At least eight women across the country died due to a spree of murders committed by long-haul trucker Keith Hunter Jesperson in the 1990s. 

He confessed to these horrible crimes through smiley-faced letters to the police. The identity of his final victim remained a disturbing mystery for thirty years.

She was recognized by Florida officials last week as Suzanne Kjellenberg, who was 34 years old when she was killed due to Jesperson’s heinous cross-country rampage. According to Okaloosa County Sheriff Eric Aden, her remains were found by landscapers along Interstate 10 in September 1994.

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Who is Keith Hunter Jesperson?

Jesperson gained the nickname “Happy Face Killer” for his bold conduct of sending confessions to media outlets and law enforcement agencies across the country in an effort to gain popularity.

Six states were involved in his killing spree: California, Nebraska, Wyoming, Oregon, Washington, and Florida. According to Sheriff Aden, Jesperson was captured in the middle of the 1990s and is currently jailed in the Oregon State Penitentiary where he is serving seven life terms.

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He described the terrifying encounter with Kjellenberg to detectives during a recent prison interview. They connected at a truck stop outside of Tampa, and together they made their way to a rest stop. According to information provided by Sheriff Aden during a press conference earlier in the week, Jesperson purposefully parked next to a security officer and approached Kjellenberg while she was snoozing in the truck’s bed.

Jesperson described to investigators how Kjellenberg started screaming nonstop throughout the terrifying meeting. He resorted to using force out of fear of the security guard’s unwelcome attention and awareness of the law’s prohibition on having illegal passengers in his truck. Sheriff Aden revealed that he wrapped zip ties around her throat while pressing his fist against her neck.

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Detectives paid the murderer a visit at the prison last month on the 29th anniversary of the day her body was found. They succeeded in getting a confession out of Jesperson through their expert interrogation, as Sheriff Aden attested.