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Reason First: Decisions and Chemicals- The Shoe Fetish Slayer

by Skyler Saunders about a year ago in guilty

Did Jerry Brudos commit his crimes because he was a head case?

Childhood trauma and mistreatment seem to cut like blades through the psyches of numerous killers, and Jerry Brudos was no exception. His mother dressed him up as a girl, because she was dissatisfied that he wasn’t born a girl. So by the age of five, Brudos had developed a fetish for women’s shoes.

He became sexually-aroused by the sight of a woman in high heels. He was once arrested for coercing a woman to undress and pose while he snapped photographs of her. After his arrest, Brudos spent nine months in a psychiatric hospital as punishment for his crime.

After a brief stint in the Army, he married seventeen-year-old Darcie Metzler with whom he had two children. Unfortunately for Darcie, his time in the hospital hadn’t cured Brudos of his compulsive desire to engage in coercive sexual abuse, and he would order her to prance around the house naked, but wearing high-heels, while he played amateur photographer.

At some point in the winter of 1968, Brudos transitioned from forcing women to disrobe to cold-blooded, brutal murder. From that winter to the spring of 1969, Brudos raped, bludgeoned, strangled, and mutilated four young women in Portland, Oregon. He amputated one woman's left foot and kept it in his freezer to use in modelling women’s shoes.

Thankfully, Brudos was captured, convicted, and sentenced to three consecutive life sentences. He died in prison at the age of 67.

This horrific trail of blood and body parts might have been prevented had Brudos sought further medical attention after his nine-month psychiatric sentence ended. Neither his childhood abuse nor what turned out to be a genetic disposition to schizophrenia excuse his decision to indulge in his macabre obsessions.

His decision to end lives and defile the corpses of his victims eliminated any chance he may have had to ease his own psychiatric suffering. All he had to do was seek treatment for his migraines and blackouts himself, but instead he chose to snuff out the lives of four innocent women instead.

Brudos was ultimately diagnosed in prison, and today’s medical professionals and criminologists are able to spot the early signs of schizophrenia in criminals, before they escalate to murder, but there’s still the element of choice.

Even Brudos had to be caught the first time before he ended up in the care of doctors where he belonged. This remains true because had first experienced a mental hospital. In such a case, he would have needed the proper way addressing his psychopathy. He possessed in his mind the evil that presented itself because he alone allowed it. Choices led to his disintegration of morals, ethics, and values. He tossed out everything that was right based on feelings. His emotionalism caused death and destruction throughout his adult life.

The inclination of a killer is to feed the beast within, regardless of what others might think or do. Brudos did nothing to combat that impulse, but millions of people live with schizophrenia every day, and they don’t do the things he did, or anything even close.

So it’s ultimately up to the free will of the individual to choose to overcome traumatic childhood, or pursue treatment for severe headaches, blackouts or other chemical imbalances in the brain. Had Brudos made just one rational decision, he might have lived a normal life with his wife and children.

Brudos was a victim of an uncaring mother and a disordered brain, but to excuse his crimes on that basis would be to suggest others do the same. His terrifying behavior should serve as an example to help identify homicidal maniacs before they get to that point.


About the author

Skyler Saunders

I am a forever young, ego-driven, radical hipster from Delaware. Investor. Objectivist for life. Instagram: @skylerized


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