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Unsolved Case of 'Freeway Phantom' Haunts Families Decades After Slain Girls Were Found in D.C. Area

People Magazine Investigates looks back at the string of 6 murders that terrorized Washington, D.C., in 1971 and '72

Patricia Williams built a career helping shattered families work through unimaginable crises. As an officer for 26 years with the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police, she investigated missing persons and child-abuse cases. She moved on to become a case manager with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, and now is retired.

But the case closest to home is the one that leaves her feeling most helpless.

Now 62, Williams was 15 years old on Sept. 5, 1972, when her 17-year-old sister Diane didn’t return that night after visiting a boyfriend. By then, local newspapers already had published headlines about a “freeway phantom” apparently grabbing and murdering young black girls before dumping their bodies along Washington-area roadways in a 17-month spree that terrorized the community.

The case is revisited in an upcoming episode of People Magazine Investigates , airing tonight (10 p.m.) on Investigation Discovery. An exclusive clip is above.

Although shy and quiet, Diane, who shared a bedroom with Patricia and was about to start 11th grade, wasn’t fearful.

After her abandoned body was found — strangled, like others before her — authorities would name Diane as the sixth and final victim of a likely serial killer who, nearly 50 years later, has yet to be identified.

“I will not be surprised that I will die not knowing who killed my sister,” Patricia tells PEOPLE in the issue on newsstands now. “But I’m never going to stop praying that I do.”

The killings transformed the lives of those who lost loved ones.

The first victim, 13-year-old Carol Spinks — “Bay-Bay” to her siblings — loved playing jacks and spinning a Hula Hoop and came from a family of eight kids, say her sisters Carolyn Morris, 62, and Evander Spinks Belk, 63.

Six days passed before Carol’s body was found on the embankment off I-295 after she disappeared April 25, 1971, on a walk home from the store. She still had on the same gym shorts and red sweater she wore when she left home, but was missing her blue tennis shoes; an autopsy determined she’d been dead for two to three days, suggesting she’d been kept hostage before she was killed.

“It made me real protective of my sisters and brothers,” says Evander. “I got mean, mad and bad. If anybody even looked at anybody funny, I was fighting.”

The impact on Carolyn, who was Carol’s twin sister, went deeper. “What was going through my head was, they’re going to get me ,” she says. “I didn’t trust anybody. It’s been hard. It still is. Can’t keep a job. Sick. Drugs. A whole bunch of stuff. Still scared. Some days I wish I could just close my eyes, and then it’d be done.”

The second victim was Darlenia Johnson, 16. She was followed by Brenda Faye Crockett, 10; Nenomoshia Yates, 12; Brenda Woodard, 18; and then Williams, before the killer’s spree appeared to stop.

“Diane and I were about as close as siblings could get,” says Patricia Williams. After Diane’s death, “I lost my trust for people,” she says. “I didn’t trust anybody, because I didn’t know who did this. I’ve always been shy, but I stayed like that because of my sister’s death. I didn’t try to venture out.”

“But I also lived,” she says. “I did not want her death to be mine, so I tried to live as I can and try to be positive as much as I can.”

“I never believed at the time that joining the police department, or even while I was on the police department, that I was compelled to do so because of my sister’s death,” she says. “But at the same time, I always hoped and prayed that while I was on the police department that case would be closed and I could be a part of it.”

Among those also hoping and praying is Diane’s mother, Margaret, now 85, who still lives in the home to which her daughter never returned.

“I know she’s resting in peace, and it doesn’t matter to her any more,” says Margaret. “But I would like to know who did it and why. That’s the big question: Why?”

People Magazine Investigates: The Freeway Phantom airs tonight (10 p.m. ET) on Investigation Discovery.

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History Defined

The Disturbing Case of the Freeway Phantom

Many mysteries are eventually solved and the truth is uncovered. But some mysteries linger like restless ghosts, haunting our collective consciousness and challenging our understanding.

Among these cases stands the haunting tale of the Freeway Phantom. This was a serial killer who struck fear into the heart of Washington, D.C. during the early 1970s.

Victim after victim was left dead near the sprawling freeways. But the Phantom’s identity remained elusive. They teased investigators and taunted the public with cryptic messages.

Delving into this dark history, which remains unsolved to this day, we confront a sinister puzzle that begs the question: What drives someone to such evil, and will they ever be found? Will the killer ever be brought to justice?

Or maybe, the chilling legend of the Freeway Phantom will forever remain a captivating, terrifying mystery to us all.

the freeway phantom washington dc

The Timeline

Between April 25, 1971, and September 5, 1972, a series of gruesome murders gripped Southeast Washington, D.C. These became known as the “Freeway Phantom” killings.

During this span of terror, six young Black girls, aged 10 to 18, fell victim to a sadistic predator who abducted, killed, and callously left their bodies near the I-295, the Anacostia Freeway. The heinous crimes shattered the lives of the victims’ families.

The first reported victim was 13-year-old Carol Denise Spinks. On April 25, 1971, she vanished while on her way home from a 7-Eleven store just across the Maryland border. Six days later, her lifeless body was discovered behind St. Elizabeths Hospital, near the northbound lanes of I-295.

The autopsy revealed signs of physical and sexual assault, alongside strangulation. This raised the chilling specter of a sadistic killer at large.

The gruesome spree continued, finally ending with the murder of 17-year-old Diane Denise Williams on September 5, 1972. Her strangled body was found dumped near I-295, just south of the District line.

The Victims

The Freeway Phantom’s reign of terror claimed the lives of six young girls. It began with thirteen-year-old Carol Denise Spinks.

Just months later, on July 8, 1971, 16-year-old Darlenia Denise Johnson disappeared on her way to work. She was found near the same location as Spinks. Her body was discovered by an anonymous caller.

Then on July 27, 1971, ten-year-old Brenda Faye Crockett vanished while running an errand. Her phone call to her family hinted at a stranger driving her away. She was never seen alive again.

Tragically, the spree continued. 12-year-old Nenomoshia Yates was kidnapped, raped, and strangled on October 1, 1971. Her body was found a few hours later in Prince George’s County, Maryland. Her shoes were missing.

On November 15, 1971, the life of 18-year-old Brenda Denise Woodard was brutally taken. She was stabbed and strangled near Prince George’s County Hospital.

The Phantom’s final victim, 17-year-old Diane Denise Williams, was discovered on September 5, 1972. She was also strangled. This brought a horrifying end to the chilling series of crimes.

At first, the murders could have seemed unrelated, but the connections and similarities were quickly noticed.

Modus Operandi

The same methods and tactics connected all six of the brutal killings. This led authorities to believe they were dealing with a serial killer.

The Freeway Phantom’s modus operandi was to abduct his victims while they were going to or returning from work or an errand. He would then rape and strangle them, usually manually, and dump their bodies in grassy areas near local freeways.

The Phantom was, however, savvy enough to wash his victims’ bodies to destroy evidence. His DNA was never recoverable. He also disposed of the bodies in different states. This was likely to keep different police departments from piecing the crimes together. 

As is already clear, his victims were similarly chosen, too. The Freeway Phantom’s victims were all young African-American girls from neighborhoods in Washington, D.C.

A Taunting Note

And there was another hint that police were hunting for a serial killer – the note they left behind.

When authorities discovered the body of 18-year-old Brenda Denise Woodard, in one of her pockets was a note. It read:

this is tantamount to my insensitivity to people especially women. I will admit the others when you catch me if you can! Free-way Phantom

Clearly, the killer had adopted the nickname the public had bestowed upon them.

After investigation, the note appeared to be written by Brenda herself. But more than likely, the killer had told her what to write.

The Investigation

The investigation into the Freeway Phantom involved a dedicated law enforcement task force. It was composed of detectives from various agencies, including the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia (MPDC), Maryland State Police, and even the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

In the following months and years, they followed up on numerous tips and leads from the public and other law enforcement. However, despite their best efforts and the interest of the public, no lead provided sufficient evidence to identify the killer.

The strain on relations between police and the community added to the difficulties. Over time, many of the case files were lost. As a result, reopening the case today would be nearly impossible.

To this day, the Freeway Phantom case remains an open and unsolved cold case . This leaves the families of the victims and the community forever wondering if the killer is still out there.

Theories & Continued Interest

During the investigation, several different suspects and theories emerged. Some pointed to members of a gang known as the Green Vega Rapists, who were connected to multiple crimes in the Washington, D.C. area.

Interviews with imprisoned members yielded intriguing information. One inmate provided details about a beltway homicide that matched Freeway Phantom details known only to detectives.

However, the informant withdrew cooperation and the investigation sputtered.

Another set of suspects, two ex-cops, were initially arrested for a murder mistakenly thought to be a Freeway Phantom victim, but this was a false lead.

Finally, Robert Elwood Askins, a 58-year-old computer technician, was also considered a suspect due to his criminal history, including charges of abduction, rape, and past murder cases. 

He had been an informant assisting law enforcement in the arrests of prostitutes. He had connections to words found in the killer’s notes. But no concrete evidence tied him to the Freeway Phantom killings.

Despite continued interest, the true identity of the Freeway Phantom remains elusive, and the case continues to haunt the public’s imagination to this very day.

Ferguson, Malcolm. “The Story behind DC’s ‘Freeway Phantom’ Serial Killer.” Washingtonian, May 22, 2023. https://www.washingtonian.com/2023/05/22/the-story-behind-dcs-freeway-phantom-serial-killer/ .

Wilber, Del Quentin. “‘freeway Phantom’ Slayings Haunt Police, Families Six Young D.C. Females Vanished in the ’70s.” The Washington Post, June 26, 2006. https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/2006/06/26/freeway-phantom-slayings-haunt-police-families-span-classbankheadsix-young-dc-females-vanished-in-the-70sspan/08789f47-3d0e-4a88-ad24-cdbcc493698f/ .

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“Freeway Phantom” Homicide Victims

From April 1971 to September 1972 six young African-American girls were abducted from their neighborhoods in Washington, DC and murdered. Their bodies were found in both the District of Columbia and in Prince  George’s County, Maryland. The suspect in these murders has been called “The Freeway Phantom” by the media. The Major Case/Cold Case Unit of the Metropolitan Police Department, in conjunction with the Prince George’s County, Maryland Police Homicide Unit is seeking the public’s help in solving these cases.

  • Carol Spinks - Abducted April 25, 1971
  • Darlenia Johnson - Abducted July 8, 1971
  • Brenda Crockett - Abducted July 27, 1971
  • Nenomoshia Yates - Abducted Oct. 1, 1971
  • Brenda Woodard - Abducted Nov. 15, 1971

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The Freeway Phantom: Washington D.C's forgotten serial killer

A stock graphic of a road sign reading 'The Freeway Phantom' and 'Washington D.C.'

  • Notorious Figures

Between 1971 and 1972, six black girls went missing in the Washington D.C. area. They were abducted, murdered, and their bodies were discarded alongside D.C. freeways. Local media gave the killer a name: 'The Freeway Phantom.' Five decades later, no one has been brought to justice, and few know the details behind D.C.’s first serial killer.

Now a new podcast from iHeartRadio and Tenderfoot T.V. reinvestigates the 50-year-old unsolved murders of these young girls. In this Q&A, Crime + Investigation caught up with Celeste Headlee, the host of the series, journalist to discuss the podcast and find out why such a chilling case is not more well-known.

A broadcast microphone in front of a crime scene where police take a record of a person's fingerprints

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Crime + investigation: what has the reaction been to the podcast so far.

Celeste Headlee : It's been extremely enthusiastic. A lot of people are surprised that they have never heard of this story because so many of the issues that were involved in the Freeway Phantom case are still with us today. People have been super into it.

Can you talk through the details of the Freeway Phantom case?

This was Washington, D.C.'s first recorded serial killer. He killed a minimum of eight quite young black girls and deposited their bodies along the side of the roads in south-eastern D.C. in the very early 1970s. He was never caught. Our podcast takes up this investigation.

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How did you first hear about the case.

I was approached by one of the producers at Tenderfoot. T.V. and iHeartRadio, to do an investigative podcast about the case. That was the first time I'd ever heard of it.

The first thing that strikes you is, 'How have I never heard of this?' It is shocking that he could have killed all these girls and just completely disappeared into the shadows of American history.

What was Washington, D.C., like in the 1970s during the time of the murders?

In Washington, D.C., there has always been a stark contrast between the wealth and the power focused around the Capitol and Embassy Row and the outskirts of the city. It is this bizarre mix. You don't have to go very far away from these incredibly elaborate rococo buildings, and you're in working-class neighbourhoods.

At the time that he was killing these girls, the Vietnam War protests were just really heating up in the Capitol, and thousands of people were heading towards the centre of the city to protest. Law enforcement was pulled away. We heard officers from that time saying it was all hands-on deck, and all attention went to these protests near the Capitol Building.

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Why do you think the freeway phantom case isn’t more well-known.

It's impossible not to connect this to both race - because they were all black victims, and it's very likely the killer himself was black - and their socioeconomic status. These are just not the kind of victims, even today, that get media attention.

There are other complicating factors. The victims were left in different jurisdictions. If we think it's bad now with law enforcement departments not communicating with one another, imagine what it was like when they didn't have email. They couldn't share evidence and facts by clicking a button. Law enforcement got very distracted by what was happening in the Capitol.

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What were the biggest failings in the investigation.

The cops made assumptions because they didn't understand what kind of killer they were dealing with. Some of the assumptions were racist and classist about the victims themselves. The fact that the Metropolitan Police, at that point, was almost entirely white was another failing. That complicated everything because the trust was not there.

If they had spread the information that somebody was predating on young girls, we might not have ended up with six and perhaps more victims. So, there were a lot of failings.

Do you think there's any significance in the ways the bodies were disposed of?

iHeartRadio and Tenderfoot T.V. commissioned the very first scientific profile of this killer. So, I can tell you what the experts say, which is that he was a paedophile. This is not my opinion; this is what I'm relating what I have learned from actual experts in this particular field.

He had a great deal of disgust with himself over his sexual attraction to young girls, and he transferred that to them. He disposed of them like garbage. He needed these girls to be trash because that eased his feelings of disgust with what he was doing.

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The freeway phantom communicated with the police. can you talk about these messages.

He pinned a note to one of the girl's bodies. It looks as though she wrote it, so he probably dictated the note to her. He signed it the Freeway Phantom, which was a name that one of the newspapers had given him. Other experts have compared it to the notes that Jack the Ripper would send taunting the police.

We also know that he made one of the victims call her own home twice to try to mislead the police by telling them they were with a white man in Virginia. Both of those things were unlikely to be true.

So those are the two things that we can confirm. There were other calls made to these victims' families, possibly made by the killer, saying, 'I killed your daughter' and things like that. This was in 1971, and they didn't have caller I.D., so it was very difficult to track a phone call, and we couldn't confirm those other contacts.

Murder victim

Why were so many serial killers active in 1978?

Can you tell us about the reward for catching the freeway phantom.

The Metropolitan Police Department is already offering a reward of up to $150,000 for information that leads to the identification of this murderer, even if that person is deceased (which is probably a good chance). iHeartRadio and Tenderfoot T.V. are matching that, which means the reward is up to $300,000.

Every single time I do an interview like this, to try to bring attention to it. All of us would like nothing better than for someone to collect that reward. I know that iHeartRadio and Tenderfoot T.V. would love to write that check.

Have you had any useful tips?

We've had quite a few tips that people can send to Tenderfoot T.V., and then they are anonymous. Our researchers and producers are tracking every single credible tip that gives them the information they can look for. They are very busy tracking down all of them. They will investigate every credible tip, and that's what they are doing right now. But yes, we have had a lot of contact with people.

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You mention in the first episode that you are scared of serial killers. was this a difficult project for you to get involved in.

I had to spend two years researching, reading talking about the thing that scares me the most in the world. It's not a logical fear, and I had to come up with coping mechanisms to help me relax. It's important work, and that's why I was willing to do it. But it was nerve-racking.

What's your favourite true crime podcast?

I listened to Dr. Death. That's true crime, and I enjoyed it. There is a podcast actually that I like out of the South here in the U.S. called Criminal, which is it that's a kind of a much broader definition of criminal. For me, it's like true crime light. I can appreciate it, especially with some association with history. I can get into that.

Check out our true crime podcast hub for podcast features and interviews, plus full episodes of the Murdertown podcast.

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Freeway Phantom

Freeway Phantom

Between 1971 and 1972, six black girls went missing in the Washington D.C. area. Their bodies were discarded alongside DC freeways. And their killer was never found. The media dubbed him “The Freeway Phantom.” From iHeartRadio and Tenderfoot TV, a new podcast reinvestigates the 50 year old unsolved murders of these young girls. Journalist and Public Radio veteran Celeste Headlee (NPR, PBS, TEDx) examines old case files and interviews the investigators and family members who are still haunted by these killings. Headlee will ask the questions: Why didn’t these murders make the news headlines? Did law enforcement do enough to solve these crimes? And how do racial disparities impact these types of investigations, past and present? Plus, we’ll explore new evidence which may crack the cold case wide open again. If you have any information relating to these unsolved crimes, contact the Metropolitan Police Department at (202) 727-9099. If you have a tip and would like to reach out directly to Tenderfoot TV, email us at [email protected].

.css-14f5ked{margin:0;word-break:break-word;display:-webkit-box;-webkit-box-orient:vertical;box-orient:vertical;-webkit-line-clamp:2;overflow:hidden;} Freeway Phantom - Official Trailer

'Freeway Phantom' is a new investigative true crime podcast from Tenderfoot TV, iHeartRadio, and Black Bar Mitzvah. Hosted by Celeste Headlee. The first two episodes drop on May 17th, 2023.

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

.css-r6mb8g{margin:0;word-break:break-word;display:-webkit-box;-webkit-box-orient:vertical;box-orient:vertical;-webkit-line-clamp:1;overflow:hidden;} Forgotten Girls

On April 25th, 1971, 13-year-old Carol Spinks mysteriously disappeared from her neighborhood in southeast Washington D.C. Six days later, her body was discovered off a nearby freeway. Investigators assumed this was a one-off murder. Little did they know, Carol was the first victim of D.C.'s first serial killer. 

Congress Heights

In early July of 1971, multiple drivers reported seeing a dead body just off a freeway in D.C. Only weeks later was the cadaver recovered. Police eventually discovered it was the body of 16-year-old Darlenia Johnson, who had gone missing weeks earlier. The killer had struck again...

Did My Mother See Me?

On July 27th, 1971, 10-year-old Brenda Crockett did not return home from a trip to the grocery store. Hours later, Brenda called home to deliver a cryptic message. And then, the line went dead. Her body was discovered just hours later...

The Moniker

On October 1st, 1971, a fourth victim was taken and later found dead: 12-year-old Nenomoshia Yates. Finally, news outlets begin to pick up the story of these murdered black girls. And the media gives the killer a name...

Catch Me If You Can

In the early morning hours of November 16th, 1971, police discovered the body of 18-year-old Brenda Woodard. But this time, it's clear that the victim fought back against the killer. And in Brenda's coat pocket, police discover a handwritten note from the Phantom.

The Hospital

After a hiatus of 10 months, police find the body of 17-year-old Diane Williams on September 6th, 1972. Diane would be the final confirmed victim of the Freeway Phantom. Sadly, police attention would be diverted away from the case by the Watergate Scandal. Plus, a suspect is revealed.

More suspects come to light. And we learn about two other murdered girls who may have been unconfirmed victims of the Phantom: 18-year-old Teara Bryant and 14-year-old Angela Barnes.

Who is the Phantom?

Why was the Phantom never caught? Is it possible he's still alive, walking freely? We explore all evidence pointing to his identity. And we ask: what hope is left?

A New Profile

We recruit a former FBI profiler to create a new profile of the Freeway Phantom. And we look at the systemic issues that led to the Phantom's success.

The Epidemic

The Freeway Phantom case is but one example of a wider epidemic of missing black girls in DC who don't get the attention they need. How can we fix this? And how can we finally bring the Phantom to justice?

Relisha Rudd: Truer Crime

This week, on July 11th, marked “Relisha Rudd Remembrance Day'' in Washington, DC. As you heard in Freeway Phantom, back in 2014, Relisha Rudd, an 8 year old Black girl, went missing from Northeast, DC. Her whereabouts are still unknown. The timeline of Relisha’s disappearance is somewhat unclear but what is clear is that multiple systems failed to keep her safe and the failure of those systems is why no one even knew that she was ...

BONUS: Courtney's House

We explore an issue deeply connected to the missing persons cases we've disccused this season: domestic trafficking. Tina Frundt of Courtney's House in D.C. takes us through her story as a survivor, and how her nonprofit works to combat the effects of human trafficking. 

BONUS: D.C.'s Missing Voice with Henderson Long

Henderson Long has worked on missing persons cases for over a decade. Long was also instrumental in the early stages of our Freeway Phantom investigation. We talk with him about his personal connection to the issue and his work to help families searching for answers in Washington D.C.

Introducing The Estate

In the early evening on New Year’s Eve, in 1973, a 34 year old man was found bleeding to death on a downtown street in Stockton, California. In his dying moments, he named the men behind his murder: Calvin Jones and Rosalio Estrada. 50 years later, Rosalio’s son, Alex Estrada sets off to find out if his father was actually involved in the murder.

Presenting Radical: Episode 1, Fire

Hi, Freeway Phantom fans! Tenderfoot TV, iHeartPodcasts, and Campside Media bring you a new true crime series called Radical . Hosted by journalist Mosi Secret, Radical tells the story of Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin and asks the question, was Al-Amin truly guilty? Check out the first episode.

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The Untold Truth Of The Freeway Phantom

Police exhume a body from the ground

The Freeway Phantom has remained true to his moniker — a phantom. Despite the fact that he was Washington, D.C.'s first serial killer and claimed the lives of six young girls between April 1971 and October 1972, his identity remains a mystery.

One of the defining features of the Freeway Phantom is that he targeted young, African-American girls, per The Washington Post . His first victim, Carol Spinks, was just 13 years old when she left home one night to go to a 7-Eleven . She was found six days later on a grassy embankment next to the I-295 after being raped and strangled.

His next target was Darlenia Johnson, a 16-year-old girl with a summer job at Oxon Hill Recreation Center. One morning in July, she never arrived at work. She was later found just 15 feet from where Carol's body was dumped.

A week later, 10-year-old Brenda Crockett went missing after going out to see a movie. The next victim was Nenomoshia Yates, a 12-year-old who had gone to the supermarket to get groceries.

The fifth murder was Brenda Woodard, an 18-year-old who was taking the bus home after grabbing dinner with a friend. Last but not least was Diane Williams, a 17-year-old who was traveling home after spending time with her boyfriend.

All of the victims were raped, all were strangled, and five of the six also had their shoes removed. The exception was Brenda Woodard, who was more brutally murdered than the others, offering investigators their first clue about the killer.

Why Brenda Woodard's murder was different

Though Brenda Woodard's murder had several differences, the most vital to police was that the killer left a note on her body. He had even dictated the message for her to write out.

"This is tantamount to my insensititivity [sic] to people especially women. I will admit the others when you catch me if you can! Free-way Phantom!" the missive read.

Despite the disturbing message, former D.C. police detective Romaine Jenkins claimed that since Brenda's handwriting did not display excess duress, she likely knew her killer and did not realize the gravity of her situation at the time.

"There were no signs that she was nervous when she wrote the note," Jenkins explained in another article from  The Washington Post . "You don't think calmly like that if someone has kidnapped and assaulted you."

However, police believe that once the situation turned dark, the note gave Brenda time to realize her fate and caused her to fight back against her captor. Though she was strangled, she was the only victim to be stabbed as well and also sported defense wounds, suggesting a bitter struggle. The killer also left her shoes on, unlike his other victims.

One mother might have seen the killer with her child

Jenkins also believes that 10-year-old Brenda Crockett's mother might have seen the killer in action. Brenda had called her home twice on the night she was abducted. The first call was to tell her sister that she had been kidnapped by a white man and had been driven to Virginia — a story police believe was fabricated to throw them off the scent.

Brenda then called a second time.

"Did my mother see me?" she asked her mother's boyfriend, who picked up.

"How could your mother see you if you're in Virginia?" he frantically answered, before demanding that she put her abductor on the phone. But that was not possible.

"Well, I'll see you," Brenda said in a whisper before the line went dead.

Jenkins believes that this second call was proof that the killer was nearby and thought he had been spotted by Brenda's mother, who had been out searching the neighborhood for her daughter.

"Why would you let her call home, not once, but twice?" Jenkins said. "He had to make sure that the mother didn't see her."

Clues into the Freeway Phantom's identity

One of the major clues into the Freeway Phantom's identity is that his geographical anchor point was St. Elizabeth's Hospital, a mental asylum in Washington, D.C. This suggests that the killer was familiar with the facility, and likely means that he was either a patient, a doctor, or a worker who knew the area well.

Another potential clue is that the Freeway Phantom appeared to keep trophies of his victims. Police have expressed their hope that someone might come across some of the tokens and alert investigators.

"He kept textbooks from one of the girls, curlers from another girl, shoelaces from another girl," noted Blaine Pardoe, who co-wrote a book on the murders. "Some family member may stumble across those things and say, why did he keep this junk?" he added, per CBS affiliate WUSA9 .

Lastly, the Freeway Phantom stopped his crime spree in 1972. Investigators believe that suggests he either died, was incarcerated, or moved away from the area at the time.

Police have eyed several potential suspects

In the 1970s, police believed that a group known as the Green Vega Rapists were involved in the Freeway Phantom murders. One of the gang's members confessed to investigators that his colleague had committed the crimes. However, he stopped communicating with authorities after his allegation became public and he feared retribution from the gang. Police have since stated that the Green Vega Rapists were not the likely perpetrators and eyed a more likely suspect: Robert Askins. 

Askins was a convicted kidnapper and rapist who had previously been charged three times with homicide. In addition, he had spent time as a patient at St. Elizabeth's Hospital. Last but not least, when authorities raided his home, he had saved an appellate court's opinion where the word "tantamount" was used, just like in the Freeway Phantom letter that was left on Brenda Woodard's body. Askins was also allegedly known to use the word often in conversation.

Unfortunately, there was no physical evidence to tie Askins to the crimes and he denied all connection to the Phantom Highway murders. He died in prison in April 2010. 

Why the Freeway Phantom has been so hard to catch

There are several reasons why the Freeway Phantom has been so difficult to catch. He was probably charming, and would probably have seemed like an unlikely suspect to the community.

"Organized killers are likely to be above-average intelligent, attractive, married or living with a domestic partner, employed, educated, skilled, orderly, cunning and controlled. They have some degree of social grace, may even be charming, and often talk and seduce their victims into being captured,"  Psychology Today described.

He was also forensically savvy enough to wash his victims' bodies to destroy a lot of evidence, and the Freeway Phantom's DNA has not been recoverable. He disposed of the bodies in different states, which investigators believe was designed to keep different police departments from piecing the crimes together.

Though the FBI originally assigned around two dozen agents to the case, many were unfortunately pulled off the matter after the Watergate Scandal gripped the capital.

Lastly, the race of the victims also likely played a part.

"Those Black girls didn't mean anything to anybody — I'm talking about on the police department," claimed Tommy Musgrove, who joined the D.C. police in 1972 and later headed the homicide unit. "If those girls had been white, they would have put more manpower on it, there's no doubt about that," he added.

Freeway Phantom podcast

The chilling story of Washington D.C.’s first serial killer.

Available now.

Between April 1971 and September 1972, before the term serial killer existed, six young Black girls went missing in the Washington D.C. area. They were abducted, murdered, and their bodies were discarded alongside D.C. freeways. Due to the location of the bodies, local media gave the killer a name: “The Freeway Phantom.” Five decades later, no one has been brought to justice, and few know the details behind D.C.’s first serial killer. The victims and their families deserve answers. Welcome to Freeway Phantom.

Reward for Freeway Phantom

About the Podcast

From the creators of Atlanta Monster and Monster: DC Sniper comes a new true crime series, Freeway Phantom . The 10-part investigative series takes listeners back over 50 years to the unsolved murders of at least six young Black girls, ages 10 to 18. Their names are: Carol Denise Spinks (13), Darlenia Denise Johnson (16), Brenda Faye Crockett (10), Nenomoshia Yates (12), Brenda Denise Woodard (18), and Diane Williams (17). The killer taunted police with a chilling note claiming responsibility for the murders, writing, “catch me if you can,” and even terrorized victims’ families with calls to their homes.

With first hand accounts from victims’ families, law enforcement agencies, and would-be victims, the podcast will review old evidence, provide a new perspective, and reveal new findings.

Freeway Phantom is a production of iHeartRadio, Tenderfoot TV, and Black Bar Mitzvah.

Newspaper clipping. Freeway Phantom

Carol Denise Spinks

13-year-old Carol was one of 8 children and has an identical twin sister. Her family lovingly called her “Bay Bay”. She lived with her mother...

Darlenia Johnson

Darlenia Denise Johnson

Darlenia was an outgoing and social 16-year-old. She worked part time at the local recreation center and was enjoying her summer spending time with friends...

Brenda Crockett

Brenda Faye Crockett

10-year-old Brenda Faye Crocket lived in NorthWest Washington, D.C., near Cardozo High School. She had a close knit group of friends that she enjoyed spending...

Nenomoshia Yates

Nenomoshia Yates

12-year-old Nenomoshia or “NeNe” was a shy and quiet 6th grader at Kelly Miller Junior High School. She lived with her father and step mother...

Brenda Woodard

Brenda Denise Woodard

18-year-old Brenda lived with her family in Baltimore, Maryland, along Maryland Avenue. Brenda was outgoing and enjoyed spending time at local restaurants with friends after...

Diane Denise Williams

Diane Williams

17-year-old Diane was an outgoing person who dreamed of being a model and was excited about her future. She grew up in a large and...

Celeste Headlee

Celeste Headlee

Host · Narrator

About the Host

Freeway Phantom is hosted by Celeste Headlee (NPR, PBS, TEDx), an award winning journalist, best selling author and public speaker with a 20 year career in public radio. A current Washington D.C. resident, Celeste has spent the past two years sifting through boxes of documents and interviewing investigators and family members who are still haunted by these murders.

iHeart Radio

Follow the story on social and join our list to receive updates on Freeway Phantom, future cases, and other Tenderfoot TV projects.

  • District of Columbia

Darlenia Johnson

the freeway phantom washington dc

Do you know who committed the "Freeway Phantom" murders from 1971-1972?

  • Last updated: November 7, 2023
  • Washington , DC

July 8, 1971

Overview of darlenia johnson, darlenia johnson was only 16 years old when her life got cut short..

Darlenia Johnson was last seen by her mother on July 8, 1971, around 11:30 a.m. At the time, Darlenia was working at Oxon Run Recreational Center. That evening, Darlenia was supposed to stay overnight as part of a sleepover, but she never arrived. The next day on July 9, 1971, Darlenia’s mother reported her missing.

Unfortunately, eleven days later, Darlenia’s body was discovered. Darlenia’s body was so poorly decomposed, authorities could not determine the cause of death. In order to make an identification, the medical examiner had to remove Darlenia’s fingers, as DNA was not yet advanced. Interestingly, Darlenia’s body was found approximately 15 feet from where Carol Spinks’ body was found on May 1, 1971.

Is Darleia Johnson a victim of the Freeway Phantom?

Between April 1971 and September 1972, six young black girls were abducted and murdered. Their names are Carol Spinks (age 13, abducted on April 15, 1971), Darlenia Johnson (age 16, abducted on July 8, 1971), Brenda Crockett (age 10, abducted on July 27, 1971), Nenomoshia Yates (age 12, abducted on Oct. 1, 1971), Brenda Woodard (age 18, abducted on Nov. 15, 1971), and Diane Denise Williams (age 17, abducted on Sept. 5, 1972).

Each victim left their homes to run an errand and never returned home. Days later, their remains were found near the I-295 freeway. Unfortunately, each victim was sexually assaulted and strangled to death. All victims except Brenda Denise Woodard were found barefoot. Brenda Woodard’s body was found with a handwritten note signed by the Freeway Phantom that read:

This is tantamount to my insensitivity to people, especially women. I will admit the others when you catch me if you can!

-Freeway Phantom

Where the case stands today.

Currently, the Metropolitan Police Department are offering a $150,000 reward for anyone who provides information that leads to an arrest. The “Freeway Phantom” is the main suspect, but their identity remains a mystery. There have been some publicly named suspects, including the Green Vega Rapists, a gang responsible for multiple rapes and abductions throughout the Washington Beltway area. However, these cases remain unsolved.

If you have any information please contact the Metropolitan Police Department at (202) 727-9099 or [email protected] .

Information.

  • Date Missing: July 8, 1971
  • Date Found: July 19, 1971
  • Age at Incident: 16
  • Race: African-American / Black
  • Gender: Female

What's Left to be Uncovered

Download the Uncovered Citizen Detective Guide to learn more about how thoughtful and safe online sleuthing.

Share the Metropolitan Police Departments' poster seeking information about these women on your favorite social media platform.

Featured Sources

the freeway phantom washington dc

Important People

Darlenia Denise Johnson Victim

Nenomoshia Yates Victim of (Potentially) Related Crime

Carol Spinks Victim of (Potentially) Related Crime

Brenda Fay Crockett Victim of (Potentially) Related Crime

Brenda Woodard Victim of (Potentially) Related Crime

Diane Williams Victim of (Potentially) Related Crime

May 1, 1971

2:46 p.m. :   Carol's body is found

Carol's body is found near the Anacostia Freeway, the middle link in an expressway span from the lower side. of Washington's Beltway. Carol was found barefoot. There were signs of sexual assault and strangulation.

Location of Carol's body (approx)

Related People

Victim of (Potentially) Related Crime

Sources of Information

  • Carol Denise Spinks (1958-1971) Find a Grave Memorial

11:30 a.m. :   Darlenia is last seen

Darlenia leaves her home to go to work at the Oxon Run Recreational Center.

Darlenia Johnson's Home

  • SERIAL KILLER: The Freeway Phantom Crime Junkie
  • Phantom of the Freeway Daily News
  • Similarity is Catchwood of Freeway Killings The Daily Advertiser
  • Six black girls were brutally murdered in the early ’70s. Why was this case never solved? The Washington Post

July 9, 1971

Darlenia is reported missing

Darlenia is reported missing by her mother after she never showed up at work. Darlenia was supposed to stay overnight at the center as part of a sleepover for the kids.

  • Black Women The Main Target Of Washington D.C.'s First Serial Killer | B. NewsBreak Original

July 19, 1971

Darlenia's body is found

Eleven days after Darlenia was reported missing, her body is found. Unfortunately, her body was so badly decomposed that the medical examiner had to remove her fingers to identify her. Darlenia's body was found 15 feet from where Carol's body was discovered.

Location of Darlenia's body (approx.)

  • 7 girls, maybe more, victims of mysterious 'freeway killer' The Peninsula Times Tribute
  • Case 121: The Freeway Phantom Casefile

July 28, 1971

5:50 a.m. :   Brenda Fay Crockett's body is found

Brenda Fay Crockett's body is found along a grassy shoulder along US Route 50. She was found strangled and sexually assaulted.

Location of Brenda Fay Crockett's body (approx.)

  • Case 121: The Freeway Phantom MAP Casefile

October 1, 1971

Nenomoshia Yates' body is found

After only being missing for three hours, Nenomoshia's body is found along a grassy embankment along Pennslyvania Avenue. She was strangled and sexually assaulted.

Location of Nenomoshia Yates' body (approx.)

November 16, 1971

5:00 a.m. :   Brenda Denise Woodard's body is found

Brenda's body is found along the shoulder of the Baltimore Washington Parkway. There were six stab wounds.

Location of Brenda Woodard's body (approx.)

  • "Freeway Phantom" Murders Washington Metropolitan Police Department

September 6, 1972

Diane Williams' body is found

Diane Williams' body is found along a grass incline of Interstate 295.

Location of Diane Williams' body (approx.)

February 1976

Probe is dropped

After three years, and no indictments the probe is dropped.

  • Freeway Phantom' probe is dropped The Daily News Leader

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A list of the most interesting unsolved serial killings in each state

Washington dc: the freeway phantom.

Welcome back to Unsolved, everyone! This week we’ll be looking at Washington DC, and even though it is not a state exactly, this cold case was too interesting to not include in the mix.

Back in 1971, an unidentified killer ended the lives on six young girls in the DC and Maryland area. This was Washington D.C.’s first serial killer on record.

Carol Denise Spinks, the first victim of the Freeway Phantom, was a thirteen-year old from Washington, DC. Her mother left her and her siblings home alone while she visited family close by, and instead of staying home as she was told, Carol instead walked to the 7-Eleven down the street. Her older sister offered to let Carol pick up a soda of her choice if she did her grocery shopping that night and the store was only about a half mile away from the house, so it seemed safe enough. It was proven that she did make it to the store that night as she was seen by both a clerk at the store and her mother, but sometime along the way home she was abducted. Because her mother had seen her, she was able to file a missing persons report that night; April 25th, 1971.

Just six days later, her body was discovered by a group of children playing in a freeway embankment, in the same clothing she had disappeared in except for her shoes. An autopsy revealed that she was sexually and physically assaulted prior to her murder, although the cause of death was strangulation. Her death had also only happened two to three days prior, which means that she was alive for at least three days after she was abducted. The only evidence found on her body that could have been used to make a connection to a suspect was an unidentified green fiber from something like a rug or sweater.

The second victim was Darlenia Denise Johnson, a 16-year-old from the same neighborhood as Carol. On July 8th, 1971, she walked to her job at a nearby rec center, and it was not until the day after that her disappearance was noted, as she told her mother she was staying the night. About two weeks later, her body was found in the grass at the side of a highway near to where Carol’s was found, again in the same clothes she was wearing at the time of her disappearance except for her shoes. The police had actually received multiple calls about the sighting of this body and has been resistant to responding, which was one of the earlier signs that racism played a role in the low quality police work done on this case. Because of this delay, an autopsy was not able to conclude whether or not she had been sexually assaulted because of the decomposition. They were still able to conclude that the cause of death was strangulation, though.

the freeway phantom washington dc

This case had very few reasonable suspects, like many of the cold cases discussed in this blog. The first idea was that a member or members of a gang called the Green Vega Rapists were responsible, but even after extensive interviews, no reliable information was gathered. One member of the gang did implicate another member, but that person had an alibi that was confirmed. The most believable suspect was Robert Askins, who was convicted multiple times for violent crimes against women. This self proclaimed “woman hater” raped multiple women, poisoned five prostitutes, and was convicted of multiple murders up until his final conviction at the age of 58 kept him in prison for the rest of his life. No physical evidence was found linking him to the Freeway Phantom murders and he may just be another depraved criminal, so this case remains unsolved.

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the freeway phantom washington dc

  • Cast & crew

The Freeway Phantom

  • Episode aired Nov 25, 2019

Damion Le Vias in The Freeway Phantom (2019)

In 1971 and '72, Washington DC is terrorized by a cunning killer who abducts and murders six young African American girls. Police and the community are outraged by the serial killings that t... Read all In 1971 and '72, Washington DC is terrorized by a cunning killer who abducts and murders six young African American girls. Police and the community are outraged by the serial killings that target young children in their own neighborhoods. In 1971 and '72, Washington DC is terrorized by a cunning killer who abducts and murders six young African American girls. Police and the community are outraged by the serial killings that target young children in their own neighborhoods.

  • Mike Testin
  • Brandon Botsford
  • Christopher Bustos

The Freeway Phantom (2019)

  • Valerie Spinks
  • (as Brionna Banks)
  • Homicide Detective

Christopher Bustos

  • John Dunkle

Tiffany Channer

  • Diane Willams

Natalia Christabelle

  • (as Natalia-Christabelle)
  • Self - FBI (Retired)
  • Self - Brenda Crockett's Sister

James Patrick Duffy

  • Police Officer

Jake Golden

  • Gary Collins
  • Detective John Moriarty

Peter Holt

  • Carol Spinks
  • Carolyn Spinks
  • Self - Sargent DC Metro Homicide Unit (Retired)

Oscar Jordan

  • Brenda's Step-Dad

Ama Konadu

  • Darlenia Johnson
  • All cast & crew
  • Production, box office & more at IMDbPro

User reviews

  • November 25, 2019 (United States)
  • Radley Studios
  • See more company credits at IMDbPro

Technical specs

  • Runtime 39 minutes

Related news

Contribute to this page.

  • IMDb Answers: Help fill gaps in our data
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WTOP News

New traffic patterns inbound for GW Parkway

Will Vitka | [email protected]

January 5, 2024, 5:43 PM

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Buckle up for new traffic patterns on the George Washington Memorial Parkway starting Friday.

The next phase of the National Park Service’s North Parkway Rehabilitation Project will introduce some lane shifts to the northern section of the travel artery.

Key among them is a change to the three-lane traffic pattern, with a reversible lane, between I-495 and Route 123.

It will shift from the northbound lanes to the southbound lanes of the parkway.

The Park Service said it expects this three-lane traffic pattern to be in effect through late 2025.

Here are the big changes to be aware of coming up this weekend:

From Jan. 5 at 8 p.m. until Jan. 8 at 2:45 p.m. 

Single-lane, northbound closures to allow crews to carry out the traffic shift.

Starting Jan. 6 

There is a temporary lane in the median of George Washington Memorial Parkway between the Route 123 interchange and I-495. With this traffic shift, the temporary lane  will always serve as a northbound lane, and drivers heading toward Maryland must use this lane .

The left southbound lane (closest to the median) will serve as the reversible lane, which provides flexibility to change direction for morning and evening rush hours.

The right southbound lane  will always serve as a southbound lane .

Weekday morning rush hour (5:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.)

  • Two lanes southbound (toward Washington, D.C.).
  • Drivers who need to exit at Route 123 or CIA Headquarters must use the right lane.
  • One lane northbound (toward Maryland/Virginia).

Weekday evening rush hour (2:45 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.)

  • Two lanes northbound (toward Maryland/Virginia)
  • Drivers heading toward Maryland must use the right lane.
  • Drivers heading toward Virginia via I-495 must use the left lane (the reversible lane).
  • One lane southbound (toward Washington, D.C.).

Weekdays (9:30 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.) and weekends/holidays 

  • One lane southbound (toward Washington, D.C.)

the freeway phantom washington dc

More information is available online .

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© 2024 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

the freeway phantom washington dc

William Vitka is a Digital Writer/Editor for WTOP.com. He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

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IMAGES

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  2. The Reason The Freeway Phantom Has Been Hard To Catch

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  6. The Freeway Phantom 6 go missing in broad daylight, a Confession is Made

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VIDEO

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  5. The Freeway Phantom Who Killed 6 Girls

COMMENTS

  1. Freeway Phantom

    (February 2018) The Freeway Phantom is the pseudonym of an unidentified serial killer who murdered five girls and a woman in Washington, D.C., between April 1971 and September 1972. [1] [2] Murders Carol Denise Spinks

  2. The Story Behind DC's "Freeway Phantom" Serial Killer

    Six Black girls, ages 10 to 18, were kidnapped, killed, and left on the side of I-295, the Anacostia Freeway. They soon became known as the "Freeway Phantom" murders. The emotional toll on victims' families was devastating enough.

  3. Freeway Phantom: Inside the Hunt for D.C.-Area Serial Killer

    Crime Inside the Hunt for a Serial Killer Who Dumped 6 Girls' Bodies Along Roads Around Washington, D.C. People Magazine Investigates looks at the case of the "freeway phantom," whose...

  4. 'Freeway Phantom' Killings Haunt D.C.-Area Families Decades Later

    Unsolved Case of 'Freeway Phantom' Haunts Families Decades After Slain Girls Were Found in D.C. Area People Magazine Investigates looks back at the string of 6 murders that terrorized...

  5. The Disturbing Case of the Freeway Phantom

    Between April 25, 1971, and September 5, 1972, a series of gruesome murders gripped Southeast Washington, D.C. These became known as the "Freeway Phantom" killings.

  6. "Freeway Phantom" Homicide Victims

    Saturday, September 30, 1972 From April 1971 to September 1972 six young African-American girls were abducted from their neighborhoods in Washington, DC and murdered. Their bodies were found in both the District of Columbia and in Prince George's County, Maryland. The suspect in these murders has been called "The Freeway Phantom" by the media.

  7. The Unsolved Mystery Of The 'Freeway Phantom'

    From 1971 to 1972, a serial killer known only as the "Freeway Phantom" stalked Washington, D.C., abducting and murdering six young Black girls. Metropolitan Police Department The Freeway Phantom murders claimed the lives of six Black girls. In 1971, a serial killer struck in Washington, D.C., for the first time in known historu.

  8. The Freeway Phantom: Washington D.C's forgotten serial killer

    Between 1971 and 1972, six black girls went missing in the Washington D.C. area. They were abducted, murdered, and their bodies were discarded alongside D.C. freeways. Local media gave the killer a name: 'The Freeway Phantom.'. Five decades later, no one has been brought to justice, and few know the details behind D.C.'s first serial killer.

  9. Why the Freeway Phantom Still Hasn't Been Caught

    Bureaucratic snags may be keeping a nefarious and elusive D.C.-area serial killer from being identified. The Freeway Phantom was certainly that. Beginning in 1971, over 16 months, the killer...

  10. Freeway Phantom

    Popular Podcasts Advertise With Us Between 1971 and 1972, six black girls went missing in the Washington D.C. area. Their bodies were discarded alongside DC freeways. And their killer was never found. The media dubbed him "The Freeway Phantom."

  11. The Untold Truth Of The Freeway Phantom

    The Freeway Phantom has remained true to his moniker — a phantom. Despite the fact that he was Washington, D.C.'s first serial killer and claimed the lives of six young girls between April 1971 and October 1972, his identity remains a mystery.

  12. Unsolved DC murders still haunt families

    Right Now Washington, DC » 47° Breaking News WATCH: Kwanzaa Celebration with Mama Ayo Loading next article... A father-daughter writing team published a new book they hope will lead to...

  13. Murdered: Carol Spinks

    July 26, 2006 'Freeway Phantom' Slayings Haunt Police, Families Six Young D.C. Females Vanished in the '70s The Washington Post • News Outlet November 17, 1971 Another Girl Slain by D.C. 'Phantom' Progress Bulletin • News Outlet

  14. Murdered: Brenda Woodard

    February 21, 2009 DNA discovery could solve 1972 Freeway Phantom slaying Washington Examiner • News Outlet August 3, 1980 A Common Bond The Washington Post • News Outlet May 22, 2018 Six black girls were brutally murdered in the early '70s.

  15. Case 121: The Freeway Phantom

    The Freeway Phantom *** Content Warning: child victims, child sexual assault, sexual assault *** During the early 1970s in Washington, D.C, six black girls aged between 10 and 18 were abducted and murdered in separate brutal attacks.

  16. Freeway Phantom

    Freeway Phantom is a production of iHeartRadio, Tenderfoot TV, and Black Bar Mitzvah. The Cases Carol Denise Spinks 13-year-old Carol was one of 8 children and has an identical twin sister. Her family lovingly called her "Bay Bay". She lived with her mother... learn more DISAPPEARANCE 04/25/1971 Darlenia Denise Johnson

  17. Murdered: Darlenia Johnson

    July 26, 2006 Freeway Phantom' Slayings Haunt Police, Families Six Young D.C. Females Vanished in the '70s The Washington Post • News Outlet August 3, 1980 A Common Bond The Washington Post • News Outlet

  18. Washington DC: The Freeway Phantom

    Washington DC: The Freeway Phantom Welcome back to Unsolved, everyone! This week we'll be looking at Washington DC, and even though it is not a state exactly, this cold case was too interesting to not include in the mix. Back in 1971, an unidentified killer ended the lives on six young girls in the DC and Maryland area.

  19. THE FREEWAY PHANTOM

    THE FREEWAY PHANTOM | Washington D.C. Serial Killer Documentary - YouTube 0:00 / 20:26 THE FREEWAY PHANTOM | Washington D.C. Serial Killer Documentary Ruin Road 39.7K subscribers...

  20. Tantamount

    The pursuit of the Washington DC serial killer, the Freeway Phantom, focuses on Robert Ellwood Askins. Askins has a long history of murder, poisoning, strangling, and madness. He bathes his victims and has one write a note that he dictates, just like the Freeway Phantom. But is that enough to link him to the crimes? Duration: 00:21:56

  21. The UNSOLVED Case of The Freeway Phantom

    Prince Georges County, Washington D.C. and the surrounding area, 1971: It's not often that in a place where law and Order are not only defined, but upheld, a...

  22. "People Magazine Investigates" The Freeway Phantom (TV Episode 2019

    39m IMDb RATING 7.5 /10 34 YOUR RATING Rate Documentary Crime In 1971 and '72, Washington DC is terrorized by a cunning killer who abducts and murders six young African American girls. Police and the community are outraged by the serial killings that target young children in their own neighborhoods. Director Mike Testin Stars Bri Banks

  23. Victims of the Freeway Phantom

    In 1971-72, a killer called the Freeway Phantom terrorized the young black female population of Washington, DC. He was never caught. He raped and strangled a...

  24. New traffic patterns inbound for GW Parkway

    Key among them is a change to the three-lane traffic pattern, with a reversible lane, between I-495 and Route 123. It will shift from the northbound lanes to the southbound lanes of the parkway ...