If you are a family member of a missing person needing assistance, please contact me. If you know something about a missing person, please call your nearest law enforcement agency.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Alleged Serial Killer Arrested in Nashville

I often wonder when, if ever, Steve Huff of CrimeBlog.us (now)sleeps. The reason I say that is readily apparent to any of his followers: he is always on top of stories he writes about - with all his research done and published before most of us are even aware something has happened. I like to think I do a good job in keeping abreast of Illinois news - especially news related to missing persons, and those involved in their disappearances....but Bruce D. Mendenhall was news to me, although he is from Illinois.

It appears that he has a wife and a couple of kids. He's moved around a bit, but generally near Albion, Illinois. His (fairly recent) employer is about 32 miles north of his hometown. Albion's location gave Mendenhall easy access to not only Illinois, but Indiana, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee and Arkansas. There is also a Florida address publicly listed for him - stretching his reach even further south. The possibilities of his victims began popping into my mind before the map was finished loading.

He has been charged in the murder of Sara Nicole Hulbert, age 25, of Ashland, Tennessee.


PROSECUTOR: Charles Lee Freeman Jr
DEFENDANT: Bruce D Mendenhall
VICTIM: Sara Nicole Hulbert
T.C.A. 39-13-201
Personally appeared before me, the undersigned [Select one] __X_ Commissioner ___
Metropolitan General Sessions Judge, the prosecutor named above and made oath in due
form of law that [Select one] __X_ he ___ she [Select one] ___ personally observed
__X_ has probable cause to believe that the defendant named above on 07/12/2007 in
Davidson County, did unlawfully kill the victim named above and upon him/her did commit
an offense of criminal homicide. The probable cause is as follows: On the morning of
6/26/07, the body of Sara Hulbert was discovered in the parking lot of 111 North First Street,
Nashville, Davidson County. Subsequent investigation determined that Sara Hulbert was murdered.
Additional investigation determined that the victim was in the company of a tractor trailer driver just
prior to her body being discovered. As the investigation progressed it was determined that a yellow
colored tractor with a white trailer could be involved. This date, 7/12/07, a tractor trailer rig fitting
the that discription was observed near the truck stop located at 111 North First Street. Sergeant Pat
Postiglione followed this vehicle around the block and then into the truck stop. When the truck
parked on the lot, Sergeant Pat Postiglione approached the driver, Bruce Mendenhall, and introduced
himself as a police officer. Noticing what appeared to be blood on the inside of the driver's door
(When Mendenhall opened the door) and what appeared to be blood on his left thumb. A verbal and
written consent to search was obtained from Bruce Mendenhall . A large amount of what appeared to
be blood was observed inside of a trash bag inside the truck behind the driver's seat. A pair of shoes
with tread marks similar to shoe prints found at the scene were observed in the truck. Bruce
Mendenhall was subsequently intervierwed and provided a detailed statement implicating himself in
the homicide in Nashville as well a several other homicides in other jurisdictions.
Prosecutor: Charles Lee Freeman Jr 0000004927
200 James Robertson Pkwy
Nashville, Tennessee 37201
Sworn to and subscribed before me on 07/12/2007 19:16:27
Laurie Jewett
Laurie Jewett
Judge of the Metropolitan General Sessions Court/Commissioner

Two other women, located near I-40 truck stops and theorized at this point to be Mendenhall victims are:

Symantha Rea Winters and Jennifer Annette Smith. Ms. Winters, age 48, was was located deceased on June 6 at the Pilot Travel Center in Lebanon, Tennessee. Ms. Smith, age 24, was located nude on April 19, 2005 at an abandoned truck stop in Hickman County. A surveillance camera mounted atop a nearby adult bookstore captured a picture of a white semi-truck in the parking area where Smith was located.

Most profilers would agree that it's rare that a serial killer would begin to kill in his 50's, leaving one to wonder about prior victims.

I'll be following this story but unlike Steve Huff, I do have to sleep, so I don't guarantee breaking news.


Anonymous said...

Here is some breaking news for you. Bruce Mendenhall is not responsible for Jennifer Smith's murder. Here is a link to the real murderer and this was not his first.