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Serial killers and Truckers? Link?

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posted on Apr, 5 2009 @ 01:29 PM
How about a view from an actual long-haul (OTR) driver? Specifically, ME!

I drove OTR for almost 8 years, 1,000,000 miles (more or less anyway, exact figure is unknown), 43 of the 48 continental states plus Canada (missing OR, WA, ID, MT, ND), and was regularly out for periods as long as a month at a time. I worked for Burlington Motor Carriers, Celadon Trucking, U. S. Xpress, Parrett Trucking, Southern Cal Transport/Eagle Motor Lines, Paschall Truck Lines (PTL), Gulf Coast Transport, and J. B. Hunt. I think I know something about the truck stops.

First I want to address the occupation. Truck driving is an exercise in complacency. If you tend to look for a fight at the drop of a hat, you'll last about 2 hours. On the other hand, if you try to avoid confrontation at every expense, you won't last long either. There is a middle ground there where most drivers fall: don't start no trouble and there won't be no trouble. We tend to overlook a lot especially from 'civilians'. If we didn't every driver would be dead of a heart attack within a year of driving. There is no way to communicate the pure unadulterated idiocy that happens on the road, and I would hazard to say that every non-commercial driver here contributes to it, plus a good percentage of commercial drivers off duty for a day.

It is rush. rush, rush, then sit and wait, wait, wait. The load is scheduled, then it goes to the carrier, then to the planners, then to the dispatcher, and finally to the driver. When the driver gets it, the load is usually already close to being late (I have had loads that required me to drive 200 miles in 30 minutes; obviously that is ridiculous and I refused to accept the schedule). Then, when the driver manages to get there on time, the workers are in absolutely no rush to load or unload the truck. Some places want the driver to stand there at the side of his trailer for no reason other than 'company policy' for 2-6 hours, rather than getting some much-needed sleep in their truck so they can do their job on time. Complaints about ridiculous practices like this are often met with threats of complaints to their companies or banning from the facility (which in some cases would be more like a reward
). Schedules are changed without notice to the driver on frequent occasions, and it is common for a driver to be refused for being 5 minutes late (even if due to road closings or weather closings or major accidents) and then expected to wait for up to two weeks (without pay) to make another appointment.

Yet, somehow we manage to make the loads on time, most of us at a rate of better than 99%. And to make it even more fun, we do it despite restrictive laws and regulations specifying when we can drive, how fast we are forced to go (ever tried doing the truck speed of 55 mph in a state where everyone else gets to go 70 mph?), a lack of parking, and some of the silliest local ordinances you could imagine (I know one driver who was fined $1500 for stopping for less than 5 minutes on a wide off-ramp shoulder in IN so he could check his directions and not get lost in a residential neighborhood).

So sure, truckers are a special breed. They are typically a bit on the rough side, since they have to spend long nights in that truck (a space smaller than what OSHA requires for someone working in an office for 8 hours), with no sanitary restroom facilities (and in most states, peeing behind a bush carries a whopping fine now), any outside source of food, and in some states now, without any electricity, heat, or cooling. We are targets for opportunistic thieves, vandals, robbers, DOT officials with a quota that needs filling, or even road-raged civilians with a grudge against a truck that they tried to run off the road three days ago.

But we are not murderers. We have the perfect opportunity, sure. On a rural highway at night, we could go off and kill dozens of people with a twist of a steering wheel and disappear into another section of the country. We don't. We don't because we are normal people, just like you, who happen to perform a very hard and valuable job to serve those who do not stay away form home for that month at a time. The average city has enough food on hand to last a week. That means if the trucks stopped running, people would have nothing to eat left after one week. Some places would be bare after a couple of days. To do this job, to keep you able to eat three meals a day, we give up time at home with our families, put up with the attitudes dock workers seem to have as a part of their work contract, deal with unfair and grievous regulation, accept that we might make a living this week, or we might go hungry, freeze in the cold weather and sweat in the heat so you don't have to think about carbon dioxide killing you (
), and basically take our place as second-class citizens less important than a dog.

If there was ever a job which screamed for someone to flip out and go on a murderous rampage, trucking is that job. So to start with, 500 drivers out of the tens opf thousands who do their job is a low number considering the stresses and the opportunities that are part of the job.

Secondly, the truck stops themselves are probably the culprit if there is indeed a preponderance of violent crime associated with them. Not in that they exist, but in how they have to operate. You have acres upon acres of truck parking (necessary for the high volume of trucks and their size individually), usually dimly lit if at all (since the cost of electricity to light such a large area is prohibitive), a constant influx of transients (including both drivers and others), a lack of security (which most drivers are happy with, since they have just spent all day dealing with idiotic rent-a-cops anyway and really want to not be disturbed unnecessarily), the general public perception of truckers as wealthy and an easy target for swindlers, hookers, and beggars (which may be true for some drivers, but definitely not for the majority), and the fact that since the faces change so often, it is easy to hide in plain sight.

Those with the least to lose in a truck stop would not be the truckers. It is instead the non-driving transients, such as the people who try to beg, bum, borrow, or steal a few bucks to manage to get a meal and like to take a nap in the back of the truck stop. These people are the dregs of humanity, working their tails off to avoid working. They live on the outskirts of society, not tracked by any financial system nor cumbered with a job. If you want to look for someone to blame for an inordinate number of deaths in and around truck stops, these are your prime suspects. The problem with suspecting them is that they cannot be contacted through their employer, nor tracked by their bank account. It takes actual work and effort to find them. So I guess I can understand why some would like to just blame the truckers; it's easier.

As to the drug use? USDOT regulations require the following drug tests, administered by a Federally-licensed facility, at the following times:
  • Upon employment
  • Any time there is a DOT-reportable accident (defined as any collision in which a vehicle is towed or an injury is reported)
  • Any time there is 'reasonable cause' to suspect illegal drug use or alcohol use
  • Randomly from 10% of the companies fleet of drivers each year without notice
This is the absolute minimum that must be complied with for any company (even a single owner-operator) to maintain authority for operation of a commercial vehicle in the United States. Any violation of this policy is met immediately with either serious fines (in the millions of dollars) and removal of authority to operate (closing the company via force of law). Should any driver refuse to submit to a test within 24 hours, regardless of reason, it is considered a failed test and the driver is not allowed to operate a commercial vehicle for a period of time (I believe, but am not 100% sure, which is 6 months). That means you lose your job, since you cannot perform the job.

Trucking companies are required, again by USDOT regulations, to maintain complete logs on their drivers, including all GPS information from the trucks (which is now common and soon to be mandatory), any tickets/fines/legal issues, fuel stop locations and amount purchased, and other information. Oh, yes, and I should mention that the ticket info includes all tickets, whether in a commercial vehicle or a personal vehicle.

In addition, possession of a CDL (Commercial Driver's License) means that state and local DUI laws no longer apply. Instead, you come under USDOT regulations, which are much stricter: 0.04% alcohol level is considered intoxicated as opposed to the 0.08% commonly used by most states. ANY trace amount of illegal drugs is considered a violation and and therefore an immediate disqualification to drive. In addition, precious few companies will hire a driver, regardless of this other qualifications, if he has either refused or failed a drug test in the last 10 years. No one will hire you for one year.

So to walkswithfish: Truckers already go through much more extensive drug/alcohol testing than anyone else in society. Do you want more?

Thirdly, this story is from the LA Times. California HATES trucks! California would be more than happy to toss every person who ever stood within 10 yards of a truck into the deepest, darkest prison cell imaginable if they could get away with it. If it wasn't for the fact that nothing in California would be able to exist without the constant truck traffic, they would actually outlaw them. Please don't waste your breathe telling me I am wrong or even exaggerating; I have been to Cal many times in a truck, and I have seen that attitude over and over with my own eyes. Cal hates trucks, truckers therefore hate Cal.

This story is just a (truck)load of bull excrement.


posted on Apr, 5 2009 @ 01:31 PM
Personally I think this is a bogus bunch of hoo hoo.

I'm a truck driver and have been for over three years. My SO is a truck driver and has been for over 10 years.

Now I will admit that there are some ... scarey individuals out there ... but to equate "truck drivers" with "serial killers" is just another stero-type that we truck drivers really don't need.

And to the person who said HAZMAT should be mandatory ... forget it. I dropped my HAZMAT endorsement because I didn't feel like paying $100+ every year for something that, in the end, didn't profit me at all. Just another expense that I choose not to incur. When I had my endorsement I hauled maybe 6 HAZMAT loads and the hassels involved with hauling them with no added incentive (i.e. pay) just convinced me it wasn't worth it.

Serial killers can be from ANY walk of life. Just because someone decides to drive a truck doesn't mean they are psycopaths or anti-social.

And for the person who's husband is a driver. Amen. We are always so busy "working" or "sleeping" we don't have TIME to worry about looking for a "victim" to fulfill our nefarious "serial killer" fantasies.

Can a truck driver be a serial killer? Sure. Can a doctor be a serial killer? Sure. Can a computer operator be a serial killer? Sure. Can a ___________ (fill in the blank) be a serial killer? Sure.

See my point?

posted on Apr, 5 2009 @ 08:23 PM
Must have been a slow news day for the LA Times. Who is next on a slow news day, dentist, doctor, plumber, carpenter, electrician, farmer, roofer, or flatter?
Give me a ******* break – geeeesh!

posted on Apr, 6 2009 @ 04:45 AM

Originally posted by dodadoom
reply to post by smokehouseslim

Dont blame it on God~!

The person was refering to all the people God smited... like the residents of Sodom and Gomorrah and all the others God personnaly killed according to the bible.

Sorry for the off topic post, but I had to address that,

posted on Apr, 6 2009 @ 04:58 AM
Britain's most notorious serial killer, Harold Shipman (he killed 218 at least), well he was a family doctor. Beverley Allitt, she was a nurse & killed 13. Dennis Nilsen was a civil servant and claims to have killed 16.

But Peter Sutcliffe, a truck driver known as "the Yorkshire Ripper", he killed 13 prostitutes.

If there is a trend here it's that serial killers mainly work in the public sector & are employed by the state, and more likely than not they work in the health system

posted on Apr, 6 2009 @ 11:30 AM
I listen to the cb sometimes and there are all types out there. It is quite entertaining. Some really smart people, some dumb ones. Some very polite and nice. And others are just nasty.

But I have heard some of the fights and it is quite entertaining. Many in colorful language that would make the average person blush.

Before cb(s) the job must of been horribly boring and isolating.

I really doubt that the serial killers are truckers. I just think that the truck stops just offer perfect cover. So many people coming and going, it is a great place to come and go without being noticed.

posted on Apr, 6 2009 @ 04:50 PM
There was a sory on CNN about this just now. They said in the past 30 years, they have a whopping 200 truck drivers as suspects.

In 2006 the industry employed 3.4 MILLION truck drivers. With those numbers they are projecting a shortfall of 110,000 by 2014.

posted on Apr, 6 2009 @ 10:18 PM
Of course I can't find it now, but I once saw a plot map for murders, armed robberies, rapes and other violent crimes along the I-10 corridor from FL to CA. It was astonishing. Clustered around every exit. Truckers or not, interstates are magnets for crime.

posted on Apr, 6 2009 @ 10:35 PM
reply to post by kosmicjack

Interstates are perfect for murder. You have parking areas where hundreds of people can be there at a time in some cases, dozens in other cases. So you have all these cars they would have to track down, in most cases they don't even have cameras monitoring... And you are out of the area at a high rate of speed, because you are immediately on the interstate and gone.

posted on May, 16 2009 @ 11:22 AM
[edit on 16-5-2009 by asala]

posted on May, 18 2009 @ 06:39 PM
reply to post by TheRedneck

Well said Redneck. I'm not a truck driver, but a trailer tech. Been wrenching on them for almost 11 years now, and I've seen alot of drivers, both local dedicated, and OTR in my time. While some drivers look or seem pretty creepy, most of them are harmless people just looking for some conversation and companionship. Also, my grandfather, and great-grandfather were truck drivers way back in the day before they died, and my grandmother still reminds me to this day that this profession can ruin a family in a hurry.

I've had drivers talk my ear off, about little things like the weather, or some lady doing her make-up in the car. I've even befriended a few drivers over time, couldn't tell you their names, but we always shoot the bull when they come through the shop. A person can actually learn alot from a driver.

I can see how a person might take opportunity in truck driving to commit random serial murders, but I would expect less than 1 in 50,000 at best. Truck stops and roadside motels are a hive for more than truck drivers though. When I travel, those are the places I stop at, rather than some convenience store on the side of the road. But don't worry about me, while I might be a little bit on the psycho side, I'm no killer!

posted on May, 21 2009 @ 10:22 AM
reply to post by asala

For that matter, what if it is a person who would travel on that route quite often. They are assuming a trucker because it is not normal for persons to travel that particular route on a regular basis but it is not against the possiblity it is not a trucker but just a regular traveler in a diesel type of truck.

I read somewhere they are basing the trucker assumption on diesel scent around the crime scene.

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