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Carol Spinks

Do you know who committed the "Freeway Phantom" murders from 1971-1972?

  • Last updated: November 7, 2023
  • Washington, DC
  • April 25, 1971

Overview of Carol Spinks

Carol Denise Spinks was only 13 years old when she was killed.

Carol was born in 1958, and lived in Washington, D.C., with her parents. She had a twin sister, as well as three sisters and three brothers.

On the evening of April 25, 1971, her older sister asked Carol to run to the store to grab some TV dinners. It is estimated that Carol left her home around 7:00 p.m. She went down the road to a local 7/11. Carol paid for her groceries and left. While Carol was walking back to her home, she was abducted. Six days later, on May 1, 1971, Carol’s body was discovered along I-295. She was found barefoot and strangled. There were also signs of sexual assault.

Is Carol Spinks a victim of the Freeway Phantom?

Between April 1971 and September 1972, six young black girls were abducted and murdered. Their names are Carol Spinks (age 13, abducted April 15, 1971), Darlenia Johnson (age 16, abducted on July 8, 1971), Brenda Crockett (age 10, abducted on July 27, 1971), Nenomoshia Yates (age 12, abducted on Oct. 1, 1971), Brenda Woodard (age 18, abducted on Nov. 15, 1971), and Diane Denise Williams (age 17, abducted on Sept 5, 1972).

Each victim left their home to run an errand and never returned. Days later, their remains were found near the I-295 freeway. Unfortunately, each victim was sexually assaulted and strangled to death. All victims except Brenda Denise Woodard were found barefoot. Brenda Woodard’s body was found with a handwritten note signed by the Freeway Phantom that read:

This is tantamount to my insensitivity to people, especially women. I will admit the others when you catch me if you can!

-Freeway Phantom

Where the case stands today.

Currently, the Metropolitan Police Department are offering a $150,000 reward for anyone who provides information that leads to an arrest. The “Freeway Phantom” is the main suspect, but their identity remains a mystery. There have been some publicly named suspects, including the Green Vega Rapists, a gang responsible for multiple rapes and abductions throughout the Washington Beltway area. However, these cases remain unsolved.

If you have any information please contact the Metropolitan Police Department at (202) 727-9099 or unsolved.murder@dc.gov.


  1. Date Missing:April 25, 1971
  2. Date Found:May 1, 1971
  3. Age at Incident:13
  4. Race:African-American / Black
  5. Gender:Female

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