Murder Spree Ends In Arrest


Monday, January 3rd 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6


A man suspected of three killings who was the subject of a six-day manhunt in Oklahoma, Missouri and Tennessee was captured Sunday.


Steven Ray Thacker was arrested at about 6 p.m. by Union City police at the Super 8 Motel, north of the town where he is suspected of killing a tow-truck driver.

Officers noticed a car in the motel parking lot that matched the description of one stolen from a Missouri homicide victim. A police spokesman said Thacker was registered under another name and had dyed his hair.

He was arrested on a complaint of being a fugitive from justice and theft of an automobile. He is being held in the Dyer County jail and was scheduled to be arraigned in Dyersburg, Tenn. on
Monday.

Authorities believe the abduction and death of Laci Hill, 25, on Dec. 23 was the first killing allegedly committed by Thacker.

Thacker is the prime suspect in the death of a 24-year-old Forrest Boyd of Aldrich, Mo. who was found in his home Saturday by a relative. His car was also stolen and later found in front of the
motel.

Thacker is also a suspect in the Sunday stabbing death of a 49-year-old male tow-truck driver in Dyersburg, said Dyersburg police Capt. Don Newell. The body of the driver was found in his
business. Police believe Thacker asked the man, whose name wasn't released, for tow-truck services and then killed him about 10:45
a.m.

Thacker allegedly stole the man's red 1987 Ford F-350 tow truck, which had "Patterson Bros. Wrecker" on its sides. He used the tow
truck to pull a car stolen from Missouri, Newell said.

The tow truck was recovered Sunday afternoon about 10 miles from the scene of the homicide, Newell said.

The families of the victims and Thacker expresses relief that he was apprehended.

"We just feel very sorry for the other families that have had to go through this while he went on a killing spree," Ms. Hill's brother, Larry Griffin, told the Tulsa World.

Thacker's wife of four months has expressed anger toward acts allegedly committed by her husband. Trena Thacker identified him
from the video surveillance tape using Ms. Hill's debit card.

"He can rot in prison now," Ms. Thacker told the Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader.

Funeral services for Ms. Hill were scheduled fA Bixby police officer and an Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation agent will travel to Tennessee on Monday to try to interview Thacker, said District Attorney Gene Haynes, whose
jurisdiction includes Mayes County, where Hill's body was found.

Officials in three states will likely want to prosecute Thacker for his alleged crimes.