Smooth Operator: The True Story of Seductive Serial Killer Glen Rogers

Smooth Operator: The True Story of Seductive Serial Killer Glen Rogers

by Clifford L. Linedecker

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He Made Them Feel Beautiful, Special and Adored...

Tall, blond and strikingly handsome with penetrating icy green eyes, Glen Rogers could use his knee-weakening charm to entice lonely women out of romantically lit bars and into the night. Each one thought she had found the perfect man--until Roger got her alone and turned on her in a bloody rage that would end in her own violent death...

Then He Led Them Like Lambs to the Slaughter...

In all, four women would find out too late the deadly truth. For underneath his Prince Charming facade, Roger hid a twisted fury that could only be sated by strangling or stabbing beautiful, vulnerable women. Finally, after a gruesome six-week killing spree that shocked the nation and landed Rogers on the FBI's "Ten Most Wanted" list, he was caught in a grueling twenty-mile high-speed chase.

Smooth Operator

Here is the fascinating true story of one of the most notorious serial killers in history--a man who used his fatal charms to lure innocent women into a cruel date with destiny...

By Clifford L. Linedecker, and with 8 pages of startling photographs.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781466874862
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 07/01/2014
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 504,076
File size: 341 KB

About the Author

Clifford L. Linedecker is a former daily newspaper journalist with eighteen years experience on the Philadelphia Inquirer, Rochester (N.Y.) Times-Union, Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, and several other Indiana newspapers. He is an experienced investigative reporter who has covered police and the courts on each of the papers where he was employed. He is a former articles editor for National Features Syndicate in Chicago, and for "County Rambler" magazine. He is the author of numerous true crime titles, including The Man Who Killed Boys, Night Stalker, Killer Kids, Blood in the Sand, and Deadly White Female.

Read an Excerpt



It may have been that there simply wasn't enough attention to go around in the troubled Rogers family when Glen was growing up as the youngest child among four boys and a girl.

He loved to tell tall tales. Whenever he recounted something he had experienced or witnessed, he could be depended on to make the story bigger, better, and more dramatic than it really was. He lied, stretched the truth, and expanded on everything with all the easy grace of a telephone marketer or a Washington politician. Even after family members caught on, the stories continued to help him attract attention at school and among others who didn't know him as well as other members of the rowdy Rogers clan.

The towheaded boy could spin outrageous lies with all the feigned earnestness of a huckster peddling snake oil at a medicine show. If he was caught in a whopper, he simply smiled and moved on to another that was bigger and better without so much as a flicker of shame in his mournful eyes.

His eyes were his most riveting characteristic. From the time he was a little boy, some people looked at him and saw eyes that were as crystal clear and green as a fine piece of Amazon stone. Other people, however, swore his eyes were as crystalline blue as finely cut and polished sapphires. As he grew older, other dissimilarities cropped up in descriptions of his behavior and character that were equally glaring and puzzling. He would be seen by some as an angel; by others as a devil.

Even during his childhood, his eyes could be strangely mesmerizing. They were disconcertingly cold, and they didn't smile when the rest of his face did. But it wasn't until years later that neighbors and family members had reason to recall that. At the time, grade-school girls and older women who knew him were more impressed by his impish grin and his ready line of blarney.

He had a nasty skin rash that began troubling him when he was still in elementary school and stayed around until long after he reached adulthood. His mother talked later about the polluted water puddles from the old chemical plant, where he, a brother, and other neighborhood boys waded, splashed, and played before they grew up and the factory closed. The plant and other local factories produced dumps, slag piles, and pools of noxious water covered with pastel sheens of chemicals. They were the nasty by- products of the manufacturing process, but provided an exciting low-rent adventureland for small boys with imagination and a spirit of swashbuckling daring.

Young Glen had other serious problems that his teachers and classmates at school knew nothing about. According to legal documents later filed by his attorney, he ate paint, but by the time authorities learned about the disturbing childhood aberration, it was too late to figure out if it was lead-based. If it was, it could have caused a wide variety of problems, including severe brain damage. According to the court documents, the boy also had a habit of repeatedly banging his head against the wall of his upstairs bedroom at night. He explained to family members that he had to do that in order to fall asleep.

The scrappy boy, who was quick to use his fists and feet to settle disagreements he had with other kids when soft soap and snow jobs failed to work — as court documents later indicated — didn't stop wetting the bed until he was twelve. His brothers wouldn't double up in the same bed with him because almost invariably sometime during the night they would wake up to wet blankets and sheets. Another child, in different circumstances, would almost certainly have been referred to mental health professionals for evaluation and treatment after exhibiting such troubling and dangerous behavior. He fell through the cracks.

The late 1960s and early 1970s when Glen was behaving so strangely weren't the best of times in Hamilton, but they weren't the worst either. Jobs were still available in the southwestern Ohio factory town, located some twenty-five miles north of Cincinnati and twenty miles east of the Indiana line. By the time he was fourteen or fifteen, however, the working days of his father, Claude Rogers, Sr., ended and the family finances went into a slump. The family patriarch had a good-paying job for a while as a pump operator at the Champion Paper Company, but he was forced into early retirement when his health went bad. In 1979 he suffered a stroke, and for the next eight years the family reportedly had to get by largely on Social Security disability payments.

During his enforced idleness, Claude Rogers, Sr., did more drinking than was good for him, or for other members of the rambunctious young family jammed into the big old wood-frame two-story house they called home. He was generally quiet and easy to get along with until he began to drink, which was much of the time. Then he became ornery and hard to live with.

The house was constructed with a long side porch leading to the front door, and it was as solid and as well kept as those of most of the neighbors. There were plenty of bedrooms upstairs for the kids. The Rogers patriarch cared about his brood, but he didn't have the energy to carry out the role of strong father figure. So he took a backseat in the task of raising the boys and their sister, Clara Sue, until his death in 1987.

His wife, Edna, was the dominant figure in the family and most of whatever supervision the children received while at home was due to her efforts. She kept her brood clean and well-fed, even after her husband took sick and the family income began drying up. Mostly, however, based on Clara Sue's later statements and recollections, the children were permitted to make their own rules. Like Topsy, in Uncle Tom's Cabin, they simply "grow'd." They "grow'd" up scrappy, and most of them eventually wound up in some kind of trouble with the law.

School and neighborhood acquaintances from that time have similar recollections of lax and spotty supervision from the home. Glen was largely left to his own devices, and when other boys were concentrating on their homework or were called inside the house for dinner, Glen was allowed to remain outside doing whatever he wished to do.

The Rogers clan could be wild and rowdy, but so were some of their neighbors. They lived in a neighborhood where rusted-out hulks of cars without their wheels often rested on cinder blocks in front yards, and tires, piles of lumber, and other urban jetsam littered the curbsides. Kids ran around barefoot most of the summer, built tree houses, played in packing boxes or at factory dumps, and settled quarrels with sticks and stones.

As many of their neighbors did, the family had strong roots in Kentucky, which was barely an hour's drive almost due south. Glen was born there on July 15, 1962. It was one of the hottest days of a broiling summer when baseball enthusiasts around the country were excited over the debut of new or transplanted teams in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Houston. But the newcomer would never become a baseball fan. Even though he spent most of his youth within about an hour's drive from Cincinnati, he never traveled to the stadium to watch the Reds play.

Some of his siblings were also born in Kentucky, and he had aunts, uncles, and cousins spread throughout the ridges, hills, and hollows like the goldenrod that grows there in such profusion. The Rogers clan and others whose forebears left the bleak, stone-pitted mountains for jobs in the southern Ohio factory town were sometimes described by neighbors as "Hamiltuckians." According to some estimates, about 60 or 70 percent of the people who live in Hamilton have roots in Kentucky.

The bastardized description wasn't coined as a complimentary term, but that didn't bother Glen. He loved the green mountain solitude of the Kentucky ridges and valleys, and looked forward to the times when Claude Rogers's family packed up their old car and drove to the cabin for a stay of a few days or a few weeks. When he reached adulthood, the cabin became a personal refuge, a private hideaway where he knew he could go and wouldn't be bothered by anyone else, neighbors, family — or police. The cabin was a place where he could live cheap, easy, and private.

Like most people in Hamilton, the Rogers family lived on the hilly west side of the Great Miami River. The muddy green river split the city of some 60,000 people almost exactly in half. Almost all the factories and the slumping business area were on the east side. During Hamilton's early days, a separate town named Rossville occupied the west bank, and people moved back and forth across the river from one community to the other by ferryboat. In 1818 a toll bridge was constructed to link the two communities, and in 1854 Rossville merged with the slightly larger town on the eastern bank of the Greater Miami. By the time the seventies were winding down, the east side was already rapidly decaying, and ten years later the west side had also begun to show the serious effects of lost jobs and income from factories that had cut back production, closed down, or moved out.

Outside Hamilton, and Middletown, its slightly larger rival to the northeast, the best-known landmark in Butler County is Miami University in the little town of Oxford, almost exactly on the Indiana state line. The school name derives from the same river that runs through the center of Hamilton, and ultimately to an Indian tribe that once inhabited the area. The remainder of the county is primarily rural, an area of farms and tiny settlements with such biblical, topographical, and Anglo-Saxon names as Bethany, Jericho, Pisgah, Seven Mile, Maud, and McGonigal.

Hamilton was first established in the 1790s as the town of Fairfield. A few years later when Generals Anthony Wayne and Arthur St. Clair fortified it as an outpost for soldiers and settlers during wars with the Indians, it became known as Fort Hamilton. Early in the nineteenth century, about the time Ohio became a state, the settlement was finally given its current name. The names of the fort, then the city, stem from Alexander Hamilton, who became the first U.S. Secretary of the Treasury. Ironically, the adjoining county to the south is named Hamilton and is dominated by the city of Cincinnati.

As a schoolboy, Glen was exceptional only for his poor performance. Much of his trouble was tied to difficulty with reading. He never did really get the hang of it, and lagged way behind most of the other kids his age when it came to figuring out the printed word. His trouble with reading affected the rest of his schoolwork, and he increasingly dropped further behind other boys and girls his age. As he neared his teens, he began slipping off with some of his buddies to a woods behind the school to smoke and drink Mad Dog, Night Train, Old Milwaukee, or whatever other alcohol they were able to obtain. The cheaper, and the more potent, the better. Years later he was remembered by his former gym teacher, Charles Bevilacque, in the Shreveport, Louisiana, Times as a "handsome little fellow" who was constantly "in hot water. It didn't seem there was a lot of direction in his life. There was no discipline, no love — things that young kids need. If there was trouble around, he would kind of find it," the instructor said.

Whenever Glen or one of his siblings got into a scrape and their mother was called to the school for a talk, her reaction was predictably consistent, according to the recollections of former principal William Warman. She would blame someone else for the trouble.

Glen got into a few fights as an elementary school student, but most little boys do. For the most part, he got along well with his classmates during his early school years. He had stopped eating paint, but he had substituted drinking and smoking. And according to motion papers later filed by his attorney, shortly after he began his adolescence an older brother shot him up with speed. By the time he entered his teens, he had picked up a reputation for an explosive, violent temper.

He was also building a reputation as a ladies' man. He liked girls, and they liked him. Glen seemed to have an instinctive knowledge of exactly how to make fourteen- or fifteen-year-old feminine hearts flutter and melt. He had been working on his line of Hamiltuckian flapdoodle since he was a little boy, and when he took a shine to a girl all he had to do was focus his soulful eyes on her and shower her with some of his ready line of blarney. It worked like a charm, and he could coax or wheedle girls into doing just about anything.

The handsome youngster didn't perform nearly as well with his formal education, however, and by the time he was sixteen he was already a year or two behind most of the classmates he began school with. He was in the ninth grade on March 2, 1978, when he was expelled from Wilson Junior High School. He had been kicked out of another junior high school earlier. Nearly twenty years after his formal education ended, and the old Wilson Junior High had long ago been torn down, details of the expulsions were hazy. School authorities weren't positive about the reason he was kicked out, but indicated it may have been truancy. Whatever the reason was, after he was sent packing for the second time he never returned to the classroom.

He was seventeen when his fourteen-year-old girlfriend, Deborah Ann Nix, told him she was pregnant. Deborah lived with her parents, three sisters, and a brother just over the Hamilton County line in the north Cincinnati suburb of Lockland. Glen didn't get around to marrying her until about a year later, on January 2, 1980. Like her new husband, Deborah was a poor student and frequently failed to show up for some classes or skipped school altogether. Also like him, she dropped out of school while she was still in the ninth grade. She left an unimpressive scholastic record behind her that ranged from a B in math, and two incompletes, to an F in civics. By the time Deborah and Glen repeated their vows, her first son, Clinton, was already four months old. The boy was named after one of Glen's brothers, and he was a healthy baby.

If Glen's family, or his new in-laws, had hoped marriage would settle him down and end his wild-and-woolly ways they were in for a big disappointment.

A few weeks after the young parents belatedly tied the knot, the bridegroom logged up his first arrest in Hamilton as an adult. The eighteen- year-old was charged with aggravated menacing. That was the most serious of the charges tied to the five different arrests he logged in Hamilton before he was nineteen. One time he was ticketed for failure to have a muffler on his rattletrap car.

Then the arrests stopped. The wild, hell-raising Hamilton teenager's name suddenly dropped off the local police blotters. When they had reason to look into the matter years later, Hamilton Police figured out that he left town. Rogers moved across the country to Southern California and got a job at the Highland Press Printing Company in Pasadena. Deborah, the baby, and one of Rogers's brothers followed several weeks later, and he moved his family into a duplex on Olive Avenue in the town of Monrovia. He was still working in the printing plant about two weeks before Christmas in 1981 when his wife gave birth to a second son, Johnathon C.

If the child bride journeyed to California anticipating a sunny new life next door to Hollywood, with fancy restaurants, white-sand beaches, and garden apartments surrounded by weeping jacaranda trees, she was sadly disappointed. Geographically, that vision of California was within easy reach. In every other respect it was a world away. She and her husband were teenagers who ended their formal education before they were ready for high school, and they were already saddled with two small children. Their star-crossed marriage was rocky, violent, and brief.

Glen was drinking before he was old enough to drive, and he never slowed down or stopped. He already had an explosive temper, and booze made it worse. Just about anything could set him off: burned bacon, a whining kid, or a barking dog. Deborah took the brunt of his abuse. When he was angry he didn't slap or push. He smashed her in the face and body with his closed fists, and kicked her with his feet.

The young mother was also showered with curses and threats. If she was late with a meal, or Glen didn't like what she set on the table, she was cursed or beaten. If the toddlers bothered him when he wanted to be left alone, he pounded her again. Sometimes she and the boys didn't have to do anything at all. He would just bust inside the door reeking of booze, feeling mean and ornery, and begin beating her up and tossing their things around. Deborah told her father, Clifford Nix, horror stories about the beatings and about being locked in a room by her husband. The young woman was no match for the brutal bully she married. He was big and mean, and he liked to hurt her. She was banged around by her husband so many times she lost count. He beat her in California, and he beat her in Ohio. For a while the couple wandered back and forth between the two states, dragging the little boys with them, while the marriage limped painfully along toward a predictably miserable conclusion.


Excerpted from "Smooth Operator"
by .
Copyright © 1997 Clifford L. Linedecker.
Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Title Page,
Copyright Notice,
Dear Reader,
Chapter One: GLEN AND DEBI,
Chapter Two: LOW-RENT ROMEO,
Chapter Four: MARIA,
Chapter Five: FLIGHT,
Chapter Seven: THE CHASE,
Chapter Eleven: BACK TO FLORIDA,
Chapter Twelve: THE TRIAL,
St. Martin's Paperbacks Titles by Clifford L. Linedecker,

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Smooth Operator: The True Story of Seductive Serial Killer Glen Rogers (True Crime Library Classics Series) 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
joann1947 More than 1 year ago
A little hard to read and keep my interest.
Monitor More than 1 year ago
This is a story of a spree killer who frustrated police forces over a 6 week period because they knew who the killer was but did not know at any one time where to find him because he moved so quickly after each murder. Fortunately he was apprehended in six weeks unlike some serial killers who plied their trade over years. Linedecker is a great author and I enjoy reading his books. This one was no excveption.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago