CW: rape, murder, serial murder, and graphic descriptions of necrophilia and amputation of body parts
I feel like my list of content warnings really set the tone for this, didn’t it? But, really, Ann Rule does it again. This is the third book that I’ve read by her and, somehow, she manages to blow me away with each one.
This book covers a serial killer that I had never really heard of. At least, he wasn’t as high profile as Ted Bundy or Jeffrey Dahmer or John Wayne Gacy. His body count is relatively small and what he did isn’t as terrifying as the other men.
I first heard of Jerry Brudos when I watched Mindhunter. He’s the guy who’s in one episode who jerks off to the shoe they bring him. Remember now? That’s Jerry Brudos. In the show, he’s kind of treated like an idiot, like his crimes weren’t that bad when you compare them to Ed Kemper or Richard Speck.
But, Jerry Brudos killed four women. He started off attacking a couple of women as a teenager, taking pictures of them as something to get off on later. Brudos went to an asylum for a few years, then went out to start a family. By all means, he seemed relatively normal.
Yet, he killed four women and tried to abduct another. One of them, he cut off her foot. Another couple, he cut off their breasts and made molds of them. I did warn you in the content warnings that this might be discussed in here.
I really just can’t believe that I’ve never heard of him. He is a serial killer that I know I’m never going to get out of my mind after reading it because he followed the typical trajectory of serial killers. Yet, he operated before “serial killer” was a coined term. He was in jail by the time the interviews were started at the BSU (Behavioral Science Unit; now the BAU) at the FBI.
I think it’s just interesting how history has forgotten him. Despite killing four women and mutilating their bodies post-mortem, he has been eclipsed by later serial killers that operated after they started getting noticed more and we started seeing them everywhere as a society. When I was reading this, he sounds like every other serial killer I’ve heard of, except that he had a foot fetish and that fetish escalated to new heights, then his fantasies about women evolved over the years.
If you’re into this topic, I really do suggest this book. I don’t think that it’s aged too well in some areas — public opinion has changed about biological males wearing women’s clothing, after all; people in drag is pretty damn accepted and celebrated, and it’s not seen as sexual deviancy to the same extent that it was — but the book is damn good. It covers a case that people just don’t hear about anymore.
Have you read this one?
Which serial killer do you wish was talked about more?