Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods
Serial Killers Killed in Prison
Gerard John Schaefer
Gerard John Schaefer
Gerard John Schaefer (left) was a Florida serial killer, who as a teen became a peeping tom, masturbated in women's panties, and enjoyed hurting himself in the woods. In his own words, "I'd tie myself up to a tree, struggle to get free, and I'd get excited sexually and do something to hurt myself." Soon the violent images turned outward, and he fantasized about hurting other people, "women in particular." In fact, women started disappearing around Schaefer as early as 1969. Authorities would ultimately connect Schaefer to 30 missing women and girls in the area. In 1972, Schaefer, 25, was a police officer when he abducted two teens, and took them to the woods, when duty called and he had to leave. He cuffed their hands, and almost hanged them, tying nooses around their necks, and leaving them to balance on tree roots to stay alive. When he returned they were gone. He radioed his boss and confessed, saying he had done "a foolish thing." He was arrested for abducting and assaulting the girls, and served six months in a work-release program.

In the end Schaefer was convicted of two murders: Susan Place and Georgia Jessup, hitchhikers treated much the same way that his two surviving victims from 1972 had been. From prison Schaefer appealed his convictions, 19 times, filed several frivolous lawsuits against writers that he thought portrayed him negatively, and discussed the finer points of murder with Ted Bundy and Otis Toole. A puppet master of sorts, he was a jailhouse lawyer, he told America's Most Wanted that he could find Adam Walsh's body, and he even advertised as a dominatrix on several BDSM web sites. His fun ended abruptly on Sunday, December 3, 1995, when prison guards found him in his cell with his throat slashed, stabbed 42 times around the head and neck. There was a bloody handprint on the wall. Inmate Vincent Faustino Rivera, 33, (right) was convicted of killing Schaefer over a cup of water. Rivera never confessed, but insisted that the bloody hand print belonged to a third, unknown person, some say, sent by Otis Toole, as payback for talking about Adam Walsh.
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