Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Gary Heidnik: To Hell and Back

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Ten days later, Heidnik returned from one of his trips with another woman named Deborah Dudley, who at twenty-three, was not about to allow Heidnik to control her without a fight. From the time he had chained her with the others she began to question his authority at every opportunity, which generally earned her nothing more than a savage beating. Her arrival also created tension among the others, as whenever she disobeyed, Heidnik would punish them as well. Beatings became a regular event with Heidnik often appointing one of the girls to be in charge while he was out. When he returned he expected that person to tell him if the others had misbehaved. If they had, he would order the girl in charge to beat the others accordingly. If there were no infractions to report or if the beatings weren't severe enough, he would beat them all. During this time, the worldly Josefina began to win his confidence by displaying a level of loyalty and obedience that convinced Heidnik that she actually enjoyed being one of his "wives."

His sexual appetite also changed with the arrival of Deborah when, apart from having intercourse with all of them on a daily basis, he would often force them to have sex with each other while he watched. While personal hygiene did not seem to be a priority for Heidnik, he later provided a portable toilet for his captives and "baby wipes" to wash their bodies. Some time later he allowed the girls to have a bath after which he would force them to have sex.

The amount and type of food that he provided seemed to change according to his mood. Some days he would give the girls only bread and water. The following day it would be stale hot dogs or a peanut butter sandwich. He finally solved the problem by giving the girls canned dog food and beating them until they ate it.

On January 18, Heidnik went out again and returned with another girl. He had picked up a tiny eighteen-year-old named Jacqueline on the north side of the city and brought her back to the house. As before, he raped her and dragged her to the basement but when it came time for the chaining, he found that the shackles were too big for her tiny ankles and used handcuffs instead. Later that day, he bought everyone Chinese food and as an added surprise, a bottle of champagne. The occasion was the twenty-sixth birthday of the woman that was fast becoming his favorite — Josefina.

Josefina would later reveal that Heidnik was in good spirits because he had the idea that she and Sandra Lindsay had become pregnant by him when this was not the case.


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