G. McConway
January 29, 2024

Serial Killer Cold Case Cracked by Tennessee Students

A group of high school students in Tennessee have cracked a decades-old cold case called “The Redhead Murders.”

More than a dozen bodies of red-headed girls had been dumped along the highway between Tennessee, Kentucky, and several other neighboring states between 1983 and 1985.

Even though a multi-state task force was created, no suspect was ever taken into custody… until now.

Cold Case Solved

Thanks to the work of a group of students, that cold case has officially been taken off the books.

In 2018, 20 students from Elizabethton High School were able to connect six of the Redhead Murders to a man who was referred to as the Bible Belt Strangler.

Even though five of the victims were identified, there was one that remained a mystery. Even so, the students were able to create a profile of the killer, eventually linking him to the McKenney-Farmer.

By identifying that victim, investigators were able to further connect the alleged killer, Jerry Johns, to other cases.

Unfortunately, Johns died in prison several years ago, so police were obviously unable to question him on the matter.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) found a random blog post about McKenney-Farmer, who they were able to trace to a missing woman in Indiana, who was later identified as one of the bodies that had been found in Tennessee.

Her body was identified through fingerprints.

The teacher of the students, Alex Campbell, was impressed by the work of his students that led to the solving of the cold case.

Campbell stated, "My students have never, ever disappointed me. I’ve given them some very hard things to do. But when they know they’re helping people, they work very hard."

District Attorney General Jared Effler, while not pleased Johns was not alive to face justice, was happy that there is finally some closure for the survivors of the victim, stating, "While I am extremely disappointed that this case has not ended in the prosecution of Jerry Johns, I am pleased that this investigation has answered questions for Ms. Farmer’s family that heretofore had gone unanswered for over 34 years.”

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