four women—Gallagher, Cribbs and two others he had met in the six weeks between their deaths—and a man, 71-year-old Mark Peters of Ohio. Peters, a one-time roommate of Rogers’, was found dead in a cabin belonging to Rogers’ family in Kentucky in 1994, his body badly decomposed, according to the News Star.

Sandra Gallagher’s encounter with Rogers began and ended much like Cribbs’. The 33-year-old mother met him at McRed’s bar in Van Nuys on September 28, 1995, where she was celebrating winning $1,250 in the lottery, the Los Angeles Times reported.

According to court documents, Rogers “actively sought to engage her attention” at the bar and “maneuvered events” to get Gallagher to drive him home.

“Sometime during the course of the early morning, [Rogers] strangled her. He then took her vehicle with her body in the passenger seat, and set the car on fire, burning Sandra Gallagher’s body beyond recognition,” a death penalty commitment order stated.

The judge also noted that there was evidence establishing that Rogers killed Linda Price in Mississippi and Andy Jiles Sutton in Louisiana.

Rogers, a former carnival worker, met Linda Price, 34, at the Mississippi State Fair in Jackson in early October 1995, days after Gallagher’s body was found in California, according to the Tampa Tribune. They began dating and soon moved in together, but within weeks, on November 3, 1995, Price was found dead in the bathtub of her home, her body stabbed four times and her throat slashed.

On the day Price’s body was discovered, Rogers boarded a bus in New Orleans, Louisiana bound for Florida, the Dayton Daily News reported. A new girlfriend, 37-year-old Andy Sutton of Bossier City, and her roommate drove him to the bus station.

According to court documents, Rogers arrived at the Tampa 8 motel by cab the following day, telling a clerk he was a truck driver and his vehicle had broken down. He paid for a two-night stay.

The next day, Cribbs encountered Rogers at the Showtown Bar. That night, the motel clerk saw Rogers packing suitcases into a white Ford Festiva matching the description of Cribbs’ car. Court records state Rogers came into the office, paid for another night and asked for a “Do not disturb” sign, which the motel did not have. He asked that the clerk leave a note telling the cleaning staff not to enter his room.

On November 6, an employee saw a handwritten “Do not disturb” sign on the door of Rogers’ room and did not enter, according to Florida Supreme Court documents. When the sign was still there the next morning, however, she went inside and found Cribbs’ body.

On November 8, Rogers was back in Louisiana, reportedly arguing with Sutton outside a Bossier City bar, according to the Dayton Daily News. The next day, Sutton’s roommate and ex-boyfriend discovered her body on her bed, stabbed multiple times in the chest and back.

Less than a week later, Rogers was in police custody in Kentucky.

Authorities from the five states where Rogers was suspected of murder debated which would have the first chance to put him on trial, ultimately deciding to try him for Tina Marie Cribbs’ murder in Florida, according to court records. He was convicted at trial and sentenced to death in 1997.

In accepting the jury’s recommendation of a death sentence, the judge found two aggravating circumstances—that the murder was committed for pecuniary gain and that the crime was heinous, atrocious or cruel.

According to a ruling by the Florida Supreme Court, several pieces of evidence supported the prosecution’s argument that robbery was the primary motive for Cribbs’ murder and that the crime was premeditated. One was the “deliberate nature” of the fatal stab wounds, which a pathologist testified were likely the result of a knife being inserted, twisted 90 degrees and then pulled out.

The court also noted that Rogers did not appear to have a vehicle when he arrived in Tampa, but he was caught with Cribbs’ car a week later. In addition, Cribbs’ wallet was found discarded at a highway rest area in northern Florida. A receipt inside had Rogers’ fingerprints on it.

The nature of the stab wounds was also cited as evidence of the heinous, atrocious or cruel aggravator. Testimony indicated Cribbs was alive and conscious at the time the fatal wounds were inflicted and a medical examiner estimated that she may have lived for 20 to 30 minutes after being stabbed.

“Cribbs was conscious at the least long enough to realize her lifeblood was flowing down the bathtub drain and that she could not escape death,” the trial judge concluded, according to court records.

Rogers was extradited to California to face murder and arson charges for Sandra Gallagher’s death in 1999. He took the witness stand in his own defense at that trial, according to the Los Angeles Times, and he repeatedly denied responsibility for her murder.

A jury found Rogers guilty and he was sentenced to death for a second time. He returned to Florida’s death row, where he remains today waiting for his execution. A Department of Corrections spokesperson said no execution date is currently set.

Rogers has appealed his conviction and death sentence for Cribbs’ murder many times on the state and federal level over the last fifteen years, but his petitions have been denied.

An attorney who handled his most recent appeal could not be reached for comment on the case.

Court documents paint a bleak picture of Rogers’ childhood—one “deprived of love, affection or moral guidance,” according to the trial judge.

Testimony at the Cribbs trial alleged that Rogers’ father was an abusive alcoholic who beat his mother in the presence of their children. The family struggled financially, at one point moving into a condemned house, according to appellate filings.

At a young age, Rogers began participating in burglaries and drug use with his older brother in the Hamilton, Ohio area. Between 1981 and 1985, and then again in 1991, he served as a confidential informant for police, helping undercover officers make contact with drug dealers at least 30 times.

Rogers got married at 16 and spent several years moving back and forth between Ohio and California, sometimes working as a printer or a cab driver, according to an appellate brief. In 1991, he got into a bar fight and was attacked with a pool cue, suffering structural injuries to his skull.

Defense experts testified at the penalty phase of Rogers’ trial for Cribbs’ murder that he suffered from brain damage and mental illness. Dr. Robert Berland stated that Rogers had poriphyria, a rare genetic disease that can cause psychosis and strokes.

Berland also concluded that Rogers exhibited symptoms of psychotic disturbances, schizophrenia, mania and paranoia. Another expert testified that Rogers “had a significant history of trauma to the head,” according to court records, and that trauma—combined with the poriphyria and alcohol abuse—may have contributed to his violent behavior.

The experts suggested that Rogers’ mental illness impeded his ability to follow the law and recognize the criminality of his actions. However, the trial judge found that there was no testimony supporting extreme mental or emotional disturbance as a mitigating factor in his sentence.

While Rogers is believed to be responsible for the murders of Peters, Sutton and Price, he has only been convicted of killing Cribbs and Gallagher. Following his arrest, he told detectives he was responsible for as many as 70 murders, CNN reported.

Investigators in several states have looked into potential links to similar unsolved cases, but they still do not know how many murders Rogers truly committed.

According to Rogers’ brother, Clay, the list of people he claimed to have killed included O.J. Simpson’s ex-wife. Clay Rogers discussed the case in the recent Investigation Discovery documentary, “My Brother the Serial Killer.”

Simpson was charged with the 1994 murders of Nicole Brown-Simpson and Ronald Goldman. He was acquitted in his criminal trial, but he was later found liable in a wrongful death suit.

In the documentary, Clay Rogers said Glen told him in 1994 that he had been working in the Los Angeles area painting and fixing houses and he met Nicole there. Glen allegedly said, “They’ve got money, they’re well off and I’m taking her down.”

“I believed my brother was involved, but who’s going to listen to me?” Clay Rogers said in the film.

Criminal profiler Anthony Meoli, who said he interviewed Rogers in prison about the murders, also appeared in the documentary. Meoli said Rogers told him he was paid by O.J. Simpson to steal a pair of diamond earrings from Nicole that he believed were worth $20,000, and he killed Brown-Simpson and Goldman during the attempted robbery.

In a statement to HLN on the claims made in the documentary, David Cook, an attorney for Ron Goldman’s father, said:

“The overwhelming evidence at the criminal trial proved that one and only one person murdered Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. That person is O.J. Simpson and not Glen Rogers. The fact that O.J. Simpson was acquitted was a travesty of justice that tarnished the criminal justice system. Now every guilty person prays to the altar of OJ Simpson for deliverance from their crimes. A 100,000 screaming Glen Rogers, packed in the Los Angeles Coliseum, all confessing in unison, would not absolve O.J. Simpson of the murders he committed.”

Simpson is currently serving a 33-year prison sentence in Nevada after a conviction on armed robbery and kidnapping charges there for holding a sports memorabilia dealer at gunpoint and stealing from him.

Simpson’s attorneys did not return calls seeking comment on the allegations involving Rogers. A Los Angeles Police Department spokesman told CNN detectives would investigate the claims, but they have no reason to believe Rogers played a part in those murders.

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