The first body turned up in July of 1988, about 30 feet from the road on northbound Route 140 in Freetown, Massachusetts. A motorist who had stopped to relieve herself on the Sunday of the July Fourth weekend came upon the partially clothed, unrecognizable corpse, a bra around its neck – and investigators who soon arrived on the scene could tell the body had been there for months.
What they couldn’t have guessed, however, was just how frequent such grisly discoveries were about to become.
That body, identified five months later in December 1988 as Debra Medeiros, marked the first in a series of killings that would come to be attributed to the New Bedford Highway Serial Killer. Nine women were found, two remain missing to this day – and the murderer has never been caught.