Home > Attacked Truckers, Trucker Murders > Cold Case: Godfather-to-be killed at truck stop, Rocky Cavicchioni

Cold Case: Godfather-to-be killed at truck stop, Rocky Cavicchioni

It was early on a Saturday morning and trucker Rocky Cavicchioni was eager to get to Tucson when he pulled off the highway near Eloy for a cup of coffee.

The trip home was going to be special. His niece was to be baptized the next day and he was going to be the godfather.

It was about 4:15 a.m. April 12, 1980, when Cavicchioni, 25, walked back to his rig parked behind the Cardon Truck Stop. An attendant heard a gunshot and minutes later Cavicchioni staggered to the front of the building, where he collapsed. He was pronounced dead at a hospital in Casa Grande.

His wallet and his truckload of electronics equipment were untouched.


After the shooting, police questioned a hitchhiker found about a half-mile from the truck stop. Though police failed to link the hitchhiker to Cavicchioni’s shooting, the man was arrested on an outstanding warrant for assaulting a police officer in New Jersey.

Investigators in the Eloy Police Department did not provide any new information.

In their own words

Cavicchioni was a former pitcher for the Rincon High Rangers who enjoyed reading and riding his Harley Davidson Shovelhead motorcycle, said his stepbrother, Dan Cavicchioni. Rocky was a boy when his father died. He adopted his stepfather’s surname when his mother remarried.

After graduating from high school, Rocky went to work for his stepbrother.

“He was out of school and he kind of didn’t know which way to go,” Dan Cavicchioni said. “I had a trucking business and he rode with me for a while and learned the business.”

Life on the road suited Rocky, who eventually bought his own rig. He had been driving his own rig for about a year when he was killed on the way to the baptism of Dan’s daughter.

“Rocky was a really easygoing guy and he got along with everybody to a point, but if you came along to challenge him, he’d stand up,” Dan Cavicchioni said. “I could see, if somebody came at him with a gun, he’d stand up. I think it was a simple robbery.”

About the series

The Star will feature some of the Tucson-area violent crimes that remain unsolved.

Anyone with information is urged to call 88-CRIME. Tips also can be submitted online at http://www.88crime .org; or by text message at 274637, then enter tip259 plus your text message.

Contact reporter Kimberly Matas at kmatas@azstarnet .com or at 573-4191 if you have been a victim of an unsolved crime or if you’re related to a victim.


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