Is a certain area of Route 8 a Burial Ground for a Serial Killer(s)?
November 14, 2006, a hunter discovered skeletal remains of a woman in Litchfield just off of route 8 near exit 41 on the northbound side of the highway. Weeks later the victim was identified as 22 year old Jessica Muskus of Waterbury, She was originally reported as missing in Waterbury on Aug. 2, 2004.
This area of Route 8 has been no stranger to homicide and mystery. Eighteen years ago about a mile from where Muskus was found, the body of Karen Everett 24, was found off of Valley Road in Harwinton, near the highway in October of 1988. Months later in almost the same spot the body of Mildred Alvarado, 30 was found in January of 1989. Both victims were known to have engaged in prostitution, drugs and had been strangled. Some theories point to the same individual in both of those killings. In 1993 Evelyn Bettencourt was located near the Valley Road area and was shot to death. An individual was eventually convicted for her murder however, he is not a suspect in the deaths of Everett and Alvarado. In 1994, the body of Olga Maria Cornieles-Ubiera, 32, was found off Route 262 in Thomaston, approximately eight miles south from the Valley Street area. She had no history of drug use or prostitution and Police have never indicated whether they think her murder was related to the homicides of Everett and Alvarado.
One common thread between the four murdered women is that they are all from Waterbury. There are also two additional women from Waterbury that are missing. Then 37 year old Bernadine Paul has been missing since 2000 and Marilyn Mendez Gonzalez who was 26 years old at the time has not been seen since 2003. There is no indication that these two disappearances are linked to any of the above murders.
Perhaps the most bizarre murder in this area happened at a now closed rest area in Litchfield not far from the other victims. In 1986, the arms and torso of 26 year old transient Jack Franklin Andrews were found wrapped in quilts and garbage bags. His head, legs and genitalia were never located. His murder is still unsolved, and police have theorized that he may have been the victim of a serial killer. His murder is not believed be related to any of the other homicides in the area. Convicted serial killer Richard W. Rogers has been considered a person of interest in the Andrew’s case. Rogers had been convicted of the murders of two men in New Jersey and a suspect in ones in Florida and Pennsylvania as well.
UPDATE – Convicted rapist/murderer Stephen Hayes has confessed in a letter to an anonymous individual that he is responsible for 17 murders of women in New England. Hayes is currently on Death Row for the 2007 Cheshire Home Invasion murders of Jennifer Hawke Petit and her two daughters Haley and Michaela. Many in Law Enforcement are not taking these claims seriously, as Hayes is known to be a pathological liar. However, Hayes lived in the town of Winsted for much of his life which is off of route 8.