A woman is shot in the face on a rural Connecticut highway.
Police sketch of suspect
DOB: 1958 to 1964
Hair: Brown, curly
Defining Characteristics: Medium build
Remarks: Driving a well-maintained black step-side pick up truck with flared fenders, standard width blackwall tires and shiny plain wheel covers
The man shot at her from just a few feet away
On August 22, 1988, a woman we’ll call Carol, was headed to work along a quiet, two-lane highway near the town of Putnam, Connecticut. Carol worked as a social worker at a local hospital, where she counseled depressed and mentally ill patients. This particular morning, Carol was running thirty minutes late:
“The road I took that morning was my normal road and the way that I always go to work. Sometimes I think I was at the wrong place at the wrong time… As I was driving, I all of a sudden came upon a black truck that was in front of me. It was driving very slow, so I slowed up right behind it.”
As Carol followed the pick up, it began to behave in a bizarre fashion. The pick up began to swerve and speed up and slow down erratically. Carol began to sense that something was clearly wrong:
“Shortly after that, he stopped the truck in front. I can see it all happening in slow motion. He just lit out of his truck and I realized he had a gun in his hand. I can remember seconds after it happened that I was going to die. I just felt or heard a rushing in my ears. And then I heard the radio on. And I knew that I wasn’t going to die. So my next thought was I’m paralyzed.”
The bullet hit just below her eye
Carol was shot in the face at point blank range. Because she was slumped across the front seat, she was out of view of the other drivers. A few minutes elapsed before a utility serviceman drove by. From his elevated cab, he could see into Carol’s car. He immediately called for help. EMTs knew they were racing against the clock–Carol had already lost two pints of blood.
Carol was barely alive when she reached the emergency room. The bullet had torn through her face about two inches before her left eye. Her carotid artery had been severed, paralyzing her left vocal chord. Detective Michael Foley of the Connecticut State Police later determined that the assailant was just ten feet away when he pulled the trigger:
“Immediately following the shooting, we had troopers and detectives on Brayman Hollow Road and all the main intersections looking for both the suspect’s vehicle and also a vehicle similar in style to the one driven by the victim.”
He left her for dead and drove away
Two drivers told Detective Foley that, in the hour before the shooting, a black pick up truck had pulled on and off the highway repeatedly, taunting other motorists:
“It’s entirely possible that all of the incidents are related and it was the same black pick-up truck involved in all these incidents, interfering with the traffic. It appears that it’s a totally random shooting and the victim just happened to be the next motorist to encounter this fellow on Brayman Hollow Road. It’s the general feeling of investigators that the suspect is still out in the area, still going to work, still going to the same gas station. He’s just your average citizen, who for whatever reason on this particular morning, was either under the influence or angry; we just don’t know what provoked him to do this.”
Three months later, Carol’s condition had improved dramatically. But she was left with a grim physical reminder of the incident. The bullet that pierced Carol’s cheek is still lodged in the back of her neck:
“… I will just leave the bullet in me …”
“I think of it every day, especially when I look in the mirror and I see the scars and think about the incident, that I’m afraid and I’m also angry that this happened to me and that he’s still out there and may be leading his normal life without any cares to what happened to my life.”
The shooting took place near Putnam, Connecticut, on Brayman Hollow Road. The suspect is a white male, 5’10”. He has a medium build and brown curly hair. He was driving a well-maintained black step-side pick up truck. It had flared fenders, standard width blackwall tires and shiny plain wheel covers.
Watch this case now on Amazon Prime in season two with Robert Stack and season eight with Dennis Farina. Also available on YouTube with Dennis Farina. Various seasons available now on Hulu.
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