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Thread: 1978 Burger Chef murders

  1. #1

    1978 Burger Chef murders

    I find this story rather haunting and wanted to share this with you people. You may or may not have heard about this, but I lived in the area at the time. I vaguely remember hearing about this (I was 10 years of age at the time) and I used to love the Burger Chef and Jeff's fun meals.

    Anyway hear is the story

    On the night of Friday, November 17, 1978, just after 11:00; four young employees of a Speedway, Indiana, Burger Chef restaurant located at 5725 N. Crawfordsville Road disappeared. They were kidnapped during what was believed to be a botched robbery. The murdered bodies of Jayne Friedt, Daniel Davis, Mark Flemmonds, and Ruth Ellen Shelton were found that Sunday afternoon over 20 miles (32 km) away in a rural Johnson County, Indiana woods. Daniel Davis and Ruth Ellen Shelton had been shot multiple times execution-style. Jayne Friedt had been stabbed twice in the chest. The handle of the knife had broken off and was missing; the blade was recovered at autopsy. Mark Flemmonds had suffered a blunt force head injury, possibly from running into a tree while trying to escape. It is later determined that he had been beaten prior to his death.

    According to a 16-year-old eyewitness, two suspicious men were in a car outside the Burger Chef just before closing on Friday night. Both were white and in their 30s. One man had a beard, and the other was clean-shaven with light colored hair.[1]

    The case was never solved, despite thousands of hours of investigation and a Burger Chef offer of $25,000 for information that could lead to its resolution
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burger_Chef_murders

  2. #2


    Here is a picture of the assistant manager on duty at the time- Jayne C. Friedt (RIP)



    Her gravestone

  3. #3
    Very sad case indeed. If this happened today modern forensic methods might provide a resolution because there must have been tons of DNA scattered about by the perps at the obviously violent scene. Animals like that do not deserve modern execution methods. The most painful protracted deaths possible would be entirely appropriate for such human garbage.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Darwin View Post
    Very sad case indeed. If this happened today modern forensic methods might provide a resolution because there must have been tons of DNA scattered about by the perps at the obviously violent scene. Animals like that do not deserve modern execution methods. The most painful protracted deaths possible would be entirely appropriate for such human garbage.
    I believe I read in one the news articles that the Burger Chef morning crew (clueless to what happened) cleaned the place before the authorities were able to investigate. That pretty much screwed things up.

  5. #5
    Not to sound all mushy but this is the field I work in. I've done the fast food business from the bottom to the top and this is always my biggest fear. I have about 200 people that work for me every day and I always worry about crap like this.

    There was a murder spree in some restaurants in Sacramento when I started in the food business and I guess that scared the crap out of me. The unfortunate truth of the matter though is that a very high percent of robberies are either an inside job or the employees didn't follow sound safety procedures.

    For all you folks who work in food, just remember, never go out after dark and never let anyone in the back door.

    It's really sad about these folks and my prayers are with their families.

  6. #6
    That's really sad. I hope one day it will be solved so the families can finally have some peace.

  7. #7
    i was in the restaurant business in management for a lot of years. i was an area manager for a restaurant and co worker friend at the time told me he used to be an area type manager for Burger Chef. When i first saw this post it shook me for a minute because i remember him telling me one of his managers was killed in a robbery. after i read this story i know it is not the same murder because in the murder he told me about his manager was shot trying to open the stores safe. The manager was freaking and could not get the safe opened. The robber put his gun in the managers mouth and blew his brains out.

    I had some of these things happen in stores i managed. These things haunt you forever.

    On the lighter side.... i LOVED Burger Chef hamburgers and still miss them too.

  8. #8
    Something similar happened in my home town in '92. This was just a few blocks from my office at the time, and I ate at that restaurant from time to time...

    4 Workers Forced Into Cooler And Slain in Tulsa Robbery

    TULSA, Okla., Aug. 18— Four workers at a fast-food restaurant were ordered into a walk-in refrigerator by robbers on Monday night, made to kneel and then fatally shot in the head, the police said today. One suspect is in custody.

    The four victims, employees of Lee's Famous Recipe Country Chicken on Tulsa's East Side, were found after closing time on Monday night by a friend of one of them. Three were already dead; the other died later in a hospital.

    Today the police arrested as a suspect a 21-year-old former employee of the restaurant, Donald Eugene Daniels, who was booked on four complaints of first-degree murder and a single complaint of armed robbery. The police said they had also identified several other suspects and were still searching for them.

    Mr. Daniels was arrested at his home in one of several raids that the police carried out today after tracing the getaway car's license number, which a suspicious security guard working near the restaurant had noted.

    The victims were identified as Joseph Gooch, 17, who had worked at the restaurant for only three days; Sendy Lara, 26, the mother of three children, the youngest only 15 months old; Theodore Kindley, 19, and Stephen Lee Williams, 24. --------------------

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by RobsanX View Post
    Something similar happened in my home town in '92. This was just a few blocks from my office at the time, and I ate at that restaurant from time to time...
    Robsan, I had no idea you had Tulsa ties. Very cool. I grew up in Tulsa and moved when I got married. I am really glad I moved. I can't imagine living there now. There is a murder and/or shooting nearly every night, mainly in North Tulsa (I know.... 'shocking'). I still visit family there, but have no intentions on ever moving back. If I do visit, I pack heat.

    While a nightly murder may not seem concerning to people in larger cities, when you apply the per capita, Tulsa's murder rate is approximately 3 times the nat'l average.

    That Lee's chicken place is still there and in business. Every time I drive by I think about the murders. However, the porno shop just north of it is now closed. No more browsing the racks for the latest issue of Swank with a bucket of greasy yardbird from Lee's!

  10. #10
    Crazy stuff. I've never worked in any food industry, because I was too afraid of what I would see in the food to cause me to not eat out ever again lol.

  11. #11
    This kind of stuff doesn't happen in the DPRK.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by tom502 View Post
    This kind of stuff doesn't happen in the DPRK.


    Nope. The government there pretty much takes care of that issue.

  13. #13
    I blame our failed government, on all the murders, robberies, rapes etc., that happen. They have created a society environment that allows this to happen. If there are 2 things the Gov should have for it's citizens is safety and security, and it has done neither.

  14. #14
    I remember the delights of working fast food. Came in to my shift and saw a frantic co/high school blonde girl crying and yelling to call the police that she was robbed. Tried talking to her and asking her calmly what happened but she would not answer.

    Later it turned out it was her inner city gangster boyfriend that set the whole thing up. They both went to jail.

  15. #15
    Inner city gangsters need to taken along a wall and shot.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by NonServiam View Post
    Robsan, I had no idea you had Tulsa ties. Very cool. I grew up in Tulsa and moved when I got married. I am really glad I moved. I can't imagine living there now. There is a murder and/or shooting nearly every night, mainly in North Tulsa (I know.... 'shocking'). I still visit family there, but have no intentions on ever moving back. If I do visit, I pack heat.

    While a nightly murder may not seem concerning to people in larger cities, when you apply the per capita, Tulsa's murder rate is approximately 3 times the nat'l average.

    That Lee's chicken place is still there and in business. Every time I drive by I think about the murders. However, the porno shop just north of it is now closed. No more browsing the racks for the latest issue of Swank with a bucket of greasy yardbird from Lee's!
    Yep, born and raised. I lived there until 2003 when I moved to WI for grad school. My folks and brother still live there, so I visit often. I try to avoid reading the news, because it will just make me worry about my family!!!

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by RobsanX View Post
    Yep, born and raised. I lived there until 2003 when I moved to WI for grad school. My folks and brother still live there, so I visit often. I try to avoid reading the news, because it will just make me worry about my family!!!
    I agree. My mother owns a business in Tulsa. Her business is on the southside, but I still worry about her. It used to be that violence was usually contained to north of Admiral, but now it has become widespread and it doesn't matter what part of Tulsa you're in.

  18. #18
    Hi everyone...first day on the site. I'll get right to it. I am currently writing a book and I am doing a chapter on the Burger Chef Murders. I noticed a few posts relating to it and if there is anyone that has any information and wouldn't mind being quoted in the book please feel free to reach out. There is a complete section on unsolved murders so if you have any thoughts on any old unsolved cases please feel free. The book will be released in the fall and there are a few chapters currently available to read at the website. Please keep in mind that they are rough drafts. Here's the info...

    www.lesmacsbooks.weebly.com

    www.facebook.com/lesandtristanwritetruecrime

    The book is in seven parts.

    Part I: Serial Killers
    Part II: Spree Killers
    Part III: Mass Murderers
    Part IV: Unsolved Murders
    Part V: Women Who Kill
    Part VI: Other Notorious Murders
    Part VII: Killers Releases To Kill Again

    I'm not trying to sell books here (still writing) just looking for input. Thanks everyone.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by LesMacWrites View Post
    Hi everyone...first day on the site. I'll get right to it. I am currently writing a book and I am doing a chapter on the Burger Chef Murders. I noticed a few posts relating to it and if there is anyone that has any information and wouldn't mind being quoted in the book please feel free to reach out. There is a complete section on unsolved murders so if you have any thoughts on any old unsolved cases please feel free. The book will be released in the fall and there are a few chapters currently available to read at the website. Please keep in mind that they are rough drafts. Here's the info...

    www.lesmacsbooks.weebly.com

    www.facebook.com/lesandtristanwritetruecrime

    The book is in seven parts.

    Part I: Serial Killers
    Part II: Spree Killers
    Part III: Mass Murderers
    Part IV: Unsolved Murders
    Part V: Women Who Kill
    Part VI: Other Notorious Murders
    Part VII: Killers Releases To Kill Again

    I'm not trying to sell books here (still writing) just looking for input. Thanks everyone.
    Wow! You must have some interesting dreams.

  20. #20
    truthwolf1...LOL...thankfully I don't dream about the bad guys. The research has been an eye-opener though. You think you know most of it from headlines and news etc. but when you really get down to the research you learn a lot more.

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