'Six Flags Killer' Still At Large, Say Souvenir-Bedecked Police

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Vol 39 Issue 34

Hope Fades For Survivors In 1999 Turkish Earthquake

IZMIT, TURKEY—Rescuers acknowledged that hope is fading in the search for additional survivors of the massive earthquake that hit the area Tuesday, Aug. 17, 1999. "Tens of thousands of victims were pinned under the wreckage when the many poorly constructed three- and four-story commercial and residential buildings in the region collapsed in the quake," city official Demitri Psaropoulos said Monday. "Sadly, the sweltering heat and lack of water make survival chances slim for anyone still trapped in the rubble." The official death toll from the devastating earthquake reached 17,000 in November 1999.

Jerky Boys Accidentally Prank-Call Last Remaining Fan

NEW YORK—Infamous crank phone-callers Johnny G. Brennan and Kamal Ahmed, better known as the Jerky Boys, unknowingly pranked 22-year-old videostore employee Jake Matson, their last remaining fan, Tuesday. "Hello, this is Frank Rizzo," said Brennan. "I'm throwing a bachelor party and I wanna come over there and rent some smutty animal videos. What kind you got there, sizzle-chest?" Matson, who, unlike his peers, still listens to his Jerky Boys CDs regularly, instantly recognized Brennan's voice and begged him to do a few seconds of Saul Rosenberg.

Suburbanite Shocked By Poor Condition Of Urban Mall

DEER PARK, TX—Forced to pick up a pair of shoes from a Famous Footwear at Sharpstown Mall in Houston Monday, stay-at-home mother Linda Hendrikson, 31, was reportedly shocked by the mall's condition. "It was just so sad," Hendrikson said. "The floors were dirty, the shoes were in disarray, and there didn't seem to be any management. I just can't imagine what it would be like to shop under those conditions every day." Hendrikson said she has more sympathy for the plight of the city's poor after witnessing their mall firsthand.

State Appoints Obviously Hungover Attorney

INDIANAPOLIS, IN—The State of Indiana appointed a nauseated Bill Fenniman, Esq., as legal counsel to suspected arsonist Tom Shilue Monday. "I reviewed your case, and I'd advise you that, since this is your first offense, that... ooh, man," said Fenniman, shielding his eyes from the fluorescent lights in the room. "Listen, why don't you just plead guilty? You're guilty, right?" Fenniman asked to be excused before the pretrial hearing so that he could grab some juice and a quick nap.

High U.S. Incarceration Rates

The Justice Department reports that one in every 37 U.S. adults has been in prison, giving our nation the highest incarceration rate in the world. What do you think?

America's Best Zoo Exhibits

A trip to the zoo is fun and education for the entire family. Here's a list of the top-rated animal exhibits around the country:

Hog Executed Farmland Style

GRUNDY CENTER, IA—Police are investigating the vicious farmland slaying of a prize hog whose methodically gutted corpse was discovered Tuesday in the barn of local livestock farmer Lyle Whitman. "It appears the hit was done with a large butcher knife or some similar cutting implement," said Grundy County Deputy Keith Angrim at a press conference Tuesday. "The hog was hung by its feet with its belly sliced open and its head removed. In addition, all the blood had been drained from the animal's body, and its internal organs were missing." Given the meticulous but brutal nature of the killing, Angrim said he believes the hog was "taken out by a professional."
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'Six Flags Killer' Still At Large, Say Souvenir-Bedecked Police

GURNEE, IL—Local authorities continue to search Gurnee's Great America theme park for a criminal dubbed "The Six Flags Killer," souvenir-laden police reported Monday.

Police launch a search of the Yukon Territory.

"If you have any information that might lead to the capture of this vicious killer, please contact us immediately," a button-covered Gurnee Police Captain Jack Moynihan said at a press conference held in Carousel Plaza. "We have officers standing by on the Whizzer."

"Oh," Moynihan added. "And if you know where to get one of those blinking hats we've been seeing around, let us know."

Police began their search on Aug. 26, when ride operator Zack Lipton, 16, found a decapitated body behind the Fiddler's Fling control booth. Two days later, the remains of Six Flags employee Cory Reader were found in the bushes at the perimeter of the Yukon Territory, still inside his Wile E. Coyote suit.

Park-goers reported sightings of a blood-covered man in the vicinity of the crimes, leading police to believe that both murders were committed by the same 35- to 45-year-old Caucasian male.

Police have been combing the attraction for clues, thoroughly investigating every ride, game, snack bar, gift shop, and photo-sticker booth.

"We started our search in Yukon Territory and fanned out to Yankee Harbor and Orleans Place," Moynihan said. "We've got a whole squad on the Sky Trek Tower. If anything suspicious happens, we'll be sure to see it from our vantage point on the bridge by Splash Water Falls."

"I urge the public to cooperate with any officers forced to butt in line," Moynihan added, as he shifted his grip on a three-foot-tall, plush Bugs Bunny. "It's a lot of ground to cover in one day, as you all know."

Moynihan said his first priority is to ensure the safety of Great America employees and visitors. To that end, he has stationed an officer in the front car of every ride in the park.

"I have men working in shifts on rides, from 10 a.m. until the park closes at 8 p.m.," Moynihan said. "Officers from neighboring departments have volunteered to cover some of the more popular attractions, such as the American Eagle and Superman: Ultimate Flight."

Moynihan had to develop a unique system to oversee the patrol of a park as big and fun as Great America.

"We gather by the double-decker Columbia Carousel twice a day to compare notes, discuss leads, and eat funnel cakes," Moynihan said. "We also keep in constant radio contact with one another. Instead of the usual 'all clear,' we've been using an updated, site-specific check-in."

When pressed, Moynihan said, "The check-in signal is 'Wheeeeee!'"

A police sketch of the suspected "Six Flags Killer."

Looking for a killer in a theme park has created its share of problems, Moynihan admitted.

"The crowds, the noise, and the overall jovial atmosphere have been distracting," Moynihan said. "We've limited our searches to weekdays, because on weekends, the lines here are nutso."

Cost has also hindered the daily patrols. The city of Gurnee bought season passes for 50 police officers, but the admission fee is far from the only expense the department incurs.

"We've been trying to stay within a budget," Moynihan said. "You'd think that once you paid admission, you'd be covered. But then there's parking, souvenirs, and game tickets. And food here is outrageous. Ten dollars for a burger and a Coke? If we didn't have to keep a constant presence in the park, our officers never knowing when or where the killer might strike next, we'd probably bring a cooler full of sandwiches and eat in the parking lot."

Moynihan said he hopes for a break in the case before the end of the season, but is willing to personally supervise the investigation through the Six Flags' Fright Fest, which begins Oct. 11.

"As adventure-filled as this investigation has been, we can't focus all of our man power on Great America," Moynihan said. "By now, the killer could be as far away as Magic Mountain."

Moynihan ended the press conference with an ultimatum, which was later broadcast over the park's public-address system.

"You will not get away with this," said Moynihan, shaking a fistful of cotton candy at the still-at-large assailant. "We will find you if we have to fingerprint every Skee-Lo game in the park."

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