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The last Burger Chef location closed in 1996.

Source: Credit: Wikimedia Commons

A building in Speedway that formerly housed a Burger Chef restaurant and was known for the infamous ‘Burger Chef murders’ was demolished Thursday afternoon.

On November 17, 1978, four Burger Chef employees at this location disappeared. The bodies of 20-year-old Jayne Friedt, 16-year-olds Daniel Davis and Mark Flemmonds, and 18-year-old Ruth Ellen Shelton were found two days later in Johnson County.

The initial incident was thought to be a case of petty theft, and the restaurant was cleaned and reopened the next day. Since the crime scene was not preserved, the murders were never solved.

The crimes remain under investigation by police.

“My mother, she never did get over it, of course,” said Theresa Jeffries, sister of Ruth, who took the job to buy things all teenage girls love to get. “She had a sense of humor. She enjoyed working at Dunkin Donuts as well as Burger Chef. Always came home with funny stories about things that happened at work. She was living her life and looking forward to turning 18.”

The former Burger Chef building has been home to multiple businesses, but none have lasted.

In Dec. 2023, Speedway officials decided to tear down the building that served as a dark reminder of the incident that occurred 45 years ago.