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The Killer Cop: How Gerard Schaefer Escaped Justice for Decades( Part 1)

Inside the story of Gerard Schaefer

By Rare StoriesPublished 2 months ago 3 min read

You will wonder how a man so innocent-looking be so mean.

He was a master of deception, a chameleon who could blend in with any crowd. He was a cop, a husband, a brother, a son. He was a sadist, a butcher. Gerard Schaefer for decades evaded justice for his horrific crimes.

Gerard was given several nicknames which included Killer Cop, the Hangman, and the Butcher of Blind Creek

The Beginning

Gerard John Schaefer Jr. was born on March 25, 1946, in Wisconsin, USA. He was the first of three children born to Gerard and Doris Schaefer, who had a troubled and turbulent marriage. He moved with his family to different states, including Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida, where he attended high school. He had a difficult relationship with his father, who was an alcoholic and verbally abusive, and a close bond with his mother, who was very protective of him.

He then pursued a career in law enforcement, becoming a sheriff’s deputy in Martin County, Florida, in 1972. Before this, he had been married and divorced. He had also worked as a teacher, but he was dismissed for misconduct- he was adamant and didn't take orders from his superiors.

Schaefer began working as a deputy with the Martin County Sheriff's Department on June 23, 1972.

The Crimes of Gerard Schaefer

The exact number of Schaefer's victims is unknown, but some records state he is suspected of having committed up to 26 murders.

When Gerard Schaefer was asked about the number of his victims, part of his response included ".....One whore drowned in her own vomit while watching me disembowel her girlfriend. I’m not sure if that counts as a valid kill. Do the pregnant ones count as 2 kills? It can get confusing."

Gerard John Schaefer

On July 21, 1972, Schaefer was on duty when he came across two girls who were hitchhiking, Nancy Trotter and Paula Wells. He drove them to their destination, established rapport with them, and promised to meet them the following day to take them to their next destination.

The following day he drove them to a remote forest, where he tied them to trees with nooses around their necks and left them to die. He decided to leave them temporarily to answer a radio call. The girls managed to escape and report him to the police.

Once he learned that his prisoner had escaped, Scaefer called his superiors to report he had done something stupid. He claimed he saw two girls who were hitchhiking and decided to teach them the dangers of hitchhiking by scaring them, but he feared he had been too harsh with the girls.

Nancy Trotter recreated this to show how she was bound.

Nancy Trotter and Paula Wells made their reports and Schaefer was dismissed from the office, and charged with the abduction of the girls but was released after he posted a $15,000 bail.

On September 27, 1972, Schaefer met two other girls, Susan Carol Place (17) and Georgia Marie Jessup (16). He introduced himself as Jerry Shepherd.

On September 27, 1972, Schaefer met two other girls, he introduced himself as Jerry Shepherd. They all met at an adult education center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Susan Place (left), and Georgia Jessup

Later that night, the girls went with Schaefer to Susan Carol's home where the girls introduced Schaefer as Jerry. Place's mother, Lucile was reluctant, and against allowing the girls to go out with a stranger, but she gave and allowed them to leave. However, she memorized the plate number on Schaefer's car.

Four days later, the girls were reported missing.

In December 1972, Schaefer was tried for the abduction of Trotter and Wells. He pleaded guilty to one charge of aggravated assault and was sentenced to one year in jail. Schaefer maintained that he only wanted to teach the girls a lesson--the dangers of hitchhiking.

Now, there is more to this story....

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