Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Fetish Killer

A Break in the Case

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The detectives who questioned the students at OSU learned that some female students had recently complained about getting strange calls from a man trying to lure them out. There were also reports of a suspicious red-haired man, somewhat pudgy, loitering around campus. Detectives discovered one young woman who had actually ventured out on a brief date with a man claiming to be a lonely Vietnam veteran looking for company. That sounded promising. Ann Rule provides the details.

This girl had no intention of seeing the man again, having found him to be a bit disconcerting (and mentioned that he had wanted to discuss the discovery of bodies in the river), but the detectives asked her to contact them should he call again. The fact that he'd actually asked her why she wasn't afraid he might strangle her alerted them to his aberrant curiosity. In addition, her description of a tall man with light-colored hair and a lot of freckles was similar to those offered by women who'd nearly been abducted in recent days. They fervently hoped he would contact this young woman again. To her surprise, he did, so she set a date for an hour hence and then phoned the police.

Jerry Brudos

They went to the designated meeting place and spotted a tall, pudgy man enter. Approaching him, they learned that his name was Jerry Brudos. While they believed he was a viable suspect, he seemed completely at ease, as if he had nothing to hide. That meant he was either innocent or clever, arrogant, and without remorse for what he might be doing. They had nothing with which to detain him, but they kept him under surveillance. Having learned where he lived in the area, along with the rather significant fact that he'd worked as an electrician, they set out to research his background.

Within five days, as the coincidences piled up, they arrested Brudos.

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