True Crime On This Day March 22nd

Last Updated on September 22, 2022 by Ben Oakley

True Crime On This Day March 22nd

March 22nd

On March 22nd in true crime, murder in Arizona, serial killer William Bonin, assassination, unidentified bodies, and the Highway Killer.


In Glendale, Arizona, 21-year-old student Susan Schmidt was shot dead in her car. In 2015 as a cold case, fingerprints matched to a 54-year-old man from Virginia named Edward Meinhold. He was subsequently charged with her murder.


In Guatemala, Mayor Manuel Colom Argueta, was assassinated as part of a military operation, and was shot 45 times. Argueta was a progressive leader of the opposition, who was in a political battle with the repressive military government of General Romeo Lucas.

The assassination was one of several in 1979 alone, including the founder of the Social Democrat Party, Alberto Fuentes Mohr, on January 25th.


In California, two more victims of serial killer William George Bonin were found in different locations on the same day. 15-year-old Russell Rugh and 14-year-old Glenn Barker were found a few miles away from Bonin’s previous victim on March 20th.

Both victims had been raped and strangled to death. Bonin killed at least 21 people from 1979 to 1980 and was sentenced to death. He was executed in February 1996.


In Denver, Colorado, human remains were discovered in the street near the west curb of 17th Avenue. The unidentified man was said to have been between the ages of 25-years-old to 35-years-old.

He was found wearing blue Levi brand jeans, a tan parka, a dark blue sweater with pink, red, and light blue horizontal stripes, and brown cowboy boots.

Despite the public nature of the discovery, the identity of the man and the circumstances surrounding his death have long remained a mystery. The case remains open with the Denver Police Department.


In Lexington, Kentucky, 29-year-old Jay Reynolds was stabbed to death and his body dumped on a remote field near a highway.

He had been attacked by American serial killer Larry William Eyler, AKA: The Highway Killer. Eyler murdered between 21 and 24 teenage boys and young men between 1982 and 1984.

He was captured on August 21st 1984 and sentenced to death by lethal injection for the 1984 murder of Daniel Bridges. He confessed to a further 20 killings before dying of AIDS-related complications on death row in 1994.


In Pinellas County, Florida, taxi driver Jeffery Songer was shot dead after reporting two suspicious men in his cab to police. He had radioed in an emergency code to his dispatch.

The two men, Derrick Smith and Derrick Johnson had planned a robbery and called the cab to take them to the residence they were planning to rob.

An hour later, Songer’s body was found just a few feet from his cab, he had been shot dead. Witness statements led to Smith’s and Johnson’s arrest.

Johnson was sentenced to life in prison after a plea bargain that involved testifying against Smith, who was sentenced to death. Smith remains on death row to this day.

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