Inside the Unsolved Mystery of the Burger Chef Murders!

Burger Chef may not be a household name today, but throughout the 1960s and 1970s, it competed with McDonald's for the top spot in the fast food industry. The franchise vanished over time, but its legacy lives on through the infamous crime at Burger Chef in Speedway, Indiana.

On November 17, 1978, four teenage employees, Jayne Friedt (20), Daniel Davis (16), Ruth Shelton (18), and Mark Flemmonds (16), went missing. Their bodies were eventually discovered in a wooded location.

The police's initial mismanagement of evidence generated numerous issues, ultimately resulting in the killings remaining unsolved to this day.

Let's delve into the details of this tragic event, explore the unanswered questions that surround it, and examine whether justice has been served.

What happened in the Burger Chef restaurant?

Burger Chef was a fast-food restaurant franchise headquartered in Indianapolis that shuttered its final location in the mid-1990s. According to FBI papers, the employee who discovered the doors unlocked and the restaurant empty the night of the murders also discovered the backdoor to be open.

 the Burger Chef Murders

In addition to the open rear door, which is generally locked with a metal bar, all of the money was gone except the change, and, while some personal belongings were left behind, Jayne Friedt's car was stolen. It was later discovered only a few blocks away.

Initially, Speedway cops suspected the four teenage restaurant workers had stolen the money and would shortly emerge. But two days later, the bodies of the four victims were discovered in a rural area of Johnson County, near Speedway, an Indianapolis suburb.

Three of the victims were shot or severely stabbed, while Mark Flemmonds was discovered a short distance away. Investigators decided that he may have attempted to flee in the dark, crashed into a tree, and asphyxiated on his blood.

What Happened in the Investigation?

The crime is still unsolved since the police were unable to discover any physical proof. Interestingly, four decades after the crime, the authorities released a photo of a 4.5-inch-long knife blade. However, no further information could be obtained to determine what happened that night and who committed the crime.

 the Burger Chef Murders

The Burger Chef case fell cold, despite the leads and clay busts that were based on witness evidence. However, former police sergeant Stoney Vann has a theory. At the time, a well-known group of individuals robbed fast food establishments, and Vann believes two of them targeted the Speedway Burger Chef with the intent to make money.

According to Vann, Jayne Friedt may have recognized one of the men, so they panicked and snatched the restaurant workers, stealing Friedt's car and abandoning it for another. They shot two of the victims in Johnson County's rural area before running out of ammo and stabbing the third to death. The fourth, Mark Flemmonds, might have escaped if not for a sad accident.

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Vann's theory has been validated as feasible by a known member of the group that robbed fast-food establishments, who is still alive today. Vann has never been able to verify what happened that night, and the Burger Chef murder investigation is still ongoing, but he believes the two men involved may still live in Johnson County.

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