JERRY BRUDOS, SERIAL KILLER

By Tim Lambert

Jerry Brudos was a serial killer in Oregon, USA in the 1960s. He is sometimes called the lust killer. Brudos was born in South Dakota on 31 January 1939. His mother wanted a girl and she resented Jerry. Brudos also had a shoe fetish. It is supposed to have begun when he found some women's shoes on a dump when he was a child. His mother took the shoes away from him and afterwards he developed a fascination with women's footwear. Later he also stole women's underwear. At the age of 17 Jerry Brudos forced a young woman to remove her clothes at knife point. Afterwards he spent 9 months in a psychiatric ward in Oregon State Hospital but he was allowed to go to school during the day.

Jerry Brudos graduated from high school and he joined the army in 1959 but he was discharged. Later he became an electronics technician. In 1961 he married a woman named Ralphine and the couple lived in Portland, Oregon. However Jerry Brudos kept stealing women's underwear and he still had an obsession with women's shoes. In 1967 he followed a woman home. Brudos strangled her until she was unconscious. He then raped her and stole her shoes.

Jerry Brudos committed his first murder on 26 January 1968. Linda Slawson was a 19 year old encyclopedia salesperson. She sold them door to door. Unfortunately she had the misfortune to go to the house where Brudos lived. Brudos knocked her out then strangled her. He cut off one of her feet and put shoes on it. He then dumped the body in the Willamette River. It was never found.

Later Jerry and Ralphine Brudos moved to Salem. On 25 November 1968 a 23 year old woman named Jan Whitney was driving when her car broke down. Brudos offered to help but he strangled the woman in his car. He took the body home and had sex with it. He also cut off one of the victim's breasts. Later Brudos dumped the body in the Willamette River. Then on 27 March 1969 Jerry Brudos abducted and strangled a 19 year old student named Karen Sprinker. This time Brudos cut off both the victim's breasts and he dumped the body in the Long Tom River. In April 1969 Jerry Brudos abducted a 23 year old woman named Linda Salee. Once again he strangled the woman. He dumped her body in the Long Tom River.

On 10 May 1969 police found the body of Linda Salee in the Long Tom River. The body had been tied to a car part with an unusual knot. Two days later they discovered the body of Karen Sprinker. Once again the body had also been tied with an unusual knot. After speaking to fellow students of Karen Sprinker police learned that a man had made phone calls to some of the girls asking to meet them. One young woman had been on a date with him. The police asked her to let them know immediately if the man called again and to arrange to meet him in the dormitory. Jerry Brudos did call again and the police were waiting when he came to meet the student. When they searched his home they found a wealth of evidence to link him to 3 of the victims. Jerry Brudos was tried for the murder of 3 women. (He was not charged with the murder of Linda Slawson due to a lack of evidence). Jerry Brudos was found guilty and he was sentenced to life imprisonment. Brudos died in prison of natural causes on 28 March 2006.

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