The Unsolved Case of the Eastbound Strangler: A Look into the Mysterious Atlantic City Murders of 2006

The Unsolved Case of the Eastbound Strangler: A Look into the Mysterious Atlantic City Murders of 2006

In 2006, four women were found dead in a drainage ditch behind the Golden Key Motel on the outskirts of Atlantic City, New Jersey. The victims, all identified as prostitutes, were believed to have been strangled to death and placed face down in a row, facing east.

They were found with their shoes and socks removed, but otherwise clothed. Despite a $25,000 reward for information, the killer, who became known as the Eastbound Strangler, remains unidentified.

Several individuals were investigated as possible suspects, but no one was charged with the crimes. Terry Oleson, a repairman who was staying at the motel at the time of the murders, was implicated by his girlfriend but never named as a suspect due to lack of DNA evidence.

Terry Oleson

Eldred Raymond Burchell, who referred to himself as the "River Man," confessed to killing people but was not connected to the murders. Charles Coles and Mark Hessee, both acquaintances of some of the victims, were questioned by police but released without charge.

The victims were identified as Barbara V. Breidor, Molly Jean Dilts, Kim Raffo, and Tracy Ann Roberts. Breidor and Dilts' bodies were so badly decomposed that the cause of death could not be determined. Raffo was believed to be the last victim killed, and was strangled with a rope or cord. Roberts was asphyxiated.

The case was featured in several TV programs, including Investigation Discovery's Dark Minds and The Killing Season, as well as the 2021 Lifetime movie "The Long Island Serial Killer: A Mother's Hunt for Justice." While there was initially a possible connection to the Long Island serial killer, investigators later ruled it out.

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