Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Gary Krist: The Einstein of Crime

Back East

He fled with his wife and infant son to Boston, where he grew a beard to conceal his features and assumed a new identity as George Deacon.

He landed a $7,500-a-year job as a research assistant at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology by answering a want ad. For 18 months, he and Carmen led a conventional lifestylehis fugitive status notwithstanding.

They lived in a trailer park in Norton, Mass., outside of Boston, and had a second son, Adam.

At work, Krist earned a reputation for picking up information quickly. He could read a basic primer on cryogenics or some other obscure facet of physics and manage to have intelligent discussions about the subject with MIT professors who had dedicated entire careers to the specialization.

But he could also be obnoxious, crowing about his stratospheric IQ or conjuring fantastic tales about his alleged accomplishments.

Conflicts arose that made Krist nervous about being discovered as an escaped felon. Through an MIT mentor, he moved on in the summer of 1968 to the University of Miami's Institute for Marine Researchstill under the name George Deacon.

He and his family rented a mobile home at the Al-Ril Trailer Court on Northwest 14th Avenue in Miami.

At a salary of $8,500 a year, Krist became a marine technician on the institute's small fleet of research boats.

In September 1968, he was a boat hand on a two-week research trip to Bermuda by a group of graduate students. During the trip, he began an affair with Ruth Eisemann Schier, 26, a bright, petite and pretty grad student from Honduras. Her parents were Austrian Jews who fled to Central America to avoid Nazi persecution.

Krist, a burly 6-footer, towered over the 5-foot-2 Eisemann. But Eisemann, who was described as "sweet and charming," could hold her own with the overbearing Krist.

She spoke Spanish, German, English and French, and she had a quick smile and a European flair.

To Krist, the hot-blooded Eisemann was the antidote to a sex life with Carmen that had gone stale after the births of their two sons. To Krist's delight, Eisemann was willing to experiment in the bedroom. Among other things, they enjoyed taking risqué Polaroids of one another.

Three weeks before Christmas, Krist informed his wife that he no longer loved her. She packed up and moved back to Redwood City with the children.

Carmen Krist later told reporters she bore no grudge against Krist. She wasn't surprised about his mistress because he often lobbied his wife to allow him to lead a sexually "open" lifestyle. But she wasn't into it. 

"Gary doesn't want to lead a mediocre life," she said. "He wants to be remembered."

Eisemann enthusiastically took her place in Krist's trailer.

He soon let her in on his get-rich-quick kidnap plan. They would take the $500,000 ransom and flee to Europe, he told her, where they would live happily ever after.

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