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Posted by on Monday, November 7th, 2016 @ 10:52 pm.

Tennessee Department of Corrections mug of Bruce Mendenhall.

Tennessee Department of Corrections mug of Bruce Mendenhall.

TENNESSEE - Careful DNA investigation has lead to the identification of a body that had been decomposed for years, and it just happens to be one of a local alleged serial killer's "missing" people.

The case of "Truck-Stop Killer" Bruce Mendenhall's alleged killing spree made headlines in 2007 and has continued to do so intermittently since then. He's been charged with several deaths across several states, but Tennessee has him in custody, having convicted him of at least one of the series of murders of "lot lizards" (truck stop prostitutes) that infest the country's T/A's and other heavily-trafficked truck stops.

The situation broke on October 26, when authorities in Kentucky said they found a body in a lake in 2011 near Glasgow in that state. The body was badly decomposed and DNA had to be extracted from the bones. But on the 26th, it was announced that it had been positively identified as Carmen Purpura, who had gone missing from Indianapolis (where she was last seen at a - you guessed it - truck stop) and whose blood and personal identification were both found in the cab of Mendenhall's truck cab (along with the blood of nine other people)

What authorities are going to do with Mendenhall, now 65, regarding the positive identification of Purpura's body remains unaddressed right now.

But the Mendenhall case has a direct tie-in with something going on in southern Illinois at this moment: The election.

There's a race in Edwards County that involves someone at whom Mendenhall's rage was directed in 2006, and who might very well be responsible for the deaths of many people - ultimately, that is.

Brian Shinkle

Brian Shinkle

Brian Shinkle was state's attorney in Edwards in 2006 when Mendenhall went to him with a complaint that a neighbor woman was threatening his two daughters, both of them minors at the time. The woman had a history with Mendenhall (she was a lot lizard he'd picked up and brought back to Albion with him, ostensibly because she was homeless and he felt sorry for her). She'd not taken up with Mendenhall in any fashion; instead, she took up with another Albion guy and was enjoying a relationship with him. It's just that she was mean, Mendenhall said, and she liked to take out her meanness on his girls and, sadly, on their kittens, one of which was found dead on a porch.

Shinkle, Mendenhall said, wouldn't give him the time of day about the complaint. At the time, Shinkle was busy running for judge. Just like he's doing now: Shinkle is one of two vying for the seat being vacated by the retirement of Judge David Frankland. In 2006, Shinkle was running for the at-large position now held tenuously by Melissa Morgan, then Drew. He was beaten badly, by the way.

But we don't know what's going to happen in this election.

Anyway, Mendenhall wrote a six-page letter to us during the Primary in 2006, raging about Shinkle and the fact that he wouldn't take Mendenhall's complaints seriously. He said many chilling things in the letter, which was published in the March Primary Election Edition 2006.

And a year and four months later, he was arrested for murder and dubbed the "Truck Stop Killer." When that situation broke, we went back and got the letter, and emailed Shepard Smith at Fox News, giving him as much background on Mendenhall as we had (which was a lot, as we were living two miles away from Albion at the time). Shep reported it as we sent it, but never made any further inquiries.

We ran the letter within the front-page article and people down in Tennessee took note. The entire defense team came to Browns to see us, and to view the letter. We don't know if it played into anything they were doing. Obviously it didn't help much, as Mendenhall was convicted. Perhaps the prosecution should've taken a look at the letter, too.

We still have it. Mendenhall is still in prison. And Shinkle is still running for judge. This would be his fourth try. That letter from Mendenhall - in which he seems to blame Shinkle for upcoming deaths of people, because Shinkle wouldn't pay attention to his children and their distress - is in part a reason why he lost on his third try in early 2008 when he applied to be considered for another judicial position that came open. And that letter, along with Shinkle's inability to properly charge an animal abuser in north Edwards (against HUGE public sentiment), is why Shinkle lost his reelection bid for state's attorney - by 48 votes - to Mike Valentine in November 2008.

Will the judicial race be this close in this election? Probably. It's our guess that it's going to be a really tight one, a nail-biter. Because Shinkle has spent the past eight years polishing up his image after it was tarnished badly by his last few years in office, by a bitterly bad divorce...and by the rantings of a man now known as a serial killer, who effectively blamed Shinkle for his course in life following prosecutorial inaction.

Welcome to downstate Illinois. Vote carefully.

Short URL: https://www.disclosurenewsonline.com/?p=84976

Posted by on Nov 7 2016. Filed under Breaking, Edwards, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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