In their last hours alive, Jo Rogers and her two daughters took a
series of snapshots.
One showed Michelle inside the motel room,
sunburned and staring into the camera.
But it was the very last photo that would be the most haunting.
Shot from the motel balcony, it caught the sunlight fading over
Tampa Bay. The three women were about to leave to meet someone who
had offered to take them for a boat ride on the bay.
COW KISS: A guernsey nuzzles Michelle during a quiet moment at
the Van Wert County Fair.
She sometimes talked about staying on the
farm and sometimes talked about getting away.
Joan Rogers Michelle Rogers Christe Rogers
EARLY YEARS: From left to right, Michelle, 3, and Christe, 6
months. Michelle in eighth
grade and Christe in fifth.
celebrating her ninth birthday. Michelle, 4, wearing
Mouse ears and holding Easter candy.
JO THROUGH THE YEARS: The grind of Jo's life took a tremendous toll.
Somehow, though, she made the best of it. Here, from left, she is
shown on her Confirmation Day, in eighth grade; in her high school
senior photo; folding laundry on Mother's Day 1989, shortly before she
and her daughters left for Florida.
Michelle in a newspaper ad her mother took out for her 16th
Christe in her softball uniform, summer 1984
SNAPSHOT: This photo of Jeff Feasby, Michelle's boyfriend, was
taken just before the trip
and was found on a roll of film recovered
from the motel room in Tampa.
HUSBAND AND FATHER: Hal Rogers, shown here in a recent photo taken
on the farm,
was determined to find his wife and children after they
LAST MESSAGE: Jo Rogers wrote this postcard to her husband after a
stop at Silver Springs.
Hal received it a few days later, after his
family had disappeared.
THE CAR: On the same day the bodies of the Rogers women were
identified, their Oldsmobile Calais was found at a boat ramp on the
Courtney Campbell Parkway. Stuck against the car's rear window was a
toy cow, a reminder of the family's dairy farm.
THE BROTHER: John Rogers was sent to prison after pleading no
to raping a woman who shared his trailer with him.
DETECTIVE WORK: In the fall of 1989, St. Petersburg police
detective Jim Kappel established a possible link between the Rogers
murders and the rape of a Canadian tourist, two weeks before, on a
boat off Madeira Beach. Now a school resource officer, Kappel is shown
here at the dock where the Canadian woman left for the boat ride with
IN THE SHADOWS: Jo Ann Steffey was sure the man who lived down the
street from her Tampa home looked just like the suspect wanted by the
police. But she did not know whether to report her hunch until the
night she looked through her kitchen window and saw the man standing
near the end of her driveway, staring in her direction.
THE FACE: This is the composite drawing, released in November 1989,
of the man suspected
of raping the Canadian tourist and murdering the
ROOKIE: In 1970, when this police portrait was taken,
was a young patrol officer.
TEAMWORK: Detectives Larry Heim and Cindy Cummings joined the case
as the investigation moved in new directions.
NOTHING TO HIDE: Taking a break in the milking parlor, Hal Rogers
scratches the ear of his dog, Gnat. When the detectives came to the
farm in January 1991, determined to learn if he might be the killer,
Hal looked them straight in the eye and calmly answered all of their
BLANKET OF WHITE: At the snow-covered cemetery where Jo and
Michelle and Christe were buried,
the detectives dug with their bare
hands until they found the markers for the women's graves.
HIDDEN AGENDA: When he held his first press conference in May 1991,
Sgt. Moore was not just
dispensing information on the Rogers case. He
was delivering a message to the killer.