Trucker Who Stabbed Three Truck Stop Employees to Death “Dreamed” of Killing Cops
WARNING: The following story contains graphic and disturbing content. Reader discretion is advised.
Knoxville, TN – The findings into the investigation of the horrific killings of three Tennessee women at a Knoxville truck stop earlier year were revealed in a press conference on Monday.
Knox County District Attorney Charme Allen released a trove of documents and videos obtained by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) into the April 7, 2020 murders of three women at a Pilot Travel Center in Knoxville.
Truck driver Idris Abdus-Salaam, 33, of Durham, NC, was identified as the killer and was confronted by police before being shot and killed outside of the store following the murders.
The three deceased victims, all employees of the Pilot, were 57-year-old Joyce Whaley, 41-year-old Nettie Spencer, and 51-year-old Patricia Denise Nibbe.
Abdus-Salaam entered the store at 6:22 a.m. and took a shower.
He then left and returned a short time later, walking through the store and appeared to be casing the location, according to Allen.
After exiting one more time he returned approximately 30 seconds later in the moments directly before the killing spree began.
Whaley, a manager at the store, was the first victim, Allen said.
Store surveillance video shows Abdus-Salaam following her into the women’s restroom as Whaley’s shift began just before 7 a.m.
Allen indicated Whaley was stabbed 11 times in the head and neck area and also suffered 9 defensive stab wounds to the hands.
Nibbe was the second victim after she entered the restroom during Whaley’s killing.
Abdus-Salaam then turned his rage on her and began stabbing her as she desperately sought to escape.
She ran into the kitchen area and Abdus-Salaam followed her as he continued to attack.
Nibbe died from 4 stab wounds to the head and neck area and also suffered “multiple defensive wounds on her hands,” Allen said.
Spencer was the third victim.
Abdus-Salaam began attacking her near the front entrance to the store.
Allen indicated Spencer was savagely stabbed 13 times to the head, neck and back area, as well as suffering 8 additional incised wounds.
A fourth victim, who survived, was Dessa Hutchison.
Hutchison encountered Abdus-Salaam in the parking lot and suffered multiple lacerations to her neck, face, lip and ear.
She was treated at a nearby hospital and later released the same day.
Allen discussed the possible motive for the killings, but said investigators believe the victims were targeted “at random.”
“The investigation did not reveal any clear or stated motive for this attack, other than a general dissatisfaction with life,” Allen stated in a memorandum obtained by Transportation Nation Network (TNN).
Allen described Abdus-Salaam as “a paranoid and angry individual.”
Further, Allen pointed to a “triggering event” believed to have led to the attacks.
Abdus-Salaam was employed as a corrections officer with the North Carolina Department of Public Safety (NCDPS) from 2014 until 2019.
According to Allen, he resigned on May 25, 2019 after officials began investigating an altercation he had with a co-worker in 2018.
Abdus-Salaam believed he was being treated unfairly and quit in anger.
However, Allen says he immediately regretted the decision and began lobbying to get his job back.
He went to work for Swift Transportation in June of 2019 while still hoping to get his law enforcement job back.
From July to December of 2019, Abdus-Salaam kept a digital journal described as “a cloud-based diary in his Gmail account,” of which he made 66 separate entries.
“He talked about killing people and wanting to go to heaven,” Allen said.
“I’m forcing myself to b happy but I’m not, I want payback, these f-cks cost me too much bro, they took away my simple peaceful lifestyle , I’m trying to adjust but I don’t want to, cops are lucky I would kill y’all if wasn’t cops, I would love to see their look getting caught slipping, mother f-ckers would beg for their life, and I would laugh that would satisfy my anger,” one entry said.
His last journal entry was on December 12, 2019.
He wrote, “Last night I dreamed before I die I kill a sh-t bag cop.”
However, Allen believes Abdus-Salaam snapped when he received final notice 10 days before the murders that he would not be getting his old job back.
Allen also indicated that both his mother and girlfriend were interviewed during the investigation.
They each revealed they encouraged him to seek help for his anger issues.
Abdus-Salaam was never diagnosed with a mental health issue nor did he ever seek treatment, Allen indicated.
Further, investigators found no documentation in his employment records with the NCDPS or with Swift that Abdus-Salaam was mentally unfit.
“The records collected from Swift Transportation further were devoid of any mention of documented mental health treatment,” the memorandum states.
Some questions have been raised about if the attacks were motivated by religion.
Allen said that Abdus-Salaam did identify as a Muslim, but investigators found no direct link between his religion and the attacks.
Additionally, Abdus-Salaam is believed to have planned and carried out the attacks on his own.
The Night Before
The night before the attacks, Abdus-Salaam arranged a meeting with an escort using an online service called Escort Alligator.
He met the escort at a nearby hotel after hiring a Lyft to transport him to the location.
According to the memorandum in the case, “The subject arrived as planned and entered a room and immediately grabbed her around the neck. They discussed an arrangement for the subject to receive oral sex for $100. The subject seemed agitated, and continually reached for his pockets as if he were wanting to retrieve something during their time together, which made her feel that he was planning on doing something to her. It was only after the escort told the subject that she was Muslim did she feel somewhat safe.”
After completing the transaction, Allen said the escort drove Abdus-Salaam back to his truck for an additional $20.
“After she dropped the subject off, he continued to text/communicate with her and actively attempted to arrange a meeting for the very next day,” the memorandum states.
Officer Will Not Face Charges
After fatally stabbing Whaley, Nibbe, and Spencer, multiple truckers chased Abdus-Salaam into the parking lot.
Video shows them spraying him with a fire extinguisher.
An employee of the stop can also be seen driving a Ford Expedition and running over Abdus-Salaam multiple times in the parking lot near the diesel fueling bays.
However, Allen said Abdus-Salaam was undeterred.
Officer Jordan Hurst was one of the members of law enforcement that first arrived on the scene.
Allen said Officer Hurst confronted Abdus-Salaam and gave him 8 commands to drop the weapon.
However, Abdus-Salaam continued toward the officer when he was fatally shot.
“It was a lawful killing,” Allen said. “There will be no charges against Officer Hurst.”
No Security Guard On Duty
Allen was questioned as to whether the truck stop had a security guard on duty at the time of the killings.
“There was not a security officer employed at that time,” Allen admitted.
Further, she said a security guard was not scheduled to be on duty that day.
TransportationNation.com will have more on the fallout from this tragic event in the days to come.
WATCH Allen’s entire press conference below.