That's a Bad Sign

Richard Rogers the Last Call Killer and murder of Emma Walker

April 01, 2021 Emily Winchurch & Liz Mahoney Season 1 Episode 30
That's a Bad Sign
Richard Rogers the Last Call Killer and murder of Emma Walker
Chapters
That's a Bad Sign
Richard Rogers the Last Call Killer and murder of Emma Walker
Apr 01, 2021 Season 1 Episode 30
Emily Winchurch & Liz Mahoney

Richard Rogers (The Last Call Killer) is an American serial killer and nurse who targeted gay men in NYC, dismembering his victims and discarding their body parts around New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York. Then we dive into the murder of  Emma Walker. She was safe asleep in her bed - until two bullets were shot from outside her house, killing her instantly. Who would want this young girl dead? And was this a tragic accident or a cold blooded murder?

Sources:
Dateline Episode: Noises in the Night
https://www.wbir.com/article/life/wednesday-marks-emma-walker-day-honoring-teen-killed-by-ex-boyfriend-in-2016/51-fb5460b8-17d7-4e7d-bcec-d0ef256d9a40
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/07/books/review/last-call-elon-green.html?referringSource=articleShare
http://thecentralvoice.com/stories/how-mild-mannered-richard-rogers-became-a-serial-killer-of-gay-men,2112
https://www.silive.com/news/g66l-2019/02/c00e71ca6c8598/last-call-killer-revisited-richard-rogers-of-staten-island-trolled-victims-at-gay-bars-in-manhattan.html
https://www.criminallyintrigued.com/blog/2018/1/14/richard-w-rogers-an-evil-human-being
https://www.aetv.com/real-crime/last-call-killer 

Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/badsign)

Show Notes Transcript

Richard Rogers (The Last Call Killer) is an American serial killer and nurse who targeted gay men in NYC, dismembering his victims and discarding their body parts around New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York. Then we dive into the murder of  Emma Walker. She was safe asleep in her bed - until two bullets were shot from outside her house, killing her instantly. Who would want this young girl dead? And was this a tragic accident or a cold blooded murder?

Sources:
Dateline Episode: Noises in the Night
https://www.wbir.com/article/life/wednesday-marks-emma-walker-day-honoring-teen-killed-by-ex-boyfriend-in-2016/51-fb5460b8-17d7-4e7d-bcec-d0ef256d9a40
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/07/books/review/last-call-elon-green.html?referringSource=articleShare
http://thecentralvoice.com/stories/how-mild-mannered-richard-rogers-became-a-serial-killer-of-gay-men,2112
https://www.silive.com/news/g66l-2019/02/c00e71ca6c8598/last-call-killer-revisited-richard-rogers-of-staten-island-trolled-victims-at-gay-bars-in-manhattan.html
https://www.criminallyintrigued.com/blog/2018/1/14/richard-w-rogers-an-evil-human-being
https://www.aetv.com/real-crime/last-call-killer 

Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/badsign)

Liz: [00:00:00] Hello, welcome back. You're 
Emily: [00:00:03] listening to true crime podcast. That's a bad sign. I'm 
Liz: [00:00:07] Emily and I'm Liz and we're so happy. You're joining us 
Emily: [00:00:10] again this week. We will kick it off as we always do with our recommendation 
Liz: [00:00:14] corner. I think you are first. 
Emily: [00:00:17] I am. And I was just telling Liz I'm so excited to tell you my recommendation and I have to, 
Liz: [00:00:23] Oh, we, I kind of have to also, Ooh, I was going to say, is it allowed?
Well, now we have for this episode, get ready. 
Emily: [00:00:31] So I've never mentioned this, but I am a huge fan of British detective shows. I love them. And I could probably name a hundred. So if you want a few more recommendations message me on Instagram, but I have two that I just binge-watched and I want to tell everyone about one is called.
We hunted together and it's on Showtime, Amy time. And it's about. Like obviously a couple that kills people together, show it, follows them, but then it also follows the detectives, a man and a woman who are chasing them. So it goes back and forth. And it's very interesting. 
Liz: [00:01:08] I love the sound of that death gonna listen.
I mean, watch 
Emily: [00:01:11] Whoa. And then the second one, which has been out for a while, I'm on episode, no season five right now is a Luther. Have you heard of that? 
Liz: [00:01:21] My dad is obsessed with Luther and he tried to get me to watch it once. I think I watched one episode with him and then for some reason I just never watched it again, but yes, I've heard of it and I think I would like it.
Emily: [00:01:31] So 
Liz: [00:01:31] my dad is also obsessed with it. I wonder if they talk about it together and what's that actor's 
Emily: [00:01:36] name? Address Elba. Oh yeah. He is so 
Liz: [00:01:39] amazing. Yeah. He's also so nice to look at. He's 
Emily: [00:01:43] so tall and like hunky, I said that word, but like, he's great. So that's on Hulu and. British TV. It just so much better than American 
Liz: [00:01:53] DB.
That is so funny because my recommendation is also a British show. 
Emily: [00:01:57] There it is. I it's true. All right. So those are my two. We hunt together and Luther, everybody go watch it, 
Liz: [00:02:04] Liz. That means you. I will. I promise. I've been looking for new shows to watch, which is how I came across this one. Even though it's been out for a couple of years, I've never seen it before.
I have been bingeing killing Eve. I knew you were going to say 
Emily: [00:02:17] that. Oh my God. I just read your mind. It is so 
Liz: [00:02:20] good. I love it. I'm obsessed with Villanelle. Me too. She's gorgeous. I also love Sandra. Oh, they're both 
Emily: [00:02:27] good, but I want the best. Which one would you want to be friends with? 
Liz: [00:02:31] Oh, I mean Villanova.
Yeah, of course. But yeah, I literally did nothing all day on Sunday. Um, after watching March madness all day on Saturday, I was very tired. So I literally laid in bed and watched. So many episodes. I won't give you exactly how many, because that would be embarrassing, but it's so good to everyone. Go watch it.
I think I'm watching it on Hulu. What season 
Emily: [00:02:52] are you on? 
Liz: [00:02:53] I just started at season three. Yes. So that is my one. My second one is not a show. Yes. So last night I went up to the Bronx in Manhattan. Well, not in Manhattan. They went North of Manhattan up to the Bronx in the city. And. I volunteered with my sister, which was very nice.
Um, but after that, we went to Arthur Avenue in the Bronx and had the most amazing Italian food. And we brought home some meats and cheeses and Emily just, and I just had them as appetizers and it is such, such excellent food. I just recommend if you're ever in New York, you should go hit it up. If you like Italian food, what was the name of the restaurant?
The restaurant we went to was Enzo's, but the. We got the cheese and the pepperoni, et cetera at the market, which is just called like the market. You'll find it. If you go there, 
Emily: [00:03:46] Liz volunteered at a food pantry. She was a very good citizen this weekend. It was very rewarding. That should be our other recommendation.
Go volunteer. 
Liz: [00:03:55] This is just a recommendation episode. We have no stories. Just kidding. Let's get into them. Cheers. Cheers. Full glasses. They literally like. Our glasses are barely even making noise because they're filled,
Emily: [00:04:14] Oh wait, pause the music. We meant to give a shout out to our fans. Rachel and Megan. Yeah. These 
Liz: [00:04:20] girls sent us the story of David Russell Williams that Emily covered last week. And it was such a crazy story that she had to cut it up into two episodes. 
Emily: [00:04:30] And we didn't call you guys out last week. So. We want to dedicate this episode to you.
Liz: [00:04:36] Everyone send us your stories.
okay. So this week I'm going to be covering the murder of Emma Walker. My references include www.wbir.com and an episode of Dateline called noises in the night. In 2016, Emma Walker was a 16 year old girl living in North Knox County, Tennessee. She was a cheerleader. Her friends describe her as beautiful, sassy, and funny people were intimidated by her because she was the pretty cheerleader.
But once they met her, they were immediately put at ease because she was so nice and very down to earth. No, she was really caring and she even volunteered at an animal shelter. She was an honor roll student and her dream was to become a NICU nurse. Justin angel 
Emily: [00:05:37] sounds so sweet. 
Liz: [00:05:40] Now on Sunday, November 20th, 2016, Emma went for ice cream with her dad, and then she went to bed early because she wanted to get up and get ready for Monday morning school.
The next day in the middle of the night, her father heard a loud noise. He said that it sounded like someone was inside the house and had opened a door and then slammed it. And then he heard it again, a few moments later. So at this point, he's like, I have to check this out. So he gets out of bed and he goes to check on Emma and her brother.
He opened Emma's door and stared at her for a good, like 15 to 20 seconds. She was lying there asleep. So he closed the door and then he checked on his son. He was asleep. So he was like, must've just been hearing things. I'm going to go back to bed. The next morning when Emma's mother, Jill tried to wake her up for school, she couldn't wake her.
And she normally woke up pretty easily. So she went and she was shaking her and she wasn't getting up. So eventually she checked for a pulse and she couldn't feel one. So then she frantically called nine one one and told them that her daughter had no pole. She was unresponsive pretty much every mother's worst nightmare.
That's so scary. So first responders came to the Walker house and rumors had started to circulate through the community that Emma was dead and no one could believe it because imagine being in high school one morning, you're getting ready for school. And someone just tells you, your friend is dead. Yeah, 
Emily: [00:07:05] that girl in your English 
Liz: [00:07:06] class, who you probably talked to last night.
Oh my God. At first they thought that it was a suicide and she had ingested something because she was laying in her bed and there was a small amount of blood next to her on her pillow that they thought may have been vomit. You know, if you like ingest a lot of something, you're not supposed to, you tend to throw up.
What they didn't realize at first was that there was a bullet hole in Emma's bedroom wall next to her bed. When they see this, they take a closer look at Emma's head and they find a small entry wound. How 
Emily: [00:07:37] do you not see that someone shot in the head? I 
Liz: [00:07:40] don't know. It's it seems like, I don't know. It didn't cause that much blood somehow, like, and it was, I don't know, she was laying in a certain way, so they just didn't see it.
Um, but once they obviously see that the police go outside of the house to examine and they find that there is another hole in the wall. So two shots had been fired from outside the house, into her bedroom. They also find two bullet casings. When did this happen? 2016. Oh my God. So upon hearing this, her parents are absolutely shocked because.
Your child is at home, sleeping, safe, and sound in their bed. And someone shot them. Like it's just mind blowing. So then her father realizes that those noises he heard were actually gunshots, but who would want to kill this beautiful girl who had all the potential in the world? Yeah, it just doesn't make sense.
So the police started looking into the last few days of Emma's life. That prior Friday night, Emma and her friends were celebrating their high school football teams win at one of their friend's houses. And Emma got a text from an unknown number that her on again, off again, boyfriend had been kidnapped and they say, we have someone you love come outside right now.
Then she gets a phone call from this number and she hears Riley her ex boyfriend at the time, yelling Emma, like, help me, help me, please help me. So then she goes outside, she sees Riley standing there, looking confused with his hands on his head. And AMA is basically like, what are you doing? This is a ridiculous, weird prank.
Yeah. She had just broken up with him. So she was kind of like, I don't know what you're doing here, but get out, like I I'm. So over this. And what did Riley 
Emily: [00:09:34] say? Was he part of the 
Liz: [00:09:36] prank? Well, let, let me continue on okay then the next day. So this is now Saturday. Emma is home alone. And she sees a strange figure dressed in all black and wearing sunglasses, walking around her neighborhood.
And then the person comes up to her house and starts beating on the door. She's obviously terrified because I can't even imagine what I would do if I was 16. And that happened to me. I can't even imagine what I would do now. Oh 
Emily: [00:10:01] my God. 
Liz: [00:10:03] She's super scared. And so she reaches out to someone that has always been there for her, which is Riley, her ex boyfriend.
They had dated for two years. He was kind of like a security blanket for her. Yeah. Do you text him? I hate you, but I need you right now. Like, I feel you girl. She says, can you please come over? And so Riley comes over. He searches the house in the neighborhood, but he doesn't find anything. They don't tell the police.
I don't know why I would probably call the police immediately, but maybe they thought it was another prank. Yeah. The police looked over surveillance tapes in the neighborhood after learning this story. And they saw this man in black, but they couldn't make out a face. So then they bring in barley for questioning because he was there that day.
Riley tells him all about his kidnapping and says it was real. And it was really terrifying. Two guys grabbed him off the street and took him into their van. He says that they asked him, who would you want to talk to for last time? And he said, Emma, so that's why they made him call her. So he's like, I don't know, maybe the same person who had kidnapped me, who was the person in the man in black.
And I don't know what's going on here. This is crazy. This 
Emily: [00:11:05] escalated. Um, why didn't he tell the police? 
Liz: [00:11:08] He was kidnapped. That's a good question. I'm like, Oh, I'm worried where this is going. Okay. He also tells the police that he had spoken to Emma on Sunday night, just hours before her murder. He said, he told her he loved her, even though she wanted the relationship to be over.
And then he says that he spent the night on his college campus, which was about 30 minutes away from where they lived. Um, yes, he spent the night there and he woke up to a bunch of texts about what had happened to Emma, but let's dive a little bit more into the boyfriend. Shall we? Ah, so Riley Gaul was two years older than Emma and he was a star football player.
They started dating when she was a freshman and he was junior. He was also really active in his church and he was a little bit nerdy. He loved star Wars, which like, I feel you, he was funny and goofy, which made him a great match for Emma. He even broke up with his girlfriend to date Emma. Like the two of them just immediately hit it off.
However, after a few months of dating, people started to realize that Riley wasn't the best boyfriend. For example, he was still seeing his ex-girlfriend and he even brought her to prom. And Emma wasn't okay with it, but she allowed it to happen because she just wanted to stay with Riley so badly. Oh no, I know Emma's parents also were not huge fans of Riley and it was a kind of a huge point of tension within the family.
So the pair dated on and off for two years during high school. And they even tried to make it work when Riley went off to college, which. It just doesn't work. We can both tell you from experience. Like you can go ahead and try it, but it probably won't work. Never. Emma eventually saw Snapchats of him with other girls at school, which is exactly why this doesn't work.
And she ended the relationship. Her parents say this was a turning point for them and it really ease the tension in their household. She started acting like her normal happy-go-lucky self. Again. Emma's friends say that Riley was really controlling over Emma during their relationship to the point where he would text her 40 to 100 times if she went somewhere without telling him that his emotional 
Emily: [00:13:21] abuse.
Liz: [00:13:22] Oh yeah. He also tried to drive a wedge between Emma and her parents saying that they didn't care about her. He basically wanted to be the only person that she could rely on or that she thought she could rely on what a narcissist. And when Emma died, Riley seemed really distraught. He changed his Twitter bio to Emma.
I love you rest easy. My angel, and he tweeted out passages from the Bible about her. You know, I'm as friends, however, did not believe this grieving boyfriend card that he was playing. Now back to the investigation, the police straight up do not believe Viollis kidnapping story. It truly makes no sense.
And why why'd they let you go? And why didn't you tell anybody, like, what was the point of your kidnapping? They got no money. They, they got nothing out of this. Also one of Emma's friends, I guess, who lived in the same neighborhood, said that she saw this man in black that was wandering around that Saturday.
And she said it was Riley during his interview with police Riley refers to Emma as quote the girl and the police say what girl? And he says, quote, the one who passed away, what? This was your girlfriend. Two years. And you're referring to her as the girl she's in your Twitter 
Emily: [00:14:38] bio and you're referring to her as the 
Liz: [00:14:40] girl.
Yeah. He literally is saying I'm living every day through you, Emma. So weird, bizarre, and also tabs. I think we co called tabs a while ago, a while ago, but the police now are like, this is very strange behavior. They press him again on his whereabouts during the night of Emma's murder and he sticks to his story.
He says that he spent the night. Half the night and his car crying over the breakup. Okay. Eventually he realizes that he's becoming a suspect and he tells the police, he absolutely never would have done this. He would hurt himself before he ever hurt Riley and the police have to let them go because they really don't have any evidence.
Yeah. But my number one question is where's the gun? Where is the gun? So the day before Emma's murder, Riley's grandfather had to call the police to report that one of his handguns had been stolen from his house. Dude, Riley lived with his grandfather. Oh. And this was the same type of gun that had been used to commit Emma's murder.
The police asked him about this and he denied knowing anything about it. Like you really think you're going to get 
Emily: [00:15:55] out of this. I'm shaking my head. 
Liz: [00:15:57] No. Riley eventually reached out to two of his friends named Alex and Noah. He said he would never hurt Emma. And he had nothing to do with her murder, but he did have his grandfather's gun.
And he was like, listen, the police are going to come after me. If they, if they know I have this gun, they're going to nail me for the murder, even though I didn't do it. So I need your help to get rid of it. I'm trusting you. He was like, I'm going to drive it to a bluff above the Tennessee river and toss the gun and no one will ever find it.
Why would he tell his friends that, well, this is sort of his demise because his friends immediately call the police. Yeah. And tell them, um, what was going on. 
Emily: [00:16:39] I just say, if you said that to me, I wouldn't tell the police. Cause I know you would never commit murder, but I feel like a guy like that his best friends are probably like, 
Liz: [00:16:47] he did it.
Yeah. And his friends even had said that they saw him kind of spiraling in the last few months. So I feel like when you see behavior like that, and then someone extremely close to them gets murdered. And then they have a gun that matches the murder weapon. Like you can kind of put two and two together.
Yeah. Also 
Emily: [00:17:03] grandpa reporting the gun. 
Liz: [00:17:06] I know I'm like go grandpa, but he's by freaked out. He's like someone broke into my house and stole one of my guns. Yeah. All right. So the police with this knowledge decided to launch a sting operation. Yes. Where Alex and Noah are going to go with Riley to dispose of the gun.
And once they actually saw the gun. They would signal to the police with a text message and then the, and then the police would come and arrest Riley. Like the police would be telling them, yeah. Now this is really dangerous because this is putting two kids in a car with someone who has likely already killed someone.
Emily: [00:17:41] Yeah. Oh my God. Now that you 
Liz: [00:17:43] mentioned that, um, it's kind of funny in the Dateline episode that I watched about this, Andrea canning is the host. And she's asking the two kids, she was like, what did your parents think about you guys doing this? And the one guy is like, well, actually my parents had moved to North Carolina.
So I was living in Tennessee by myself. At that time I was 18. I think he was probably, I don't know what he was doing there. Um, so she was like, Oh, you didn't tell your parents, did you? And he was like, no, my mother would never let me exactly. Absolutely. That's great. So funny. He's just like, nah, we're not, I don't know why we're laughing.
It just it's. Um, yeah, but I mean, honestly, they end up being the heroes of this story, so good for them. The police wired the two boys up. They also gave them listening devices in the car and a camera on one of their key fobs to record everything. So Ryan came to Noah's house at one point and then they start recording and there's a video.
It's like a very clear video. They must've done a really good job placing the key fob directly in front of Riley without him realizing idiot. So the boys are like, dude, I'm so sorry about Emma. So awful. And Riley says something along the lines of, I want to be sad, but I can't be because I'm more worried about getting arrested and put away for a murder that I didn't commit.
I would never in my life kill someone that I loved that much. And you can see him on this video, straight faced making this statement. Then the mission was underway. So they left the house in the car and then they stopped for fast food. I don't know. And then they got to the bluff around 11:00 PM and pulled into an apartment parking lot.
That's when Varley pulled the gun out of a bag. So Noah sent the text to the cops, but no police came. So 30 seconds went by then a minute, then two minutes, what? Like there was a delay. So then the boys are kind of panicking, right. I'd be sweating and they kind of try to improvise. So Alex grabs the gun from Riley and he makes it seem like he's just super interested.
And he was saying, Oh my God, wow. This is, this is a real gun. Riley immediately grabs the gun back from him. And finally, at that moment, the police show up. Why was there a delay? I don't know. I actually don't know it doesn't say, but if you're sending two kids into, for an operation like this, you better be sure you're going to be on top of your shit.
Emily: [00:20:25] I'm so angry at these police officers that let two kids 
Liz: [00:20:28] do this anyway. So then the police arrest rightly. And he was charged with first degree murder and people are shocked. I'm as friends said that while they thought that Riley was controlling and obsessive, they never thought that he actually could be a murderer.
Yeah. Riley, pleads, not guilty to the charges. And the prosecutors basically say they need to put him at the scene in order for it to be convincing evidence. So they have his phone GPS because he says he was on his college campus that night, but his cell phone says he was not idiot. However, the defense comes out with a surprise.
They admit that Riley was at Emma's house and that he did in fact fire the gun, but it was never with the intent of murder. They say, He never thought he would actually kill her if the shot through the wall, his plan was that he wanted to scare Emma with the gunshot so that he could swoop in and be the Knight in shining armor.
Why do I feel like that's probably what happened because he set up the kidnapping thing right. To try and win her back. And that didn't really work. Yeah. But yeah. So his defense say he had N he really didn't think that the bullet would even go through the wall of a house. Now the defense is kind of like, Oh fuck.
Because our whole case was pinning him at the scene of the crime and him denying being there. But now he's admitting being there and admitting to even shooting the gun. It's just a question of his intent. Yeah, because the defense was saying that Riley should be charged, but with reckless homicide, not premeditated murder.
Yeah. And that would be only two to four years in jail. No, Tennessee versus potentially life in prison. So that is wild. 
Emily: [00:22:23] Yeah. I would never think that a bullet could go through. So I was like, Oh, maybe that's what he actually wanted to do was scare her. But regardless you murdered her, so you should be going to prison for life.
I don't care what your intent was. 
Liz: [00:22:35] Right. So now the prosecution has to shift gears and try to prove that it was his intention to kill her. So they go and. Survey the house and they see that the shot was fired at five feet away from the house. So there they say, he knew it was gonna hit her. He was that close that it was going to hit her.
They also say, shoot, literally anywhere else, shoot at the roof. Shoot. I don't know where you you've definitely been in her bedroom. You know where her bed is, you know, where her head is, shoot at the dresser. Like you knew what you were doing. I'd take 
Emily: [00:23:11] back my 
Liz: [00:23:11] statement. Basically, what they're saying is his kidnapping stunt failed to win Emma back.
So then he turned violent because he has this mindset of if he can't have her, nobody can, Oh my God, the jury deliberated. And they found Riley guilty of first degree murder. And he was sentenced to life in prison. He will be 70 by the time. And he's eligible for parole. Good, good. 
Emily: [00:23:37] Was she on the first floor?
Like I still don't understand how this could ha Oh yeah, I think 
Liz: [00:23:41] so. Also side note, the star football player, let himself go. He does not look good in his court hearings. 
Emily: [00:23:49] You're in prison. Like why don't you just 
Liz: [00:23:51] work out? Right. Okay. So I want to end on some happier notes of, you know, in memory of Emma.
There are tributes to her all over her hometown, including a scholarship at her high school. There's a local dog park named after her. And there's an exam room named after her, in the NICU at a local hospital. Oh, her mother, Jill is now an advocate for victims of domestic abuse and she educates parents and teens on signs of abuse.
Emma would have been 21 years old this month. And her family is asking that to honor her memory. Everyone do something kind for someone else. Even if it's as simple as giving a loved one, a hug, Oh my God, I'm going to cry. I know it's just such a senseless murder and to 
Emily: [00:24:39] think, Oh, my daughter saved she's in her 
Liz: [00:24:41] bed.
Truly. Every parent's worst nightmare. 
Emily: [00:24:44] I already tell myself I'm going to have to have a safe room or like a panic room in my house because I'm so paranoid. And now I have to make my walls out of like 
Liz: [00:24:51] steel Bulletproof. House cement. Um, how did you find the story? Well, like I said, it's a Dateline episode and I have watched it before.
Um, and it always kind of stuck with me. So I just went back and watched it again. Oh, that was so tough. And I didn't realize about her being 21 years old this month, too. That just like is the cherry on top of this sad story. My eyes are full of water. But her mom is really adamant about not wanting her death to, you know, be for nothing.
So she really does get out there and educate people about signs of domestic abuse. Liz, you did a great job. Thank you. All right, let's take a short break. So I'm going to cry. All right. Cheers.
All right. 
Emily: [00:25:46] So today my sources include the New York times the central voice, sylvia.com criminally intrigued.com and a 
Liz: [00:25:57] television. 
Emily: [00:25:59] And this recommendation came from my cousin, Julie, who I don't think she listens to the podcast, but this one's for you. This is the story of Richard Rogers, who was also known as the last call killer.
He got that name because he was a serial killer who operated in New York city frequenting gay bars, targeting gay men in the seventies. And he would wait until last call, hence his name, where he would go home with the man, have sex with him. Then kill him. And then dismember him, including, I'm just going to say this one's chopping off his penis and then shoving it down his throat.
Liz: [00:26:44] I have no words that is disturbing. 
Emily: [00:26:47] Yeah. Oh, my boyfriend said I have to start giving trigger warnings. So a minor that bad. So I will say this, this episode's 
Liz: [00:26:52] pretty bad if you hated that just fast forward born in 
Emily: [00:26:57] 1950 Rogers grew up in Plymouth, Massachusetts. He was the eldest of five children and graduate from college in 1972.
Then he moved to New York city where he attended nursing school in the late seventies. He ended up graduating nursing school and then went to Mount Sinai hospital and he bought a co-op on Staten Island. So 
Liz: [00:27:20] like thriving. Yeah. I'm like he's living a pretty normal life right now. 
Emily: [00:27:24] Like one of our good friends is essentially living this life.
Yeah. But now fast forward to the summer of 1988. So he's an experienced nurse, a 47 year old man lo goes to the police and he tells them that an a man named Richard Rogers had drugged him. He said he woke up in Roger's apartment, tied to his bed. And once he woke, Roger started to beat him repeatedly, despite these allegations and going to the police.
Rogers was acquitted in a non-jury trial that December. So why is it a non-jury trial? I have no idea, but I read that there was such prejudice and not so much sympathy for the gay community in New York city in the eighties. So a gay man coming forward and saying another man sexually assaulted him.
They'd even bother bringing this to a jury. They acquitted the abuser right away. Sick. So that was 1988. Now, fast forward to the spring of 1991, a 54 year old investment Baker named Peter Anderson was in Manhattan from Philadelphia to attend a political fundraiser a year earlier. He had separated from his wife after coming out as a gay man.
So on May 3rd, when he's in New York city for this fundraiser, He went to townhouse bar on East 58th street, which was an upscale restaurant known for having a gay male clientele. After he left the bar, he went back to his hotel, but instead of going up to his room, he turned around and got into a cab and people saw him, said he was extremely intoxicated.
He was visibly intoxicated. So when he turned around and went to a cab, that was actually the last he was ever seen. On Sunday afternoon, a maintenance worker was emptying garbage barrels on the Pennsylvania turnpike and wrapped inside eight different nodded. Trash bags was the mutilated body of Peter 
Liz: [00:29:26] Anderson.
And the Pennsylvania turnpike is not super close to New York city. Good 
Emily: [00:29:31] note, Liz. Good note. Also, I just want to note that the maintenance worker who found the bodies, he was advised immediately to take an AIDS test. And he said, but I didn't touch the body or the blood. And they were like, well, that was a gay man.
You should get an AIDS test. And again, just cause in the seventies and eighties, the stigma against gay men and AIDS. But at the same time, I was like, yeah, if I find a dead body, I'm getting tested for everything. Yeah. So 
Liz: [00:29:58] true. It does prick me. Yeah. Yeah. 
Emily: [00:30:01] So I think that's a stigma that has to be addressed, however, yeah, 
Liz: [00:30:05] for sure.
Get tested. You've asked me for everything. 
Emily: [00:30:09] So now more than a year later, we are in July of 1992, a 57 year old computer sales representative, whose name was Thomas Mulkey was in New York city for business. He lived in Massachusetts with his wife and four children, but he was known to have affairs with men.
He liked Peter Anderson, went to the townhouse bar for a night out and left with a stranger on July 10th, 1992, his remains were found trash bags were left at two different rest areas in New Jersey, discovered by employees who were cleaning areas in the morning. I'm one of the rest areas and employee noticed a bag dripping blood and soon discovered 
Liz: [00:30:56] a severed head.
Can you imagine seeing a garbage bag with blood dripping out of it? I went open it. 
Emily: [00:31:03] Oh my God. Like this employee was brave and at the other rest area and employee attempted to lift a garbage bag, but found it was too heavy. And when the employee opened it, they saw a set of human 
Liz: [00:31:16] legs. This is a little nauseatingly.
Emily: [00:31:19] Now, moving on to victim three as named Mario, who was 44, he was a sex worker who worked around Midtown and he was last seen on may six, 1993 near the port authority bus terminal. His body parts were found in multiple trash bags a day later, alongside a rural stretch of road in New Jersey 
Liz: [00:31:43] Jersey. See, that's on your way to the Pennsylvania turnpike.
When are they going to put this together? You'll see 
Emily: [00:31:50] then a little over a month later, Roger struck again. And this time with Michael Sakara, who was a 56 year old gay man who lived in New York city. He was at a bar in Greenwich village when a stranger went up next to him and struck up conversation, the two of them conversed, and then started talking to the bartender, Michael being irregular didn't need to introduce himself to the bartender.
However, the stranger said he was a nurse at St. Vincent's hospital. The two men then left together an hour later as the bar started to close. And you guessed it. That was the last time he was seen alive on July 31st, 1993 in Harbor straw, New York, a man was getting ready to open up his business for the day when he noticed the trash can near his shop was very full.
He walked over to investigate only defined human remains. It would take nine more days until the rest of Michael's body was found. So I know that was very quick and I just went through that, but we have four different victims who are murdered. And then another one who was assaulted and remains were found in three different States, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York city.
So you were asking one, are they going to put this together? All these men share both the murder and dispose. So methods being dismembered and their penises in their throats. Remember Andy, they were all the same profile of middle aged gay men. So the police forces across state lines did put this together that they were dealing with a serial killer and they formed a task force across state lines to find this killer.
And I was reading that in New York city, there was an, I mentioned this already twice such stigma against gay men. So it sounds like the New York city police department, they were not as concerned. Yeah. They were not as concerned about finding this killer, however, Pennsylvania and New Jersey where they took this very seriously.
Liz: [00:33:59] God damn in New York. 
Emily: [00:34:01] And like, I have no commentary. I'm just saying that's what was reported at the time. 
Liz: [00:34:05] I sort of feel like anytime, and I don't know this as a fact, but I feel like anytime that there's a body found dismembered in that manner, that should immediately get put on the FBI's profile. Yeah.
Because 
Emily: [00:34:18] he's not dismembering or she, you know, at this time they don't know who the killer is. They're not dismembering a body. To make it easily disposable. If you're cutting off someone's penis and then putting it in their throat, there's clearly some sexual fantasy and that's somebody who's very dangerous that needs to be watched.
Liz: [00:34:37] Yeah. So I feel like, you know, you, they probably come across with gunshot wounds, maybe even stabbings or things like that that are potentially just one-offs, but something like that, it seems like you need to immediately get it on the FBI radar. Yeah. It's a 
Emily: [00:34:50] spree killer. Exactly. So upon investigation, there were not many clues except from the Secura case because the bartender chatted with the killer.
So remember I said, this man was chatting at the bar, some random stranger came up to him and then the two of them engaged in a conversation with the bartender. 
Liz: [00:35:12] I was wondering about that. 
Emily: [00:35:13] So she said she talked to the killer and he said that his name was a very common name, like Mark or John. And that he was a nurse at St.
Vincent's. So police got employee directories from all the local hospitals and showed her every single male nurse. And she actually picked out Richard Rogers. 
Liz: [00:35:35] That's amazing. 
Emily: [00:35:36] However, there was a problem with her statement because one. She said the killer worked at scene Vinsons and Richard worked out Mount Sinai.
So I thought, you know, this isn't really lining up. And also she said the name was what I say, marker John. Yeah. And his name's Richard. So even though she Aidid him, it wasn't lining up with her initial testimony. 
That's 
Liz: [00:36:03] ridiculous. They should at least follow up on it. 
Emily: [00:36:07] And they did, because at the end of the day it was their only lead.
So they pulled all of his attendance records at his job, and they noted that he had been absent the days following each murder. So that's not evidence, but that is very interesting, 
Liz: [00:36:25] a little sus, 
Emily: [00:36:26] but it was not enough to arrest him. And soon the case went cold. 
Liz: [00:36:33] Liz's rolling her eyes.
Emily: [00:36:38] No six years pass. And in 1999, Thomas  widow, Margaret asked the New Jersey state police for an update on the case of her dead husband. Because of her inquiry paired with the fact that six years have passed fast and they made significant advances in forensic technology. The police sent all the evidence from the case to the Toronto police department because the Toronto police department apparently had a cutting edge technology that could now lift fingerprints off of evidence.
So when we were going through this whole case, notice how I didn't talk about fingerprints or anything like DNA. It was because it didn't exist back then. 
Liz: [00:37:24] I love this, that we're tying Canada and we can't even go one episode without mentioning Canada. I was thinking 
Emily: [00:37:29] that when I was going through this, I was like, of course, here's Canada, Jesse.
You guys know like our CA Canada fan base is awesome. We love you guys. 
Liz: [00:37:37] Three do 
Emily: [00:37:39] so. Like I said, the police, the New Jersey, state police and everything to Canada, the Toronto police go through all the evidence and they use our technology to retrieve fingerprints and they have fingerprints, but they have no matches obviously because they're in Canada.
So the Toronto police then send the fingerprints back to the New Jersey state police. So the New Jersey state police have the fingerprints, they run them through their system and they don't have any matches. So then they send the fingerprints out to every single state in the United States and they ask officers to run fingerprints through local databases.
And finally, in May, 2001, a call comes in from Maine. They found 
Liz: [00:38:27] a match. I was not expecting Maine. Right. Well 
Emily: [00:38:31] now you'll know, turns out that in 1973, long before all of his shenanigans in New York, Richard Rogers had killed a man and went to trial for it. He was a grad student at the university of Maine, and he claimed that his 22 year old roommate named Frederick Spencer attacked him one day with a hammer.
Roger said he grabbed the weapon from Spencer and then struck him in the head with it eight times as quote self-defense. 
Liz: [00:39:07] Seems excessive 
Emily: [00:39:10] yet. He went to trial and was acquitted a murder because of his self-defense testimony. So he transferred schools. However, because of this, his fingerprints were on file in Maine.
Liz: [00:39:25] Wow. That's kind of crazy. Only gets more crazy. 
Emily: [00:39:30] So the police have fingerprints. To match it to Richard. And also mind you that Richard was Aidid what seven, eight years ago. So they have an idea that this is their guy. However, fingerprint technology is so new that they want to get more evidence because they want to make sure that he's going to go behind bars for ever, and they need a jury to have as much evidence as possible.
So multi-state agencies work together on a week long surveillance plan to gather as much evidence as possible. So similar to you, they're creating a sting operation because they want to make sure they have everything they can before they go to trial. However, before they can complete this sting operation, all of the sudden the New York police department shows up to Mount Sinai hospital, where Richard is working and grabs him.
So the state agencies are very confused and they don't understand why New York police department is infringing on their operation. You're not completely, this turns out that Helen 
Liz: [00:40:43] Giuliani. No, 
Emily: [00:40:46] he was mother of New York. City's disgraced, then mayor Rudy Giuliani. 
Liz: [00:40:53] Oh my God. 
Emily: [00:40:56] Was at Mount Sinai hospital where Rogers worked and once the New York police department found out about the surveillance operation on this potential murderer, the then police commissioner Bernard Kerrick, who was best friends with Giuliani, made the decision to pull Rogers out because he wants to do this for Giuliani's mother's safety.
Liz: [00:41:21] However, rolling my eyes again. I mean like 
Emily: [00:41:25] great, like good intentions, but this man who is a killer targeted gay men, Giuliani's mother was fine. 
Liz: [00:41:32] So fair. 
Emily: [00:41:34] It does anyone else? I wouldn't care, but I hate 
Liz: [00:41:37] Juliet. I know. I also think we should probably point out that he wasn't disgraced at this time. Yeah, no, he's 
Emily: [00:41:42] disgraced now.
He was a hero. 
Liz: [00:41:44] He was beloved in New York city in 2001, especially. Oh my God. We used to love Giuliani. Yeah. And now. He's sweating his tan off. Um, 
Emily: [00:41:55] yeah, I'm so excited. I was like, I can't wait to get to the Giuliani part. This is not going 
Liz: [00:42:00] know what hit her. Okay. So there's 
Emily: [00:42:05] a sting operation. It doesn't happen because of Giuliani's mom, the New York city police department.
Grab him. However, they don't arrest him right away. This is May 28th, 2001. And they tell him that he was the victim of credit card fraud. And they ask him to go into the police department with him just to answer some routine questions. So he willingly goes, however, when he is there, they actually reveal that they're looking to four murders that happened to gay men in the nineties.
And he quickly realizes that he has been caught. So he doesn't admit to his crimes, but he does ask for a lawyer. And I know I said they want to do a sting operation, but between the fingerprint technology and like the witness, they have enough to keep him. So they do charge him and they keep him on an a million dollar bail.
So the plan might've been foiled, but regardless he is captured. Now fast forward to 2005, he is finally on trial in New Jersey for the murders of Thomas Mulkey and Anthony Marrero. And it was because I think they knew he did the murders for all of the different men. However, these were the ones that they could get fingerprint matches for.
So he's on trial and the jury deliberates for less than four hours before convicting him. And he sentenced to 30 years to life for each murder. Leading up to at least 65 years behind 
Liz: [00:43:36] bars. Oh my God. Someone that has dismembered a human being needs to not ever be let out of jail. Yeah. 
Emily: [00:43:44] But he's, by the time he gets out, he'll probably die in 
Liz: [00:43:47] prison.
Um, I know I just liked the principal. Oh, 
Emily: [00:43:50] completely. Now there's three things I want to highlight before I end. One is that the detectives have come forward and said, because of Margaret Thomas multis, widow, they gave the case in other luck. And that's when they sent everything to Canada and they have come forward and said, this would still be a cold case.
If it wasn't for Mark. 
Liz: [00:44:12] There's your hero. Love her 
Emily: [00:44:15] also. It's believed that he murdered more than the five victims that we're 
Liz: [00:44:20] aware of. I was going to say, there's no way those were his only victim. So there's 
Emily: [00:44:25] another two that are pretty much confirmed, but not a hundred percent. So I didn't put them in here, but also there are so many cold cases where he was traveling and on vacation or conferences in the area.
So people think he was way more dangerous of a serial killer. And then the last thing is just, what's crazy. Is that. No one knows why he's done this and he, yeah, I wasn't given interviews and there wasn't any traumatic thing in his childhood. Cause he has siblings. Nobody knows what his motivation was and you know that there was something sick because of the way that he dismembered a mutilated.
Liz: [00:45:04] That's very scary because I've been at bars so many times when last call happened. Yeah. 
Emily: [00:45:11] And especially where there was a case where. His night was described as he just struck up conversation with the victim next to him. That's just scary because that could happen to 
Liz: [00:45:22] anybody. It could. And here I am like itching to go out, back out to bars because we'd been locked up for so long, but then I hear a story like that.
And I think my living room is pretty cool. 
Emily: [00:45:34] I will never slept shame somebody. And if you want to go home with man, that's your prerogative. I'm just saying for your safety, don't go home with strangers cause they might murder 
Liz: [00:45:43] you. Yeah. Also just keep an eye, your eyes peeled for red flags. Well, I think that that's it.
That concludes our stories and we are out of wine. 
We 
Emily: [00:45:54] line this up 
Liz: [00:45:55] perfectly with one bottle of wine as always, if you enjoyed today's stories or other episodes, please go rate us on Apple podcasts and leave us a review. 
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We love you guys. Bye .