Friday, March 13, 2009

Jason's Journey: The Murderous Route

In the previous fuel analysis, I calculated fuel usage based on Jason's alibi of a business trip to Clintwood, Virginia, with stops that he is known to have made at the Cracker Barrel restaurant in Greensboro, North Carolina; the Hampton Inn in Hillsville, Virginia; and a fuel stop after the meeting at the Get-It Market in Duffield, Virginia. In this entry, I will make adjustments to the mileage to account for a roundtrip return to the Youngs' home at 5108 Birchleaf in Raleigh, North Carolina during the night that Michelle was murdered.

  • Handee Hugo #89 to Cracker Barrel: 84.9 miles

  • Cracker Barrel to Hillsville Hampton Inn: 88.5 miles

  • Hillsville Hampton Inn to 5108 Birchleaf: 172.7 miles

Again using the gas mileage specifications from , I came up with the following calculations:

  • Fuel usage: 346.1 miles @ 18 mpg = 19.2 gallons

So upon arriving back at the Raleigh home, Jason would have had only about 3.3 gallons of fuel remaining in his 22.5 gallon tank. At a useage rate of 18 mpg, that is enough fuel to travel an additional 59.4 miles.

A return trip from 5108 Birchleaf to the Hillsville Hampton Inn is a drive of 172.7 miles according to Windows Live Search. Without enough fuel to make it back to his hotel, Jason would have needed to fill up again during the night. Windows Live Search shows that it is approximately 59 miles from 5108 Birchleaf in Raleigh to the Amoco Food Shop on Huffman Mill Road in Burlington, North Carolina.

The drive from a fuel stop in Burlington to the Get-It Market in Duffield with stops at the Hillsville Hampton Inn and the Dickenson Community Hospital in Clintwood, Virginia, is 313.5 miles according to the map, with approximately 188.3 miles of that being on Interstate highways and the rest on two-lane highways through mountainous terrain.

  • 188.3 miles @ 18 mpg = 10.5 gallons

  • 125.2 miles @ 16 mpg = 7.8 gallons

    • Total fuel used after fill-up = 18.3 gallons

Therefore, if Jason returned to Raleigh to murder Michelle, he would have driven approximately 718.6 miles and burned approximately 40.8 gallons of gasoline -- about two full tanks in a 2004 Ford Explorer with a few gallons to spare. It will be interesting to find out exactly how many gallons of fuel he purchased at the Get-It Market on November 3.

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