The Murder of Rebecca Landrith: A Shocking True Crime Story
To say Rebecca Landrith was "shot to death" would be an enormous understatement of a shocking true crime fact.
Eighteen bullets were pulled from the 47-year-old woman's body after the corpse was found in the weeds off of a Pennsylvania I-80 exit ramp, February 7, 2021.
The autopsy showed Rebecca, who was a contestant for the title of Miss Manhattan in NYC, at one time, was shot in her face, neck, and chest. She was also shot twice in one of her hands. The medical examiner's office called those wounds "defensive."
Who killed Rebecca?
Of course, we can't be sure at this point, but only a couple of days after Rebecca's body was discovered, an over-the-road truck driver from Dallas, Texas, was arrested. Tracy Ray Rollins faces charges of homicide and abuse of a corpse.
What led Pennsylvania State Police to Tracy?
D. Peter Johnson, a county district attorney, tells PennLive it was nothing but "old fashion police work."
Investigators found a note in one of Rebecca's leather jacket pockets. On it was written Tracy's name, along with a phone number and an email address.
Thanks to Tracy's cellphone records and the latest technology, state police detectives traced his route from Wisconsin to Maine. That included, you're not going to believe this; a stop at the Mile Run interchange. That is where Penn DOT workers found Rebecca's body.
State Police immediately pursued Tracy and stopped his big rig as he left a truck stop in Milldale, Connecticut. Detectives looked inside the truck's cab and spotted what looked like a bleach/cleaning solution covering a large portion of the passenger seat and floor.
That's all they needed to hop inside the cab where they discovered:
Flesh and brain-like matter on the bottom bunk mattress behind the passenger seat and flesh-like matter beneath the exterior top stair gate;
Powder applied as a cleaning agent on the front seat covering signs of blood, six spent 9mm shell casings on the front floorboard and on the floorboard behind the passenger seat;
Bullet strikes in the rear wall behind the passenger seat and above the bottom bunk.
Detectives showed Rebecca's photo to Tracy, and he said honestly, he did not recognize her.
"I hate to start lying to you cause this is a murder investigation," Tracy said. Sounds like an honest guy, right?
None of the detectives had said a word about a "murder investigation."
Classic unforced error?
However, Tracy did say that a woman named "Leslie" had been riding with him. And check this out: Rebecca did make a hotel reservation in Milford, Conn., under the name of "Leslie Myers."
Of course, Tracy has to be considered innocent until proven guilty.
Now, how about Rebecca's family?
"Her family loved her dearly," her brother George Landrith told PennLive. "None of this brings her back. It is important she receives justice."
Updates on this story will be published when they are available.
Corruption. Conspiracy. Caviar.
The patriarch of one of the most powerful families in Kentucky politics is dead. Murdered. And it's up to private investigator Ron Delaney to figure out who killed his hero.
With a $25,000 check from the dead politician's mistress in his pocket, Ron sets off on a journey that will lead him into conflict with one of the most powerful families in the Russian Mafia.
Along the way, Ron's illusions about his hero are shattered, his prized Corvette is nearly totaled by a speeding blonde, and he falls in love with a woman half his age.
Buckle up! That's just the beginning of a murder mystery that you'll never forget!
Empty Minute: A Murder Mystery is available wherever you buy your books.