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Span of crimes
The Flat-Tire murders refer to five connected, unsolved murders in Dade County, Florida in 1975. Investigators theorized that the killer deflated the tires of the victims' vehicles and offered them assistance before killing them. All the murders took place in the vicinity of Cutler Bay (known at the time of the killings, and until 2005, as Cutler Ridge) and the Palmetto area of South Miami-Dade County.
The possible victims of the killer include five women from South Florida: Ronnie Gorlin (27), Elyse Napp (21), Barbara Stephens (23), Barbara Schreiber (14) and Belinda Zeterower (14). The cases remain unsolved.
Ronnie Gorlin and Elyse Rapp were both murdered in July 1975, and the homicide detectives were convinced of a connection between the two killings. The assistant medical examiner of Dade County connected the other three cases to the same killer on August 29, 2011. Barbara Stephens was murdered in her home in Palmetto in February 1975. Barbara Schreiber and Belinda Zeterower were high school classmates, and were killed at Cutler Bay in June 1975.
Sgt. Erwin Carlstedt of Sonoma County, California theorized that the suspect acted alone, moved from coast to coast, and was responsible for more than 30 unsolved homicides. The Florida investigators did not comment on this theory; their suspect was known only someone who deflated the victims tires, and then offered them assistance.
According to police, the killer is likely very intelligent, with an above average IQ, and above average strength and prowess. The method of killing has been a combination of shooting, penetrating stab wounds inflicted with an ice pick, and blunt-force trauma from hammer blows. Three of the four victims could not immediately be identified due to severe disfiguration.