Inside Robert Ben Rhoades' Traveling Torture Chamber

Police looked at the photos, noting that the growth of Regina Walters’ hair and the changing color of her bruises meant that she had been in Robert Ben Rhoades’ clutches for several weeks (per All That’s Interesting). When he grew tired of her, he choked her to death with a garrote made of baling wire (via The Daily Nonpareil). Her body was left in the very barn she was last photographed in in rural Illinois. This meant that several of the photos she was the subject of were taken during her last moments alive.

Several months before Walters and Jones climbed aboard Rhoades’ big rig, Patricia Walsh and Douglas Zyskowski had the misfortune of crossing paths with the killer. The couple had just recently wed and were hitchhiking to Georgia from Texas. The pair were on their way to attend a religious conference but sadly never made it. Rhoades is thought to have killed Zyskowski while the young man slept. He kept Walsh alive for an undisclosed amount of time, subjecting her to the same cruel treatment that he would later dole out to Walters. Walsh was murdered, and her body was dumped in Utah. Though her remains were discovered within months of her death, it wasn’t until 2003 that she was able to be positively identified (via The Daily Nonpareil).

Walters and Walsh had been held captive by Rhoades while he traveled the interstate highways in his truck. The vehicle had been converted into a refuge for the killer, a place where his most sinister desires could be inflicted on victims without detection.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN’s National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

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