Who Was Robbin Lewis Slaughter
Robbin Lewis Slaughter was born to Dorothy ‘Dot’ Slaughter and William J. Slaughter in Owensboro, KY in the predominately black West End neighborhood. By all accounts, Slaughter––who was 36-years-old at the time of his disappearance––was a bit of a homebody. Slaughter kept his social circle small and hardly ventured outside the 5 or 6 places he visited often in town. He didn’t drive and usually got around town on foot––even his workplace was 1.3 miles (less than a 30-minute walk) from his house.
He didn’t drink, gamble, or go out on the town. Slaughter’s colleagues at the Owensboro Public Works Department characterized the 16-year-veteran clean-up crew member as a diligent and hard worker who was never late or skipped a day of work. Rudd Slaughter, Robbin’s older brother, was also employed by the department as a sanitation truck driver and the pair would sometimes work jointly.
Slaughter was decent worker
“Robert was a decent worker. He’s very reliable,” said Cissy Gregson, director of Owensboro’s sanitation department. “He’s easygoing. He wouldn’t get in a conflict with anybody.”
Slaughter was incredibly close with his family. “Even though he was grown, he resided with my mother until a couple of months before he was wedded,” Slaughter’s sister Kitty Board said. Dot even had power of attorney over her son’s finances up until he wedded Lucinda.
“He was a delightful and lovable person, but he required looking after,” Board said.
Robbin Slaughter wedded his childhood friend Lucinda in 1991 after a whirlwind romance. The couple went out a few times when Lucinda was 15, although the two didn’t start dating seriously until 12 years later when they reconnected at church. After Lucinda was critically injured in a car accident in 1990, Robbin visited her regularly during the two months she was in the hospital. Lucinda says Robbin’s regular visits persuaded her of his caring nature and she began to see him as a likely father figure for her two daughters.
Robbin’s family was wary of his budding romance and felt the couple was moving too quickly. Both Slaughter’s brother and mum said they glimpsed a change in his attitude after the marriage. Slaughter used to love to listen to music and sports but “he cut back when he got married” according to Rudd.
“Slaughter changed,” his brother remembered. “He wouldn’t come out as often. He settled down, just went to work and church.” Slaughter’s mum reported that after his marriage to Lucinda, he didn’t visit as often (he used to visit her once a month).
His sister told that even after the wedding her family never accepted her brother’s wife and stepdaughters and that there was a mutual agreement that “we don’t dispute each other’s lives.” Lucinda herself readily confessed that Slaughter’s family didn’t get along with her, although she contends that she reconciled with Slaughter’s mum in the years following Robbin’s disappearance.
Slaughter was the polar opposite of someone who would run away to begin a new life.
“Robert never went on any trips without family,” said Slaughter’s sister, Kitty Board. “He didn’t stay away from home… He never ventured out of his comfort zone. If you would say, ‘Where’s Robbin?’ there were five or six places he could be.”
When Slaughter disappeared on the evening of Saturday, November 14, 1993, it was a surprise.
“He’d not been out of state and very rarely out of town,” Board said. “He’s not the kind of person who would scheme to leave.”
Slaughter’s wife Lucinda said to police that that evening, at around 9 pm, her spouse left their home at 2714 West 10th Street. He went on a walk to Franey’s Food Mart which was a trip he made often. It was an unseasonably warm day for mid-November, with a high near 75 degrees. At night, nonetheless, the temperature dropped as a line of evening thunderstorms moved through the region. So Slaughter chose to put his gray and blue sweater on over his athletic shirt. He was also wearing a pair of blue jeans and white tennis shoes.
Lucinda told that Slaughter let her know that he would be back in around 40 to 45 minutes. She told the police that her husband was not agitated when he left the home. And did not notice anything unusual about his behavior.
The convenience store was less than a 15-minute walk from Slaughter’s house. So it made a precise destination for an evening walk. Of the two apparent paths he could have taken, both went through quiet, tree-lined streets dotted with small single-family houses. Franey’s is located at the intersection of Cravens Avenue and Carter Road on the far west end of town. The southwest corner of this intersection marks the outset of a huge expanse of farmland and open fields. On this night, nonetheless, Slaughter never made it inside the store.
The following morning at around 9 or 9:30 am Lucinda Slaughter knocked on Board’s door, asking as to whether Board had glimpsed her brother. When Board said that she hadn’t, Slaughter reported her husband missing.
Being a small, locally-owned chain, the cashier at Franey’s was aware with Slaughter as he was a regular client. Connie Carlisle, the cashier working on the night of Slaughter’s disappearance, told police that Slaughter never reached the store that evening, something which a review of surveillance footage from inside the store confirmed. One observer placed him in the parking lot at Franey’s but this report was never substantiated.
“A (teenage) boy spoken with him in the parking lot, but he (Slaughter) never came in,” Carlisle later told a reporter. According to Carlisle, Slaughter and this boy “were friends.” The police chatted to the teenager Slaughter was last noticed with but the boy refuted talking with Slaughter and said he had only noticed him in the parking lot.
His mum and siblings shortly cast doubt on the idea that Slaughter chose to disappear––he was incredibly close with his family and would never abandon them. Sgt. Michael Walker of the Owensboro Police Department’s criminal investigations bureau concurred with the family’s assessment, asserting that “there were no unusual situations that stood out as to why he would match the profile of someone who would want to get away from it all.” The police did not discover anything in Slaughter’s background that demonstrated he had any reason to vanish.
“He had family here,” Sgt. Walker said. “There were no considerable problems he was facing that would urge him to take off without a word to anyone.”
Slaughter did not have any financial difficulties or known foe that might have led him to abandon his quiet life in Owensboro. Both Lucinda and Slaughter’s family told him that he was pleased in the marriage and cared deeply for his stepdaughters.
Even if Slaughter wished to leave Owensboro and begin a new life elsewhere, he would need to either get a ride from someone or take public transportation because he didn’t have a car. A year and a half before Slaughter’s disappearance a new bus terminal opened at 1216 E. 2nd Street with daily service to Evansville and Henderson. The terminal is almost over a 3-mile walk from the Franey’s Food Mart where Slaughter was last noticed and would take him approximately an hour to travel there on foot. Besides, various of Slaughter’s relatives lived close by.
At the same time, there was no information a crime had taken place. Yet police glimpse no other likelihood aside from foul play.