This week Married with Secrets spotlights ‘Killer Cop’ and suspected serial killer Gerard John Schaefer, who brought darkness and murder to the Sunshine State.
Schaefer was a Sheriff’s Deputy in Martin County, Florida, through the late 1960s and early 1970s, where he lived with his wife. He first came to attention of his superiors on July 21, 1972, when he abducted two teenage girls and took them to some woods. There he threatened to kill them or prostitute them, before being called away by an alert on his police radio. Luckily the girls managed to escaoe and went to the nearest police station, which happened to be the one Schaefer operated out of.
He tried to explain the kidnapping away as a lesson he was teaching the girls about being careful whilst out walking but his bosses did not believe him and he was charged.
After being released on bail Schaefer went on to abduct, torture, murder and then dismember 17-year-old Susan Place and 16-year-old Georgia Jessup.
However, it was six months before their bodies were found and the manner of their death led police to suspect Schaefer, who’d treated the girls who escaped in a similar manner. When they searched where he was staying they found personal effects from at least eight missing women and various stories and diaries he’d written. The stories were vivid tales of murder and rape and together with the items led to him being charged.
In the fall of 1973 he was found guilty of the two murders and sentenced to two life sentences, he was killed by a fellow inmate in 1995.
His death left the families of other missing women and girls with no closure over whether he killed them as well, with detectives theorising he might have been responsible for killing dozens.
Married with Secrets airs on Fridays at 9:00 PM on Investigation Discovery.