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A trucker’s random murder puzzles investigators.
On November 12, 1988, in Chandler, Oklahoma, an anonymous caller reported a body lying beside a phone booth at a highway rest stop. At approximately 8 PM, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol arrived on the scene. The man had been murdered. Coins were scattered around his body. The dead man was Dwayne McCorkendale, a 27-year-old truck driver and father of twin girls. He had been killed by a single shotgun blast, fired at close range into his back. The apparent motive was robbery.
Joan McCorkendale was shocked when she heard that her husband had been killed for money:
Every day thousands of big rigs travel the highways of America. C.B. radios are their life line to the rest of the world. But for Dwayne McCorkendale, a casual conversation over the air waves may have signed his death warrant. Dwayne’s final run began like any other. On November 10, 1988, he left Detroit, Michigan, on his way to Oklahoma City. Paul Renfrow of the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation was a lead investigator on the case:
According to Investigator Renfrow, Dwayne pulled into a Chandler rest stop to call his wife:
The only items missing were Dwayne’s keys and his wallet. Investigator Renfrow estimated that the killer’s take was no more than $25:
Within days, several truckers called about a brown Ford Pinto, equipped with a C.B. radio. According to Investigator Renfrow, Dwayne was caught in a dangerous game of cat and mouse:
Three weeks later, authorities received a call from another trucker, Ed Heitkamp. He was breaking for lunch at a rest stop when he was approached by a young woman who was acting strangely:
The next day, just thirteen miles south on the same highway, Dwayne McCorkendale was gunned down. Today, authorities are no closer to finding the Pinto and Dwayne McCorkendale’s killer than they were the night his body was discovered. Their only lead is the brown Pinto. The occupants of the car are described as a white male and a black male, sometimes accompanied by a white woman.
Dwayne McCorkendale was murdered doing the thing he loved best. But for him, the freedom of the road ended in one senseless and violent split second.