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New documentary explores 1978 Burger Chef murders

Burger Chef in Speedway 1978.png
Burger Chef Victims
Posted at 1:56 PM, Mar 04, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-04 13:56:30-05

SPEEDWAY — A new true crime documentary exploring the 45-year-old unsolved Burger Chef murders will be released later this year, distribution company Altitude Film Entertainment announced.

The true crime documentary titled "The Speedway Murders" tells the story of four young Burger Chef employees who were kidnapped from a restaurant on Crawfordsville Road on Nov. 17, 1978.

Burger Chef Victims

The bodies of Jayne Friedt, 20, Ruth Shelton, 17, Mark Flemmonds, 17, and Daniel Davis, 16, were discovered two days later in a remote area of Johnson County.

Altitude Film told Deadline that the new documentary will use actors to reenact four theories as to what happened that night. The documentary is finished and will be released later this year, Deadline reported.

Burger Chef in Speedway 1978.png
Four workers were abducted from the Burger Chef in Speedway in 1978. Their bodies were found two days later in a Johnson County field. The crime remains unsolved 45 years later.

The Burger Chef murders remain one of Indiana's most notorious and confounding unsolved crimes.

"I think about it often. I dream about it sometimes," retired Indiana State Police 1st Sgt. Stoney Vann told WRTV in a story published Nov. 17, 2023. "This is the type of case that I will take to my grave."

From 1988 to his retirement in 2018, Vann served as the lead investigator on the Burger Chef homicides.

Retired Indiana State Police 1st Sgt. Stoney Vann was the lead investigator in the Burger Chef homicides from 1998 to 2018.

Despite the work of Vann and others, no one has been arrested in the Burger Chef killings.

Indiana State Police spokesman Sgt. John Perrine said the Burger Chef homicides remain an open case and under "active investigation."

"Technology has changed in the past 45 years on how we investigate crimes like this and it continues to get better," Perrine told WRTV last November. "We're hoping that we're on the cusp of technology that will give us substantial leads in this case and so that we can get some closure for these families 45 years later."

More: Former Burger Chef restaurant in Speedway to be torn down 45 years after murders | 1978 Burger Chef murders haunt retired detective: 'This is the type of case that I will take to my grave'

FBI files: A link to the full FBI file on the Burger Chef murders is available below:

Page 3 of FBI files Burger Chef Murders
Contributed to DocumentCloud by Michael Hartz (RTV6) • View document or read text

Contact WRTV reporter Vic Ryckaert at or on X/Twitter: @vicryc.

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