David Meirhofer

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David Meirhofer
Background information
Birth nameDavid G. Meirhofer
Born(1949-06-08)June 8, 1949
Manhattan, Montana[1]
DiedSeptember 29, 1974(1974-09-29) (aged 25)
Cause of deathsuicide
Killings
Number of victims4
CountryUSA
State(s)Montana
Date apprehended1974
 
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David Meirhofer
Background information
Birth nameDavid G. Meirhofer
Born(1949-06-08)June 8, 1949
Manhattan, Montana[1]
DiedSeptember 29, 1974(1974-09-29) (aged 25)
Cause of deathsuicide
Killings
Number of victims4
CountryUSA
State(s)Montana
Date apprehended1974

David G. Meirhofer (June 8, 1949 – September 29, 1974)[2] was an American serial killer who committed four murders in rural Montana between 1967 and 1974 — three of them children. At the time, the Federal Bureau of Investigation was developing a new method of tracking killers called offender profiling, and Meirhofer was the first serial killer to be caught using the technique.[3] Offender profiling is a method used to learn clues about the characteristics of an unknown killer from evidence at the scene of the crime.[4][dead link]

Crimes[edit source | edit]

Among Meirhofer's victims was seven-year-old Susan Jaeger, who was taken from her tent at night during a family camping trip. He left no ransom request[5] and no physical evidence.[6] However, the offender profiling technique, which was first used in this case, was employed about a year after the kidnapping. The technique led investigators to suspect that the kidnapper was a young, white male who killed for sexual gratification and may have kept body parts of victims as "souvenirs". Further, they believed that the killer may have been arrested for other crimes.[4]

Meirhofer was 23 years old at the time and suspected in another murder. He denied the charges.[4] Meirhofer placed a telephone call to Marietta Jaeger, the mother of Susan Jaeger, exactly a year after the kidnapping, and she obtained enough information to help the FBI track him down.[7]

Meirhofer had killed Suzie Jaeger, two boys, and a woman.[6] In September 1974, he confessed to having kidnapped the woman, Sandra Dykman Smallegan, in her sleep during February of that same year.[1] Smallegan had once dated Meirhofer, but had ended the relationship.[1]

Death[edit source | edit]

On September 29, 1974, Meirhofer committed suicide by hanging himself in his cell in the Gallatin County, Montana jail, four hours after confessing to the murders.[1]

Victims[edit source | edit]

References[edit source | edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Sullivan, Ted. October 12, 2005. Personal Items Belonging to 1974 Murder Victim Found in Manhattan (Mont). Bozeman Daily Chronicle. Retrieved 2011-12-12.
  2. ^ David G. Meirhofer at findagrave.com. Retrieved 2011-12-12.
  3. ^ Wilson, Colin. (2007) Serial Killer Investigations, at scribd.com, Summersdale Publishers Ltd., p.32 Retrieved 2011-12-14.
  4. ^ a b c Garrido Genoves, Vincente. 2007. El perfil Criminologico como un tecnico forense (in Spanish). University of Valencia. Retrieved on June 30, 2007.[dead link]
  5. ^ The History Channel Classroom Study Guides: Meirhofer Retrieved on June 28, 2007.[dead link]
  6. ^ a b Ramsland, Katherine. "Criminal Profiling: Part 1: History and Method, Chpt 5: The BSU". CourtTV Crime Library (2007). TBS, Inc. Retrieved 2011-12-12.
  7. ^ Forgiving.org. 2005. An account of the experience of Marietta Jaeger, the mother of Susan Jaeger. Retrieved on June 30, 2007.[dead link]
  8. ^ Montana State Death Index 1960-1969 – P at rootsweb.ancestry.com. Retrieved 2011-12-12.
  9. ^ Montana State Death Index 1960-1969 – R at rootsweb.ancestry.com. Retrieved 2011-12-12.
  10. ^ Kidnapping Suspect is Arrested" Farmington (MI) Observer & Eccentric, September 30, 1974. Retrieved 2011-12-12.
  11. ^ Associated Press, October 2, 1974. "Transcript of Confession Portrays a 'Mindless Monster'", The Argus-Press, Owosso, Michigan. Retrieved 2011-12-12.
  12. ^ Montana State Death Index 1970-1979 – S at rootsweb.ancestry.com. Retrieved 2011-12-12.
  13. ^ Huff, David. September 23, 2008. "Her Name was Siobhan" TrueCrimeReport.com. Retrieved 2011-12-12.