Herb Baumeister (full name Herbert Robert Baumeister) was an American businessman and a suspected serial killer. In the early 1990s, Westfield, Indiana, resident Baumeister was being looked into for the murders of over a dozen men, most of whom were last seen in homosexual bars.
On Baumeister’s farm, police discovered the remains of eleven males, eight of whom were identified. Following the issuance of an arrest warrant for Baumeister, he committed suicide.
Later, he was connected to a string of homicides along Interstate 70 that occurred in the early to mid-1980s and included at least twelve persons.
Early Years of Herb Baumeister
The oldest of Herbert and Elizabeth Baumeister’s four children, Herbert Baumeister, was born in Indianapolis, Indiana.
He apparently had a typical upbringing, but by the time he reached adolescence, he started acting antisocially, playing with dead animals and peeing on a teacher’s desk. Despite having a schizophrenia diagnosis when he was a teenager, Baumeister did not pursue more psychiatric care.
Baumeister attended Indiana University for one semester in 1965 before quitting; he later attended again in 1967. He spent a semester at Butler University in 1972. As an adult, Baumeister hopped from job to job, exhibiting a strong work ethic and more strange conduct.
In November 1971, Baumeister wed Juliana “Julie” Saiter; they had three kids together. Later, Julie claimed that in their more than 25 years of marriage, they had only had six sexual encounters.
His wife said Baumeister was “hurting and needed care” when his father admitted him to a mental hospital in the 1970s.
In 1988, Baumeister opened the first of the popular Sav-A-Lot chain’s two Indianapolis locations.
Investigation into Murders
Early in the 1990s, detectives with the Marion County Sheriff’s Department and the Indianapolis Police Department started looking into the disappearances of gay men in the Indianapolis vicinity who were around the same age, height, and weight.
They were called in 1992 by Tony Harris, who claimed that a gay bargoer going by the name “Brian Smart” had murdered one of his friends and had tried to suffocate him to death with a pool hose. In August 1995, Harris eventually ran into this man again, followed his car, and took down his license plate number.
Police determined that “Brian Smart” was Herb Baumeister based on this information.
Baumeister was approached by investigators who informed him that he was a suspect in the disappearances and requested access to his home. Julie, Baumeister’s wife, and he both objected to a search of their property.
But by June 1996, Julie was so terrified of her husband’s unpredictable behavior that she agreed to a search after filing for divorce. While Baumeister was away, a search of the 18-acre (73,000 m2) Fox Hollow Farm property was carried out.
Eleven men’s remains were discovered, and eight of them could be recognized. John Lee Bayer, Richard Douglas Hamilton, Steven S. Hale, Allen Wayne Broussard, Jeffrey A. Jones, Manuel Resendez, Roger Allen Goodlet, and Michael Frederick Kiern were the eight victims whose identities could be verified.
With an arrest warrant out for him, Baumeister escaped to Ontario and shot himself in the head in Pinery Provincial Park on Lake Huron. He gave a note explaining why he killed himself, citing his failed marriage and business.
The murders of the men discovered in his backyard were not admitted to by him. Anyone with missing family members from the middle of the 1980s to the middle of the 1990s has been asked to take a DNA test by the Hamilton County Coroner’s Office to identify victim remains.
Death And Postmortem Inquiry
The bodies of twelve more men, whose bodies were discovered in the early to mid-1980s in rural regions along the Interstate 70 corridor between Indianapolis and Columbus, Ohio, would later be linked to Baumeister.
According to one eyewitness, Michael Riley, who was later discovered dead, was spotted leaving a bar in 1983 with Baumeister. Riley was strangled to death and left nude or partially nude in a river, just like the other victims.
Herbert Baumeister Documentary
In 1997, an episode of the Investigative Reports on A&E called The Secret Life of a Serial Killer featured Baumeister. The case was discussed in History’s Perfect Crimes series. Additionally, the case was covered on The Investigators on TruTV in 2008, Behind Mansion Walls on ID, Paranormal Witness on Syfy in 2012, and Ghost Adventures in May 2014.
The crimes and potential hauntings on the premises of Baumeister’s previous estate are also examined in the independent documentary The Haunting of Fox Hollow Farm.
In October 2015, ID highlighted the case once more on True Nightmares. On March 4, 2018, the Crime Junkie podcast published an episode on Baumeister.
On June 27, 2019, a two-part episode on the case was made available on the podcast Monster Presents: Insomniac. On October 14, 2020, an edition of the All-Things Comedy podcast Leyendas Legendarias from Mexico was aired, discussing the case.
During a live performance in Indianapolis, Georgia Hardstark covered the case for the podcast My Favorite Murder in episode 67, “Live at the Egyptian Room.” This episode is listed among the Top 10 My Favorite Murder episodes.
Next, read about the Mysterious Case of the Disappearance of Phobos 2 Spaceship, and then read the True Story of Ted Bundy, America’s Heartthrob Serial Killer!
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