Many serial killers have fixations; some with disturbing and carnal things. Jerome Brudos was a killer who couldn’t get rid of his dark thoughts, and instead acted upon them, leaving bodies in his wake.

Jerome Brudos / Picture Credit: The Casual Criminalist on YouTube

Jerome Brudos / Picture Credit: The Casual Criminalist on YouTube

Who was Jerome Brudos?

Jerome Brudos began his life of crime at just 17 years old, when he abducted and beat a young woman. This escalated into the killings of four women; he kept trophies from his victims and supposedly dressed in their clothes.

Early years

Jerome Henry Brudos was born on January 31st, 1939, in South Dakota. Known as ‘The Lust Killer’, he is known for killing several women in the Salem, Oregon area in the late 1960s.

His family moved around quite a bit when he was young, living in Oregon, California (CA), and South Dakota. He was the youngest of two boys, and had an arduous relationship with his controlling mother.

When he was five, Brudos found a pair of high heels in a junkyard; this would signify the start of his strange fascination with women’s footwear.

Upon witnessing her son wearing the heels, Brudos’ mother took them and destroyed them. However, this did nothing to impede his fetish, and he began stealing underwear from the homes of neighbours.

The older Brudos got, the more his dark fantasy developed, which included violence against women. Unfortunately, he began to act on these disturbing thoughts.

Violent fetishes

At the age of 17, Brudos threatened a teenage girl with a knife, forcing her to undress; he then took photos of her naked body.

Some reports indicate that he also beat her, while others suggest he assaulted another woman who had rejected him.

As punishment for these actions, he spent some time on Oregon State Hospital’s psychiatric ward, but was still able to attend school every day...

After high school, Brudos became an electronics technician. Some accounts say that he spent time in the military, but his obsessions led to him getting discharged.

When he was round 22 years old, he (somewhat surprisingly) got married and moves to Portland, Oregon; Brudos and his wife has two children.

Despite this seemingly pleasant and happy family life, Brudos still carried on with fixation, and would, again, sneak into homes to steam women’s underwear.

Brudos is believed to have attacked a woman in 1967; in May of that year, he targeted a woman whose shoes he liked, and followed her home.

After gaining access into her home, Brudos waited until she was asleep, then strangled her so she was unconscious, and raped her. When he left, he did so with some of his victim’s shoes.

Picture Credit: Pixabay
Picture Credit: Pixabay

In January, 1968, Linda Slawson paid a visit to Brudos’ home, she was a saleswoman trying to sell encyclopaedias. He pretended to be interested, but instead had deadly intentions.

Brudos later admitted to strangling Slawson to death; he kept her body for a while after, dressing it up in women’s underwear.

He removed one of her feet, and put heels on it that he had collected. Brudos later dumped her body in a river.

Killing spree

That November (1968), Jan Whitney was driving home when her car broke down. Brudos noticed, and stopped to offer his assistance.

However, he did nothing of the sort and instead, strangled Whitney to death in his car, and had sexual relations with her corpse.

Brudos brought her body to his workshop, dressed it and posed it for photos. As with Slawson, he decided to keep a part of his victim; this time, he took one of Whitney’s breasts.

The following year, in 1969, Brudos’ body count escalated.

He abducted a young University student called Karen Sprinker in March; he sexually assaulted her then strangled her to death. He removed both her breasts after her death.

Only four weeks later, Brudos claimed another victim. He kidnapped 22-year-old Linda Salee and brought her to his home. He disposed of her corpse in a river, as he did with the other bodies.

Some weeks later, Salee’s body was found in the Long Tom River; police searched the river and found Sprinker’s remains after a few days. Both bodies had been tied to a car part using an unusual knot with nylon rope.

Arrest, imprisonment, and death

Brudos was caught when he, after calling numerous students pretending he was a veteran looking for a date, was caught out. One student actually went out with him, but was creeped out by his comments.

Police asked this student to meet with him, and when Brudos showed up, he was met with police who considered him a prime suspect.

After someone he tried to abduct identified him, authorities were able to search his home. There, they found nylon rope and photos of Brudos’ victims.

During interrogation, Brudos admitted to the four murders, as well as several other assaults and attempted abductions.

Brudos eventually (after he was deemed sane) pled guilty to the murders of Salee, Sprinker and Whitney. Unfortunately, he wasn’t tried for Slawson’s murder as a body was never found.

He received three consecutive life sentences with possibility of parole. His wife divorced him in 1970, left the state with her children, and changed her name.

Jerome Brudos died of natural causes on March 28th, 2006, at the Oregon State Penitentiary Infirmary.

Written by Melissa, who you can follow on Twitter @melissajournal

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