Is Robert Abel Getting Away With Murder?

Lawmen think the retired NASA engineer could be responsible for the deaths or disappearances of several young women who lived in the coastal plain between Houston and Galveston. There’s only one problem: They don’t have enough evidence to arrest him. In fact, they don’t have any.

ON A STIFLINGLY HOT AFTERNOON in late August, at an abandoned oil field twenty miles south of Houston, more than a dozen people hunted for the bodies of dead women.

Right here,” shouted Tim Miller, a grim, wiry building contractor who was at the controls of a large backhoe. “Let’s start here.” Nearby were a dozen search dogs, including four trained to detect the scent of decomposing human flesh. A few construction workers, employees of Miller’s, were on hand to help, as were friends and even Miller’s ex-wife. One man brought his thirteen-year-old son. “You see those high weeds?” Miller said. “That’s where we need to dig.”

It is known as the “killing fields,”

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