Was Robert Askins Freeway Phantom? Is He Dead or Alive?


Investigation Discovery’s ‘People Magazine Investigates: The Freeway Phantom’ follows a serial murderer who known as themselves the Freeway Phantom. They operated in Washington, D.C between April 1971 and  September 1972, and had been involved throughout the killing of a minimal of 6 minor black ladies.

One of the prime suspects who the investigators thought was the concerned serial killer was an individual named Robert Elwood Askins who had a pathological hatred for girls. So was he really the Freeway Phantom? Let’s uncover out.

Was Robert Askins Freeway Phantom?

Robert Elwood Askins was a 19-year-old scholar and member of the science membership at Miner Teachers College in Washington, D.C. in December 1938. He reportedly had a pathological hatred in direction of women which resulted in his committing quite a few crimes in opposition to the choice gender. On December 28, 1938, Robert, fueled by his hatred, served cyanide-laced whiskey to 5 intercourse workers at a neighborhood brothel. The cruel act resulted throughout the lack of lifetime of 1 intercourse worker, Ruth McDonald, 31.

Robert Ellwood Askins (heart)

Just 2 days later, Robert stabbed to lack of life Elizabeth Johnson, 26, on the same brothel. However, he was caught this time and arrested for the murder he devoted on December 30, 1938. He was subsequently arrested and he revealed his pathological hatred for girls all through his interrogation session with legislation enforcement officers of the Washington Police Department. The authorities decided to place him beneath psychological assertion at Washington, D.C.’s Gallinger Hospital.

While being admitted at Gallinger, Robert was involved in a violent incident the place he tore off his restraints and assaulted 3 of the hospital orderlies with a chair sooner than he was lastly caught and subdued. He was positioned on trial and it was reportedly realized that Robert used to work as an informant for the native police, serving to them in catching intercourse workers. Robert was declared criminally insane in April 1939 and was saved beneath assertion on the St. Elizabeths Hospital in Southeast, Washington, D.C.

Robert was launched in April 1952, and he as soon as extra strangled one different woman, Laura Cook, 42, to lack of life in late 1952. Accused of quite a few totally different associated sorts of assaults, he was indicted for the murder of Laura in 1954. He was moreover tried for the murders he devoted in 1938 after being determined that he was sane whereas committing them. However, Robert claimed that he was attempting to commit suicide by ingesting the cyanide and by no means attempting to hurt others.

A jury refused to think about Robert’s claims and he was convicted of second-degree murder and handed a sentence of 20 years to life. But the conviction was overturned 4 years later, in 1958, on grounds of a approved technicality. He labored as a laptop technician and was as soon as extra charged with the rape and abduction of 1 different 24-year-old woman inside his Washington, D.C. dwelling in March 1977. A D.C. police detective purchased a search warrant to go searching his residence after interviewing Robert and situated soiled women’s scarves, images of minor ladies and youthful women, a knife utilized in an unrelated crime, and an essay from a girl.

But most likely essentially the most important piece of proof they found was in a desk drawer of Robert’s rowhouse and situated courtroom docket paperwork the place the phrase ‘tantamount’ had been used. This was important on account of detectives had found the utilization of this gorgeous uncommon phrase throughout the discover by Brenda Woodward’s physique, an alleged sufferer of the serial killer usually often called Freeway Phantom. The investigators realized that Robert incessantly used this phrase as an attempt to “stress the importance of matters related to his work.”

Detectives moreover interviewed Robert’s colleagues on the National Science Foundation to review that he incessantly used the phrase in his speeches. The police had been able to get one different warrant in April 1977 that allowed them to go searching Robert’s automotive and police experiences state that they obtained two buttons and a gold earring beneath his backseat. However, police could under no circumstances uncover any bodily proof that tied him to the murder of 6 ladies attributed to the serial killer usually often called Freeway Phantom.

Is Robert Askins Dead or Alive?

Robert was convicted of two abductions and rapes in Washington, D.C., by way of the mid-70s, and was given a life sentence. He was contacted quite a few events by the press and investigators over time regarding the Phantom Freeway killer nevertheless denied any involvement throughout the serial killings. As per experiences, he acknowledged that he didn’t have the “depravity of mind required to commit any of the crimes.”

As per many consultants and investigators involved throughout the case, afterward, Robert under no circumstances fitted the profile of the serial killer. He died on the Federal Correctional Institution in Cumberland, Maryland on April 30, 2010, on the age of 91.

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