The highway might connect some of the major cities, but there are sinister acts that happen on the highway. The highway became known as America's Sewer Pipe in 1985 when Daniel Remeta made his way down I-70.
Daniel Remeta and Lisa Dunn met and became close when she was 18-years-old and he was 27-years-old. Remeta took control of her mind as did Mark Walter another 18-year-old. Neither Walter nor Dunn had ever been in trouble and were considered good kids with bright futures. The three set out for Florida in 1984. Dunn had her fathers .357 handgun, although how Dunn came into possession of the gun varies when Dunn gives the story, he wasn't planning a friendly trip to Florida with the gun.
Soon after the trio left for the road trip, Remeta started sexually assaulting Dunn and force the two to play Russian roulette. When Dunn said that she wanted to return home to Michigan, she was threatened and the life of her family was threatened. The gas station owner, Merhle Reeder was the first to die on February 8, 1985 after being robbed by Remeta. Two days later, he killed Camilla Carroll in Waskom at a gas station where she worked. Remeta took her into the woods, shot her in the legs, and finished her off where she lay, or so he thought. Her will to live allowed her to crawl 1/4 mile to a road where a car stopped and helped her. She survived.
The next murders where Linda Marvin on February 11 at Bob's Grocery, who was shot with a .22 caliber handgun that Remeta purchased. Next, the trio picked up a hitchhiker just outside Wichita. James Hunter had no idea what he was in for when he entered the car. The .22 gun jammed and Remeta asked Hunter to fix the gun and he did. Hunter asked to be dropped off at I-70 and I-135, but Remeta refused.
The killings continued at the four made there way across I-70. There day of reckoning was coming close. Remeta shot a police officer that tried to stop their car after it was reported as a suspect car that was broadcast by the state patrol. The office lived and used the radio to alert other officers of the direction of the car. The next move for Remeta was to finds a new car and he did. At a grain elevator, Maurice Christi was shot and left to die, while Rick Schroeder and Glenn Moore were placed in the bed of Moore's truck. He later shot and killed them.
The chase was on and officers track and chased the four to a farm in Rawlins County. An officer shot Walters, Dunn was wounded in the arm by Hunter's shot and Hunter was unharmed. Remeta was wounded in the buttocks, but survived. Dunn and Remeta declared their love for each other as they were being taken away.
The I-70 Killer Trail and Error
Although Hunter, Dunn and Remeta were caught and jailed, the pain and sorrow that they inflicted on their victims and their families was about to become even harder to take. Remeta wanted to die. He had no intention on staying in a prison cell, so he wanted to go to a state where he had killed so that he would get the death penalty. Dunn was convicted of two counts of murder and kidnapping of Schroeder and Moore as was Hunter in Kansas. Arkansas and Kansas scuffled between extraditing Dunn to Arkansas because the Kansas governor was against the death penalty, which Arkansas had.
Dunn and Hunter started their appeals. Hunter argued that the judge erred when giving instructions to the jury that convicted him. The older law that renders the belief of the person in fearing for his or her life when committing a crime should not be punished for committing the lesser of the crimes. However, impending, imminent and present duress or coercion must be present. Hunter said that he feared for his life when he had to commit a felony, but the judge disagreed and did not give those instructions to the jury.
Hunter's conviction won appeal and he was tried again and found not guilty. However, shortly after his second trail that freed him, he suffered a heart attack and died. Dunn was using the hostage syndrome as an appeal, but was denied on a state level. In 1991, the federal district court judge ordered a new trail when he overturned the guilty verdict. The battered woman defense was used to get a not guilty verdict and Dunn was freed. However, she remained jailed on the Arkansas murder charge.
She pleaded guilty to hindering prosecution on that charge and was given twenty years, with credit for time severed and the rest of her sentence was suspended. She was free to walk. The events of her life after the trails were not that of an upstanding citizen and she was charged with felony embezzlement and place in jail for one year with five years probation. She was to undergo treatments for her addictions (gambling and alcohol). She married and had a child. She was not returned to Arkansas.
Remeta was sent to Florida for the murder of Chet Reeder and didn't fight it. He was sentenced to death in the electric chair, "Old Sparky." Then he was sent to Arkansas, where he was convicted and sentenced to death. Since Remeta didn't want to die in prison an old man, he wanted to die. The justice system still moves slow even when the prisoner does not appeal the death penalty.
While in prison, Remeta married a woman and changed his mind about his death penalty. He was to die on March 31, but his lawyers worked fast to stop his execution. He even went on record, as saying the all of the murders were Dunn's ideas. He said that he plead guilty so that Dunn wouldn't be executed. No one believed him and he was fed his last meal at the age of 40-years-old. He was strapped in the chair and declared dead at 7:12am on March 31, 1998.
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