Tourist Trap: The Murder of the Rogers Family

Mar 12, 2012 - by Fred Shrum, III

Joan, Michelle and Christe Rogers

Joan, Michelle and Christe Rogers

On June 4, 1989, the bodies of Joan, Michelle and Christe Rogers were found floating in the serene waters of TampaBay. They were stripped below the waist, bound, and tied to concrete blocks. How could such a tragedy strike in paradise?

by Fred Shrum, III

They were going on vacation! It was a trip that may seem normal to some.  But to the Rogers family, it was the trip of a lifetime.  They were going to Florida to make some memories.  But Florida would literally become a tourist trap for Jo, Michelle and Christe.  They would not make it home alive.

The Rogers women were going to experience Florida in the classic fashion. They would color their days with beaches, attractions, and maybe even a visit to Mickey Mouse. This would be a welcome respite from their daily grind spent on a 300-acre dairy farm in Ohio. They were determined to enjoy every moment.

Why was Florida such a welcome change? Have you ever worked on a farm? Imagine an existence where no matter how tired or sick you are, or how cold or hot it is outside, there is work that has to be done. No exceptions. You awake in darkness to greet 80 cows that need to be milked.  By the time you are finished, it’s only first light.  You step out of the milking parlor and gaze at the fields that seem to go on forever.  There are crops that need constant attention.  Around late afternoon all 80 cows are calling out to be milked again.  You may have worked enough by nightfall.  Once you get in there is laundry, cooking, and other housework. Then you wake the next morning and start all over again.  You do this every single day.  How does Florida sound now?

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