Murder Sheet

You Never Can Forget: The Others

December 29, 2020 Mystery Sheet Season 1 Episode 7
Murder Sheet
You Never Can Forget: The Others
Chapters
Murder Sheet
You Never Can Forget: The Others
Dec 29, 2020 Season 1 Episode 7
Mystery Sheet

Like most decades-old cold cases, the Burger Chef murders have attracted a multitude of theories. In this episode, we'll cover a few intriguing possibilities that don't currently have enough evidence to merit their own episode.

Listen to find out more about warring biker gangs, a roving family of serial killers, the bombings that terrorized Speedway a few months before the murders, and more.

Follow the Murder Sheet on social media for the latest on the Burger Chef murders and future episodes: 

And send tips to [email protected] 

Show Notes Transcript

Like most decades-old cold cases, the Burger Chef murders have attracted a multitude of theories. In this episode, we'll cover a few intriguing possibilities that don't currently have enough evidence to merit their own episode.

Listen to find out more about warring biker gangs, a roving family of serial killers, the bombings that terrorized Speedway a few months before the murders, and more.

Follow the Murder Sheet on social media for the latest on the Burger Chef murders and future episodes: 

And send tips to [email protected] 

Kevin Greenlee: Content warning: This episode contains discussion of murder and suicide. 

Áine Cain: Last autumn, Kevin and I found ourselves standing at the corner of 21st and Cunningham in Speedway, Indiana. It’s a little confluence of streets that doesn’t look much different from any three-way intersection you might pass through in towns across America. If you start down 21st, you can see the apartment complex where 16-year-old Burger Chef employee — and victim — Mark Flemmonds lived. 

And if you walk forward down Cunningham -- moving past the rows of small-ish homes, and navigating around the strip mall and the dog obedience school, you can be at the Burger Chef restaurant in just a few minutes.

Something happened here, at this intersection, on the night of the murders.

At around the same time as the kids at the restaurant were being confronted by the men who would kill them, a car on this stretch of road ran up over the curb. Maybe the driver — let's call him Terry, not his real name —  was just a little distracted. Maybe he had been drinking or even doing drugs.

An alert police officer pulled Terry over to try to figure it out. But the officer couldn't guess what the driver would do next. 

Terry had a loaded gun in his car — a .38, which was the same caliber of weapon the criminals in the Burger Chef used. 

He did not want to get caught with it. So he put it in a Burger Chef cup and tossed it out the window. 

The police officer never even noticed. Had he missed a chance to nab one of the Burger Chef killers as the crime was occurring? Or was Terry an innocent man who simply had the incredible misfortune to run through the wrong intersection with a loaded .38 on the wrong night?

*Eerie music plays*

Áine Cain: My name is Áine Cain.

Kevin Greenlee: And I’m Kevin Greenlee.

Áine Cain: And we’re the Murder Sheet. We’ll be taking a multi-part look into the Burger Chef murders. We’ll be presenting you with a new theory about what happened each week as part of our miniseries, "You Never Can Forget."

On a weekly basis, you’re going to hear from figures you’ve never heard from before. You’re going to hear about facts that you’ve never heard before. And hopefully, you’ll walk away with a better understanding of the sheer complexity of this awful crime.

Kevin Greenlee: We don’t just rely on what we’ve been told or what we’ve read. We have worked this case ourselves. 

We decided to do this podcast so we can tell you what we’ve learned and even clear up a few misconceptions. In this miniseries, we will give you the top theories about the crime. After we’re finished covering the Burger Chef case, the Murder Sheet will continue to investigate different restaurant related homicides for the rest of season one. 

Áine Cain: We’re the Murder Sheet, and this is “You Never Can Forget: The Others.”

*Eerie music based on the Burger Chef jingle plays* 

Kevin Greenlee: Over the last few weeks, we’ve shared with you several major theories about who was responsible for the Speedway Burger Chef murders. But there are intriguing and suggestive details in the case worth talking about that cannot easily be connected to one of the primary hypotheses. Things like the man who threw a loaded gun out his car window near the crime scene. the motorcycle gangs in the area who may have played a key role in the drug trade. the letter in the newspaper from someone claiming knowledge of what really happened. the spree killer who may have been in the area who months earlier slaughtered six people at a Sirloin Stockade restaurant in Oklahoma. the eight bombings that happened in Speedway that year, explosions that some whispered were linked to a murder that had happened a short walk from the Burger Chef.

Áine Cain: It’s not unusual for a long-unsolved crime to attract all sorts of rumors. As we’ve investigated the Burger Chef case, sometimes it feels like everyone around town has some kind of story about how their abusive father or druggie uncle showed up one morning with bloody clothes or a bloody van or a tale of bloody murder. 

Kevin Greenlee: But these snippets all have a little more to them than that. We are going to let you determine which of these mini-theories, if any of them, are connected to the Burger Chef murders. 

Let’s start with the story of Terry, the gun tosser. It begins at about the same time as the kids were being taken from the Burger Chef. Here’s Jim Cramer, formerly of the Indiana State Police.

Jim Cramer: AT AROUND MIDNIGHT — LITTLE BIT BEFORE OR A LITTLE BIT AFTER — THE SPEEDWAY POLICE STOPPED A CAR THAT WAS ON CUNNINGHAM DRIVE. THE CAR MADE A RIGHT TURN ONTO 21ST STREET.

Kevin Greenlee: Street names may not mean much if you are not familiar with Speedway. Suffice to say that — as the crow flies — the spot where the car was stopped was about a tenth of a mile from the Burger Chef.

Jim Cramer: THERE WAS SOME SORT OF INTERACTION THERE. I DON’T REMEMBER IF THERE WAS A TICKET WRITTEN. OR WHAT WAS GOING ON. BUT HE WAS TURNED LOOSE. IT WAS RIGHT NEAR THE BIG EAGLE APARTMENTS, WHERE INCIDENTALLY MARK FLEMMONDS LIVED. 

The next day the man who owned the house by where the car was stopped noticed two men prowling around his yard: one white and one African American.

Jim Cramer: HE NOTICED THAT THE BLACK MALE HAD A DIS-FORMED ARM, LIKE SOMEONE WITH POLIO WOULD HAVE. A SMALLER ARM. HE NOTICED THEM IN THE CORNER OF THE YARD WALKING AROUND LIKE THEY WERE LOOKING FOR SOMETHING. AND THEY LEFT. 

THIS GENTLEMAN MOWED HIS GRASS LATER THAT SAME DAY AND WHEN HE WAS MOWING HIS GRASS FOUND A HANDGUN LESS THAN FIVE HUNDRED FEET FROM THE BACK DOOR OF THE BURGER CHEF.

Áine Cain: Testing revealed the gun was not the murder weapon, but investigators were still intrigued by the odd discovery and its possible connection to the case. After they checked the records and identified Terry as the driver of the car, they tracked him down. 

Terry turned out to be a close associate with someone who lived just a floor below victim Mark Flemmonds — and this person had been convicted of armed robbery.

Terry also had ties to the general area of the murder site. Police placed him in that vicinity a few days before the murders and he had also been working in the area.

Investigators also told the press that Terry had been given a lie detector test and had not told the truth on some of the questions. 

But none of this constituted sufficient evidence to actually file charges against Terry. Still, police remained very interested in him.

Kevin Greenlee: We are interested in him too..

We learned he moved to Texas. That’s where he was arrested for stabbing a man just a few years ago. The cover photo of his Facebook profile is a wall from a Houston restaurant. The two of us did some Yelp-based sleuthing and figured out which restaurant it was and flew down there. But it was a bust. No one at the eatery had ever heard of him.

We will keep hunting for Terry, though — and hopefully he will agree to talk with us someday. At least so far we haven’t been able to connect him to any of the major groups of suspects-- though he is said to have hung around with the Sons of Silence. 

Áine Cain: That takes us to the next chapter of our episode today. To start off, let’s give some more details on who the Sons of Silence are. Founded in Colorado in 1966, the Sons are a one-percenter motorcycle club. That designation comes from an alleged statement by an American Motorcyclist Association official saying that “99%” of motorcyclists were law-abiding. The so-called one-percenters take pride in being outlaws. 

According to a State of California Department of Justice report from 1991, the Sons of Silence were once considered one of the “Big Five” motorcycle gangs, along with the Bandidos, Hells Angels, Outlaws, and Pagans. They’re aligned with the Hells Angels, and fierce rivals of the Outlaws. Their motto is “donec mors non separat” — Latin for “until death separates us.”

Kevin Greenlee: Throughout the twentieth century, the Sons cultivated a strong presence in the Midwest, including Indiana. The Sons of Silence were the dominant club on the Westside of Indianapolis, becoming fearsome rivals of the Outlaw outpost located on the East Side. The conflict sparked a series of homicides, with club members and their significant others being the most frequent targets of violence. One notable murder occurred in 1981, during a time when peace talks were ongoing between the gangs. An Outlaw by the name of John, or "Big Jack" Slater attended a party at the Sons of Silence club house. Slater allegedly boasted of his group murdering the "old lady," or girlfriend, of a Sons of Silence member. He was escorted outside. After a scuffle, he was shot with a .38 revolver.

Áine Cain: Kevin and I have walked past the Sons’ clubhouse on a number of occasions. It’s in a gritty part of town, but the house itself is kept in impeccable condition. Today, it's painted a light gray, with a red door and red trim around its slit-like windows. Where the second floor windows should be, there's instead a large painted version of the  eagle-emblazoned Sons of Silence flag.

Around the backside of the building, someone’s constructed a high fence, to block the view of curious passersby. It’s a bit ominous to walk around there, considering the location and the chapter of the club it houses has been tied to multiple murders.

Kevin Greenlee:
We’re telling you all this about the Sons of Silence because we’ve heard them come up in many conversations about the Burger Chef case again and again. Sources we’ve talked to say the club — or gang, depending on who you ask — had pretty serious drug connections back in the 1970s. We’ve heard talk that Jeff Reed — one of the men who Allen Pruitt initially said he saw kidnap the kids from Burger Chef  — may have been a Sons wannabe. And Pruitt himself told us he hung out at the Sons clubhouse.

Áine Cain: Speaking of Pruitt, there is another wrinkle or two in his story we have not yet shared with you. Remember, he’s the witness who claimed that he saw local rowdy Jeff Reed and missing man Tim Willoughby kidnap the kids from Burger Chef. You can hear more about his story in episodes two and three of "You Never Can Forget," “The Creek” and “The Backbone.

Kevin Greenlee: At one point, Pruitt told authorities that the Burger Chef murders were part of a larger plan. That it was one of three “inside job” robberies that had been arranged to take place in Speedway that night. By this, he meant that employees at three different area businesses worked with the criminals to arrange these thefts.

One of the targeted businesses, he said, was the Burger Chef. Another was the Dunkin’ Donuts next door. The third was a place he called “The Golden Eagle.” One obvious problem with this story was that there was no business in town called “The Golden Eagle.”

Áine Cain: But there was an establishment in town that had a large golden eagle sitting out front. It was called the American Inn. It was a low rent, high crime hotel located in the shopping center across the street from the Burger Chef. Many of the figures in this crime have shadowy connections to this place. Donald Forrester’s cousin stayed there. And even one of Terry's relatives appears to have been there on the night of the murders. 

Kevin Greenlee: And it was indeed robbed that same night.

Details of that crime are hard to come by. Speedway police told me they no longer have any records of it. This event may have had no connection to what happened later at the Burger Chef — or it may lend credence to Pruitt’s claim. Another point which might argue for Pruitt is that he started at least hinting to people that he had seen something significant less than two hours after the abductions. 

He returned to his house that morning just as the Tonight Show was ending — which was 1 a.m. in those days. Pruitt told his mother that he had seen something “heavy” go down at the Burger Chef.

Áine Cain: What exactly he had witnessed remains unclear — even to Pruitt himself — but someone else did offer an account of the crime in the weeks after. 

In the early days of the Burger Chef investigation, the Indianapolis Star came up with a way for people to anonymously submit information, while still being eligible for any reward money.

The tipsters were asked to write their information down, and then put the same random five digit number down at the top and the bottom of the page. Before mailing it to the newspaper, they were supposed to rip off the bottom number and keep it.

Kevin Greenlee: If at some point information from one of these letters helped secure a conviction in the case, the police would reveal the number that appeared at the top of the page. The tipster could then come forward with the torn piece from the bottom of the page — and if it matched they would receive a reward. 

Less than two weeks after the murders, the Star received a letter which got the attention of the police. Investigators publicly appealed to the writer to contact them again with more information, even dangling out the promise of immunity. The author sent one more letter and then went silent. 

Áine will read highlights from the letters. Here’s the first .

Áine Cain (reading from the 812 letter): THERE ARE THREE PERSON INVOLVED IN WHICH WAS TO BE NOTHING MORE THAN A SIMPLE ROBBERY. BUT ONE PERSON DID THE SHOOTING AND ONE DID THE STABBING AND THE THIRD PERSON SIT IN THE CAR AND WAS VERY SURPRISE. I AM NOT THE THIRD PERSON BUT I DO KNOW THIS PERSON WOULD GIVE UP AND CONFESS IF YOU PEOPLE WOULD PROMISE IMMUNITY. 

THE THIRD PERSON DOES NOT WANT YOUR REWARD MONEY BUT I WOULD LIKE TO HAVE IT. I CAN TELL YOU THIS THE TWO PEOPLE THAT DID THE DAMAGE IS NO LONGER IN INDIANA.

Kevin Greenlee: And here’s Áine reading the second letter. 

Áine Cain (reading from the 812 letter): I DON’T THINK I WILL BE ABLE TO HELP ANYMORE. THE THIRD PERSON IS NOW SCARED THAT EVEN IF YOU WOULD GIVE COMPLETE IMMUNITY THAT THEY (THE KILLERS) WOULD HAVE SOMEONE KILL THE THIRD PERSON SOONER OR LATER. BUT YOU GOT TO BELIEVE THAT THE THIRD PERSON DIDN’T KNOW WHAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN TO THE FOUR KIDS. WHEN THEY ALL ARRIVE IN THE WOODS, THEY WAS GOING TO JUST TIE THEM UP AND LEAVE. SUPPOSEDLY THERE WAS NOTHING SAID ABOUT KILLING THEM.

THE THIRD PERSON TRY TO STOP THEM AND SUPPOSEDLY WHILE AFTER THE FIRST CHILD WAS SHOT THE THIRD PERSON (YELL RUN) AND GOT BEAT UP FOR IT. I WISH THE ONE THAT RAN INTO THE TREE DIDN’T DIED, THAT WAY MAYBE YOU POLICEMAN WOULD OF HAVE THESE KILLERS LOCKED UP BY NOW.

THE THREE ARE NOT TOGETHER AND HAVEN’T BEEN SINCE THAT MORNING.

I AM SORRY I CAN’T HELP ANYMORE THAN THIS BUT BREAK A PROMISE.

Kevin Greenlee: The police at the time took this account seriously enough to implore the letter writer to reach out to them again. Even today, the account seems plausible.  But, of course, there is no hard evidence supporting any of its claims and the story it tells is vague enough that it could fit several of the major theories. 

In other words, the third person in the letter could be a member of the robbery gang or it could be Mary Ann Higginbotham or it could be an associate of Forrester or it could be almost anyone at all. The 812 letters, while intriguing, don’t offer much help in answering the question of who was there that night and what drove them to end the lives of the young employees.

Áine Cain: Some people have long suggested that the answers to those questions aren’t really all that complicated. There were some infamous men operating around Indianapolis at the time — a fugitive from Ohio, a soon to be convicted bomber and a vicious spree killer. Could one of these notorious figures be responsible for the Burger Chef tragedy?

*Podcast promo*

Áine Cain: Let’s take a quick break from The Murder Sheet Presents: "You Never Can Forget” to tell you about a podcast investigating yet another unforgettable crime. 

The Orange Tree is a seven-part series about a 2005 homicide that happened near the University of Texas at Austin. The murder of 21-year-old Jennifer Cave, who was shot, dismembered, and left in a bathtub at her friend Colton Pitonyak’s apartment, continues to haunt the area to this day.

Kevin Greenlee: Like the Burger Chef murders, this case features plenty of twists and turns, including Colton’s flight to Mexico with another UT student Laura Hall. Both were later convicted in connection with the crime, although Colton has continued to appeal his verdict and claim innocence. The business student-turned-convicted-murderer now says that he doesn’t remember much about the night Jennifer died. 

Áine Cain: The Orange Tree is reported on and produced by Haley Butler and Tinu Thomas, who were both seniors at the University of Texas when they started the project.

Together, Haley and Tinu strive to piece together this tragic story in an in-depth podcast that features audio from courtroom scenes and interrogation rooms, prison phone calls, and exclusive interviews with both perpetrators and the victim’s family.

You can binge all seven episodes of The Orange Tree today on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts. And now, back to the Murder Sheet.

And now, back to the Murder Sheet.

*End of podcast promo*

Áine Cain: Several drug dealers and networks operated in the Indianapolis and Speedway areas in the late seventies — the Heilbrunn family’s well-heeled “Yogurt Connection,” the violent — and possibly incestuous — Crabtree clan, and the more business-oriented organization known simply as “the Company.” But the name that seems to come up most often in discussions around the Burger Chef case is that of Brett Kimberlin.

Kevin Greenlee: When we tell the story of Kimberlin, we will be relying heavily on a detailed article on the man that Joseph Gelarden wrote for the Oct, 18, 1981 edition of the Indianapolis Star. 

According to Gelarden, police long suspected Kimberlin of being a major marijuana smuggler. But the public at large wouldn’t hear of Kimberlin until after a murder in the summer of 1978, a killing that happened to occur within walking distance of the Speedway Burger Chef.

Áine Cain: On July 29, 1978, Julia Scyphers was asked by a stranger to show him some unsold merchandise left over after a recent garage sale. When he got her alone, he shot her dead and then fled.

Police grew interested in Kimberlin because of his ties to the family, according to the Indianapolis Star. Scyphers’ daughter, Sandra Barton, was a very close friend of Kimberlin’s. And — to quote Gelarden — Kimberlin had a “strange affection” for Sandra Barton’s pre-teen daughter, taking her on several long unsupervised trips. 

Mrs. Scyphers disapproved of these relationships and tried to keep Kimberlin away from the girl. Police wondered if this could have given Kimberlin a motive to have her killed.

Kevin Greenlee: And then on September 1, 1978, bombs started going off all over Speedway. A total of eight went off over five days, culminating in an explosion which badly injured Speedway High School parent Carl DeLong. About four years later, DeLong, still in daily pain from his injuries, died of suicide. Police wondered if the bombings were all an elaborate attempt to distract them from investigating Kimberlin’s possible role in the Scyphers murder.

In any case, Kimberlin was never charged in connection with the death of Scyphers. He was convicted of offenses related to the Speedway bombings. All of this has made some people wonder if he could be directly or indirectly responsible for the Burger Chef murders as well — but there is no evidence tying him to the deaths of the young employees.  

Áine Cain: But men like Kimberlin — individuals who were associated with Indianapolis’ extensive drug business — weren’t the only ones who earned scrutiny from police. A fugitive from Cincinnati who happened to be staying a few yards away from victim Mark Flemmonds’ residence also emerged as an early lead. Let’s call this fugitive “Daniels.” About a year before the Burger Chef murders, the Cincinnati Enquirer describe Daniels as having “a long history of ‘violent crime.’”

Kevin Greenlee: Less than a month after the murders, the Daily Journal in Franklin, Indiana ran a story saying that police believed Daniels might be the Burger Chef killer. The report said that the fugitive  matched physical descriptions of the so-called bearded man, but the evidence went beyond that. Daniels was allegedly staying about a block from the Burger Chef at the time of the killings. 

Áine Cain: Researcher Steve Hughes found that Daniels was staying a bit more than a block away from the restaurant — in the Big Eagle apartment complex. That’s the same apartment complex where Mark Flemmonds and his family lived.

On Monday, November 20, 1978, the day after the bodies of the four Burger Chef employees were found, Daniels was arrested in Ohio and charged with felonious assault, theft, and engaging in organized crime, as well as unlawful flight to avoid prosecution. Daniels had allegedly dyed his hair and beard and returned to Cincinnati hours after the kids disappeared.

Kevin Greenlee: We’ve been told that a van with an out of state license plate was allegedly seen near the murder site on the morning of the killings. And to add a further twist to this lead, Daniels supposedly went by a remarkable alias: Eddie Crabtree. Crabtree was the name of a violent drug dynasty that operated around Indianapolis' Westside. 

An Ohio paper reported that he was a member of the Henchman motorcycle gang, and that he’d also been involved in a racially-motivated attack in which he shot at a group of African Americans. He was also indicted on rape, sodomy, and assault to rape. 

Could the Cincinnati fugitive have simply fled back home after realizing that investigators would be descending on Speedway to help find the missing kids? Or could Daniels have been one of the killers, perhaps motivated to eliminate the kids after being recognized by his neighbor Mark? 

Áine Cain: We don’t know the answer to that. The lead ended up fizzling pretty quickly, for reasons that aren’t apparent to us. After a few months, the Cincinnati suspect vanished from the Indiana papers. 

Kevin Greenlee: Daniels wasn’t the only out-of-state suspect to emerge during the investigation. Police also held suspicions about the Stafford clan, a group of murderous, itinerant robbers. 

Áine Cain: Before we discuss the Staffords, let’s take a step back. The Burger Chef case stands out as a rather unique crime, even when compared to other fast food homicides. Most slayings at joints that sell burgers or tacos or fish sticks occur after a robbery perpetuated by an insider — a current or former employee, usually young and male — in concert with one or more accomplices (also typically young men, oftentimes relatives or close friends of the insider). Rarely do these crimes involve kidnapping a group of people and transporting them miles away. Kevin and I have researched dozens of cases that end in a bloody mass murder perpetuated in the restaurant’s walk-in freezer, cooler, or back office. 

Despite its uniqueness, what happened at the Speedway Burger Chef in 1978 may have been part of a series of other similar vicious crimes. The Stafford clan — Roger, his brother Harold, and his wife Verna — specialized in brutal restaurant murders. The gang perpetuated an interstate reign of terror in the 1970s, killing at least nine people. And they’ve been looked at in connection to more homicides. One of those cases is the Burger Chef case.

Kevin Greenlee: On June 22, 1978, in Oklahoma, the Staffords gunned down a family of three — including a twelve-year-old boy — in order to rob them and steal their car. Within three weeks, the family of murderers hit Oklahoma City, rushing a Sirloin Stockade after closing and shooting the restaurant’s six employees to death. Harold Stafford died about a week after those slayings in a motorcycle accident. Verna and Roger were tracked down and arrested in March of 1979.

In the case of the Staffords, it’s not as simple as going over the crimes they were convicted for. After her capture, Verna confessed that she, her husband, and her brother-in-law had committed a number of crimes that have never been prosecuted. For example, on January 12, 1974, the Stafford gang was said to have robbed and murdered the young assistant manager at a Muscle Shoals, Alabama, McDonald's. Police have been convinced that the Staffords were behind that murder.

Áine Cain: One possible case tied to the Stafford’s is the Bocaccio’s case. On its surface, this quadruple homicide bears some eerie similarities to the Burger Chef murders. Four victims were abducted from Bocaccio’s, a nightclub in Oakland Park, Florida: assistant manager Joseph McCartney, bookkeeper Gail Reickmann, and two maids who were also sisters, Neata Harvard and Mary Ann Hastons. The abduction took place on December 2, 1975 in the morning, before the nightclub opened. The four were driven about 10 miles, into an isolated, swampy spot. They were found days later, shot to death, lying side by side. The murder weapon was a .38, according to the Fort Lauderdale News. 

Roger Dale Stafford may have been in Florida around that time, according to "Murder on the Run" author Jean Stover. The serial killer has never rated very high on the list of suspects put together by Florida investigators, though — they had several more promising persons of interest to choose from.

Kevin Greenlee: According to Verna Stafford, her husband may have also been connected to the Burger Chef case. She told police that he was in Speedway, Indiana during the murders, according to the Indianapolis Star. Verna even claimed that Stafford had received a traffic ticket in Central Indiana around the time of the murders, but police were never able to confirm this. In the Indianapolis Star’s 1979 coverage of the case, investigators seemed to not want to appear too overconfident about the lead.

Áine Cain: "I am no more optimistic about this lead than some of the others we have had," ISP Major Robert Allen told the paper. "But we fully intend to pursue this lead until we either make it or break it."

Kevin Greenlee: Another 1979 report from the Star said that ISP investigators discovered that Stafford was indeed in Speedway in June of 1976. He had been robbed at a gas station about a mile away from the Burger Chef. Where exactly Stafford was in November 1978 is less clear. From what we could figure out, he was at the very least out of prison. 

Áine Cain: Of course, his brother Harold had died before the Burger Chef case even happened, so if the witness sightings of a bearded man and a clean-shaven man outside the restaurant are indeed accurate and tied to the murders, then Stafford would have had to find a new accomplice. Kevin and I find that Stafford does indeed bear a resemblance to the sketch of the clean-shaven man, but so do a lot of people. 

Kevin Greenlee: All of that is circumstantial. It’s possible but still unverified that Roger Dale Stafford was near Speedway on November 17, 1978. And the modus operandi in Burger Chef doesn’t quite fit. Both the McDonald’s and Sirloin Stockade murders saw the Staffords massacring employees within the restaurant. Why would they have changed that approach during Burger Chef? 

Áine Cain: The Burger Chef case is like one of those hidden object picture games for kids. You know, the ones with the drawing of a forest, where you have to squint to see the crouching bears and snakes and jaguars hidden in the trees. Everywhere you look, there’s some new wrinkle, a new coincidence to peel through in this case. The litany of possibilities we outlined for you in this episode can’t can’t all be relevant. But we wanted to share them with you. Maybe something you’ve heard today will conjure up a memory. Maybe by bringing some of these ideas to the surface, we can flush out some more information. 

Up next on the Murder Sheet: "You Never Can Forget", could the killings have happened for a reason closer to home?

Kevin Greenlee:  Thanks for listening to this episode of the Murder Sheet Presents: "You Never Can Forget." Special thanks to Kevin Tyler Greenlee, who composed the music for the Murder Sheet, and who you can find on the web at kevintg.com.  

Áine Cain:
To keep up with the latest on the Murder Sheet, make sure to follow us on Instagram and Twitter @murdersheet and on Facebook @msheetpodcast or by searching Murder Sheet. For exclusive content like bonus episodes and case files, become a patron of the Murder Sheet on Patreon.

If you enjoyed listening to the Murder Sheet, please leave us a five star review to help us gain more exposure. And send tips, suggestions, and feedback to [email protected]. Thanks so much for listening.

And please stay tuned for word from our friend Nina at the podcast Already Gone — a great podcast you should be listening to. She actually introduced me to the Burger Chef case with her 2016 episode on the crime. 

*Melancholy music plays*

Nina Innsted from “Already Gone”: Murder, missing persons, unsolved mysteries — ”Already Gone” explores lesser-known cases from Michigan and the Great Lakes region. I’m Nina Innsted, the voice behind the “Already Gone” podcast. Join me for a look at stories that will have you looking over your shoulder and locking the doors at night. Listen to “Already Gone” on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or your favorite podcatcher.