Timothy Jay Vafeades, 56, has been sentenced to spend 20 years behind bars. The man who has become known as the “vampire trucker” has been kidnapping and abusing at least six women over a period of two decades.
The women were held in his truck, which he’d nicknamed the “Twilight Express,” after the popular books and movies. He would rape them on a daily basis, forbid them from talking to other people, and even controlled how and when they used the bathroom. He would alter the women’s appearances to match some ideal he held, attempting to make them all look the same. He would cut and dye their hair, and even grind down their teeth using a Dremel, allegedly trying to fix what he saw as flaws in their looks.
This week inside a Utah courtroom, the Salt Lake Tribune said only one of Vafeades’ six victims, spoke out publicly. She shared horrid details about the daily abuse she endured. She spoke of Vafeades’ vampire obsession, saying that he had a set of fangs that he would wear. He would also PhotoShop images of himself with coffins.
The woman, who is only known as “Victim B,” said she was sexually assaulted nearly every single day for three months straight. Along with the sexual violence, the Vafeades also beat her and choked her before she was eventually able to escape. She and the other five victims, according to prosecutors, were forced to sleep naked, shower only with Vafeades, and he took from them their cellphones and identifications.
The victim said, “I feel fortunate I can actually speak today,” the Tribune reports.
One of his victims was even a teenaged relative of his. One report says that he forced several victims to marry him. Even though charges were filed in only two cases, the trucker’s abuse of the six women spans 20 years, and the older cases are not able to be prosecuted anymore.
In the trucker’s defense, the fact that he was the product of his mother’s rape was brought up. The report says as a young child the defendant suffered a great deal of physical and verbal abuse from his parents and was never truly loved by either one of his parents, his mother, or his step-father. His abuse of his victims is seen at least partly as a result of his own family history.
Defense attorney Vanessa Ramos defended not just her client but acknowledged what the victims were put through as well. She said, “I think it’s clear everyone involved in this case is damaged.”
U.S. District Judge David Nuffer said, “The tragedies the victims have suffered are some of the worse things I’ve ever encountered.” Although he acknowledged Vafeades’ troubled childhood, he said, “There are no actions without consequences.”
Vafeades claims to regret his actions and wanted everyone in the courtroom to know how badly he feels for what he did to the victims, the New York Daily News adds. “I am sorry for my life. I am sorry for not recognizing myself and what a monster I am,” Vafeades stated.
The former big-rig driver was found guilty of two charges of transporting a person across state lines with the intent to engage in illegal sexual activity and one count of transporting child pornography, reports say. Prosector Trina Higgins acknowledged that the 20-year sentence could be seen as light for his offenses. She explained that the plea deal spared the traumatized victims the necessity of testifying, and also that even with a trial, the maximum sentence would have been 25 years. Once Vafeades is released from prison, he will remain on supervised release for the rest of his life.
Main photo: Timothy Vafeades [Davis County Jail]