29.7 F
Indianapolis
Monday, November 30, 2020

New podcast examines Burger Chef murders

More by this author

Recorder celebrates 125 years, commitment to community remains the same

When George P. Stewart and Will Porter started a two-page church bulletin in 1895, they set in motion what would eventually become...

Safety concerns alter some Thanksgiving plans

Tiara Spells is preparing for her first Thanksgiving away from home.  “It’s a little weird,” Spells, 22, said. “Even...

Fairgrounds light up for Christmas

Visitors to the Christmas Nights of Lights can forget about a year that’s been anything but normal and focus on the holiday...

Boy’s and Girl’s Club of Indianapolis celebrates student leaders

From missing out on rites of passage such as prom and homecoming football games to adapting to virtual learning, Indianapolis students have...

On Nov. 17, 1978, four young employees of Speedway’s Burger Chef restaurant went missing. Police assumed — given the $500 missing from the cash register — they went to a local 21-and-under nightclub to party. Two days later, hikers found the bodies of the young adults about 30 minutes away in a wooded area of Johnson County. 

Ruth Shelton, 17, and Daniel Davis, 16, were both shot. Jayne Friedt, the 20-year-old assistant manager at Burger Chef, was found stabbed in the chest about 50 yards away from Shelton and Davis. And 16-year-old Mark Flemmonds, the only African American victim, was found beaten to death near a main road. While multiple suspects were interviewed for the murders, no one was ever charged, and the case remains cold. 

A new podcast, “Murder Sheet,” will examine the 42-year-old case. Through the podcast, hosts Áine Cain and Kevin Greenlee hope to shed light on various theories surrounding the night four young Hoosiers lost their lives.

Cain, a New York-based reporter for business news website Insider, and Greenlee, an Indianapolis lawyer, met through Newspapers.com, where they noticed they were clipping the same archived articles about the case. While “Murder Sheet” will focus on several different cases, the miniseries “You Never Can Forget” takes a deep dive into the infamous Burger Chef case. One theory the team will tackle: the possibility these murders were a hate crime. 

“If you talk to white people in Speedway who lived there in the ‘70s, they say it was like Mayberry,” Greenlee said, referencing the serene setting of “The Andy Griffith Show.” “When you talk to people of color, they describe a lot of racism and being hassled by white citizens.”

According to a person close to Flemmond’s family, the family —  one of the few Black households in Speedway at the time — received threats. Some believe a motive for the crime was Flemmond’s alleged relationship with a white employee at Burger Chef. 

“Mark was the victim who suffered the most,” Cain said. “The others were killed relatively quickly, and he was the only Black victim. It shouldn’t be understated that he was singled out for that treatment.”

While neither Cain nor Greenlee can definitively say the Burger Chef murders were a hate crime, they say there’s enough evidence to consider that angle.

The hate crime possibility, along with other theories, will be discussed throughout the miniseries. While both Cain and Greenlee have been interested in the case for years, they’re careful to not forget the humanity of the victims while searching for answers.

“It’s so easy if you consume a lot of true crime to view things as a puzzle and not as human beings who lost their lives,” Cain said. “We take a victim-centric approach. … We try to give people a glimpse into what these kids were like and why it’s an outrage it hasn’t been solved. True crime matters because there’s a victim at the heart of it, and they deserve justice and deserve to be remembered.”

“Murder Sheet” will be available to stream on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and Spotify on Nov. 17.

Contact staff writer Breanna Cooper at 317-762-7848. Follow her on Twitter @BreannaNCooper.

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Subscribe to our newsletter

To be updated with all the latest local news.

Stay connected

16,331FansLike
3,142FollowersFollow
5,953FollowersFollow
14SubscribersSubscribe

Related articles

Popular articles

Ethics and professionalism in the workplace

If you look up the word ethics in the dictionary, you’ll find this definition: “rules of behavior based on ideas about what is morally...

Standing on the promises of God

“When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, saying, “I...

Remembering John Jointer, a gracious athlete

Alexander Seawood remembers meeting a 12-year-old John Jointer Sr. at the Capital City Church School gym in the mid-1970s. 

Sowing seeds by faith

“Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those...

Conference will focus on challenges of COVID0-19 at work

The Indiana Conference for Women will host an interactive webcast, “In Jeopardy — Are Women Losing Their Progress in the Workplace Because...
Español + Translate »
Skip to content