Don Juan Killers, Part 1

Bela Kiss
Kiss was a rather handsome man with blond hair and remarkable, vibrant blue eyes. Not only had Kiss taught himself his trade as a tinsmith, but he was a voracious reader and was highly conversant on art, literature and history. He struck his fellow villagers as an amiable and hard-working fellow with a penchant for throwing parties at a local hotel. Known as a generous person, everybody liked him and he was considered by the women of the town to be its most eligible bachelor.

His town had a limited choice of female companions, so Kiss kept an apartment in Budapest and took out advertisements in newspapers there.

Over the years a steady stream of lovelies from Budapest spent short periods of time at Kiss's home in Cinkota, but no one in the town was introduced to these young women who came and went so quickly.

Many of the facts about Bela Kiss will never be known, except that he murdered 24 of the women who came to see him, and that he has to a large extent passed into myth and had grown into a figure larger than life.

Ted Bundy
The most frightening of serial killers: a handsome, educated psychopathic law student who stalked and murdered dozens of young college women who looked very much like a young woman who broke off her relationship with him.

Bundy was a very adept and glib con artist who faked a broken arm in a sling to convince young women to help him carry his textbooks to his car. Once there, he battered them with a baseball bat and carried them off for ghoulish rituals.

John Norman Collins
Convicted of one murder in the late 1960s Michigan college campus serial murder case, police believed that he was responsible for all of them. Collins was implicated superficially in fifteen murders, but only the first seven on the list were officially considered his.

At the time, he was a 22-year-old student at Eastern Michigan University, majoring in education when he was arrested for the murder of Karen Sue Beineman. He was from Center Line, a suburb north of Detroit, where he had lived with his mother and stepfather. At six feet, he was wiry and muscular, with neatly trimmed dark brown hair and sideburns. Many people thought him handsome and easy to talk to.

Attractive or not, he had a dark side that was beginning to emerge. He had belonged to a fraternity, but had been kicked out under suspicion of theft. He had also engaged in petty burglaries for fun and kept his four motorcycles running with stolen parts. One of his professors suspected him of cheating.

In addition to being sexually very aggressive with dates, Collins also had expressed some ideologies that bordered on psychopathy. He had told a girl that if a man had to kill, he killed. If he decided it was right for him to do it, then he had to do it. The perfect crime, he told her, was when there was no guilt. Without guilt, a person could not get caught.

New DNA evidence and the conviction of Gary Earl Leiterman suggest that there were several perpetrators.

The Pied Piper
Hey, come on, babe, follow me.
I'm the Pied Piper follow me.
I'm the Pied Piper
And I'll show you were it's at

Charles Howard Schmid Jr., or "Smitty," was called "The Pied Piper of Tucson," for his ability to get girls to fall for him. He stood five feet, four inches tall, but added three more inches by padding his stack-heeled cowboy boots with rags and tin cans. He also dyed his reddish-brown hair black, used pancake make-up, whitened his lips, and applied a fake mole to his left cheek (a "beauty" mark). Arrogant and narcissistic, he came from a wealthy family, so he used the niceties he could buy to impress young high school girls. He adopted the droopy-eyed look associated with Elvis, his idol, and acquired a rock musician's mystique.

Smitty was a fixture around the high school, luring girls into his cars. They hung out on Speedway, a main drag, and they were easy prey for a predator, even one who stumbled around in his ridiculous boots. He became something of a folk hero to kids who didn't quite fit in, because he was older and he knew things. He was strange, but he livened things up in a desert town full of retired people where nothing much was happening. Smitty made things interesting.

Many girls went out with him and three never returned. There are a lot of places to bury a body in the desert.

Past Specials

Murder by the Book
The Investigators
Forensic Files

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