Robert Eugene Brashers has been identified as the lead suspect in a series of violent sexual assaults and three homicides. The case has been cleared by exception due to his death in 1999. The FGG investigation was conducted by Parabon Nanolabs.
The first victim was 28-year-old Genevieve (Jenny) Zitricki, who was raped and strangled in her apartment in Greenville, South Carolina, on April 4, 1990.
Brashers is thought to be responsible for the violent home invasion rape of a 14-year-old girl in Memphis, Tennessee in March of 1997.
He is also thought to be responsible for the March 28, 1998, murders of 12-year-old Megan Scherer and her 38-year-old mother Sherri in their home in Portageville, Missouri. Megan had been raped before she was killed. Sherri’s son found the bodies of his mother and sister when he came home from school.
Later that same day, Brashers is thought to have broken into the home of a woman in Dyersburg, Tennessee. The attacker attempted to rape her and then shot her and fled. The bullet was linked to the Scherer murders.
On April 12, 1998, Brashers was arrested trying to break into a woman’s home, but he was released. He committed suicide during a police stand-off on January 13, 1999.
Brashers’ daughter, Deborah Brashers-Claunch, gave police a DNA sample to confirm his identity as the source of the crime scene DNA. Brashers-Claunch, was only 7 years-old when her father killed himself. She had been taken out of a motel room shortly before his suicide. She stated to Sweeny that she was willing to assist in the investigation, even though the truth has been very hard for her to learn. Brashers’ body was then exhumed to confirm the DNA match to the crime scene DNA.
Brashers had been convicted of beating and shooting a woman in Port St. Lucie, Florida in 1985, for which he was sentenced to 12 years. He was released in 1989 after serving 3-and-a-half years.
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Gross, Daniel, Gabe Cavallaro, and Elizabeth LaFleur. “Greenville Cold Case Solved: Jenny Zitricki Killed by Serial Killer Robert Brashers in 1990, Police Say.” Greenville News, October 5, 2018, last modified October 6, 2018. Accessed December 11, 2020. https://www.greenvilleonline.com/story/news/crime/2018/10/05/greenville-cold-case-zitricki-murder-first-series-murders-across-three-states/1532153002/.
Jacob, Richy Maria. “Who is Robert Eugene Brashers and How Did He Die?” The Cinemaholic, June 2, 2020. Accessed December 11, 2020. https://www.thecinemaholic.com/robert-eugene-brashers/.
LaFleur, Elizabeth. “Robert Brashers: A Timeline of Crimes Police Say He Committed.” Greenville News, October 5, 2018. Accessed December 11, 2020. https://www.greenvilleonline.com/story/news/crime/2018/10/05/greenville-cold-case-robert-brashers-jenny-zitricki/1534079002/
Sweeney, Kathy. “‘My Father was a Serial Killer’: Robert Brashers’ Daughter Speaks Out.” KFVS News 12, February 5, 2019, last modified February 26, 2019. Accessed December 11, 2020. https://www.kfvs12.com/2019/02/05/my-father-was-serial-killer-robert-brashers-daughter-speaks-out/.