In more than a decade since her death, the little boy has asked who killed his mom.
“I told him, it’s a bad man,” the grandfather explains. “Don’t know what else to tell him.”
The words spoken in a phone call in the fourth episode of A&E’s new series “The Killing Season” are a stark reminder that four women found dead just miles outside Atlantic City in 2006, were more than prostitutes feeding their drug addictions. They were mothers who continue to be mourned as their killings remain unsolved.
It also highlights the reason filmmakers Joshua Zeman and Rachel Mills made “The Killing Season.”
The Killing Season’ episodes 3 and 4 focus on four women found dead in Egg Harbor Township’s West Atlantic City section.
They originally aired Nov. 19, 2016, the day before the 10-year anniversary of the women’s bodies being discovered. The killings remain unsolved. The full season is available on A&E online:
Watch The Killing Season Season 1 Online | A&E
Catch up on season 1 of The Killing Season, only on A&E’. Get exclusive videos, pictures, bios and check out more of your favorite moments from seasons past.
The four-year documentary filming endeavor was sparked by Zeman’s and Mills’ interest in finding out about the Long Island Serial Killer, an unknown suspect believed to have killed at least 10 women whose remains were found between December 2010 and April 2011. The series began with two episodes aired Sept. 12.
But this Saturday, the focus turns to the four women found dead in a drainage ditch behind a since-razed motel along the Black Horse Pike in Egg Harbor Township’s West Atlantic City section. The episodes air just one day before the 10-year anniversary of when’s the bodies were found.
It touches on how frustratingly tight-lipped the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office is, the statistics that show the risks of being a sex worker, and even a possible kill spot between Atlantic City — where the women were known to live and work — and the marsh behind the Golden Key Motel.
The only known person whose DNA was taken in the investigation was a handyman who stayed at the motel. Terry Oleson — who was never publicly accused nor cleared in the case — also appears in the series, taking the pair on a dark, flashlight-lit tour of the Golden Key shortly before it was demolished, and even pushes down a door in targeted Room 101 that led to the outside, close to where Kim Raffo’s body was found.
Retired investigator believes West A.C. killings will be solved – BreakingAC
It just takes one piece of evidence. Sunday marks a decade with no resolution in the killings of four women found dead in a drainage ditch behind a swath of cheap motels along the Black Horse Pike. But at least one of the original investigators involves believes it will be solved. “It only takes that … Read more
The discovery of 35-year-old Raffo’s remains Nov. 20, 2006, led to three more bodies: Barbara Breidor, 42; Tracy Roberts, 23, and Molly Dilts, 20.
Jeremiah Dilts was just a few months old when his mother was found dead. Believed to be the first victim killed about a month before the bodies were found, hers and Breidor’s remains were too badly decomposed for the medical examiner to determine a cause of death. Kim Raffo, 35, had been strangled and Tracy Ann Roberts, 23, asphyxiated.
Molly’s father, Verner Dilts, spoke with Zeman and Mills for “The Killing Season.”
During the phone call, he suddenly reveals he’s not alone.
“I got her little boy sitting in front of me, listening to everything,” he says.
The pair is visibly taken aback by the news.
Mills is seen wiping her eyes at one point during the conversation.
“Those are the kind of calls that make you realize that everything you’re doing has value, especially in this case, where there’s so much tragedy,” Zeman said in a telephone interview with BreakingAC.
The series asks the question of whether the killings were related to those on Long Island as well as four in Daytona Beach. But rather than have a firm answer, they look at all the possibilities and hope, instead, to shed light on these cases and get answers for the families.
It also briefly looks at another unsolved local case: Joyce Vanderhoff, a 25-year-old woman whose naked body was dumped on the side of the road in Hamilton Township on Feb. 14, 2014.
“There are other women, other parents contacting us begging for help,” Zeman said.
Maybe, “The Killing Season” will be that.
The investigation remains open with the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office. Anyone who may have information is asked to call 609-909-7666 or by filling out the anonymous online tip form.
(Note from BreakingAC: This story was originally posted Nov. 18, 2016.)