‘I-65 Killer’ identified by FBI, state police

The serial killer murdered multiple women in Kentucky and Indiana in the ‘80s and ‘90s.
Drawing of the "I-65 Killer", identified as Harry Greenwell.
Drawing of the "I-65 Killer", identified as Harry Greenwell.(Staff)
Published: Apr. 5, 2022 at 11:22 AM EDT
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INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — The “I-65 Killer” has been identified as Harry Greenwell, who died in 2013. Police used modern DNA testing to match Greenwell to the killings.

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.

Greenwell had several arrests in his criminal background, including prison escapes. He was known to travel throughout the Midwest.

Police used modern DNA testing to match Greenwell to the killings.

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. Now, Indiana State Police, Elizabethtown Police and the FBI have announced that they have a big update on the case.

On February 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.

Elizabethtown Police Chief at the time, Ruben Gardner, worked the case as a detective when it happened and said even then he thought this murderer was someone traveling I-65 and this was a crime of opportunity.

“We did all the routine things that you do, compared it to every crime we could find around that had any similarities at all,” Gardner told WHAS11 in 2013. But without any significant leads, the case went cold until 2008 when Detective Clinton Turner submitted DNA from well-preserved evidence.

“I say there’s an 80% chance we could find him,” said Turner.

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 is 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,” Elizabethtown Police Detective Clinton Turner told WHAS11 in 2013.

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