Here’s another serial killer I haven’t heard of but reading about him I found out he is from Crawfordsville Indiana, a town about 30 minutes away from where I grew up—that’s kind of creepy. He killed mostly young men and boys and was called ‘The Interstate Killer.’ How do these guys and women get their monikers? It seems like all serial killers get a catchy nickname for their crimes and some even give a name to themselves. Below is a short documentary on Larry Eyler released shortly after he was put to death.
The Interstate Killer
(1982-1984) – 3 years
Country: United States
Proven Victims: 19
Unproven Suspected: 23
August 21, 1984
Larry Eyler (December 21, 1952 – March 6, 1994) was an American serial killer convicted and sentenced to death in Illinois for the 1984 murder and dismemberment of 15-year-old Daniel Bridges.
Active in the Midwest, before his death he confessed to 20 further homicides of young men and boys he had committed between 1982 and 1984 in five separate states. While awaiting execution, Eyler died in 1994 of AIDS-related complications. His defense attorney, Kathleen Zellner, posthumously released his list of victims.
Conviction in the Daniel Bridges case
Eyler, a house painter, was described by some members of the gay community in Indianapolis, Indiana as a good-looking person with a “hot temper”, who “projected violence during sex acts”. After being charged with the 1982 murder of Steven Agan, 23, in that city, Eyler confessed to authorities in a plea bargain.
Five of Eyler’s victims sadly still remain unidentified to this day. One a Latino gentleman’s remains were found in Ford on July 2nd of 1983. Another set of remains belonging to a White gentleman were found near Rensselaer in Jasper on October 15th of 1983 and was believed to have been murdered in March of 1982. Also, two more sets of remains belonging to an African American and a White gentleman were discovered near an abandoned barn just north of Lake Village in Newton on October 19th of 1983. Finally, a set of remains belonging to another African American gentleman were found in rural Hendricks on the 7th of December 1983.
Conviction in the Daniel Bridges case
Daniel Bridges was a 15-year-old boy whose dismembered body was discovered on August 21, 1984, in a garbage dumpster in the Rogers Park neighborhood on Chicago’s far North Side. One of 12 children in his family, Bridges lived in the same neighborhood as Larry Eyler, and knew Eyler. While on his way to meet relatives nearby, Bridges accepted a ride from Eyler, but according to the relatives, he never arrived. It was later alleged that Eyler had bound Bridges to a chair and proceeded to beat, rape, and kill him before dismembering his body.
Eyler was charged with murder, aggravated kidnapping and unlawful restraint. He was convicted in July 1986 of Bridges’ murder and sentenced to death.
At the time of Eyler’s death from AIDS, he was awaiting his execution. He was represented by attorney Kathleen Zellner, who had made an appeal disputing the conviction in the Bridges’ murder. This was pending in the Illinois Supreme Court. The appeal maintained that one of Eyler’s trial lawyers, David Shippers, had a conflict of interest as he had received $16,875 from a prosecution witness, Robert David Little. Little and Eyler had long been associated. Eyler had claimed that Little was the one who had killed Bridges. After Eyler’s death, Zellner confirmed that she would proceed with filing the appeal to clarify various legal issues.
Other potential victims
The book Freed to Kill (1990) explored Eyler’s potential connection to multiple murders and missing young men in Indiana and Illinois, resulting in investigations being reopened in several jurisdictions.
After Eyler’s death, his defense attorney Kathleen Zellner revealed the names of 17 males who Eyler had confessed to murdering and four who he said were murdered by an unidentified accomplice. That person was later revealed to be Robert David Little, an older college professor and longtime associate.
According to Zellner, Eyler had made the list of victims around three years before his death in an effort to obtain a plea bargain. The prosecutors did not agree to the plea bargain. Later, Eyler allowed his lawyer to release the list.