I-Team Unsolved: Was Carrie Gaskins the victim of a serial killer in 1992?

Sheriff says she wasn't killed by Glen Rogers

In our I-Team Unsolved series, WCPO will examine homicide cold cases in Greater Cincinnati.

TATE TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- If you Google Carrie Gaskins' name, you might assume that she's a victim of serial killer Glen Rogers. First, she's mentioned in "The Serial Killers Podcast" as a victim of Glen Rogers. Then, she's mentioned in a psychological study of Rogers' life and progression as a serial killer.

However, Rogers was never charged in Gaskins' death -- and the Clermont County Sheriff said he doesn't believe Rogers was involved in her death.

Gaskins was stabbed to death in her home on Jan. 28, 1992. She was 30. Her 12-year-old daughter, Cherrie, found her body several hours later when she returned home from school.

"In so many ways this has ruined my life," Cherrie Ellison, who is now 37, said. "She was so young, she was only 30. We had a lot of time still."

Gaskins' husband, Kenny, was a truck driver and was out of town at the time of his wife's death, police said.

BELOW: Police arrive at the scene after Gaskins is reported dead

 

Rogers was born and raised in Hamilton, Ohio. He's on death row in Florida and was sentenced for murder in California. He's suspected of killing others in Ohio, Louisiana and Mississippi, among other states.

BELOW: Rogers arrested after a police chase that ends in Waco, Ky. 

 

Rogers was a drifter and became known as "The Cross Country Killer." He was also called "The Casanova Killer," as most of his known victims were women, many who went on dates with Rogers or were prostitutes he picked up.

Rogers told authorities that he killed "like 70 people," which he later said was a joke. He also famously told his family that he killed Nicole Brown Simpson, ex-wife of O.J. Simpson, after O.J. hired him to paint his house. He said O.J. then hired him to break into his ex-wife's house and steal jewelry.

Glen Rogers' mugshot in 1995

Rogers' killing spree lined up with Gaskins' death -- he's suspected in at least a dozen homicides between 1991 and 1995.

Gaskins also fits the physical description of Rogers' typical victim: a redheaded woman in her 30s. Roger's mother -- who beat him and left his disabled father -- was a redhead, according to the psychological report produced at Radford University.

But she wouldn't have picked up Rogers at a bar, investigators said -- she was a busy, married mother of two kids.

The Gaskins home was located in a rural area in Clermont County. Neighbors told investigators that they didn't know one another well, so detectives stopped everyone who passed the Gaskins home to ask if they knew anything or saw anything strange.

Clermont County Detective Mike Robinson remembers the scene at the Gaskins house. He said he'll always remember it.

"I was just a young road officer at the time, employed only eight months when this happened," Robinson said. "I didn't see her body, but I saw all of the blood.

"It's a vivid image I haven't forgotten and I'd like to see this solved," he said.

Detective Mike Robinson

Robinson said Gaskins was stabbed multiple times and her throat was "slashed." 

"She put up a small fight, but we think (her attacker) was someone she was comfortable with in her home," Robinson said. "There was no sign of a struggle to get into the home."

He also remembered that the house was spotless; he called Gaskins "an immaculate housekeeper."

"It's something I know I'll never forget," he said. "It was my first major crime I've ever seen as a law enforcement officer."

Five years after Gaskins' death, the Clermont County Sheriff's Office announced that it would reopen the case. At the time, police said they had no new evidence, only "new directions" for the investigation. The new direction was Rogers.

When Clermont County investigators reopened the case, the "Casanova Killer" was already on death row.

Rogers was never charged in Gaskins' murder.

In 2012, Clermont County Sheriff Robert Leahy interviewed Rogers. Leahy said Rogers was involved with an "innocence project" in Canada that helps convicts prove their innocence in crimes they didn't commit. 

"Ultimately, he denied being the person responsible for (Gaskins') death," Leahy said. "And he had nothing to lose. He had every reason to say that he did do it and he didn't come off it."

Leahy said, at the time, his office is "pursuing other suspects." 

Around the time Leahy interviewed Rogers, the sheriff's office tested all evidence and DNA in the case again.

Ellison, who found her mother's body and called 911, said not knowing who killed her mother is "absolute torment." She said she has ideas on who may have been behind her mother's death.

"I have my own suspicions about things, but I don't know," she said. "It's really hard to go by just feelings alone."

Leahy and Robinson said they couldn't reveal any current suspects while an investigation is currently active.

"What we do believe is that Carrie knew her attacker," Robinson said. "We feel very strongly about that."

Kenny Gaskins, Carrie's husband at the time of her death, was ruled out as a suspect, Robinson said. But investigators wouldn't say whether or not Gaskins' ex, Cherrie Ellison's biological father, is a person of interest.

Ellison said she never asked her biological father if he killed her mother.

Cherrie Ellison now lives in Tennessee

"It's just hard when you don't know you can trust," Ellison said. "I just want to know."

Robinson and Sgt. B.J. Boerger said most of Gaskins' family members have since moved away. For a while, many family members and friends feared retaliation for cooperating with police.

"There was some fear of retaliation," Boerger said. "It's not uncommon. But maybe a relationship is severed, maybe someone they were afraid of before is no longer in their life and now they feel that they can speak, they're just waiting for someone to come and talk to them."

Ellison said the family needs closure and answers. She said she's found some ways to cope with the pain and trauma, and now she has a family of her own.

"I go on for a lot of other people. It's a huge factor, but it's not my whole life now," she said.

Carrie Gaskins. Photo provided.

"She was full of jokes, she didn't like to cook and she was just fun," Ellison said. "She was very loving and happy."

Boerger said he knows people who have information in Gaskins' murder haven't forgotten -- and neither have police.

"It's been 25 years since the murder," he said. "People obviously haven't forgotten about this and maybe they are in a place now where they can talk to police and tell us what they know that they weren't able to tell us then. That's what we're hoping for."

Print this article Back to Top