Buried in the Backyard is investigating the suspected crimes of Thomas Bunday, aka the North Pole Killer, who is thought to have murdered five young women and girls in the area surrounding Eielson Airforce Base near Fairbanks, Alaska.
Bunday was also implicated in the killing of a sixth woman from Henrietta, Texas, and a warrant had been issued for his arrest before he committed suicide by riding his motorcycle into a truck.
The five Alaska murders took place between 1979 and 1981, and all within a ten-mile radius of Eielson AFB. The first victim was Glinda Sodemann, whose remains were discovered by a boy hunting in the woods.
The 19-year-old Fairbanks resident had been strangled and shot in the face.
On June 13, 1980, 11-year-old Doris Oehring vanished from the town of North Pole. Her bicycle was discovered in a ditch, and a witness reported seeing a suspicious blue car.
There was then a spate of three killings in the first half of 1981; 21-year-old Marlene Peters from Tanana was murdered in January. In March, the remains of 16-year-old Wendy Wilson were found near the Air Force base.
The police and military struggled to catch the North Pole Killer
The police and the military combined to search the area for clues and created a ten-mile perimeter around the base to watch for the killer. One day in May, a group of soldiers were searching an area when they found the body of 18-year-old Lori King.Watch the Latest on our YouTube Channel
Peters, Wilson, and King were all killed in the same fashion as Sodemann; they had been strangled and shot in the face. Oehring had still not been found.
A witness in the Wilson case reported seeing a white pickup truck. The police were on the lookout for a blue car and a white pickup truck and began wondering if they were dealing with more than one killer.
Then, the killings stopped. The cops had no more leads until November 1982, when they got a call from detectives in Wichita Falls, Texas, who said they were investigating the murder of 22-year-old Cassandra Goodwin.
Goodwin had been strangled and shot in the face not far from the Sheppard Air Force.
The cops began to close the net on Thomas Bunday
The pieces began to fall together when the cops learned Air Force TSgt Thomas Bunday owned a blue car and a white pickup truck. Bunday had also recently been transferred from Eielson AFB to Sheppard AFB.
The Alaska police traveled down to Alaska to question Bunday, and after a grueling interview, he finally admitted to the five killings in Alaska. However, he refused to confess to the Texas murder.
The Alaskan cops requested an urgent arrest warrant from their home state. They were out of their jurisdiction, so they were unable to immediately arrest Bunday.
Unfortunately, Bunday was able to slip away from a surveillance team, and while he was on the road, he purposefully swerved his motorcycle at 100 mph into an oncoming dump truck.
In August 1986, the skull of 11-year-old Oehring was discovered in a remote area of Eielson AFB.
Buried in the Backyard airs Saturdays on Oxygen.